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Can Cats Eat Vanilla Ice Cream – Is It Safe Or Harmful?

Can Cats Eat Vanilla Ice Cream – Is It Safe Or Harmful?

Cats have a habit of sticking their noses into everything, and with vanilla ice cream being a common dessert found in almost every refrigerator, it’s likely that your cat has encountered it. Kitties are known to enjoy drinking milk, so why should ice cream be any different? You may be wondering can cats eat vanilla ice cream?

Cats can eat vanilla ice cream in small amounts. Generally, vanilla ice cream isn’t harmful to cats, however, lactic acid can cause stomach aches, gas, and diarrhea in cats if ingested in high amounts. Vanilla ice cream is also high in fat and carbohydrates. Most cats are lactose intolerant, and ice cream can cause several digestive issues to your cat.

We will shed some light on the ingredients in vanilla ice cream and how far you should go when it comes to keeping vanilla ice cream from your cat. And, you will further read if vanilla is harmful to cats if it is okay to give a cat ice cream, what ice creams cats can eat, and so much more.

Ingredients In Vanilla Ice Cream

Fresh milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla are used to make vanilla ice cream, which is then frozen and aerated. The eggs are pretty much optional.

Ingredients In Vanilla Icecream
1 – liter milk
1/2 tablespoon cornflour
1 cup fresh cream
1 cup sugar
two teaspoons of vanilla essence

If you see the ingredients, milk can pose a risk for cats. Apart from that, sugar can also lead to weight gain in your cat. Cream, on the other hand, doesn’t contribute much to the cat’s nutritional value.

Hence, while a few licks are okay, vanilla ice cream shouldn’t be made a regular feeding item for your cat.

Is Vanilla Toxic To Cats

Vanilla is non-toxic to cats and will not harm them.

While cats aren’t known for their fondness for sweets or vanilla (hence the lack of feline chocolate cases compared to dogs), we occasionally see cats nibbling on sweets like this vanilla ice cream or cereal. There’s no need to be concerned if your cat ate some vanilla flavor. 

However, because cats have no ‘vanilla nutritional requirement,’ you don’t need to add it to their daily food. The reason being that they are carnivores. Hence, if your cat does eat something with vanilla, you shouldn’t be concerned about toxicity.

When it comes to vanilla extract, however, you do want to be careful with how much of it a cat gets a hold of. Most vanilla extracts contain around 34% ethyl alcohol. So, there are some concerns there with potential alcohol poisoning which you should keep in mind.

Aim to get a vanilla icecream made with natural flavors that you can control so that your cat can avoid that risk.

Is It Ok To Give A Cat Ice Cream

The stereotype of cats loving dairy is based on a myth. The only milk a kitten should consume is that which comes from its mother. So, the short answer is no, and you should probably avoid giving your cat ice cream; however, some cats may enjoy a small taste now and then.

Ice cream, most of the time, is made with milk, as you are probably aware. We’ve been taught that cats love to settle down and lap up a saucer of milk throughout the annals of literary and pop culture history. Ice cream should be good for cats based on this logic. No, not at all.

While it’s fine to allow your furry friend to relish some ice cream off the spoon after you’ve finished your ice cream bowl, you should refrain from giving her large amounts of vanilla ice cream. Your cat can start suffering from digestive and gut issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite.

In small amounts, artificially sweetened vanilla ice cream too is safe for your feline friend. But, always ensure that you never serve your cat vanilla ice cream mixed with chocolate or any chocolate toppings added. Chocolate can prove to be fatal for your cat.

And ice creams are a big NO if your cat is suffering from lactose intolerance.

If you’re certain your cat isn’t allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant, then ice cream could be a good option for them as an occasional treat. Ice cream doesn’t cause any harm to cats when given in small amounts, but keep in mind that it is high in calories and is not a nutritional powerhouse. It’s not cool to put your cat on a path to obesity or diabetes.

However, it’s unlikely that your cat will enjoy anything sweet. The primary reason is the absence of taste receptors in cats.

What Ice Cream Can Cats Eat

If your cat wants ice cream, you can opt for vanilla flavor. Giving your cat ice cream prepared from goat’s milk is the best way to ensure that she doesn’t suffer from digestive issues.

If you make your own, reduce the sugar a little. Cats are unaffected by sugar-free sweeteners like xylitol. If you want your homemade ice cream to have a more custard-like consistency, beat the eggs thoroughly and cook them with the milk until it simmers. Allow cooling slightly before adding to the mixture.

Strawberry ice cream is also permissible in a small amount. Strawberry leaves a cat’s diet with little to no nutritional value, but they are nontoxic.

Things To Consider

In addition to vanilla ice cream, you may be wondering about the impact of other flavors. If you are confused about which ice cream is highly toxic for your furry cat, then the answer is Chocolate ice icecream!

While chocolate ice cream might seem a lot like vanilla ice cream, it really is different. The chocolate component plus the increased sugar content make it entirely dangerous for cats to consume even in small quantities.

Most animals, including cats, are fatally poisoned by theobromine, an alkaloid compound found in chocolate.

Theobromine is the active ingredient in chocolate, and it’s also why cats can’t eat it. It raises heart rate while simultaneously lowering blood pressure. It relaxes the muscles while stimulating the nervous system.

This may sound like a good time to a human, but it can put a lot of stress on a cat’s delicate body. It’s also a diuretic, and cats already have a proclivity for dehydration.

In a cat, a lethal dose of theobromine is between 100 and 200 milligrams per kilogram. Given that an ounce of cocoa powder can contain up to 800 milligrams of theobromine, it’s easy to see how even a small amount of chocolate ice cream could be harmful to a cat.

Rum raisin is out because it contains alcohol and raisins, both of which should be avoided by your cat. Anything with a coffee flavor is also off the table.

Green tea ice cream too is popular in some Asian countries. While it contains less caffeine than black tea, it contains enough for your cat. It would help if you didn’t eat anything made with raw eggs, and your cat shouldn’t either.

All in all, if you do plan to give your cat vanilla ice cream (or ice cream of any type) consider the following:

  • Give them a non-dairy form of ice cream
  • Feed your cat icecream free of additives, sugars, or high salt content
  • Feed your cat vanilla icecream in extremely limited quantities