Nothing makes you happier than a bowl of delicious vanilla ice cream on a hot summer day. As the ice cream melts into your mouth, you can experience different emotions in your heart from happiness to peace. If you have cats at home, you might be tempted to give them some ice cream to make them feel good and peaceful, too.
However, can cats eat vanilla ice cream? Unlike humans, felines have quite a lot of restrictions when it comes to their diet patterns. As a cat owner, if you want to know if your pets can be fed vanilla ice cream, you have come to the right place.
Yes, you can feed vanilla ice cream to cats. However, you should remember that ice creams are rich in fat and sugar. Therefore, they should be given to cats in very small quantities only as occasional treats.
Do cats love to eat vanilla ice cream?
Unlike most other pets like rabbits and parrots, cats don’t have a sweet tooth. This means, they are not very keen to taste sweet foods, even when fed as treats. However, they have a weakness for dairy foods that are rich in fat.
Though ice cream is a sweet dish, it is a dairy product that contains loads of fat. As a result, cats love to lick from your bowl, when you have indulged in some ice cream to beat the harsh summers. Your feline friends may even be eager to have second or third helpings of ice cream from you.
However, please don’t feed them too much of this. When cats are fed too much sugar-rich and fat-rich ice creams, it doesn’t leave enough space to eat their regular foods in their stomachs. This can lead to malnutrition. Overconsumption of vanilla ice cream can also lead to other health issues in cats, which we will explain in the following sections.
Apart from the fats and sugar, vanilla ice cream also has artificial flavors that aren’t suitable for your cat’s gut. If you have some chocolate mixed with vanilla ice cream, you should refrain from feeding it to your cats. Please remember that chocolate and chocolate-based flavors can be hugely toxic for your cats.
Another important point to remember is that most cats are lactose intolerant. This means they cannot digest lactose, a primary component found in most dairy products, including ice creams. So, before offering even a spoon of ice cream to your cats, please check with your veterinarian about their lactose intolerance. Feeding ice cream to lactose-intolerant cats can lead to serious health issues like stomach upsets, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Can vanilla ice cream kill cats?
No, vanilla ice cream doesn’t contain anything too toxic to kill your cats. However, it can lead to other problems like obesity, sluggishness, stomach upsets, and nausea in cats. So, you should give only a very limited quantity of ice cream to cats. If you have accidentally fed some vanilla ice cream to your cats, please don’t panic. You need to follow these steps:
- You need to watch your cat carefully to see if it gives out any symptoms after eating vanilla ice cream. Most of the common symptoms that cats exhibit are vomiting and pain in the stomach. If your cat has eaten only a very little amount of ice cream, it should be fine, and it shouldn’t show any symptoms.
- Keep the source of ice cream as far as possible from your cats, so that they don’t eat more of it and aggravate their issues. If you keep ice creams in an accessible location, your cat won’t wait for you. It will quickly sneak out to the kitchen and try to eat the ice cream all by itself, leading to serious health issues.
- If your cat has accidentally eaten vanilla ice cream, you should keep a calm mind and try to find out the answers to a few questions like how much ice cream it ate, after how long it exhibited the symptoms, and the type of ingredients in its ice cream, etc.
- Once you have all this information ready in your hand, you have to take your pet to the veterinarian if it continues to show the symptoms. Note down the ingredients of the ice cream in a paper, to show the doctor. This will help the doctor to understand the exact reason for toxicity in cats/
Why vanilla ice cream are risky for cats
Before you understand why vanilla ice cream is risky for cats, it would be best if you knew about the most common ingredients used to make this ice cream at home or in restaurants. White sugar, cream, milk, and vanilla extract are the four most popular ingredients in vanilla ice cream.
White sugar, when fed in large quantities, can cause lethargy, obesity, and diabetes in cats. Whipped cream contains a large amount of lactose and fats, both of which can cause severe stomach upsets in cats. Vanilla extract is not very toxic, but any food with artificial flavors and colors should be avoided while feeding cats. You can feed just about 1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla ice cam occasionally to your cats because the ingredients used in making this ice cream are not safe for your feline friends.
Vanilla ice cream and brain freeze in cats
Sometimes, we get a throbbing pain in our head when we have eaten ice creams or had a glass of cold juice. This condition, known as brain freeze, subsides automatically after a while. According to experts, a similar condition could occur in cats too. They can experience, sudden but throbbing pain in their head, if they have had too much ice cream.
Vanilla ice cream is full of sugar, calories, fats, and lactose. Therefore, cats cannot handle it properly. You can give vanilla ice cream to your cats (only if they are lactose intolerant) in very small quantities (about 1 or 2 teaspoons occasionally) only to avoid stomach upsets, vomiting, nausea, and other issues in your feline friends.