Can Cats Eat Ice Cream

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can cats eat ice cream

Can cats eat ice cream? Although thinking of a fluffy, cute cat eating ice cream seems to be a pretty harmless picture, the truth is that ice cream is not good for your cat! There is absolutely no place in a healthy cat diet for ice cream. Resist the temptation to give a few licks of your sundae to your cat if you wish for him to have a long and healthy life.

Can Cats Eat Ice Cream? Not Recommended

can cats eat ice cream

Ice cream should not be a treat for your cat. Cats cannot digest cow’s milk. You must plan your pet’s diet very thoughtfully, whether it is a cat or a kitten. It should be appropriate according to the feline’s age, as kittens and cats have varying nutritional requirements.  Kittens require milk in their diet, but milk that is from their mothers, not from a cow, goat, etc.

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Drinking milk from a mammal allows the kitten to have the nutrition needed, but the mammal must be the mother.  In the event you have a kitten without a mother, a vet will guide you how to duplicate the mother’s milk as closely as possible.  Offering a kitten milk from a cow may create more harm than good, so be sure to do your research and also speak with a vet.

It is advisable that you consult an expert veterinarian in regards to offering milk to a cat. Kittens require a great deal more in terms of energy in comparison to adults and thus your vet is likely to recommend a diet that is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Proper nutrition from a kitten can come from mother’s milk, but cow’s milk may lack the essential nutrients, fats, and protein needed.

While purchasing dry or canned cat foods, be sure to choose for your cat or kitten according to its age.   Depending upon the age of the cat, the digestive system may be more inclined to utilize on type of food over another.  For example, kittens are able to digest milk products, but older cats cannot.  Older cats can digest meat products, while kittens cannot.  There are some studies that state older cats can be trained to tolerate milk, if given dairy products regularly in small amounts from a young age.

There is such a variety of cat food on the market; you really must look into the essential nutrients for your particular cat before choosing the right brand of food.

Do You Have a Kitten?

If you have a kitten up to two months of age, he should be on a milk-only diet. Your feline friend should not be eating anything else! All essential nutrients required by your kitten are found in his/her mother’s milk. The mother cat feeds her babies until they are ready to be weaned, which is a slow process in itself. If your kitten does not get mother’s feed, you can feed him with a bottle.

You may feed your cat a certain type of milk when s/he is a kitten, but you should not feed your kitten ice cream or anything else either.  Kittens cannot process the lactose found in dairy products made for humans.  Ice cream contains lactose but also high amounts of sugar.  Kittens and cats not only have the inability to process the milk but also the sugar.  Cats that have diets complete with high amounts of sugar tend to gain weight, have a risk of obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns.  Ice cream is in no way a healthy option for your cat to include in their diet, even as a treat.

Do You Know That Cats Are Lactose Intolerant?

It may come as a surprise to you that kittens and adult cats are both often incapable of digesting cow’s milk or milk-based products properly. This fact has been confirmed by ASPCA. Kittens have the ability to digest mother’s milk, but after eight weeks, cats are unable to digest milk because their digestive system has evolved.

Cow’s milk is an essential component of ice cream and feeding your cat ice cream is quite likely to cause a stomach ache or even diarrhea. Although, ASPCA does state that cow’s milk is not toxic for cats, there is a good possibility that it will lead to substantial discomfort. When a human food product is deemed non-toxic, this does not mean safe-to-offer.  This simply means your cat will not die or run the risk of being poisoned.  You may have seen pictures of fluffy kittens drinking milk or licking ice cream happily, but please do not feed them to your feline – for your cat’s sake and yours.

No Human Foods Please

Banana splits and sundaes are definitely off the menu for your cat if his health is important for you. Many human foods are unsafe and unhealthy for cats. Cats are often quite finicky and are usually not attracted to people foods. Some domesticated cats may have adapted to eating leftovers from their owners plates, but these cats are likely to have poor health, become obese or develop other health issues.

Cats should only eat human food on occasion, or by necessity only.  The human food eaten should be protein and meat based, preferably from an animal source.  For example, lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish.

Remove All Dairy Products From Your Cat’s Diet

Apart from ice cream, there are several other dairy products that contain cow’s milk. These include yogurt, cheese, butter, and sour cream. All these can cause havoc to your cat’s digestive system. You should not give these to your pet cats at all and remove them immediately from the diet if you have been feeding him these so far. There is also a misconception that cats overcome their lactose intolerance as they grow up, which isn’t true.

Kittens may tolerate cow’s milk better since they have the enzyme to digest the milk. Grown cats lose the enzyme. However, if you have been regularly giving milk to your cats, they may be able to digest it when grown up. Just be cautious with cow’s milk. If your cat gets diarrhea, bloating or shows any signs of discomfort, you should avoid giving milk to your feline.

Ice Cream May Cause Your Cat Severe Health Problems

Ice cream can cause mild symptoms of health issues that could turn serious. A higher heart rate may lead to vomiting, muscle tremors, coma or even death. A little bit of ice cream and a few moments of pleasure for you and your cat are surely are not worth the risk that your cat may have to face.

Chocolate ice cream contains methylxanthines including theobromine and caffeine, which people like as they help them to remain alert; however, these elements are fatal for cats. These substances may cause instantaneous death in a cat even if the amount eaten is very little. If you suspect that your cat has eaten more than a little bit of ice cream, ask your vet for advice without delay.

Cats Don’t Have a Sweet Tooth

Quite surprising to most is the fact that cats are unable to taste sweetness. Their interest in ice cream is usually due to its creamy, fatty texture. If you feel bad for your cat due to extreme hot weather, help him deal with the weather by keeping him hydrated. Keep your furry friend  indoors and offer simple water.


Cats should not eat ice cream, and I request you to stay firm on this point irrespective of how cute and adorable your cat looks while licking an ice cream cone! A tiny spoonful once in a while may not put his life at risk but bigger amounts of it surely will cause severe harm.



1 Comment

  • If cats are in fact lactose intolerant, then they cannot drink their mother’s milk. They have high lactase level upon birth, which allow them to ingest a high level of milk, and like human, have it gradually decreased as they are not being exposed to milk. Having ice cream or other forms of simple sugar once a while does no harm to cats as it to humans.

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