Can cats eat ice cream? Here are the risks our cat runs when he tastes it and why we should never give it to him.
The fact that our feline friends appreciate the fresh ice cream and its fluffy and inviting texture doesn’t mean it’s good for them. Indeed, there may be numerous cat problems linked to the intake of this food: on the other hand we should consider that we humans, in contact with the cold of ice cream, can have a sudden attack of headache. But the consequences in small kittens are even more serious: here are what they are.
Cats and milk: should everyone avoid it?
Given that ice cream is in no case advisable in our feline’s diet, it is important to underline that the milk inside is not comparable to that taken by a newborn kitten. In fact, milk has different effects depending on the age of the cat. It is easy to imagine that a tender newborn kitten has a less developed digestive system than that of an adult, although it has more energy to dispose of some substances. It may happen that a kitten is able to digest dairy products, or ice cream, better than an elderly one. But here’s in detail what differentiates a newborn cat from its more adult peers.
Why can kittens drink milk?
The image of the little newborn cat shyly bathing its little tongue in a bowl of milk is not so far removed from reality: a newborn cat needs mother’s milk, as it contains the right amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals. they need. Their digestive system, although so young, is perfectly capable of assimilating mom’s milk for at least the first eight weeks. Naturally, it is very different from goat’s or cow’s milk, which we humans are used to assimilate. So much so that if a kitten does not have a mother or is removed from her immediately after giving birth, the help of the veterinarian is essential. To understand which foods can make up for this fundamental complete food in their first weeks of life. Given that after the first two to three months they are no longer able to digest it, it is easy to imagine that with age they face frightening and often irremediable consequences for their health, if they come into contact with this food.
Cats and ice cream: a cruel fashion
We will certainly have seen images of cats terrified by cucumber on TV or on the web: making the cat taste ice cream, only to see the effects it has on him, is yet another cruelty to our cat. What fun is there in seeing a cat twitching in pain or having violent spasms after tasting an ice cream cone? The worst thing is that it is often the same ‘loving’ owners who laugh and record these horrible images to share them on social networks. But why does the cat move its head back every time he eats ice cream? Here’s what happens to his body.
What happens to the cat when he eats ice cream
After all, we humans too, when we eat frozen food such as ice cream or ice lollies, we instinctively touch the central part of the forehead because we feel like a sort of pulsation. The cat also feels the same pain, which forces him to jerk his head back. This happens because the vasodilation and contraction of blood vessels is consequent to the activity of the anterior cerebral artery. This anomalous activity is called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, commonly known as ‘ice cream headache’. Following the intake of a cold food, it contracts and expands in a few moments: a spasm that causes pain in the brain that we perceive on the forehead. The cat also suffers from the same pain: so what’s fun in making him suffer?
Other consequences of taking ice cream
It is not just a matter of severe head pain: a cat that eats ice cream, not digesting the lactose which is a fundamental ingredient of this food, can also have episodes of diarrhea. It’s not about toxicity, it’s about digestion: cow’s milk is absolutely forbidden in a cat’s diet. Although there are some exceptions: an older cat, accustomed from an early age to taking small amounts of cow’s milk may not have serious consequences on its digestive system, as it is as if the stomach gradually gets used to this substance.
More serious consequences than cat ice cream
Although they are not as frequent, it can happen that a cat can suffer not only from episodes of diarrhea but also from vomiting, muscle tremors and heart problems. In very rare cases it can even lead to death: therefore giving our cat ice cream can also be very dangerous.
Can I give the cat other sweets?
In reality, the feline palate is unable to taste sweet foods, like us humans. Their taste buds aren’t so developed that they like sugars. Not to mention the fact that many foods for cats can even be poisonous. Think of chocolate, which contains theobromine, which negatively affects the nervous system of the feline, which could undergo a real intoxication. So is it really impossible to give our cat something sweet as a reinforcement reward for correct behavior? If we want to reward our cat with something tasty we can do it ourselves! A good homemade ice cream that’s what it takes: just use lactose-free milk and take advantage of only the natural sugars contained in a nice portion of fresh fruit. Once frozen, the product can be consumed: it could even be a valid help against the perennial dehydration of the summer period. To choose the types of fruit and vegetables recommended for our cat friends, you can take a cue from the table above.