It’s a hot summer day, and you’re enjoying a heaping bowl of your favorite ice cream. But wait…should you be sharing with your cat? After all, you know that some human foods can be dangerous for cats. So, can cats eat ice cream? Read on to find out.
Can Cats Eat Ice Cream – Is Eating Ice Cream Safe For Cats?
The short answer is no, cats should not eat ice cream. Most commercial ice cream is packed with calories and contains milk, fat and carbohydrates, which are all ingredients that are not particularly good for cats. In fact, too much fat can cause pancreatitis in cats, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
Milk and all dairy products can cause digestive problems because cats are lactose intolerant. Eating ice cream could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.
Additionally, many ice creams contain chocolate, which is toxic to cats, so you should not let your cat lick ice cream at any time.
While there are some brands of ice cream that are made with cat-friendly ingredients, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving your cat any ice cream at all. If you want to give your cat a special treat, there are a variety of cat-safe frozen foods that you can buy at your local pet store.
Are Cats Lactose Intolerant?
It’s a common scene in movies and TV shows – a cat lapping up a saucer of milk – but we might not realize that many cats have lactose intolerance, so cats aren’t supposed to consume any dairy products at all – there is no nutritional benefit.
In fact, giving your cat any dairy products even in small quantities is not safe for your cat and can make your cat sick and can cause digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea.
Lactose intolerance in cats is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which aids in the digestion of lactose. When a cat lacks this enzyme, they cannot properly digest the lactose, leading to several gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
While all cats lack lactase to some degree, certain breeds (Siamese, Persians, and Bengals) are more prone to intolerance than others.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance will typically show up within 12-24 hours after consuming dairy and can include any or all of the following: diarrhea, vomiting, bloating gas, abdominal pain or cramping, and weight loss.
If your cat is displaying any of these signs, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian right away.
But Surely Ice Cream Can’t Be That Bad For Cats?
Dairy products may be part of the everyday diet for many humans – although there is plenty of evidence suggesting that is not beneficial at all even for humans… We actually have something in common with cats… yes, you guessed it: lactose intolerance!
While we all love occasionally indulging in a little ice cream or any other sweet treat, it’s important to remember that our cats shouldn’t eat ice cream.
We already covered it above, but it is worth emphasizing that most ice cream flavors contain harmful ingredients to cats—such as chocolate, coffee, and nuts.
They are generally high in fat and sugar, so even if your cat is tolerant of lactose, you should still avoid giving them ice cream with these additives.
If you want to give your cat a little treat, there are plenty of safe and healthy alternatives—such as small pieces of cooked chicken or fish.
Do Cats Like Ice Cream? Can Kitty Eat Cat Ice Cream As A Treat?
The answer to this question is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, some cats may enjoy the taste of ice cream and may be drawn to them and will likely lap up any that you give them.
On the other hand, as we already mentioned above, since ice cream for cats is pretty bad, you should not allow your cat to consume it all, regardless of the flavor of ice cream.
What Happens If Your Kitty Eats Some? What To Do If Your Cat Ate Too Much Ice Cream?
The answer, unfortunately, is not good. As we already established, cats are lactose intolerant, so their bodies can’t properly digest milk and other dairy products. When they eat ice cream (or drink milk, for that matter), they can experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting.
In severe cases, they may even develop dehydration. So, if your cat does get into your ice cream, it’s important to monitor them closely and contact your veterinarian if they start showing any signs of illness.
Can You Buy Purpose-Made Ice Cream Or Other Frozen Treat For Cats That Is Safe? Are There Any Ice Cream Alternatives?
As the mercury rises, we must ensure our feline friends don’t get too hot under the collar. While sharing our bowl of ice cream with them is tempting, not all human foods are safe for cats.
Please see below a list of a few frozen treats that you can feed your cat this summer.
Frozen Broth Popsicles
Cats love both the taste and smell of chicken broth, so these frozen popsicles are sure to be a hit! To make them, simply pour chicken or beef broth into ice cube trays or popsicle molds and freeze overnight. In the morning, pop them out and let your kitty enjoy them!
Catnip Ice Cubes
For an extra special treat, add some catnip to your homemade popsicles! Catnip is a safe and natural herb that induces feelings of happiness and euphoria in cats. Simply sprinkle a little bit into each compartment of your ice cube tray or popsicle mold before adding the broth.
Watermelons are not only refreshing—they’re also healthy for cats! Watermelons are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. To turn a watermelon into a frozen treat, cut it into small slices and freeze it overnight. In the morning, let your kitty enjoy a delicious and nutritious snack!
Can Cats Eat Non-Dairy Ice Cream (Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, Strawberry Ice Cream, etc.) Or Are Ice Cream Bad For Cats In General?
Many commercially-available dairy-free ice creams use a sweetener called xylitol, which is toxic to cats, so the simple answer is yes – cats and ice cream simply is not a good match.
Cats Eating Ice Cream – Brain Freeze, Fact Or Myth?
What is brain freeze?
Brain freeze is a phenomenon that occurs when you eat or drink something cold too quickly. It’s also been referred to as “ice cream headache” or “cold stimulus headache.” When you consume cold foods or drinks quickly, the blood vessels in your throat constrict.
This constriction can cause pain in your head and neck. Brain freeze typically lasts only a few minutes and goes away independently.
Do cats get brain freeze?
There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that cats can get brain freeze. However, there are a few reports and even some youtube videos of cats getting it – they clearly show some signs of discomfort after eating or drinking something cold.
These signs include pawing at their mouths and crinkling their noses. If your cat shows discomfort after eating something cold, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any other possible health concerns.
Kitten and adult cats should not eat ice cream. Milk ice cream is specifically bad as it contains lactose and cats cannot digest lactose. If you want a healthy cat look for alternative ways to spoil them.