If your cat is staring at you while eating ice cream, it may be tempting to share your delicious snack. But products that contain milk can have some unpleasant side effects for your feline friend. Cats do not have enough lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the lactose in dairy products, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A little ice cream may cause vomiting or diarrhea.
But there are plenty of safer options that will keep your cat from purring and free from nasty issues. They have the added benefit of helping to keep your pet hydrated. Since cats may be curious about drinking water, they often don’t get enough fluids, which can lead to urinary problems down the road.
Here are several frozen foods to keep your cat fresh and hydrated all year long.
Ice cube surprises
Animal keepers often use ice cubes as an enrichment for big cats. They freeze big blocks of ice with delicious surprises inside like chunks of meat or even fruit. You can skip the raw meat slabs and think smaller. For your cat, use ice cube trays or cups and toss small pieces of tuna or kibble. To entice your cat to keep licking, you may want to sprinkle in a little tuna water or broth, Animal Planet suggests.
Take your cat’s wet food and mix it into a few pieces of dry food. Form the mixture into small piles on a cookie sheet and freeze. Your cat will love to lick her way through a delicious meal and find crunchy surprise pieces. You can feed your cat its natural ration in this way or arrange it in smaller quantities throughout the day.
To make even more liquid, add wet food to a blender with a little extra water, then freeze it in ice cube trays or cups.
Kitty ice cream
Purchase a special cat milk at your favorite pet store. (This is not cat milk, but a milk-like drink for adult cats. Brands include Cat-Sip and CatSure.) Pour the milk into a plastic sandwich bag, then add half a can of wet cat food. Close that bag tightly and add a second bag. Then put it in a gallon bag with plenty of ice and some rock salt or kosher. Wrap the bag for 15 minutes. Hattie’s Blog has step-by-step instructions, and the result is some delicious homemade (for your cat) ice cream.
frozen banana bites
Some cats are a little fickle and may not like fruit, but for those with bold tastes, try these refreshing treats. Just mash some bananas and pour them into ice cube trays. Add a little crunch, if you’d like, by flipping a few pieces of kibble.
Put any of these special treats on a plate and let your furry friend enjoy something delicious. You can have your ice cream in peace while you know your cat is getting a healthy, cat-friendly snack.