cats drink dog milk
| |

Can Cats Drink Dog Milk: 3 Basic Things to Consider

Dogs are friendly animals and will care for just about anything including human babies and sometimes even kittens. But can cats drink dog milk? Is it safe for them?

Kittens up to 6 weeks old can drink dog milk. However, adult cats can not. Dog milk has lactose which adult cats lose the ability to digest after they start weaning.

Can Kittens Drink Milk From a Dog?

Dogs can nurse kittens. There is nothing in a nursing dog’s milk that can harm a kitten. However, kittens require more protein than what’s present in dog milk. It’s also very high in fat compared to cat milk.

Can Kittens Drink Milk From a Dog
Image by-longer-here from Pixabay

What to Consider Before a Dog Can Nurse a Kitten?

1. Kitten’s Claws

Kittens knead while suckling. While this is normal for cats, it certainly isn’t for dogs.

Cats and dogs are built differently. Felines have a lot of fur on their belly and don’t mind the kneading. It actually stimulates the cat and helps produce more milk.

Dogs on the other hand don’t have that much fur on their underbelly. This means that a kneading kitten will most likely hurt your dog.

If you observe your dog in pain while nursing a kitto, then it’s time to explore other sources of nutrition.

signs cat has eaten kittens
Photo by Reynaldo Yodia on Pexels

2. The Dog’s Milk Production

Dogs usually give birth to more than one puppy. In some instances, the number could go up to eight.

In this case, the dog’s milk production will only be sufficient for her pups. Adding another kitten to the list will only lead to some sort of competition.

Keep in mind puppies lactate every half an hour or so. This means there has to be a steady flow of milk to maintain the pups.

Sometimes, the dog will choose to breastfeed her puppies over an unrelated kitten.

3. The Cat’s Age

Dog milk has lactose, a carbohydrate found in most mammalian milk. While newborn kittens can digest lactose with no issues, adult cats can not.

As cats age, they lose their ability to properly digest lactose at around seven weeks as they wean.

4. Nutritional Content of the Dog’s Milk

Dogs produce milk to sustain their pups, so it only makes sense that the milk’s nutrition is biased toward puppies.

Another angle to look at this would be the different diets. Cats are obligate carnivores and get most of their nutrients from meat.

Dogs, on the other hand, rely on both carbohydrates and meat for their nutrition.

Seeing they get their nutrition differently, it then becomes obvious that their milk components would not be the same.

Although kittens can have dog milk, it does not provide the needed nutrition for their growth.

Benefits of Dogs Nursing Kittens

1. Become Socialized

Kittens, just like human babies, learn from their environment. A kitten adopted by a dog will quickly adopt some behaviors from its “mum”.

Growing up with dogs will also reduce the well-known enmity between these two.

Can dogs nurse cats
Image by Závada from Pixabay

2. Provide Comfort

All young animals get some comfort from hunting out with their parents. For an orphaned kitten, this can well be a dog.

Dogs release oxytocin, a maternal hormone, which makes the bitch carefully care for and protect their young ones, in this case, a kitten.

Having the dog take care of the kitty gives a sense of belonging, security, and comfort to the cat.

Can a Dog Produce Milk for a Kitten?

Dogs can provide milk for kittens especially if they are already lactating or recently lost their pups. Dogs release prolactin hormone which helps in milk production when caring for what they consider their own offspring, including a kitten in some circumstances.

Can cats drink breast milk

Explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of cats drinking human breast milk.

Is Dog Milk Good for Cats?

Although cats drink dog milk, it is not perfect for growing cats. However, it is the closest a kitten can get to its mother’s milk. For optimal growth, the kitten still needs some formula to provide the proper nutrition.

Difference Between Dog Milk and Cat Milk

Dog milk has a different composition from cat milk. Dog milk has less protein and lactose compared to feline milk. It however has more fat than cat milk.

NutrientCat MilkDog Milk
Protein (%)4133
Fats (%)2942
Carbs (Lactose) (%)2317
(Source: Australian Pet Industry)

Can Cats Drink Dog Milk Replacer?

Cats can drink dog milk replacer. However, this should only be in emergencies where you don’t have kitten milk but have a kitten that urgently needs to be fed.

Do not make this their primary source of nutrition.


My Dog Is Nursing a Kitten, Should I Worry?

There is no need to worry if your dog is nursing your kitten since cats drink dog milk. You only need to supplement their diet with some kitten milk since dog milk can’t meet a growing kitten’s nutritional needs.

Are Puppy Milk and Kitten Milk the Same?

Puppy milk and kitten milk are not the same. The two have different nutritional components that favor each other. Puppy milk has more fat compared to kitten milk.

Is Puppy Milk Ok for Kittens?

Puppy milk is okay for kittens. Cats should only have puppy milk when kitten milk is not readily available. It should never be the primary source of nutrition for kittens as it lacks important nutrients necessary for kitten growth.

Can a Dog Raise a Kitten?

Dogs can adopt and raise kittens. This can happen when a dog has just given birth and maternal instincts kick in. It can also happen with friendly dogs who are socialized with cats and choose to protect them.

My Kitten Suckles My Adult Dog’s Lips and Saliva. Is This Normal?

It’s not normal for kittens to suckle on anything that isn’t tits. This behavior means that the cat was separated from the mum very early. She still needs her mum’s comfort and milk for proper development.

Similar Posts