Have you ever wanted to give your cat ice cream but weren’t sure if it was okay? There are certain foods these animals cannot eat, and it’s important to know what they are. 

Your cat’s diet is a delicate thing, so you don’t want to give them anything that is truly harmful.

Lactose Intolerance of Cats

While ice cream is not inherently toxic to cats, it is not an ideal treat to give your feline friend. The fact is that cats are actually lactose intolerant. This basically means that their bodies don’t have the enzymes necessary to process lactose properly. 

Your cat might not die if it eats ice cream, they’ll probably experience some unpleasant symptoms. This can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The lactose intolerance of these animals means that even giving them milk is not a good idea.

Cats drink the milk produced by their mother when they are very young. At this point their body still has the enzymes necessary to process lactose smoothly and without any issues. Once a cat starts getting older, they essentially lose these enzymes. This is why kittens can drink milk with no problems, while adult cats cannot.

Do Cats Like Ice Cream?

The fact is that your cat won’t be able to appreciate the delicious taste of ice cream like most humans. This is because these animals lack the taste buds that are sensitive to sweet tastes. The reason that cats go crazy for whole milk and most ice cream is because of the high fat content.

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Another reason that some cats seem to love ice cream is that it helps keep them hydrated. While cats also drink water for hydration, this need is satisfied mostly by food. One thing is for sure—your cat doesn’t want it to satisfy its sweet tooth. Some cats also like this food because of the smooth texture. It might just feel good for your feline friend to lick the ice cream.

cat eating ice cream

Alternative Ice Cream Options

If you really want to give your cat ice cream, you might want to look for the kind that is made from goat’s milk. The enzymes that are found in this type of milk can help your cat process the lactose in the ice cream. This in turn will minimize the chances of any negative effects on your pet. While this ice cream is typically more expensive and sometimes difficult to find, it is a better overall option.

You also have the option of making ice cream at home for your cat. This will allow you to choose which milk is used so that your cat doesn’t suffer needlessly. If you have an ice cream maker, it doesn’t take very long to make this delicious frozen treat at home. You should also make a point of not using a lot of sugar, as this is not good for your kitty.

Tips for Giving Your Cat Ice Cream

There are a few important tips to keep in mind if you ever decide to give your cat ice cream. These tips will help you keep your pet healthy while allowing them to enjoy a nice treat.

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1. Make it an Occasional Thing

Ice cream should only be given to your cat as an occasional treat, and not as a regular thing. If you are regularly giving them ice cream, they will quickly become obese. Traditional ice cream contains a lot of sugar and fat, which can lead to weight gain when consumed in excess.

2. Avoid Regular Milk

As we mentioned above, adult cats do not process regular milk very well. You should therefore opt for an alternative like goat’s milk.

3. Choose Sugar-Free Ice Cream

When you give your cat ice cream, you should ideally choose the sugar free variety. They won’t be able to tell the difference, and it is much better for their health overall.

4. Monitor them Closely

Make sure that you keep a close eye on your cat after it has eaten any amount of ice cream for the first time. If your cat experiences any diarrhea or vomiting, you should get them to the veterinarian right away. Not all cats respond to this food in the same exact way, which is why you need to do this. Keep monitoring them for a few hours after you give them the ice cream.

cat on vacation

Can I Give My Cat Chocolate Ice Cream?

You should never give your cat chocolate ice cream, as chocolate is considered toxic to these animals. This food contains a compound called theobromine, which your cat is not capable of processing normally. If even a small quantity of chocolate builds up in your cat’s body, their entire system could shit down.

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It only takes 100 milligrams per kilogram of theobromine to have a fatal effect on a cat. When you consider that cocoa powder has quadruple this amount in a single ounce, it is very dangerous to your pet.

Do Cats get Brain Freeze?

Most humans have experienced the unpleasant feeling of “brain freeze” when eating ice cream. The fact is that cats can also experience this. They have a similar nervous system that allows them to feel that intense chilled headache.

Conclusion

  • Cats are lactose intolerant as adults, which means their bodies cannot process dairy products like milk or ice cream very well.
  • These animals cannot really taste sweet things, but they may enjoy ice cream for its smooth texture.
  • Some cats also like ice cream because it helps them stay hydrated.
  • If you want to give your cat ice cream, consider making it at home with goat’s milk.
  • You can also buy ice cream from the store that is made with milk from a goat.
  • Make ice cream an occasional treat rather than a regular thing.
  • Giving your cat ice cream too much or too often can quickly cause them to become obese.
  • Monitor your cat’s condition closely for the first few hours after giving them ice cream for the first time.
  • You should never give your cat even a little bit of chocolate ice cream, as it is toxic to them.
  • Cats can get brain freeze, but it is perfectly harmless just as it is for humans.
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