Can Maine Coon Cats Drink Milk?

Everyone is familiar with the iconic image of a content cat lapping up some fresh milk from a tiny saucer. Maine Coons are no exception to this stereotype. But are Maine Coon cats and saucers of milk truly a good match? The answer just may surprise you.

Can Maine Coon cats drink milk? Yes, your Maine Coon can drink milk. However, it is recommended they do not consume too much of it. Since Maine Coons, as well as many other breeds of cat, are prone to lactose intolerance, it can cause them to have digestive issues that will leave both you and your Maine Coon feeling troubled.

Let us show you what might happen if your Maine Coon drinks milk and what alternatives there are to milk.



The main issue with cats drinking traditional cow’s milk is that it contains lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. Just like some humans, many cats have an intolerance to this type of sugar.

The small intestine produces an enzyme appropriately named lactase, which aids in breaking down lactose so that is can be properly absorbed.

Unfortunately, as our Maine Coons mature their bodies produce less lactase meaning it is hard for your Maine Coon to digest lactose. The undigested lactose can draw a lot of water into your Maine Coon’s intestines. This means in about eight to twelve hours your Maine Coon can develop gas, bloating and diarrhea.

It is also important to note that if your Maine Coon develops diarrhea, they can easily become dehydrated. Always pay attention to your Maine Coon’s bowel movements and water consumption.

(Especially if your Maine Coon cat suffers from diarrhea from time to time, you should read this article.)

Though most cats are affected by lactose intolerance, not all are. Keep in mind cats that are able to digest the enzyme are the exception to the rule. You can see how your Maine Coon reacts to milk consumption by starting with a tablespoon after a nutritious meal has been eaten by your Maine Coon.

If you simply cannot resist treating your sweet Maine Coon to a creamy saucer of cow’s milk, your best bet is to avoid higher fat milk and opt for 1% or skim milk.

Heavier milk like whole milk, Half & Half, and cream contain a sugar and fat content that is too high for a healthy diet, especially if your Maine Coon’s weight is an issue.


If the lactose in milk is the culprit for your Maine Coon’s indigestion, you may want to try some dairy alternatives and lactose-free options. Though like regular cow’s milk, there are some issues that may arise with giving your Maine Coon a milk alternative.

  • Lactose-free is still cow’s milk, but it is not something they should be drinking regularly. It does not contain the enzyme that will lead to digestive issues but like regular milk, it can be a bit too high in fat and sugar to have a positive effect on your Maine Coon’s diet.
  • Nut milk such as almond, coconut, and cashew are a big deal for humans these days, but maybe not so much for your Maine Coon. These milk are made from grinding up the respective nut and adding water and preservatives. In nature, cats would surely avoid eating nuts, so keep in mind it is not a part of their natural diet, Though you can give your kitty some as a treat, it is not recommended to give them much more than a few tablespoons.
  • Soy milk is made similarly to the other milk listed above but should be avoided by cats. Your carnivorous friend does not have soybeans as part of their natural diet. In addition, soy milk contains phytoestrogen, a plant-based estrogen which can not only be detrimental to your Maine Coon’s health but your own as well.
  • You can find brands of milk designed specifically for your feline friend. Brands such as Whiskas, Cat-Sip, and CatSure are safe to buy for your Maine Coon. In fact, most are fortified with nutrients and vitamins that will keep your Maine Coon looking and feeling great all without upsetting their stomach. It must always be kept in mind though that it is still a treat and it is not okay to overindulge your Maine Coon with these milk. Too many vitamins can be harmful. Have a look at this cat milk here!


Unlike humans, cats are not meant to consume a variety of beverages. A Maine Coon owner may ask themselves, if not milk then what can I provide my cat to drink?

Above appeasing kitty’s taste buds will always be hydration, and nothing will ever do the trick quite like water. After all, your Maine Coon’s body tissue is made up of almost 70 percent water!

  • Always leave a clean bowl of water out for your Maine Coon.
  • Be sure to clean the bowl regularly with a mild soap to prevent it from harboring bacteria.
  • Maine Coons also have sensitive taste buds and may avoid water that has been sitting out for too long.
  • You also may have noticed your Maine Coon prefers to drink water from your dripping bathroom faucet. This behavior is thought to stem from a cat’s association with still water being possibly contaminated. Luckily today it is easy to find an automatic water dispenser for your Maine Coon at most pet stores.
  • Your Maine Coon can also hydrate from regularly eating wet food. Canned cat food is made up of about 80 percent water content. Maine Coons also love to lap up the water in canned fish that we often consume. If you want to treat your Maine Coon to a can of albacore tuna or sardines, make sure you put all of the canning liquid into your Maine Coon’s dish.

Always take notice of any signs of dehydration your Maine Coon may be experiencing. Good skin elasticity, a shiny coat, and only a handful of trips to the litter box are all signs indicating your kitty cat is in top shape.

Also, getting a water fountain is great to encourage your Maine Coon to drink even more.



Maybe you want to reward your Maine Coon for being a good patient at the vet, or only want to spoil them because you love your Maine Coon so much. Know that you can treat your fluffy friend without giving any milk at all.

A bag of dried cat treats is a popular and healthy way to reward your Maine Coon. Look for high-quality ingredients and avoid products with soy, corn, and wheat, as it lacks the proper nutrition for your Maine Coon. Grain free is always a good way to go if you are buying treats from your favorite pet store.

Remember you can also always reward your kitty with non-food options too. Go out and buy your Maine Coon some new toys. Catnip and valerian root also make great rewards and as a bonus help to relax your Maine Coon.

A good brushing is also enjoyable to most Maine Coons.

Don’t forget that these mellow giants can also be rewarded with your affection. Often some ear scratches and belly rubs will do the trick!


Can Maine Coon cats have a raw diet? If you want to put your Maine Coon on a raw diet it is best to stick to organic ground poultry. Make sure the meat is fresh, as they are prone to foodborne illness. It is also not recommended to feed pregnant Maine Coons raw meat. To play it safe, grain free is always a great option.

What is the best diet for Maine Coon kittens? When Maine Coon kittens are weaned off of their mother’s milk, it is best to feed them wet and dry food specially formulated for kittens. It is fortified with a larger amount of nutrients and calories to help you Maine Coon kitten stay healthy and nourished.

Our Maine Coon Cat Food Guide will tell you everything you need to know on Maine Coon cat/kitten diet. Read it here!

Do Maine Coon cats have food allergies? It is a possibility that your Maine Coon can have food allergies but it is uncommon. More likely if they are having a reaction to food, it is an intolerance rather than an allergy. Cats can, however, have non-food related allergies such as to dust and pollen.

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