Can Cats Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?

In this article I am going to answer the question if cats can eat or better lick on chocolate ice-cream and if it is a good or actually bad idea to feed your little furry feline this yummy summer treat at all?

Summertime - Relaxing Time! 

“Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'
So hush, little baby, don't you cry”

This is part of the song’s lyrics of Ella Fitzgerald’s song “Summertime” 1968

This song puts me always in a relax mood. Great song!

Summer is the time where we often feel this embracing and warm feeling, right?

As well sitting on the porch or a balcony in front of the house treating yourself with a yummy corn of fresh, (hopefully), chocolate ice-cream and enjoying life to its fullest! I hope I watered your cravings a bit! 🙂 However, while treating yourself with the yummy cold and, unfortunately, sugar overloaded treat, your little furry feline snuggles right beside you and, of course, looks at you with its huge begging cat in the boots eyes to share your treat with him/her. You love your little furry friend and without deeper thought at this moment let him/her lick on the chocolate ice-cream. At this point or maybe right after you’re rising the question if you do your cat an actual favor by giving into his/her begging?


Well let’s find out in detail what ingredients chocolate and ice cream contains and if those ingredients are problematic to a cats digestive system or not, ok?

 Main ingredients o​f chocolate

​Chocolate is a natural product that finds its historical background all the way back into the time humans were populating this planet. This product is made of the following ingredients.

Chocolate liquor: cocoa beans with their shells removed and being fermented, roasted until liquefied. This liquid is made up of cocoa butter and cocoa solids which are naturally present in the bean.

Cocoa butter: this is the natural fat deriving from the cocoa bean; extra cocoa butter enhances the chocolate’s flavor that you feel in the mouth region when enjoying to its fullest.

Sugar

Lecithin: It is an emulsifier mostly made from soy, blending both tastes together.

What comes to your mind at first when you hear the word chocolate?

Calories?

Sugar?

May be if you might have a bit trouble with your weight and feel guilty every time you treat yourself, maybe, after lunch or as an in between snack.

Then the guilt factor might occur and you promise yourself not to give into your chocolate cravings so easily anymore.

If you more the lucky person and can enjoy chocolate (chocolate ice-cream) without the curse of gaining any fat, those thoughts or issues might be foreign to you, congrats!

However.

Did you know that chocolate actually has some awesome health benefits?

Yes!


Here are the 7 awesome benefits of dark chocolate (emphasis lays on dark!)

  • Protection from disease-causing free radicals.
  • Potential cancer prevention
  • Improved heart health.
  • Good for overall cholesterol profile.
  • Better cognitive function
  • Blood pressure and blood sugar aid
  • Antioxidant-rich super food.

Sounds good, right?

Again, we are talking about the dark chocolate and not the crappy sugar overloaded chocolate that can positively influence your health.

How?

You see, dark chocolate is made from the cocoa tree seed and contains the best sources of antioxidants as mentioned under point 7 of the bulletin list above.

It also can significantly improve health in lowering the risk of heart disease.

So, if you want to treat yourself with something sweet and yummy after a nice lunch dark nutritious chocolate is a sweet covering two benefits at once.

  1. 1. The craving for something sweet and
  2. 2. You actually benefit from it health wise.

Furthermore, I just want to give you a quick overview of the beneficial contentment of a 100g dark chocolate bar.

Besides the containing a solid amount of soluble fiber and 70 85% cocoa it comes with:

11g of fiber

67% of the RDA for Iron.- You find iron in animal and plant foods. Animal source ( called “heme iron”) like in meat, fish and poultry…, and Plant sources (called “non-heme iron”) find in dried beans, peas and lentils, some fruits and vegetables alike. If you happen to live in Canada, you can find it in grain products as flour, pasta and breakfast cereals are fortified with iron.

58% of the RDA for Magnesium- green leafy vegetables have magnesium as of

  • spinach
  • legumes
  • nuts seeds
  • whole grains

Dietary fiber provide magnesium. You can find magnesium also in many breakfast cereals and alike fortified foods.

89% of the RDA for Copper – Copper you can also find it in food sources as of oysters and other shellfish.

  • whole grains
  • Potato
  • organ meat
  • kidneys
  • liver

As well in leafy greens and dried fruits such as:

  • prunes
  • black pepper
  • yeast

98% of the RDA for Manganese. – You find this mineral in foods like:

  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Tea
  • Whole grains
  • Leafy green vegetables.

Without this essential mineral in your body, you would not function well.

Not to forget plenty of

Potassium – a key player in good health food to function the way as it is supposed to. Potassium is part of every cell in your body. Take out the potassium in your cell means you take out life. It also maintains the fluid balance. Your diet rich in potassium is a must if you want to stay in peak health condition. Do not underestimate that fact and if you not already have started a diet with a potassium rich food to do so. The sooner the better. Otherwise you put your long-term health at risk.    

Phosphorus – You can find it in:

  • Lean beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Poultry
  • Seafood

These are lower phosphorus foods but very important and a must in your daily diet to maintain a healthy body. Eat it regularly and you lower your risk of kidney disease for instance. (700 gr per day is recommended to intake on a daily basis).

These are foods highest in phosphorous:

  • Dairy – as of milk (274milligrams)
  • Plain yogurt (385 milligrams in 8 oz., makes half of the daily recommended amount)
  • Mozzarella cheese (contains 131 milligrams).
  • Fish -3 oz. (halibut fish) (contains 242 milligrams)
  • Salmon (252 mgr.) These make up 1/3 of your daily recommended daily food intake.

You also find high amount of phosphorus in:

  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Meat 
  • Beef
  • Turkey  - both contain the same amount of phosphorus as of 173 mgr. per 3 oz.
  • Chicken – comes in with 153 mgr. per 3 oz.
  •  Nuts 
  • Almonds with 134 milligrams
  • Peanuts with 107 mgr.  
  • Beans – are the best phosphorus non – animal source of phosphorus with lentils having a staggering 178 mgr. in one- half- cup serving.

Please have in mind that phosphorus find in plant products are called phytate. They only can absorb 50 percent. Vitamin D increases the absorption of this form. This is the reason why animal products containing phosphorus are a better source than plant products.

Whole grains –Do you love whole grain bread as much as I do? Well, good for you!

The reason being is that with every two slices of it you automatically eat 128 mgr. of phosphorus with it!

How about oats– One packet of plain instant oats boasts with 96 mgr. of phosphorus.

  • Zinc – oysters contain the most zinc of all other food. But you also find high amounts of zinc in:
  • Beans
  • Nuts

seafood as of:

  • Crabs and lobster.
  • Fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.
  • Selenium – you can find selenium in the following foods
  • Brazil nuts (best source for selenium!)
  • Lima/Pinto beans
  • Chia seeds
  • Brown rice​​​
  • Seeds (sunflower, sesame, and Flax)
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach

If you want to find out more about selenium and its great benefits, please, visit the following website (link).

Please, do not get me wrong, 100g of dark chocolate, even with the above mentioned benefits, is a large amount and should not find the way into your digestive system on a daily basis, just to clarify! I only want to show you the beneficial ingredients of dark chocolate to give you a better idea.

​​​​​​​​​​​cats cannot taste sweets!

Now, after showing you the beneficial part of dark chocolate isolated, what about having chocolate in combination with ice-cream and is it a good idea to feed or let your cat lick on chocolate ice cream?

Well, chocolate-ice-cream, as you know has an insane amount of sugar  and with it a lot of calories.

But not only the sugar is a concern that is not to leave out at this point as much more the fact that the cat doesn’t really like milk (one of the main ingredient of ice cream).

Even we would, hypothetically, make our own ice cream and would use a sugar-free  variety containing artificial sweetener as of xylitol (toxic to dogs), still, harmless to cats, we are left with different facts that needs to be mentioned here to answer the question can cats eat (chocolate) ice cream?

As I mentioned above, cats do not like milk (it is much more the milk cream that rise to the top of fresh milk coming straight from the cow). They also becoming lactose incats, dogs, mice, horses, elephants, goats, cattle, pigs, lizards, snakes, and some monkeystolerant while growing up (which is the main feature of milk.) If you want know more about why cats are becoming lactose intolerant when growing up, please, read my article “Can Cats Drink Milk?”

Furthermore, cats cannot taste any sweet.

 Why can cats not taste sweets in general? 

Because cats only have around 470 taste receptors, which of a humans have twelve times more taste receptors, 9000 to be exact, ergo, do not taste sweets in general.

Even though scientists started to contradict their believe that cats have no taste to any kind of similar food in general replenished the believe after Frederik Ruysch in 1732 and later in 1813 Ludwig Jacobson more or less confirmed, that cats, in deed, have an additional sensor called the Vomeronasal organ or also known as the Jacobson's organ.

You can see it as a helping organ placed at the top of the roof of the cat's mouth connecting the passage to the nasals. Even though they have this additional organ as  (cats, dogs, mice, horses, elephants, goats, cattle, pigs, lizards, snakes, and some monkeys) have, using it to taste and smell aromas and pheromones around them.

Once  an odor or odors in general are inhaled to the tongue, the lip is slightly curled, and the tongue is rubbed on the roof of the mouth. Now, the mouth, nose, and Jacobson's organ allows the animal to sense the essence of flavors and scents in a way we humans do not have the capacity to experience at all.

Our taste receptors allow us to sense plants and fruits that provide a rich supply of carbohydrates and sugars. Our bodies metabolizes them in order to create energy.

As the cat is an obligated carnivore, ergo, has no need for these taste receptors and cannot digest and process carbohydrates.

Even though cats cannot process carbohydrates and sugars, most pet food manufacturers use grains as a primary ingredient in their products. “This may be why cats are getting diabetes,” said biochemist Joe Brand in a Scientific American article published shortly after cats’ lack of sweet taste receptors was discovered. “Cat food today has around 20 percent carbohydrates. The cat is not used to that, he/she can’t handle it.”

Why Do Cats, de facto, like ice cream?

Have you ever tried to feed your cat Ben and Jerry’s?

Your cat might have totally fallen for it while frozen yogurt on the other hand had no affect on him/her whatsoever.

You see, it has nothing to do with the brand one or the other as far more the fact that cats are drawn to high fat and carbohydrated content of the ice cream and the whole milk.

After all taken the fact that cats are lactose intolerant, the mother’s milk is still essential when given to kittens.

Is ice cream bad for cats?

Now you understand why cats are drawn to ice cream. Still, the question "Is ice cream bad for cats?" remains.

Well, if you feed your cat ice cream in large quantities, yes, it is bad for cats! It shouldn’t do your cat any harm if you feed him/her a spoonful of it as a rare treat. The emphasis lays on rare!

If you would make it a frequent habit, following health issues may occur that you presumably want to avoid as of:

Diarrhea

As mentioned above kittens consume the milk that is produced by their mothers. While kittens still produce the lactase enzyme but losing it when growing up due to the fact that they are starting eating solid foods needing more enzymes to digest proteins. Ergo, milk as such will be erased from a cat’s daily menu and with it the necessity to produce the lactase enzyme. So, milk cannot be digested properly because the cat’s body knows your cat has no need to produce the lactase enzyme anymore.

  • Maybe your cat has already eaten items like strings or any other form of cats’ toys. What happens in such situations? They work their way through the digestive tract and come out in “very often” quiet unpleasant manner to a cat.


Ice cream can upset a cat’s stomach 

As toys may find their way out of a cat in a mere unpleasant way the same might happen with undigested lactose as we have in ice cream.

In contrary to the pieces of strings or toys cats might sometimes swallow, ice cream remains in fluid form and mixed with other waste might create a diarrhea issue.

Nutritional problems might occur if cats eat ice cream

Another reason that ice cream and other sweets are not the greatest idea to feed your cat as a treat is the fact that you give less room for more nutritious treats which they would benefit much more from in the long run.

As a result you might end up with a nutritional deficiency. I am certain your main concern for your cat lays on the fact that you want to maintain a healthy happy cat, right?

Maintaining a diet that consisted of unpasteurized milk and raw meat is the best way to go to do exactly that.

A nutrient study ran by Dr. Pottenger shows us that cats, if you would feed milk and dairy products, can thrive and at the same time it indicates that your feline companion needs a diet that is high in protein taurine, which you find in great quantity in raw meat.

What does this mean for a cat? 

Basically it means that a bit of ice cream will not harm your cat as long as you make sure that your cat enjoys an overall diet with lots of protein.

What about chocolate ice cream in particular? 

While ice cream like strawberry is quiet safe for a cat, chocolate even with its health beneficials forhumans does not count for cats.

You see the normal chocolate contains an alkaloid or organic compound called theobromine that cannot be processed by your cat’s body and can end up toxic.

Already a bit of theobromine can harm your cat! 

Dr. Sharon M. Gwaltney-‘Brandt, a veterinarian and toxicology consultant says that the lethal dose of theobromine is 100 to 200 milligrams per kilogram.

1 oz. of cocoa powder can contain as much as 800 mgr. of the toxin.

As you can see even the smallest amount of chocolate ice cream can cause health issues that are not necessary.

Fazit:

​A cat is a carnivore, ergo, has no sweet taste receptors whatsoever. The fact that he/she is drawn to ice cream is because ice crem has a lot of fat! Still, if you want to treat your cat once in a while with a spoon of ice cream might not harm him/her in any way. ​But do not feed him/her chocolate ice cream because it contains theobromine which is poisonous to a cat!

Thank you for reading my article "Can A Cat Eat Chocolate Ice-Cream?"

​If you have anything to add or want to share your personal experience with your cat, please do by writing it in the little box below this article, thank you!

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