Cat eating ice cream
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National Ice Cream Month: Can Cats Eat Ice Cream? Is Ice Cream Safe For Cats?

July is officially designated as National Ice Cream Month. Naturally, when the hotter weather shows up, we often reach for an ice cream to help keep cool. But have you ever been in the middle of enjoying your ice cream of choice only to suddenly wonder, “Can my cat eat ice cream too? And will it be safe?”

The short answer is not really, and you probably shouldn’t give your cat ice cream; although, some cats may have a small taste every now and then and feel fine.

So before you give your kitty a taste of your sweet, frozen dessert, there are a few things you should know. Let’s get to the bottom of this dairy dilemma for the ages.

Cats And Dairy

Cats eating ice cream
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As you almost certainly know, ice cream is usually made from milk.

Throughout the annals of literary and pop culture history, we’ve been taught that cats love to settle down and lap up a saucer of milk. On this basis, ice cream should be great for cats, right?

Well, not really.

Cat eating ice cream
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The idea of cats loving dairy is based on a stereotype. The only milk a kitten should really be drinking is milk that comes from their mother.

Adult cats are often lactose intolerant, too, which means unless you particularly enjoy cleaning up a sloppy bout of diarrhea, it’s best to steer your cat away from milk.

Dairy can also cause other gastrointestinal issues in felines, as well.

But Surely Ice Cream Can’t Be That Bad For Cats?

Cat eating ice cream
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If you’re totally sure that your cat isn’t allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant, then yes, technically ice cream could be okay for them.

According to a recent Washington Post investigation, a number of vets suggest that ice cream in very small doses can be fine for a cat, but watch out because ice cream is packed with calories and far from a nutritional powerhouse.

Putting your kitty on a path to obesity or diabetes is not cool.

So Can I Feed My Cat Ice Cream?

Cat eating ice cream
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You shouldn’t share any human foods, including ice cream, with your cat unless you talk to your veterinarian first.

Only feed your kitty ice cream in very small amounts, if ever! And be careful to check the ingredients to make sure you’re not serving up some fancy flavor that includes other foods that cats can be allergic to.

Stick to small tastes once in a long while, and watch your kitty for any side effects.

Does your cat ever sneak a taste of some of your ice cream? Do you know any ice cream alternatives that are safer for cats? Let us know in the comments below!

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