When you love your pet, you want to do everything possible to make them happy, and this might include giving them the occasional treat. Similarly, if there is a food you enjoy, you may want to share it with your pet so it can get the same pleasure that you do from eating it. A food that many people consider a treat is ice cream. It is a refreshing option in the warmer months, soothing when you are under the weather, and many people consider it comfort food. Therefore, you may think your cat will also enjoy all these benefits of eating. However, is ice cream something that you should feed your cat?
Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?
So, is it okay for cats to eat ice cream? While ice cream is not something that will kill your cat, it is also something that is not good for them, says Feline Living. The main ingredients of ice cream are milk or cream, and sugar. None of these ingredients are good for cats, so you should avoid feeding your cat ice cream. On the other hand, a small amount of ice cream occasionally is unlikely to do them any long-term harm. There are also many other ice cream ingredients, and it is important to consider each of these when determining if it is safe for your cat to eat ice cream. So, let’s take a look at the main ingredients of ice cream and how they can potentially affect your pet.
The Effects on Cats of Eating Dairy Products
One of the main ingredients of ice cream is milk or cream, and they are foods you should avoid feeding your cat as they are lactose intolerant. Many people are surprised to learn that cats are lactose intolerant, as cats are often depicted in cartoons drinking milk. Cats lack a sufficient amount of the lactase enzyme that is needed to digest the lactose in milk and cream. As they cannot digest the lactose properly, a cat will suffer from diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloating. All these symptoms will cause your cat discomfort. By not feeding your cat ice cream, you will avoid them suffering from these uncomfortable symptoms.
The Sugar Content of Ice Cream
Another ingredient of most ice creams is sugar, which is another food that is bad for cats. There are several reasons why you should avoid feeding your cats foods containing sugar. First, it is an unnecessary item in your cat’s diet, as it is not something they would eat in the wild. Therefore, their digestive systems do not cope well with sweet foods. One of the main symptoms a cat experiences when you feed them sweet things, is diarrhea. Second, eating sweet foods can make your cat feel full, and they may then avoid eating other foods that have greater nutritional content. In turn, this can lead to them suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Finally, eating sugar will have a negative impact on your cat’s dental health. Just like humans, cats can suffer from dental decay if their diet includes too much sugar. Some ice creams contain sweeteners instead of sugar. There is evidence that some sweeteners are bad for dogs. However, there is no scientific evidence that this applies to cats. Therefore, ice creams containing sweeteners instead of sugar are possibly a better option if you do decide to give your cat ice cream.
How Other Ingredients in Ice Cream Affect Cats
Eggs are often an ingredient in many ice creams, and these are safe for your cat to eat. Furthermore, eggs are an excellent source of protein for cats. However, it is essential that the eggs are cooked, as raw eggs are not good for cats, says Pets Web MD. A further ingredient found in many ice creams is gelatine, which is another ingredient that is safe for cats to eat. It is an ingredient in many commercial cat food products. Rad Cats states that they use gelatine in their food as it has nutritional benefits for cats. Something else to consider is the flavorings used in ice cream. Some ice creams contain natural flavorings, while others use synthetic flavorings. Just because a flavoring is natural, it does not necessarily mean that it is safe for your cat to eat. It is always best to check before feeding your cat any new foods.
Can Cats Get Brain Freeze?
Brain freeze is the cold sensation you get when eating a lot of ice cream, where the cold seems to spread from your moth around your head. Just like humans, cats can also suffer from brain freeze. Deliberately giving your cat brain freeze is an act of animal cruelty.
Do Cats Like Ice Cream?
Although you have taken the time to research whether it is safe to feed ice cream to your cat, it is possible that you do not need to concern yourself about this matter as most cats do not like ice cream. The first reason for a cat not liking ice cream is that they do not like eating cold food. Second, most cats are not keen on sweet food, and they much prefer savory treats, says the Happy Cat Site. Research shows that cats do not have sweet taste receptors, so they are not attracted to sweet food.
The Final Verdict- Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?
Overall, ice cream is not a food that you should feed your cat. Although it is unlikely to do them lasting damage, eating dairy products and sugar can cause them to suffer some unpleasant symptoms, including bloating and diarrhea. Occasionally feeding a small amount of ice cream to your cat will not do them a lot of harm, but it is unlikely they will want any because cats do not enjoy sweet or cold foods.