Is your cat addicted to milk? and how to get them off it

pictures_cats_eating.jpgA while ago, I posted Can you feed cats too much milk? and the answer was yes, any amount of milk is too much milk. Milk is a treat and should be fed that way. Cats aren't actually able to digest the mild properly and often milk is the cause of obesity and even diarrhea or vomiting (even if it doesn't happen every time). But what if you've been feeding your cat milk everyday and your cat has come to rely on it, even acts like he's addicted to it?

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There are two schools of thought on ridding your cat of his addiction. The first is weening him off of it slowly. There are two ways you can do that. One way is gradually give him less and less milk. So if you normally give him 1/4 cup of milk everyday, give him 1/4cup less 1 tablespoon for 4 - 7 days, then 1/4 cup less 2 tablespoons for the next 4-7 days, until he is only getting 1 tablespoon every day. Then 1 tablespoon every second day, then gradually no milk at all.

Another way of weening your cat off of milk, and I like this idea a little better, is to slightly dilute the milk at first then gradually reduce the amount. So if you give your cat 1/4 cup of milk everyday, first put in a tablespoon of water then fill up the measuring cup with milk so the milk is diluted by one tablespoon for the first 4-7 days, then increase that to 2 tablespoons of water for the next 4-7 days then three and so on and so forth until his is drinking mostly water. But there will come a time when your cat won't be interested in the milk any more, because it is too diluted. So use this to your advantage and stop giving him anything but water.

The other school of thought is to redirect your cat's addiction to something you both can live with. So let's say he's been drinking milk everyday, give him less milk and supplement it with cat treats. Kind of like the idea presented above about weening your cat off gradually. You can ween him off and give him treats or catnip to take his mind off the milk. Eventually, you can feed him only treats instead of milk.

With any option you choose, it's important to remember that your cat is getting a significant amount of calories from the milk. well.. significant to a cat, and those calories have to be replaced. Finding some good quality treats that help clean teeth or that off some benefits like omega 3 fatty acids would be an ideal way to replace the calories lost from the milk. Another option is to try feeding your cat cod liver oil, an excellent source of nutrients and calories for Kitty.

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