Can Cats Have Vanilla Ice Cream? Or Is This Sweet Treat Bad For Them?

Most of us love to eat ice cream, no matter if it is summer or one of the cold nights of December.

If you are a pet owner, there is a high probability that you will want your feline friends to enjoy a cool treat as well on hot summer days.

But can cats eat ice cream? Well, here is the answer.

Can Cats Have Vanilla Ice Cream

Although a small amount of vanilla ice cream is perfectly fine for cats, they should avoid eating too much ice cream.

Cats are lactose intolerant, so ice cream can upset her stomach as it consists of milk. Moreover, this sweet treat can cause more problems in the long term.

Here, I will guide you further on whether your pet can have ice cream or not. I will look at the risks and some suitable tasty alternative treats.

Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?

It’s better to avoid feeding your pet too much ice cream. To be on the safe side, I would advise avoiding it altogether.

But don’t panic if someone does feed your cat a spoonful or two, or if your cat steals a lick of your tub, it’s unlikely to cause much harm in small quantities. But feeding it should not become a regular thing.

There are a few reasons why ice cream isn’t a good option for your cat. Just like with humans, it isn’t the healthiest option, but there are also more reasons that that.

There is a lot of sugar and fats present in ice cream and these really aren’t good for your kitty.

Here are more reasons why this sweet treat is not good for your cat.

Propylene Glycol In Ice Cream

Regarding propylene glycol, this substance prevents crystal formation in ice cream. It is considered a safe antifreeze for humans to consume.

But in the case of cats, it is problematic for them. Excess of this substance, particularly in liquid form, can lead to poisoning in cats and dogs alike.

In addition, consuming foods or liquids having propylene glycol destroys red blood cells in cats. This might result in:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Discolouration of skin
  • Sudden weakness
  • Discoloured Urine

If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s better to call your vet as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

Lactose Intolerance In Cats

Did you know that your cat suffers from lactose intolerance? Your feline friends lack the enzyme for digestion of lactose found in milk and most kinds of ice creams.

Unfortunately, because of this condition, cats who consume lactose can experience an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Likewise, eating ice cream can make your kitty obese as it contains high levels of sugar, fat, and dairy.

In the United States, 60-70% of cats are believed to be overweight to obese, so selecting the right foods and treats for your cat, in the right quantities, is incredibly important.

Can Cats Have Vanilla Ice Cream

Do Cats Like Vanilla Ice Cream?

Cats lack any receptors for sweet taste, and that’s why they don’t like sweet-tasting ice creams, as such.

However, that being said, my cats always seem to sniff if out when we are eating ice cream and make a beeline – trying to get a cheeky lick!

So if they lack the necessary receptors, why do cats like vanilla ice cream?

Well, it’s more likely to be to do with the milk content and the high levels of carbs and fats – all of which are bad for cats.

What about other flavours of ice cream? Well, the same applies! Keep them away from any ice cream if you can.

Keep in mind that chocolate ice cream can be particularly troublesome as chocolate is toxic for your cats and can be fatal.

Chocolate contains chemical compounds, including caffeine, that can lead to complications and can even result in coma.

Can Cats Get Brain Freeze?

Have you ever got a headache because of eating too much ice cream? If your cat gets its paws on some ice cream, you may be wondering if it will also experience brain freeze.

The answer may surprise you because, yes, cats can get brain freeze.

This is because cats have the same nervous system as humans. Hence, the brain freeze leads to constriction of blood vessels and results in a nervous reaction.

Therefore, your cat might suffer from a severe headache just like you if it consumes ice cream.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Ice Cream

Although a small amount of vanilla ice cream is fairly safe for your kitty, you should be worried if felines consume too much ice cream.

If this situation happens, you need to watch your pet. If you observe any symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea, it’s important you contact your vet.

In addition, you should prevent your cat from eating more ice cream.

Your vet will likely ask you how long ago the cat ate the ice cream, how much it ate etc. Try to give your vet as much information as possible so they can treat your kitty quickly.

Alternatives To Ice Cream

There are so many tasty alternatives you can offer your feline on a hot day that won’t result in any health concerns.

You can make cat-safe ice cream at home for a relatively low cost. Or you can make your own cat ice lollies for those hot summer days.

If your cat is drawn to the dairy smell of your ice cream, try offering it cat milk as a suitable alternative.

It’s also possible to freeze some types of cat food, like tuna, to offer your kitty a cooling treat.

Final Thoughts

You should generally avoid giving your cat any sort of ice cream that hasn’t been created specifically for felines – this includes human ice cream and dog ice cream.

A small amount of ice cream is unlikely to cause any harm, but it’s best practice to avoid giving ice cream as a treat to your cat altogether.

Ice cream is rich in carbohydrates and fat content, leading to obesity in cats. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet in cats to avoid them becoming overweight.

Cats are lactose intolerant which means they are unable to properly digest ice cream, which can lead to an upset stomach or further complications.

Instead of ice cream, you can offer your kitty wet food, kibble, cat treats, or homemade cat ice cream or cat lollies.

Remember though, treats or snacks shouldn’t take more than 10% of your cat’s diet.

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