Should Kittens Drink Goat Milk?

Baby animals need special care, especially in the beginning and early stages of their life, and kittens are no exception. It’s important to make sure you give little felines the right foods and formulas to ensure that they grow up without any necessary health complications. So when it comes to milk, should a kitten be allowed to drink goat milk?

Kittens should not drink goat milk. This is mainly because it is an inadequate source of fat and protein, which young felines need a lot of, especially during those first four to six weeks of their life. Kittens should only have to rely on the milk of their mother, if available.

We’ve all seen pictures or cartoons of cats drinking milk out of saucers – although now there is a lot of information that says milk is not an appropriate food source for them. So are there any other types of milk that would be appropriate to feed kittens? Below you will find more information about the different types of milk and if they can be given to kittens. We will also discuss alternate feeding options.

Cat Milk

The milk that the kitten’s mother provides is essential to their growth and gives them the strength they need until they can be weaned off it. If the mother is not around or their milk is just not available, you should be able to use a kitten milk formula instead to give the kittens the nutrients they need. More information about kitten formulas is given later in this article.

You can also give kittens a formula even while they are still taking their mother’s milk, as a form of supplemental feeding. If you do this, you should only be feeding them a third of the recommended amount.

Cat mothers can develop a condition known as Eclampsia (milk fever) after they have given birth to a litter of kittens. It generally occurs around the time the kittens should be getting weaned off the milk (when they’re about 4 weeks old) and means that there isn’t enough calcium circulating in the mother because of the heavy milk production. Some symptoms include pacing, aggression, muscle spasms, and panting.

If the mother gets this condition, take her to the vet as soon as possible as it could become fatal in just a few hours, and then wean the kittens off her milk extremely quickly. 

Other Types Of Milk

It’s a common myth that cats can drink any type of milk; however, this can cause digestive problems as their bodies aren’t built to handle the immense amount of lactose in most kinds of milk.

Normal cow milk isn’t healthy for a cat, besides putting too much lactose in their system, it typically has too much fat in it and doesn’t give them all the nutrients they need. This goes for all types of cow milk, including skim and 2% milk as well.

Soy and nut (such as almond) milk aren’t a good idea either as they will malnourish the cats with their lack of appropriate amino acids.

Because the lactose in milk is too heavy for cats and especially kittens, giving it to them can cause dehydration and diarrhea. If it’s given frequently enough, it will cause the cat to become ill and can even lead to death.

Goat Milk

Here’s a little bit more information about goat milk, as this type of milk is debated about a lot when it comes to giving it to cats.

Goat milk contains less lactose than cow milk. The fats and proteins in it only make up about 7-8% of the milk and that’s one of the reasons it’s not very beneficial for kittens – it’s low in nutrients and made mostly of water. Raw goat milk does have a lot of bacteria that can be dangerous for all animals and humans, so pasteurized milk is probably the safer option of the two.

Giving a little bit of raw goat milk is okay for older cats, but definitely not for kittens. It’s okay to give your kittens a little bit of pasteurized goat milk as a treat, but only as they start to eat more solid foods since this is the type of milk they can digest easier.

If there is an emergency, such as the kitten’s mother developing eclampsia, it is appropriate to give the kittens pasteurized goat milk until you can find a better solution. Do not plan on giving it to them long term, just until you have a better option available. Too much goat’s milk will make your kittens sick and put them at risk of death.

While many people online might say goat’s milk is okay, many vets and pet specialists will tell you not to feed kittens goat milk. Other options are better balanced for the kitten’s digestive system. Use it only if you have to and maybe for a small occasional treat, but that’s it.

Kitten Milk Replacer

This is pretty much the only other milk option that is actually healthy for kittens besides their mother’s milk. Kitten milk replacer (KMR) is a formula for kittens that typically comes in powder form, much like the formulas for babies and infants.

Just like with baby formula, you have to make sure to warm it up before you give it to kittens. An ideal temperature is between 97 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit; it should feel as warm as your skin when you test it.

You can find KMR at grocery stores like Walmart, or in practically any pet store, like PetSmart.


A kitten’s tolerance to milk will also increase a little bit with its age. Kittens start by drinking milk from their mother, or formula if their mother’s milk is not available until they’re at least 4 weeks old – when they should start to be weaned off of it.

They typically start eating solid foods when they’re about 2 months old (between 8 and 10 weeks). Once a kitten begins to eat more solid food, their bodies will be able to handle small portions of milk besides their mothers. That tolerance will also improve a little bit once they’ve been fully weaned off their mother’s milk.

Use caution when considering giving milk to your kitten, and when thinking about which milk would be appropriate for them. Just remember that too much milk can be fatal for felines – big or small.

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