Can Cats Eat Ice?

It’s so simple that it’s easy to take for granted. But really, how many times has ice made you feel like you’re just on top of the world? After a long day of being out in the hot sun, a drink full of ice can just soothe all your pains away. Favorite drinks such as iced tea will also not be the same without the simple component. There’s just really nothing out there like some fresh ice, and many people enjoy a cupful almost on a daily basis. So why not let cats enjoy some as well? There’s a debate as to whether cats can actually have ice and benefit from ice or not. Let’s talk a little bit about what ice is and if your cat can actually enjoy some with you.

What is ice?

Although it may be obvious many, we’re going to talk about what ice is. We all know that ice is frozen water, and it really is as simple as that. However, we’d like to point out that nothing changes to the molecular structure of water when it freezes over. The chemical makeup of water is exactly the same regardless of its state—liquid, gas, or in ice’s case—solid. The only thing that changes is its physical form. So can cats have ice or not?

Cats and ice

The answer is yes, but there are a few things to consider before you do. Cats can definitely have ice just like people can. In fact, ice can have several benefits for cats when given appropriately. Your cats are also likely to enjoy some ice in their drink bowl, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting your cat have a small ice chip from time to time. If you happen to have some in a cup, try it out to see if your cat likes it. There’s still a chance that it might not even—but most cats do.

The best time for ice

Summer is obviously a given here. When it’s too hot outside, it’s likely that your cat is hot as well. It’s not much of a worry for cats that stay mostly indoors, but it can be an issue if you have even an inch of air conditioning and/or circulating issues. Ice will help your cat regulate its body temperature, especially since cats don’t really sweat. There are also cats that are prone to not drinking at all. It’s not unusual for cats to not drink enough water throughout the day. Ice is a great way to help hydrate your cats that just won’t drink.

Benefits of ice

Apart from hydration being its biggest benefit, ice has other benefits for cats as well. Much like how we as people enjoy it, ice can just be a pleasurable experience for your pets. You can think of it as a treat of sorts. Cats that are prone to overheating can benefit tremendously from this treat. Since it doesn’t have any calories or sugar, ice is a healthy treat as well. It’s a guarantee that your cat will never gain any excess weight from consuming water.

What kind of ice

You might be wondering if this is even a question. Of course, anything frozen could be misconstrued as ice; so it’s important to clarify that water would be the best ice option to give your pet cat. You might be tempted to freeze some juice for yourself or make an ice pop altogether. While you enjoy these treats for yourself, we highly recommend not sharing these with your cat. The general consensus when it comes to giving water to pets is simple—you give your pets what you deem worthy enough to consume for yourself. If you’re drinking out of the bottle, you should be inclined to freeze bottled water to give as ice for your cat. If you normally give your cat tap water or you normally drink tap water yourself, then it should be safe for your cats to consume as ice. If the tap in your area is just not good enough to drink straight, then we don’t recommend freezing the same water to be used as ice for your cats.

Careful with certain breeds

Before we discuss the few risks associated with cats eating ice, we should remind you that not all cat breeds might benefit from ice altogether. The breeds that of most concern are the hairless cat breeds such as the Sphynx, the Donskoy, the Bambino, and the like. These cat breeds are hypersensitive to extreme climate and temperature changes. They don’t do so well in the heat, and they definitely don’t do well in the cold. Although there’s not a lot of research on how much ice actually affects cats’ temperature or temperature regulation. The only comparison available at the moment is to humans and how ice consumption affects human body temperature. It’s known that human body temperature can drastically be cooled down by ice consumption. The best thing for you to do if you have a hairless cat is to monitor how it reacts to ice given in small amounts. It will allow you to determine how much ice the cat can actually tolerate until it gets too cold.

Things to consider

As with any kind of food or diet, there are certain risks associated with ice consumption. For one, ice that’s frozen too solid might cause damage to your cat’s teeth. Ice is sturdy enough to cause breakage or even a chipped tooth. These can cause larger problems such as pain. Ice can also cause a great deal of discomfort to your cat, as too much cold water in a short period of time can cause stomach pains. Also, just as ice can give us all brain freeze, it can do the same for your cat. If your cat is enjoying an icy treat, keep an eye on it for brain freeze cues. It may not be dangerous, but it can surely be uncomfortable. Though these risks can happen at any given time, your cat can still enjoy ice from time to time with your supervision. You’ll want to watch your cat anyway because it’s likely to make a mess with all that fun ice around.

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