Excited Cats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Can Cats Eat Vanilla Ice Cream? What You Need to Know

During the hot dog days of summer, cat owners may be tempted to treat their feline friends to a spoonful of yummy and refreshing vanilla ice cream. It is a popular notion that kitties love lapping milk, so why would ice cream be any different? While a small serving of vanilla ice cream is purr-fectly safe for your cat to consume, you shouldn’t feed her a huge helping.

Let’s dig a little deeper into this subject. Here’s everything you need to know about your cat and vanilla ice cream.

Cat ball divider 1Is Vanilla Ice Cream Safe for Cats?

While it’s safe to let your cat lick the spoon after you’ve finished up your bowl of ice cream, you should never serve her vanilla ice cream in large quantities. Too much ice cream can cause severe digestive upset, causing your kitty to suffer from vomiting and diarrhea.

Vanilla ice cream that contains artificial sweeteners is also safe for cats in small doses. However, a sweet-tasting treat won’t be a huge temptation for your kitty. In fact, felines don’t have any sweet taste receptors, and therefore will not appreciate the sweet-tasting ice cream.

If there is any chocolate ice cream mixed in with the vanilla, steer clear of offering it to your cat. Any type of chocolate is poisonous to cats and may be fatal.

Moreover, if your cat is lactose intolerant, avoid feeding her ice cream. Just like humans, some cats aren’t able to properly digest the lactose found in dairy products.

black-and-white-cat-eating-ice-cream_NicO_l_shutterstock
Credit: NicO_l, Shutterstock

Why Do Cats Like Vanilla Ice Cream?

While cats can’t taste sweetness, they still love vanilla ice cream. They love any type of ice cream for that matter. This is because felines are attracted to the high carb and fat contents of dairy products, such as vanilla ice cream and whole milk.

Why is Too Much Vanilla Ice Cream Bad for Cats?

While the old adage claims that you can’t have too much of a good thing, this isn’t true for cats and ice cream. Any sweet treat fed to a cat in excess won’t leave much room for her to dine on more nutritious food. This can lead to significant malnutrition.

Additionally, vanilla ice cream is packed with fat. While felines love fat, too much of it can lead to obesity. An overweight kitty is more inclined to suffer from heart problems and high blood pressure.

vanilla
Image Credit: flockine, Pixabay

Can Cats Get Brain Freeze?

You’re probably well aware of the throbbing headache you can get when you eat too much ice cream. But can cats get brain freeze too?

Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. Cats can get brain freeze. This is because your fuzzy friend has the same kinds of nervous system pathways and nerves as you. Since brain freeze constricts the blood vessels and causes the nerves to react, your cat can suffer from the same piercing headache as you.

cat paw dividerFinal Verdict

Yes, cats can safely eat small doses of vanilla ice cream. Since ice cream is high in fat and carbohydrates, your cat will love dining on this yummy treat, despite not being able to enjoy the sweet taste.

Never feed your cat too much vanilla ice cream. Avoid giving her any ice cream at all if she’s lactose intolerant. Even if you prefer chocolate over vanilla ice cream, a cat should never, ever consume any chocolate products.

So, allow your kitty to lap up some vanilla ice cream the next time you enjoy a bowl!


Featured image credit: ponce_photography, Pixabay