Is It Animal Abuse To Give Your Cat Ice Cream?

“Journalism” in 2020: A video goes viral, people react on Twitter, and news sites run stories about what the twits wrote.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a viral video of a human giving his cat some ice cream, which has prompted accusations of animal abuse:

Is that brain freeze, as alleged by quite a few people online, or a dramatic reaction to something unlike Mr. Kitty has never tasted before?

It’s a tiny amount for a tiny creature for sure, but the reaction could be kitty’s way of saying “Dayummm! That is the tastiest yums I’ve ever tasted in the history of tasting yums!!”

Apparently this is a thing, a cat video genre unto itself. After watching the below video, I concede it does look like brain freeze. As you can see, however, most of the cats immediately go back for more:

One thing we do know is most cats are lactose intolerant, so dairy products in general are not good for them. (Kittens should nurse from their mothers, and orphaned kittens should be given kitten-specific formula, which can be found in pet stores and most grocery stores. Milk from cows or other animals doesn’t sit well with their digestive systems.)

Giving your cat ice cream probably isn’t a good idea unless it’s dairy-free and a rare treat. I’ve never given ice cream to my cat, and giving it to him for a cheap laugh would be a betrayal of trust.

But is it animal abuse? What do you think?

8 thoughts on “Is It Animal Abuse To Give Your Cat Ice Cream?”

  1. This is funny! But I’d only give my Holly lactose free ice cream if I were to give her any. She really doesn’t want anything to do with people food though. My other cats would come around whenever I had anything dairy to try and lick the plate! My cat Jelly Bean would sniff ice cream on a stick but would back away when he felt how cold it was. He also would sit by the microwave and meow if he knew I was melting Triscuits with cheese. (he loved anything with cheese) It’s too bad milk is so bad for them because they do love it.

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    1. Did you feed him cheese or did he just meow for it? Buddy loves Gouda cheese as a rare treat and he’s nibbled on American cheese, but aside from that I can’t remember him eating any other dairy.

      The only other people food he’s eaten is very, very small bits of popcorn, which I give to him only after removing any traces of the kernel. That started when he was a kitten, since I make popcorn regularly.

      He also stole a burger from me when he was a kitten (a whole other story), but I haven’t eaten meat in five years so that hasn’t been a problem.

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  2. My cat Dash is apparently the exception to the cats-are-lactose-intolerant rule. She loves cheese sauce, ice cream, and some flavors of yogurt. I make her wait until I’m done eating, and then let her lick my dish. In the case of ice cream, I give her a spoonful or two to lick, so it’s mostly melted by the time she gets any, and brain freeze doesn’t come into play.
    My other cat couldn’t care less.

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  3. It doesn’t appear in the video that the cat got even a drop of ice cream. And nobody – man or beast – could possibly get brain freeze from a drop or two of ice cream. I’ve had cats all my life, and only one of them was truly lactose-intolerant. And she was so smart, that even though she loved the little pieces of cheese she’d occasionally steal, or the empty bowls of ice cream she had access to, she stopped eating that on her own.

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    1. The cat is licking the ice cream in the vid. It’s a very small amount, but I suppose for a cat it’s a “serving.” I dunno. I’m no expert. I thought the cat was reacting to the flavor, but after seeing the other videos I’m not so sure.

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  4. I’ve never been terribly convinced that cats are lactose intolerant. My two fur babies love cheese, milk, icecream etc. And have never had any problems with it. The only time I’ve ever seen a cat have issues with dairy was when a kitten we had several years ago absolutely gorged herself. She did throw up, but was completely fine afterwards and wanted more milk later. Certainly it shouldn’t be the only thing you feed your cat but a saucer every now and then as a treat doesn’t seem to hurt them.

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    1. I can’t recall Buddy having any dairy except cheese as a rare treat. He loves Gouda cheese, which I break into tiny pieces and give to him sometimes. I haven’t seen any negative effects from that.

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