A new trend that some call the “put an ice cube on your cat” challenge has emerged on the TikTok social media platform — and it’s caused pet experts to warn against taking part in the challenge.
The trend involves asking cat parents to place an ice cube on their cat and then video the kitty’s reaction to share with the world. Some of the videos have already clocked up over a million views.
The trend may seem harmless at first. But experts have warned that it could distress cats and cause them to experience anxiety, just like a prior trend that involved scaring cats with cucumbers.
The Problems With This Ice Cube Challenge
@maplegingerboi So that was that. #icecubecat #fyp #catsoftiktok #cattok original sound – Mochi
While in some cases ice cubes can help cats during the sweltering summer months — such as an ice cube in a bowl of water to freshen it up — a number of pet experts have strongly warned against physically placing an ice cube on a cat.
As JoAnna Puzzo, the feline welfare manager at the UK-based Battersea Dog and Cat’s Home, told the Newsweek outlet:
“Cats don’t enjoy getting wet, and the extreme cold of the ice could startle your cat, potentially leading them to respond by redirected aggression onto their owner, for example, by swiping or biting.”
The general consensus from pet experts and animal welfare advocates is that the ice cube challenge is likely to upset cats.
A Better Way To Introduce Your Cat To Ice Cubes
As mentioned above, you can actually use ice cubes to help keep your cat hydrated, just as long as you stick to adding ice cubes to water bowls rather than placing them directly on your cat.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Ice cubes in a bowl of water can sometimes intrigue cats who might otherwise be reluctant to drink enough water.
- Always use fresh, clean water to make any ice cubes for your cat — and preferably use filtered water.
- If your cat — ahem — warms to ice cubes in their water, you could also try placing one directly on the floor so that they can bat it around before taking a few licks.
What do you think about the TikTok trend of putting ice cubes on a cat’s head? Would you ever attempt it with your own cat? Let us know in the comments section below!