When you are eating ice cream, you may notice that your cat is constantly staring at you and it seems that they may want the ice cream that you are licking. The way it is gazing at you will make you think that it definitely likes this thing you are having and not sharing with your feline friend. It might put you wondering, ‘Why do cats like ice cream?’
We, as humans, are attracted to ice cream no doubt but why do cats like ice cream so much? Well, here is the answer to your question.
But first, do cats even like ice cream?
Do cats like ice cream?
You are right. Cats do like ice cream other than other sweet things. You do not need to be worried about that. Like humans, cats are amused by the ice cream.
Do Cats Like All The Sweet Things?
It said that cats are not fond of all the sweet things. Unlike dogs, cats are not attracted to the sweet things you have to offer. But why is that so?
Sweet Taste Receptors:
According to research, cats do not have sweet taste buds. That is why they are not attracted to other sweet things.
Here the question that arises is that cats do not like sweet things and have no sweet taste buds, then how come they love the taste of ice cream we get?
They do not get the sweet taste of it. Then, why do cats like ice cream?
Why do cats like ice cream?
Following are some reasons that might help you understand that why is your cat attracted to ice cream so much?
1. Appealing Ingredients:
Humans when thinking of ice cream, get the sense of sweet flavor ice creams has to offer. But cats are not amused by it due to sweetness.
Ice cream, as we know, has a high content of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The carbohydrate content may be of no use to them, but fats and proteins are the major cause of their concern. It is made up of whole milk which is liked by felines very much.
Cats do not prefer milk that is free of fats or skimmed. Since ice creams have the attribute of whole milk in them, so that is why cats run for ice cream to you.
While other foods have the same high content of proteins and fats as ice cream, cats may seem to have taste for the good consistency of milk provided by the ice creams.
2. A way of social interaction with their owner:
Your feline friend just wants to accompany you with your refreshment. It might feel more affectionate towards you when you both share the same ice cream.
Cats like to have a social meal with their favorite human beings.
3. The curious nature:
Everyone knows that cats are very much curious by nature. It is no doubt that the promising look of ice cream would not attract them or go unnoticed by them.
They would definitely like to involve themselves in something that is portraited by you. Eating and licking an ice cream would be amusing for them. That is why they would love to join you in doing that.
The likeness of Cats for Other Dairy Products
Mammals when born, directly drink milk so it is natural for them to like milk. However, eating yogurt and cheese is not.
Cats follow the same rules. They are attracted to dairy products like milk because of the proteins and fats which they can smell and sense within the dairy products.
But milk and cream are those ingredients that might not be digested by your cats because they are mammals and mammals are known to be lactose intolerant.
Cats Are Lactose Intolerants:
Cats are lactose intolerant but are not allergic to dairy products. Allegri’s may cause a reaction, while lactose intolerance does not cause any reaction.
Lactose intolerant means that your cat lacks the lactase enzyme that helps in the digestion of lactose in its body. So, this lactose component present in dairy products is difficult for your cat to digest.
This lactose intolerant may end in vomiting and diarrhea.
Then, what about kittens that consume the milk of their mothers and stay well?
Cats When Born:
When cats are born, their body does produce lactase enzyme which helps their body in better digestion.
But when they grow, the consumption of milk and other dairy products is not that much like the newborn. So, the body also assumes that it does not need lactose any longer, and then it stops producing lactase enzyme that much and consequently ends producing it.
That is why grown-up cats have a problem digesting milk and other dairy components.
Is Ice Cream Safe for your Cat?
Well, ice creams cause no harm to your cat. It depends upon the amount of ice cream you are giving them.
One to two licks bring no trouble to them, but when given more than an appropriate amount, it may upset their health.
A spoon full of ice cream might not bring any problem but do not make it a daily or routine product for them.
What happens when your Cat has more than enough Ice Cream?
Following are the issues your feline friend might be facing if it ends up having a lot of ice cream which is fed by you due to your feline likeness for it.
1. Upset your cat’s stomach:
No doubt, it is cautioned that since cats are lactose intolerant, they may face certain gastrointestinal problems, explained as follows:
The upsetting of the stomach is a common cause of lactose intolerance. When the cat takes up the ice cream, the undigested lactose may form in their stomach that results in diarrhea situation.
The ice cream, which is undigested, stays in its fluid form, gets mixed with other waste in your body, and ends up in diarrhea.
· Stomach Gas:
One situation can be that lactose present may curdle when encountered by the digested fluids of the stomach.
Your cat, as a result, may face abdominal discomfort, gas, stomach aches, or worsen diarrhea.
2. Nutritional Deficiency:
One more reason that you should not treat your cats with sweet products or ice cream is that it is not a complete diet. They would not leave any room in your cat for a more balanced or nutritious diet.
And this would result in nutritional deficiency in your feline.
Your feline needs something which has a high content of proteins to stay healthy. This would be achieved by giving it some raw meat.
Without any second thoughts, it is fine to give your cat a little bit of ice cream until or unless it is showing no trouble in completing the schedule of its balanced diet and is not ending in some health problems like GIT(gastrointestinal tract) difficulties.
3. Brain Freeze:
Cats share almost the same kind of nerves and nervous system that of humans. So, like humans, the flow of blood also changes in felines when they take ice cream, a colder product.
Cats can also get brain freeze. We know that brain freeze is followed by blood vessel constriction, your cat may face that one of the killing headaches.
4. Effect Of Different Components Of Ice Cream On Your Cat:
Ice cream consists of milk or creams, sugars, gelatin, and flavorings. All of these may have a certain effect on your cat’s digestive system which is explained as follows:
|Components of Ice cream||Effects|
|1.||Milk or Cream||• Due to being lactose intolerant that is lacking a sufficient amount of lactase enzyme, your feline friend might face trouble in breaking down the lactose component present in dairy products like milk or cream.|
• This would definitely end in bad stomach conditions for your cat like stomach aches, gas, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort.
|2.||Goat’s Milk||• The goat’s milk does not need to be pasteurized like other kinds of milk, so, it maintains some of the natural enzymes in its fluid and one of them is lactase.|
• And lactase is the enzyme that helps in better break down of lactose which is essential in dairy products. This cancels the fear of diarrhea in your feline.
|3.||Eggs||• Eggs are sometimes also used as an ingredient in ice creams. But you do not need to worry that how the eggs in ice cream will affect your cat.|
• Research says that eggs are a major source of proteins. Eggs are 6 to 7 grams of protein to provide approximately 70 calories.
• Since cats should be provided with a high protein diet, then ice creams with eggs are good for them but only in a definite amount.
|4.||Gelatin||• Many ice creams have gelatin in them. Gelatin is another ingredient in the ice cream which is totally safe for your feline friend.|
• And it is also used in other cat food products commercially which is due to the reason that it has many nutritional benefits to offer.
|5.||Sugars||1. Not a component of a cat’s balanced diet:|
• Sugar is not a necessary component of your cat’s balanced diet.
• So, their digestive system is not familiar with it and finds it difficult to cope with it or other sweet treats. Hence, results in diarrhea in your cat.
2. Complete source of Energy:
• Sugars or carbohydrates are a complete source of energy.
• Your cats do lack the sweet taste receptors but still, taking sugars might make them be full and leave no room for the proper diet they should have eaten.
3. Bad for Dental Health:
• Taking up sugars might have a negative impact on your cat in such a way that it may affect your cat’s dental health.
• It is the same as humans, that when you give your cat a diet, like ice cream, full of sugars on daily basis, they might have dental decay. And this would not be acceptable to you.
|6.||Artificial Sweeteners||• If you are worried about sweeteners in the ice cream that they might cause trouble to your cat’s health. Well, sweeteners are not bad for cats.|
• Therefore, ice creams having sweeteners are a much better option than ice creams with sweeteners for your beloved pet.
|7.||Flavorings||• Flavorings are an important part of ice cream. They may be natural or synthetic. But even if they are natural, do not feed the ice cream with natural flavors blindly to your cat.|
• Always check any new product before feeding it to your cat that if, your feline is allergic to it or not. This would help to avoid any inconvenience later.
|a||Vanilla Flavor||• If you want to know which flavor you would like to give your cat, vanilla can be a good option. |
• And if you want to omit the danger of diarrhea in your feline, then go for some Goat’s milk.
|b||Strawberry Flavor||• Strawberry ice cream might not be the best idea for your cat because they are sweet in taste and your cat has no effect of sweetness on them (lack sweet taste receptors).|
• They do are non-toxic and safe to give your cat but do not have any nutritional value for your pet.
|c||Chocolate Flavor||• Chocolate is totally a bad option when your cat’s health is concerned. You should definitely keep your cat away from chocolate-flavored ice cream.|
• This is because chocolate contains an organic compound, or alkaloid called ‘theobromine’. This theobromine is difficult to be processed by the cat’s digestive system. It turns out to be toxic.
• Only a little bit of chocolate is harmful to your feline.
• Research tells that for a cat, approximately 200 milligrams per kg is lethal. Whereas a single ounce of cocoa has round about 800 milligrams of this theobromine toxin.
• Well, you can decide about your cat’s health by comparing the doses mentioned.
‘Why do cats like ice cream’ is due to the reason that cat’s favorite ingredients are present in it. But, as an owner, one must be careful about what his feline friend is being fed.
Cats do enjoy the ice cream, but if it goes unchecked, the same ice cream could result in bad health.
So, do not follow your cat in everything, or appreciate its behavior, or promote its random likings but keep in sight the benefits and disadvantages of what they are doing and what they want you to do, like treating them with ice cream.