Key Takeaways

  • Cats and ice cream – a delicious combination? No, we don’t recommend feeding your cat any
  • Ice cream can give your pet brain freeze, which may be funny, but surely unpleasant to them 😿
  • Many cats have lactose intolerance, so they may experience digestive problems if they eat dairy (such as ice cream) 💩
  • Chocolate ice cream can be toxic to cats

Cats Experience Taste Differently Than Humans

While humans can enjoy a wide variety of flavors in food, cats experience taste differently. For one, they can’t taste ice cream as intensely as we can. This is because they lack the taste buds that would allow them to taste sweetness. Cats might still enjoy sugary foods because of their texture, but they won’t get the same enjoyment out of it that we do.

Cats Experience Taste Differently Than Humans

This also means that cats are more likely to enjoy savory (salty and/or meaty) foods than sweets. In fact, most cats prefer foods that are high in protein and fat, such as meat. However, some cats will enjoy a lick of ice cream because they can smell milk in it. But can cats eat ice cream safely?

Can Cats Eat Ice Cream? It Can Give Them Brain Freeze

Ice cream is a dairy product, made from milk, sugar, flavorings, and stabilizers. It shouldn’t harm your kitty, but only in small amounts, because too much can cause digestive problems for them. Cats lack the enzyme lactase, which would allow them to digest lactose – the main sugar in dairy (more on that later).

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Ice cream can also cause a brain freeze. Brain freezes are caused by the sudden cooling of the roof of the mouth, which can interrupt blood flow to the brain and cause a headache. Other symptoms include dizziness and nausea. In other words, it’s a sudden unpleasant sensation caused by eating ice cream too fast. But can cats eat ice cream safely? There are other reasons why it may not be the best idea.

Editor’s Note 🪶

I witnessed it firsthand when Pepper, my lazy and totally spoiled cat, ate the spoonful of ice cream that I left on my plate when my friend called me out of the blue. She seemed to love it, but then she pulled her head back and stared at the ceiling for a few seconds before shaking it off. I laughed, but I also wondered if she was in pain. Then I realized it was probably just a harmless brain freeze.

Cats May Be Lactose Intolerant

Most felines are lactose intolerant, meaning they can’t digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Consuming dairy can cause digestive problems for cats, including diarrhea and vomiting. This is because when a cat’s body breaks down lactose, it produces lactic acid, which can cause discomfort in the stomach.

Some cats are more tolerant of dairy than others, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving your cat ice cream or other dairy products. There are many delicious alternatives to ice cream that both you and your cat can enjoy.

Cats May Be Lactose Intolerant

Can Cats Have Chocolate Ice Cream?

Ice cream comes in a variety of flavors, including chocolate. Can cats eat ice cream with chocolate in it? No. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to cats. It can cause:

  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • heart problems;
  • seizures;
  • death.
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For these reasons, it’s best to avoid giving cats chocolate in any form. But there are other flavors of ice cream. Can cats eat ice cream of different types? Let’s discuss them one by one.

Vanilla Ice Cream – Safe for Cats?

Even though vanilla ice cream doesn’t contain anything that would be toxic to cats, it doesn’t mean that cats should consume it at all. Ice cream can contain a high amount of sugar, which can lead to weight gain. Chemical additives and flavors can also be dangerous for cats. For these reasons, it’s best not to give your kitten ice cream.

Can Cats Have Sorbet?

Sorbet is usually dairy-free and is made with water, sugar, and fruit or juice. It’s a healthier alternative to regular ice cream, but is it good for cats? Although a few licks of a popsicle wouldn’t harm your cat, feeding them sorbet regularly is not recommended. It’s still quite high in sugar, and there are some fruit that can be toxic to cats, so it’s better to be safe and feed your cats other treats.

Can Cats Have Sorbet?

In Conclusion, Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?

There is some human food that is good for cats. But can cats eat ice cream? It’s not recommended. If you want to give your cat a special treat, there are other foods that are safe for them to eat. Some good options include cooked chicken, boiled eggs, or canned tuna. You can also give your cat some kitty treats that are specifically designed for felines.

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It may be a tempting treat for humans, but ice cream is not entirely safe for cats. If your cat really enjoys ice cream, an occasional taste is probably okay, but you should never make it a regular part of their diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Ice Cream Can a Cat Have?

If you must give your pet this cold treat, up to half a teaspoon should be fine. They may get brainfreeze after that, so don’t risk giving them a big headache!

Why Do Cats Love Ice Cream?

Probably because it’s made from milk. Cats can smell animal proteins and fat in food, and ice cream has an abundance of those. Some kitties may also like the texture and refreshing sensation of ice cream.

Will a Little Ice Cream Hurt a Cat?

It’s unlikely that a small amount of ice cream will do anything bad to your cat, unless you give it to them often. Only share it 1–2 times per week at most and don’t serve more than half a teaspoon at a time.

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