Can Cats Have Oat Milk?

Black cat having oat milk from a saucer

Cats are curious creatures, of that there is no doubt. If a cat wants to investigate something, very little can stop them, which is especially true if the thing they want to check out is a tasty snack. One snack that all cats love but can’t have regularly is milk, but is this true of oat milk? Can cats have oat milk?

Yes, cats can have oat milk, but only in small quantities. Oat milk won’t upset a cat’s stomach as regular milk does, but it also doesn’t provide them with any nutrition. 

In this article, we’ll explore all the nuances of cats drinking oat milk and its effects on them. 

Can Cats Have Oat Milk?

Just because something appears to be tasty to a cat doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for them. Things like salted meat can be almost irresistible to kitties, but eating it can cause health problems quicker than you might expect. 

Most cats tend to like milk, specifically the full dairy type of milk that comes from cows. Cats love milk so much that it has become a well-known stereotype, and images of cats enjoying a saucer of milk can be found in cartoons and newspaper advertisements. 

Unfortunately, regular milk can quickly cause gastrointestinal upset in cats, including diarrhea. Like people who are lactose intolerant, cats cannot process dairy in their digestive systems. You might be wondering if the same is true about milk alternatives, like oat milk. 

Cats can have oat milk because there is nothing toxic in oat milk that can harm cats. Oat milk is just oats and water. On the other hand, oat milk doesn’t offer cats anything nutritionally, so it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet. 

Cats are a type of animal known as obligate carnivores. Obligate carnivores are animals that get all their nutrition from meat and other animal products. They need zero plant products in their diet. 

Since oats are not meat, they aren’t something cats can benefit from eating. Cats need a carefully balanced diet to stay healthy, and if they drink too much oat milk, they won’t have room for the foods they really need. 

This means cats can have a little bit of oat milk here and there if it’s something they enjoy, but it should only be reserved as a special treat. Always consult your veterinarian before regularly adding any food to your cat’s diet. 

Is Oat Milk Healthy For Cats?

No, oat milk is not healthy for cats. It isn’t necessarily bad for them, but it isn’t a food that should be added as a regular part of their diet. 

The Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA, checks commercial cat food to ensure it is nutritionally complete for cats. Being nutritionally complete means that a cat will get everything it needs food-wise from the commercial cat food. 

When you feed your cat commercial cat food, they don’t technically need anything else in their diet, but some additives can be beneficial. There is also an extensive range of commercial cat food quality, so talk to your vet to decide which food is best. 

Oats and oat milk are empty calories for cats, and if a cat fills up on oat milk, they might be reluctant to eat the cat food they need to stay healthy. Keep oat milk as an occasional treat to avoid this problem. 

Is Oat Milk Better for Cats Than Normal Milk?

Oat milk is less likely to cause gastrointestinal upset than regular milk, so it is better as a special treat. 

Oat milk may be empty calories for cats, but at least it doesn’t upset their stomach the way regular milk does. Regular milk has something in it called lactose, which adult cats can’t digest. 

Too much regular milk can cause diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. In the wild, cats would get most of the hydration they need from the prey that they hunt, but domestic cats, especially those that only eat dry kibble, won’t get this extra hydration. This is why dehydration can so easily affect them. 

Dehydration can affect the heart and kidneys of cats, which can be very dangerous for them. If your cat likes to have oat milk or regular milk from time to time, it’s important to make sure that they are also drinking enough water.

What Milk Can Cats Have? 

With all the new milk alternatives, it can be confusing which types are safe for our feline friends to share. To make it easier to decide which milks are safe and which should be avoided, we’ve made a list of milk alternatives!

Here are the different milk alternatives and which ones are fine to share with our cat friends: 

  • Regular Dairy Milk: Fine in very small quantities. Any more will upset the cat’s stomach. 
  • Oat Milk: Safe for cats.
  • Almond Milk: Safe for cats.
  • Soy Milk: Safe for cats. 
  • Cashew Milk: Very high in fat content, and should be avoided for cats. 

In short, oat milk, almond milk, and soy milk are safe for cats in small doses. Dairy milk and cashew milk shouldn’t be given to cats. 

Do Cats Like Oat Milk?

Many cats enjoy oat milk, but not as much as regular milk. Cats are attracted to the fat content in normal dairy milk.

That being said, cats can have strange tastes in food and drinks. Many cat owners have discovered that their feline friends love oat milk. Since oat milk isn’t dangerous for cats at all, it’s perfectly fine to let them indulge from time to time. 

If your cat doesn’t like oat milk, that is also perfectly normal. Since cats subsist almost exclusively on meat products, oats and oat milk aren’t something they are automatically attracted to as a source of nutrition. 

Can Cats Have Oat Milk Ice Cream?

Cats can have plain oat milk ice cream in tiny amounts, but the high sugar content means it isn’t something we should give them, even as an occasional snack. Oat milk ice cream with add-ins like chocolate should be completely avoided. 

On the surface, it might seem strange that oat milk is fine for cats, but oat milk ice cream isn’t, but it all has to do with the sugar. Cats can suffer from diabetes and obesity, just like humans, and excess sugar can lead to these disorders much quicker than you might imagine. 

Sugar can also upset the sensitive stomach of many cats, and when a cat has an upset stomach, they are less likely to eat the cat food that they need to thrive. 

Oat milk ice cream can also have other hidden dangers for our darling kitties. Ice cream can come in a variety of flavors, with an even larger variety of add-ins to make it tastier for us. These different types of ice creams can prove very problematic for cats. 

Chocolate ice cream or any oat milk ice cream with chocolate chips or swirls can be extra problematic for cats because chocolate is toxic to cats, even in small doses.

Since oat milk ice cream poses so many potential issues, we don’t recommend it as something that should be given to cats.

Can Kittens Have Oat Milk?

No, kittens shouldn’t have oat milk. While there is nothing dangerous for kittens in oat milk, kittens need their mother’s milk to grow, and if they drink too much oat milk, they could become malnutritioned. 

Like many mammals, Cats can drink milk from their mothers as babies but can’t tolerate any dairy as adults. This is because a kitten’s body produces something called lactase enzyme, making it possible for them to digest milk. As they grow, they stop producing this enzyme, since they don’t feed on their mother as adults. 

It’s important for kittens, especially very young kittens, to only drink their mother’s milk and not any alternative milk like oat milk or soy milk. A mother cat’s milk will contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy components to help kittens grow and bolster their immune systems. 

We want to avoid giving kittens oat milk because anything but their mother’s milk can cause gastrointestinal upset, like diarrhea, and can make them reluctant to nurse. To be safe, kittens shouldn’t have anything but their mother’s milk for the first few weeks of their lives. 

After four weeks, kittens will start to experiment with other types of food. At this point, small amounts of oat milk can be offered, but it still shouldn’t take up a considerable part of the kitten’s diet. 

Final Thoughts

Oat milk is a delicious, creamy substitute for regular milk that has gained popularity everywhere, from coffee shops to home refrigerators. Like regular dairy milk, oat milk can prove attractive to cats, and thankfully, it’s relatively safe for them to enjoy.

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