With the arrival of summer, we are always looking for a way to keep our pets cool. Is it completely safe to give your cat ice cubes?
Summer has now arrived, the heat is looming and even our pets are not exempt from the sun. We humans have many ways to protect ourselves from the heat and find refreshment, but not all of them are suitable for our furry ones, who can be more sensitive and delicate. An example is ice: for us humans a great way to cool a drink and find some frost on a hot summer day, but can our animals eat it too? Could putting ice cubes in your cat’s bowl be a good way to keep his water cool? Let’s find out the pros and cons of this simple summer trick.
Cats and ice: yes or no?
If we had to give a quick answer to this question, we could say “yes, the cat can eat ice cubes”. But, as always, we need to be a little careful. First, the water must be clean and drinkable like the one we normally use for its bowl. We have already analyzed in the past how to check if the cat is drinking enough water.
Also, it’s always best to ask our vet for advice before proceeding to make sure your kitty’s health is not at risk with the use of ice cubes. In fact, if your cat has problems with their teeth or gastrointestinal tract, our vet may advise against using ice.
Summer risks: poor hydration
Cats, like most living things, need water to live. Unfortunately, there are cats who don’t drink enough, and who tend not to want to drink a lot of water. One way to “tempt” our cat and induce him to drink more water can be to use bowls of different sizes, or allow him to drink from the tap, so as to induce a little curiosity in the cat.
But sometimes that’s not enough, many cats have a real aversion to water that prevents them from staying hydrated enough. So, if we notice that our cat doesn’t really want to drink water, we can try to tease him a little by putting some ice cubes in his bowl.
This can be a little trick to take advantage of the cat’s natural curiosity towards new things, perhaps making him more interested in the water bowl. Not only that, the ice cubes will keep the water cool longer in the summer, giving your cat some coolness during the hot summer months.
How to give your cat ice safely
To proceed with giving ice cubes to our cat, we must be sure to proceed with some simple rules, so as to always be sure that there are no repercussions on his health. Our cat may be at risk for some disease without a little attention from us.
First of all, ice must always be created from clean, fresh water. An optimal method is to use the same water we would use for his bowl: if we don’t use that water to make our cat drink, we don’t even have to use it to make ice.
We therefore do not use alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, or flavored water, or sparkling water, or in any case non-drinking water. These are all kinds of drinks that we wouldn’t give our cat to drink, right? So we don’t have to use them to make ice.
To then proceed to give our cat ice, there are many ways to try. Each cat has its own character, so we may have to find the best way to make it accept ice cubes. The easiest way is to add an ice cube to the water in the bowl, perhaps trying on a particularly hot day.
Cats are curious about new things, and seem to enjoy cold water a lot – even more so than room temperature, or lukewarm water. Therefore, he should prefer water with ice rather than the usual one he finds in his bowl.
But we can also try to put an ice cube directly on the floor, as if it were a toy. The cat will likely start touching it, licking it, and playing with it a bit. But be careful, because this practice is not without risks: cats that have sensitive teeth, or that try to bite the ice, could suffer a lot from the hardness of the ice.
The best thing, therefore, is to always supervise the cat while playing with ice, also to prevent it from trying to swallow it whole and risk suffocation. Not only that, brain freezing – like us humans when we eat ice cream too quickly – is an occasional possibility, which can also occur in felines.
In any case, if your cat appears to be distressed, unhappy, or appears to be in pain when they ate the ice, it is important to contact our veterinarian immediately. Like any other food, in fact, it may not be suitable for our cat due to some specific intolerance or sensitivity.