Although the idea of a kitten licking up ice cream sounds rather cute and fanciful, the reality, on the other hand, isn't. A healthy kitten diet is in no way a diverse one, and certainly leaves no room for ice cream. Save the yummy and icy delights for yourself.
Up until a wee kitten is around 2 months old, not only should she not be having ice cream, she shouldn't really be technically "eating" anything at all. All the vital nutrients a newborn kitten needs in order to grow healthily come from nursing with her mommy cat. That holds true until mommy decides it's time to begin the slow process of weaning. If the mother is nowhere near, you can bottle feed the cutie yourself with the help of a handy kitten milk replacer.
"No" to Ice Cream
Ice cream is a dairy product that contains cow's milk. If you have idyllic images in your head of kittens earnestly drinking milk from little white saucers, throw them all away. The only milk that is safe and appropriate for a kitten comes straight from her mother. According to the ASPCA, kittens, similarly to adult cats, are not usually capable of proper digestion of milk and milk-based products. If your feed your little one some ice cream, she very likely will end up with a major tummy ache and ugly bout of diarrhea. Neither you nor your kitty need that. Though the ASPCA states that dairy isn't toxic to cats, it can still lead to a lot of unnecessary discomfort.
Other Dairy Products
Remember that dairy products don't just begin and end with milk and ice cream. Any dairy products at all can be taxing on your kitten's delicate system, including cheeses, yogurt, sour cream and butter. None of these items have any business being in any feline diet, whether a tiny young kitten or a wise adult cat. Cats generally are lactose intolerant for their whole lives.
When putting together a suitable and nutritious dietary plan for your kitten, seek the expertise of your veterinarian. Kittens have specific nutritional needs that are not exactly the same as adults. For example, the little fluffballs need vastly more energy than adults. The vet may recommend to you a protein-rich diet full of minerals and vitamins -- think niacin, thiamin and calcium. Also always make sure to purchase canned and dry foods that are labeled exclusively for kitten consumption. Keep Junior away from the sundaes and banana splits -- for good. "Human food" of any kind and cats are not a safe or nutritious combination, full stop.
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Milk
- ASPCA: Animal Poison Control FAQ
- ASPCA: Diarrhea
- ASPCA: Nutrition Tips for Kittens
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Feeding Your Cat
- ASPCA: Newborn Kitten Care
- Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Nutrition for the Growing Kitten
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