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Why Do Cats Like Ice Cubes? 6 Interesting Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 24, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Gray persian cat is licking ice to cool off

Why Do Cats Like Ice Cubes? 6 Interesting Reasons

If you give ice cubes to your cats, you may be surprised by how much they like playing with them, nibbling on them, and chasing them around.

There are many theories as to why cats like ice cubes. Some people believe that it’s due to their natural instincts; cats typically eat cold prey, after all. Others think that cats simply enjoy the feeling of ice on their teeth.

This article goes over six possible reasons that cats like ice cubes and explains if playing with ice cubes is safe for your cat.

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The 6 Reasons Why Cats Like Ice Cubes

1.  Cats Are Curious Creatures

One of the reasons cats like ice cubes is that they are intelligent, curious animals. They love exploring things, which includes squeezing into tight places, jumping in boxes, and occasionally, playing with ice cubes.

Some felines simply act like little detectives and investigate everything going on around them. If you give cats ice cubes or they notice a few lying around, they will typically start to play.

After playing with ice cubes for the first time, your feline may express the desire to repeat this type of play. If you feel comfortable, you can do so again, but remember to supervise your cat to prevent potential hazards.

2. Ice Cubes Are Fun

Some cats simply like ice cubes because they are fun. They’re slippery and tend to “escape” from cats if they hit them with their paws. Also, their slipperiness makes ice play a fun chase-like game where the cat is active, running around and getting physical and mental stimulation.

Some cats may even like the texture or temperature of the ice, which makes playing with ice cubes an even more exciting experience.

Golden colored bengal cat creeping around the side of a cold frozen bag of ice to illustrate a cold cat
Image Credit: Natures Charm, Shutterstock

3. Ice Cubes Resemble Cold Prey

Another reason cats like ice cubes is that they resemble cold prey. Although cats in nature prefer fresh prey, some cats are also drawn to cold prey, which is why they may find ice cubes interesting.

Since some cats may consider ice cubes to be prey, they will act as if they were hunting the cubes and will probably nibble on them. Although eating ice is safe for cats, you should still monitor your feline if they engage in this activity because of potential choking hazards.

4. Chewing on Ice Feels Good to Some Cats

Some cats like to chew on ice cubes because of the way the ice feels on their teeth and the cooling effect that it has on their mouth. Chewing on ice is healthy for your cat’s teeth because it promotes cleaning and massages your cat’s gums. However, chewing on too much ice could also damage teeth and potentially cause choking hazards.

If you notice that your cat likes to chew and nibble on ice cubes, ensure that the cubes are small, and supervise your feline while they’re chewing them. This will reduce the risk of problems, and you can quickly help your cat in case something happens.

cat playing with straws in glass
Image Credit: LittlePigPower, Shutterstock

5. Ice Cubes Can Lower Body Temperature

Some cats may show a tendency to like ice cubes more during summer. With the hot temperatures outside, felines may need a way to cool off. Playing with ice cubes or nibbling on them is an excellent way for your cat to cool down, which is why many cats enjoy this activity.

Since ice cubes can help your cat lower their body temperature, you can provide them for play during the summer. However, always remember to monitor your feline to prevent choking.

6. Some Cats Love the Sound of Ice Cubes Hitting the Floor

Some cats are drawn to ice cubes because they love the sound of the cubes hitting the floor. The noise is similar to the sound of prey trying to run away, which interests your cat.

Since some cats already consider ice cubes to be cold prey, the sound just adds to the whole imaginary hunting experience. Due to the sensory and mental stimulation that ice play provides through sound, your cat will enjoy this activity and in turn, ice cubes.

Chinchilla Persian Cat
Image Credit by: Image Credit: IceEye, Pixabay


What Are the Dangers of Allowing Your Cat to Eat Ice Cubes?

Ice cubes are generally safe for cats, but they could lead to choking hazards, which is why you should always supervise your feline during ice cube play. Try to get small cubes to prevent choking.

Your cat could also potentially break or chip one of their teeth while chewing on ice. They may even experience a brief brain freeze.

Another thing to be cautious about is the amount of ice that you give your cat every day. If your feline consumes too much ice, they could become intolerant to cold temperatures and develop various health problems.

How Can You Safely Give Ice Cubes to Your Cat to Play With?

One of the most important things about giving ice cubes to your cat to play with is to only do so occasionally. Most cats chew on ice cubes or nibble them, which is why it’s not a good idea to offer too many to your furry friend. You can consider giving them cold water instead.

Also, ensure that the cubes are small enough to prevent choking hazards. You should still always supervise your cat, though.

Cat looking at drinking glass
Image Credit by: JumpStory

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Some cats like ice cubes because of their temperature, while others like them because they resemble prey and have a tempting sound. Regardless of the reason that your feline likes ice cubes, if you encourage ice cube play, do it in a way that keeps your pet safe.

Featured Image Credit By: Chaiwat Hemakom, Shutterstock

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