Can Cats Eat Chocolate (or vanilla) Ice Cream?

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Video Can cats have vanilla ice cream

If you own a cat, it’s no secret that your furry feline enjoys getting into trouble. And that includes stealing food.

While you may let your pet steal a morsel from your plate or the kitchen counter from time to time, it’s important to know what foods your cat shouldn’t be eating. Most cat owners know their fuzzy friends love dairy – including ice cream! (and hey, who can blame them?)

But can cats eat chocolate ice cream? Is it safe? And what about vanilla ice cream? How much is too much?

We adore cats just as much as you do. And as cat lovers, keeping our pets happy, healthy, and safe is our number one priority. If you want to know if your cats can have a lick of ice cream as a fun summer treat or if you can give them a block of chocolate to satisfy their need for a tasty treat, you’re in luck.

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After reading this post, you’ll know how cats respond to the ingredients in chocolate and vanilla ice cream and whether it’s safe for them to eat ice cream made for dogs.

You’ll also discover a creamy cat treat that definitely isn’t ice cream, but that your cat will love.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?

Cats are mischievous pets by nature. They enjoy sniffing around, and their curiosity often gets the best of them. That includes trying some of the food that’s on your plate (or bowl).

You may have gotten into the seemingly harmless habit of letting your cat try a few tidbits. But letting your cat lick your plate (or bowl) isn’t always the healthiest option for your furry friend. They can get sick if they wolf down the wrong thing.

Although you may think giving your cat some of your ice cream is a nice treat, you may be causing your kitty more harm than you realize. Cats shouldn’t eat chocolate ice cream; they can get pretty sick if you let them do it often enough or give them too much. They can get sick because the ingredients found in chocolate (specifically, the caffeine and theobromine) can be toxic to cats and cause serious health complications.

As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable to keep your kitty away from your ice cream bowl and give them cat-friendly alternatives instead.

Tortoiseshell cat on bed

Can Cats Eat Vanilla Ice Cream?

You may think that vanilla is somebody’s idea of a joke, but believe it or not, there some people who prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate.

So if chocolate is dangerous for your kitty, what about vanilla ice cream? Can you cat eat that?

If you’ve had a delicious bowl of vanilla ice cream and want to share some of your dessert with your cat, then you’re in luck. You can let your cat lick a small amount of vanilla ice cream off your spoon or finger when you’re done. But be careful not to give your kitty too much. Although vanilla is a much safer alternative to chocolate, it can still cause digestive upset.

It’s important to note that most adult cats are lactose intolerant. Despite what you’ve seen in cartoons and other media, your cat probably shouldn’t have a large saucer of milk as a treat. If they have too much dairy, they might get an upset stomach.

While the quantity of dairy they consume can change how they react, your cat may have vomiting and diarrhea due to ingesting dairy-based products — which, of course, includes ice cream.

Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?

As we’ve said before, knowing what type of ice cream is safe for your cat to ingest is important. It would help if you avoided chocolate ice cream altogether because chocolate can cause serious illnesses in cats.

However, a little taste of vanilla ice cream every once in a while shouldn’t cause your cat too much harm. Remember to keep consumption to a minimum if you want to avoid an unhappy kitty tummy and an unpleasant litter box.

If you’re letting your cat have ice cream, there are a few things you should be careful of:

First, avoid ice creams that are made with artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners may be toxic to your cat and cause serious illness – even in small doses.

Your feline friend is also unable to digest sweeteners. Unlike small traces of sugar, your cat can’t process sweeteners the same way. For that reason, it’s important to read the ingredients in your ice cream before giving your pet a taste.

There are also plenty of products on the market that contain a mix of sugar and sweeteners, so it’s best to avoid giving your cat ice cream if it is sweetened with a combination of ingredients.

But just because your ice cream is made with sugar doesn’t mean that it’s a hundred percent safe, either. Your cat can process small amounts of sugar in a relatively safe way. However, it isn’t able to digest large quantities. So, if you want to stay on the safe side, it’s better to give your cat a small lick of your ice cream rather than a serving of its own.

Can Cats Eat Dog-Specific Ice Cream?

It turns out that they make ice cream mix for dogs. And apparently it’s pretty good!

It comes in five different flavors: vanilla, carob, maple bacon, birthday cake, and peanut butter.

Maple Bacon Ingredients: lactose free whole milk, cane sugar, gelatin, natural maple bacon flavor and salt

Vanilla Ingredients: lactose free whole milk, cane sugar, gelatin, natural vanilla flavor and salt

So if you’re one of the many people who owns both dogs and cats, by all means grab a container, stir in some water, and pop it in the freezer to give your dog a sweet frozen treat.

Puppy Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream Mix for DogsPuppy Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream Mix for Dogs

However, I did some research and the amounts of lactose in doggie ice cream isn’t safe for cats.

If your cat happens to grab a couple licks from your dog, they’ll be fine, but it’s not something you should specifically serve to your cat.

What are Cat Alternatives to Ice Cream?

So do they make ice cream for cats?

As far as I can tell, no. Again, the amounts of lactose is an issue.

The closest thing I could find (and yes, I know this is not like ice cream at all) are these lickable puree cat treats.

Think “Gogurt,” but made from salmon or chicken.

Now that probably sounds to disgusting to you (especially since we were just talking about chocolate ice cream), but here’s an interesting fact: Cats can’t taste sugar. In fact, they can’t taste sweetness at all!

So even though we enjoy the sweetness of ice cream, your cat couldn’t care less, and creamy salmon is gonna be more his thing.

And while you and I probably shouldn’t have a bowl of ice cream every night after dinner, cats can enjoy these creamy treats regularly, because they’re 91% moisture and have only a tenth of the calories of traditional dry cat treats.

Amazon reviewer Heather calls them “liquid gold”:

I have to keep [these treats] locked up at home. My Maine Coon thinks he needs treats at all hours and after retrieving the double sealed bag containing them out of the velcroed cupboard, (the one with the rubber bands around the handles), he proceeded to drag the bag up on the counter to fight it to the death. Then he dragged it around the room for numerous rematches before we finally got up to investigate. Turns out, nearly every pouch had been pierced at least once (through double plastic bags!), beaten numerous times and rolled around on by my 20-lb beast …. But that’s how good it is, and those are the lengths cats will go to for this lickable liquid gold goodness.

INABA Grain-Free, Lickable, Squeezable Creamy Purée Cat TreatINABA Grain-Free, Lickable, Squeezable Creamy Purée Cat TreatINABA Grain-Free, Lickable, Squeezable Creamy Purée Cat Treat

Another ice cream alternative for your cat is … wait for it … ice cubes.

Yeah, I know that sounds really sad and boring, but your kitty might very well enjoy it. and if you put an ice cube in a very wide bowl, or something like a Tupperware container, they’ll probably get a kick out of knocking the ice cube around.

And you can’t beat the price.

Can Cats Lick Ice Cream?

Although you should avoid letting your kitty eat ice cream, a lick here and there shouldn’t do much harm. You should try to avoid letting them lick flavored ice cream, though, and some flavors (like chocolate) can be harmful. And too much dairy can upset their delicate stomachs! You will also need to remember that ice creams with added sweeteners can cause your cat to become ill.

On top of what we have already mentioned, ice cream is made with propylene glycol — an added ingredient to ice cream to stop it from forming ice crystals when sitting in your freezer.

While this ingredient is safe for human consumption, it can be toxic to your pets. If your cat ingests too much of this additive, your cat can fall ill and need to be taken to the nearest vet. Your cat can even develop anemia if it eats too much ice cream that contains propylene glycol.

So, when you’ve given your cat a few licks of your ice cream, make sure it doesn’t go past that, depending on the specific ingredients of what you have in the house Although it may seem like a delicious treat, we recommend sticking to cat-safe treats and other foods designed specifically to suit a cat’s diet.

Orange and white norwegian forest cat in sink

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

The major reason behind not letting your cat eat chocolate ice cream is because of the harmful effects of chocolate. While you may think that you’re giving your feline friend a sweet treat, you can unknowingly cause your cat serious health complications by giving it chocolate.

Chocolate is extremely harmful to most pets. While plenty of pet owners only worry about when their pup ingests chocolate, cat owners must be just as careful that their sneaky kitties aren’t stealing chocolate-based foods off their plates or countertops.

Chocolate contains two ingredients that are harmful and potentially life-threatening to cats: caffeine and theobromine. When your cat ingests chocolate, it may immediately show chocolate toxicity symptoms. And while cats can have different sensitivity levels to these ingredients, it’s best to keep your cats away from anything containing chocolate.

Once your cat begins to experience chocolate toxicity, you may notice that they become restless or hyperactive. These symptoms, combined with vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, or increased hunger levels, are the first sign of chocolate poisoning in cats.

If your cat is left untreated, it may begin to experience more severe symptoms such as: • Muscle spasms • Rapid heart rate • Difficulty breathing • Seizures • Lethargy • Stiff muscles or muscle pain

Once your cat begins to display symptoms of chocolate toxicity, you will need to get it to a vet as quickly as possible. It’s best to get your cat to an emergency veterinary hospital after the initial symptoms begin to surface. After the onset of some of the more severe symptoms, your cat may experience coma or death without prompt treatment.

Will A Tiny Bit Of Chocolate Hurt My Cat?

If you want to keep your precious cat safe from harm, it’s a good idea to steer clear of letting them have any chocolate. Even the smallest amount of chocolate can cause chocolate toxicity symptoms in smaller cats.

Different types of chocolate can also cause different reactions in your cat. For example, your cat can develop chocolate poisoning after ingesting as little as 0.2 ounces of baking chocolate!

If your cat has ingested chocolate, it is recommended that you take your precious pet to the vet straight away to avoid serious health complications from developing.

What Foods Should Cats Avoid?

Responsible pet ownership is about knowing what you can and can’t give your pets for a tasty treat. As a cat owner, the health of your perfect pet should be one of your top priorities. Most pet owners know they should stick to cat-specific foods when feeding their furry babies. But many owners don’t know that some common foods they have in their kitchen could be toxic or harmful to their cats.

We already know that cats can’t eat chocolate and should avoid chocolate ice cream at all costs. But what else should you avoid giving your cats?

  • Dairy

    Pitcher and glass of milk

    Just because cats are always depicted as milk lovers doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. You should avoid giving your cats dairy if you don’t want to upset their stomach.

    Food products like milk, cream, and cheese may seem like safe foods to feed your cat. But like I mentioned earlier, a vast majority of adult cats are lactose intolerant. So giving your cat dairy may cause them to feel quite sick.

    If your cat ingests too much dairy, it may experience vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea. Suppose you want to avoid having to clean up after some very messy accidents. In that case, we recommend staying away from dairy altogether.

    You should also keep kittens away from milk and other dairy products. Rather than giving your kittens milk or cream, you can buy kitten-safe milk formulas from reputable veterinary shops.


Cup of coffee

One of the most harmful ingredients in chocolate is caffeine. And for a good reason! Caffeine can quickly cause your cat to become ill and may cause severe health complications if they ingest too much.

Cats are naturally sneaky and will do anything to share in your delicious cup of morning coffee. But to benefit your cat’s health, you should avoid letting your kitty lick up the last few drops of your coffee!

Raw Eggs

raw eggs in carton

Modern dog owners are all about giving their dogs raw and natural additives to their food – including raw eggs. While this can be a great addition to a raw diet for dogs, it’s important to remember that canines and cats have different genetics and require different types of food.

Just like humans, cats are susceptible to salmonella. Your cat could get sick if you feed them too many raw eggs. In this case, it’s best to stick to cat-safe treats if your cat is looking for a snack.


All cats love fish, right? Of course, they do! You may have noticed that your mischievous kitty seems to pop out of nowhere when you open up a new tin of tuna. That’s because almost no cat can resist the delightful smell of their favorite fishy feast.

Canned tuna might seem like an obvious food to give to your cat, but ingesting too much tuna can give cats mercury poisoning. You can occasionally let your cat have a tiny nibble of tuna, but you should avoid giving them too much.

Raw Dough

If you love to bake, like me, you might also (like me) enjoy eating some of the dough. (After all, you have to sample it a few times to make sure the cookies are going to turn out okay … right?)

So not judgements if you like to scarf down dough, but make sure you don’t share any with your cat.

While there’s nothing more satisfying than watching dough rise, you wouldn’t want it to start expanding in your cat’s stomach. But raw dough does exactly that when ingested. If your cat eats raw dough, the dough will expand and cause major discomfort and pain in its stomach. It can also cause intestinal blockage. So, if you want to save yourself a trip to the vet, it’s best to keep any raw dough away from your kitty

Dog Food

If you’re an animal lover, the chances are that you have more than one pet. And, if you own a dog and a cat, you’ve probably noticed that they love sampling one another’s food! You must be careful about letting your pets share food, though, because it can cause digestive upset in your cat.

Dog food won’t cause severe illness if your cat ingests a little bit now and then. But you will need to ensure that your cat isn’t filling up on dog kibble and skipping its dinner.

Dogs and cats have very different dietary requirements, and dog food doesn’t have enough vitamin A or protein to sustain a cat.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

Chocolate is toxic to dogs as well as cats. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which have the same toxicity levels for dogs as they do for cats. It’s important to keep chocolate-based products out of reach of curious pups and watch what you feed them!

If your dog has ingested chocolate, it may have many of the same symptoms of chocolate toxicity as cats. These symptoms include hyperactivity or restlessness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Once you notice these early-onset symptoms, you should take your dog to the vet as quickly as possible or prepare to induce vomiting at home.

More serious symptoms include: • Tremors • Excessive urination • Increased hunger or thirst • Lethargy • Seizures

To avoid getting your pup sick, you should stick to giving your dog a diet of kibble or raw food and pet treats designed specifically for dogs. Although your dog may beg for some of the food off your plate, you should avoid giving in to the ‘puppy dog eyes’ to keep your dog happy and healthy.


  • Litter Robot
  • Pets WebMD
  • The Spruce Pets
  • Quora
  • Hills Pet
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