Ice cream may sound like the perfect thing to give your cat on a hot summer’s day. It’s cool and creamy and made from milk, and cat’s love milk, right?
But as it turns out cats shouldn’t really have milk, and can’t process it the way humans can. It’s therefore not the best thing you can give your cat, and isn’t recommended.
It might be alright for them to have a taste, but since it’s doing them no good it’s your job as their owner to restrain yourself from letting them indulge.
Can I Give My Cat Ice Cream? Answer: Not Recommended
Although people get a lot of satisfaction from eating ice cream, especially in hot weather, your cat doesn’t need to share in the experience with you. They may look super cute with their little tongues lap up the ice cream cone, but it’s not really good for them.
Two Types of Food
There are basically only two types of food when it comes to feeding your cat. Those that are good for them, and those that aren’t. If something has a neutral effect then it goes in the category of not being good for them.
Perhaps it might be hard to stop yourself from eating ice cream if it’s your favorite treat, or if you’re a certified ice creamaholic, but you should have no trouble resisting the urge to let your cat have some.
Cats and Nutrients
Your cat only needs a select few nutrients to keep itself going. It has a much more simple system than a human, and therefore doesn’t require the vast amount of diversity and minerals and vitamins that we do. If you keep things simple you will do yourself a favor with less vet trips in the future.
No Immediate Harm
While your cat may seem fine after taking a few licks of ice cream, you may be causing problems down the road with repeated offerings. They may get used to the taste and prefer it to their cat food, therefore getting more picky about what you feed them.
Repeated ice cream might also lead to more serious digestive problems and other health issues that you might not be able to easily connect to giving them treats from time to time.
It’s best to give them treats that are created just for that purpose. There are companies out there that have made it their entire business model to make foods that are specifically designed to be consumed, broken down, and used for energy by cats.
The great part is that these treats do not cost very much, and you do not have to give your cat a big piece at any one time. A little morsel is usually enough to keep them excited about treat time.
You may not be aware, but there are many people that can’t eat regular ice cream because they are lactose intolerant. Just like humans, cats also show signs that they are somewhat intolerant as well.
Since ice cream is derived from milk and other dairy substances, it’s no surprise that cats have trouble breaking it down in their digestive system. You may see them have diarrhea afterwards, or just look a little off, or not their normal selves. The signs can be very hard to spot, and unless you know what you’re looking for you might not properly diagnose lactose intolerance in your cat.
So to be on the safe side, just don’t give them any ice cream, milk, or other dairy products. They simply don’t need it and will get on with their lives just fine without it.
Remember that the easy way to decide if something is OK for your cat or not, just picture a lion or a tiger eating that thing out in the wild. It’s rather funny to picture a wild tiger chomping on an ice cream cone rather than chasing an antelope. The two cats might not seem the same, but they have more in common digestively than not, so it’s important to give the most natural diet you can.
Today’s cat foods are fortified to be full of protein, just like they’d hunt and consume in the wild.