In the summer, the best thing is a nice refreshing ice cream. So why not prepare it for our little ones too? How to make homemade ice cream for cats?
There is nothing nicer than when restaurants have a pet-specific item on their menu – like cat treats or dog biscuits. These benefits are even greater in the summer, when the heat hits us and our pets. Dogs are usually in the spotlight when it comes to specialty menus, but with a do-it-yourself treat, cats can play a role too – ice cream is for cats too. This trend is catching on across Japan as temperatures in the country continue to soar and cat owners needed a solution for pets not drinking from their bowls. The best part is that it’s super easy, we probably already have everything we need at home.
Ice cream for cats: the solution for the heat
Cat ice cream is actually a moisturizing treatment that we can easily make at home for our furry friend. And we shouldn’t worry about our family or roommates getting some (if they do, they’ll regret it) – the main ingredient is cat food.
It’s obviously not the ice cream we would buy for us, but by freezing cat food and some water, we can create a refreshing snack for our cat. The only other tools we need are an ice cube tray, and some toothpicks or popsicle sticks. Then just add water to the canned food and mix it in a blender, before pouring into molds and freezing. Voila. Our cat will be infinitely happy.
Regular ice cream is a problem for cats, as they have a hard time digesting milk products properly (the sugar, milk, and cream in the product could cause them a pretty severe stomach ache). If we’ve tried cat-friendly DIY ice cream before, and our four-legged friend loves it, we might as well consider stocking up on different versions of the treat throughout the summer.
Many pet food brands make these fresh cat treats. However, if we want to try making ice cream from scratch instead of using the commercial one, you can prepare a mix of eggs, meat or tuna, and whey powder, mixing the ingredients with a little water and freezing the snacks in ice cups or molds. So if we want to keep some for the next week, just keep them in a freezer bag.
Cats love fish, right? If our cat is also a fan, we can open a can of tuna or salmon in a bowl (juice included, but we must remove the bones). Just blend the mixture, then use the ice tray again to freeze, and serve.
If we’re feeling really creative, we can even make a cute ice toy, and just put some cat snacks in some water or chicken broth, freeze them in an ice cube tray, and then let the kitty enjoy to seek the prize. Finally, we can make our cat’s homemade ice cream even tastier by combining cat food with yogurt or fruit instead of water – they will certainly appreciate it on a hot day.
Ice cream for humans: yes or no?
It can be really hard to resist those puppy or kitten eyes begging us for a spoonful of our chocolate ice cream on a summer day, but luckily there are tons of easy-to-use alternatives that won’t cause an upset stomach (and a lot of work. cleaning, on our part).
Most of the ingredients can be found right in our pantry or refrigerator, so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of our air-conditioned home. These DIY cat ice creams will likely only take a few minutes to prepare, but our cat will be grateful for them all summer long.
A very easy home recipe
Let’s take the advice outlined so far and find out how to make a very simple ice cream for our cat. It is obviously made with totally edible ingredients for our furry friends (unlike regular ice cream). It helps increase fluid intake and is very fresh. In addition, this recipe is also good for dogs (switching cat food for dog food).
Ingredients and accessories:
- Milk for cats: not human milk or kitten milk! Cow’s milk is bad for cats’ digestion. This type of milk, on the other hand, is designed for adult cats and does not contain lactose or added nutrients. It is usually found in pet stores.
- Pate style cat food (optional), to mix for a little extra flavor.
- Salt – Kosher salt works best, but regular table salt is fine too.
- 2 airtight bags for food – like those for sandwiches
- 1 bag for freezer food, 3 or 5 liters
- Lots of ice! Three molds or even more
Pour the cat milk into a sandwich bag. Add half a can of wet food to the milk (the amount is indicative, we can do some tests and then decide how much we want to use). Seal the bag tightly, then put it in the second sandwich bag. We need to make sure that nothing spills out when we squeeze it, and that no salt or water gets in.
Pour ice and salt into the 3-5 liter bag. We pour about half a glass of salt (no need to be precise, let’s leave it to science!). At this point, seal the bags with ice, and squeeze this “bag” for 15 minutes. Just squeeze it or roll it up on a work surface. But beware of leaks! We can use a tea towel so our hands don’t get cold.
After 15 minutes, take out the inner bag and collect the ice cream! Delightful? No, actually for a human it will probably be horrible, but for cats it will be a real treat. We serve a small amount (it should not replace a meal), and freeze the rest in containers suitable for the freezer, or in an ice cube tray, for future snacks!
More DIY recipes
Other cold treats for cats? These snacks taste good (to cats, at least) and help keep our pet hydrated.
Zookeepers often use ice cubes as a nutritional enrichment for big cats (tigers, lions, and similar cats). They freeze large blocks of ice with tasty treats inside like pieces of meat or even fruit. In our case, we can avoid ice sheets with raw meat, and think smaller. For our cat, we use ice cube molds and add small pieces of tuna or kibble.
Another idea? We take the wet cat food and mix a few pieces of dry food kibble. We shape the mixture into small sausages on a baking sheet and freeze. Our kitty will love licking these snacks until she finds some crunchy surprise treats inside. We can also give its normal portion this way, or divide it into small amounts throughout the day.
Ever thought of frozen banana bites for a cat? Some cats are a bit fussy, and may not like fruit, but for those with bold palates, let’s try these refreshing treats. Mash some bananas into a puree, and pour them into an ice cube mold. We add a crunch, if we wish, adding a few pieces of croquettes to the mixture.