Is milk mixed with water safe for cats to drink?

The highest assumption that exist in the pets world is that relating cats with milk. This assumption be addressed once and for all. 

If you give your cat milk, it will drink all the milk. This is not because milk is good for them, rather because they enjoy the fat content in the milk. Cow’s milk is actually very bad for cats. 

Kittens can use their mothers milk till the age of 8 weeks. However, if it’s a stray cat, you can find special formulated milk for cats. Why not give cats milk? 

Most cats are lactose intolerant. They might experience diarrhea or vomiting after driving milk. Milk can cause kidney and bladder stones on cats. To reduce the risk of your cat developing kidney diseases, you can feed them with manufactured milk. Manufactured milk contains 89% water. Therefore, the lactose in the milk is diluted. 

In this article, we will discuss why you should give your cat manufactured milk. You will learn how to dilute cow’s milk for your cats. Don’t go anywhere. 

Can cats drink diluted cow milk?

Although cats are fond of milk, milk can cause a lot of complications to your pet. The largest issue is that from the age of 8 weeks, cats tolerance to lactose is reduced drastically. For this reason, adult cats have a hard time digesting milk. Besides, milk does not have any essential nutrients needed by an adult cats. 

Cat’s are naturally water drinkers. However, they need to stay hydrated and milk is not good for them. Since cats enjoy milk, you can dilute the cow’s milk with water. This will give your cat the satisfaction of thinking it’s drinking milk. On the other hand the water available in the milk will dilute the lactose. This in turn reduce the risk of diarrhea, stomach upsets and vomiting. The cat will remain hydrated.

Can kittens drink cow milk mixed with water? 

Kittens from birth to the age of 6-8 weeks need their mothers milk for essential nutrients. If this is impossible, let’s say in case of stray cat, you can give them cow’s milk diluted with water. Diluting milk with water will reduce the lactose in the milk. As a result, your kitten will stay hydrated and have low risk of developing diseases associated with cow’s milk.  

Can I give a newborn kitten diluted cow milk? 

Yes. If the kitten’s mother is not available, you can dilute cow’s milk with water. However, this should be done with guidance from a veterinarian nutritionist. If done wrong, your cat can develop kidney and urinary disease. 

Diluted milk has more advantages than normal milk. This is because the water found in the milk will help keep your cat hydrated all the time. The kitten will be consuming smaller percentage of lactose in every ml of milk it drinks. This reduce the chances of stomach upset. 

How to dilute cow milk for my kittens?

The first step of diluting cow milk for your kitten is knowing how much your kitten can feed in a day. 

Step 1: Take 5 parts of water for every one part of milk

Boil water separately and for every one part of milk, add five parts. This will ensure the cat does not react to the lactose in the milk. 

Step 2: Add ½ teaspoon of bone meal to 16 Oz of fluid

Since cats are carnivores, bone meal had nutrition values needed by cats to grow. Mix ½ teaspoon of the meal to the mixture of water and milk. 

Step 3: Feed the cat and store the rest of the solution in the refrigerator

Feed your cat with the solution created. If it does not react to the mixture, you can continue feeding it. Essentially, the formula can last for two days when refrigerated and not more than 24hours if out of the refrigerator. 

Since this formula is easy to make and not harmful to your cat, you can continue feeding your cat until it’s time to eat solid food. This is usually after 8weeks. 

Can I give an outdoor cat warm milk with water?

There are cats that react when they take milk and others do not get affected by milk at all. However, cow’s milk does not have any additional nutrients needed by cat. Furthermore cats are carnivores. So, if your cat is above the age of 8weeks, you can feed it with solid food and water on a regular basis. 

The problem arises for small orphaned cats. This cats cannot feed on solid food and might be lactose intolerant. If it’s not possible to feed them on manufactured formulas, you can create your own formula at home. 

Dilute water in the ratio of 5:1. That is for every one part of milk, you should add five parts of water. This way, the cat will be consuming less lactose in every unit they feed on. You can add some vet-approved ingredients such as karo syrup, bone meal, and pediatric vitamins. 


The kitten’s mother may not be always available due to various reasons. To ensure the kitten grow without any complications, you can create easy homemade formulas at home. 

One of the most efficient formulas is made by adding water and cow’s milk. Ensure you store the milk in refrigerator and always bring the milk to 38°C before feeding the cat. 

Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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