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Can Cats Eat Vanilla Ice Cream? Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat vanilla-ice-cream
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

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 sweet-tasting ice cream. If there is any chocolate ice cream mixed in with the vanilla, avoid 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.

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 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, that 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.

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. That 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.

himalayan persian cat eating hepper nom nom bowl

Learning about what your cat can and cannot eat is a crucial part of keeping them happy and healthy! Choosing a bowl to serve cat-friendly foods in is another important decision pet owners face. Satisfy the specific needs of your cat with the innovative design of the Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl. Learn why it’s our (and our cats!) favorite food and water dish here.

At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

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

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Featured image by: ponce_photography, Pixabay

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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