Can Cats Eat Sherbet? 9 Facts You May Not Know

If your cat is staring at you expectantly while you enjoy a bowl of sherbet in your favorite chair, you might feel compelled to share. You’ve probably come here because you’re debating whether or not to feed your cat sherbet.

While sherbet probably won’t hurt your cat, it’s best to avoid giving it to her. Sherbet contains ingredients that are harmful to cats, and the cold temperature could be uncomfortable.

Below, we’ll take a look at the specifics of sherbet, including its ingredients. This will help you understand why it’s not a good idea to give any to your cat.

Can Cats Eat Sherbet?

To answer your question, yes, cats can eat a small amount as a treat and they shouldn’t show any ill effects, just like most human treat foods.

The ethical question is, should you feed your cat sherbet, despite the fact that it provides no nutritional value?

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you know how challenging it is to eat something that offers no nutritional value. However, we indulge in sugary treats because they provide us with emotional comfort.

As far as we are aware, cats do not experience the same joy. They evidently enjoy consuming puddings and other dairy-based foods, despite the fact that doing so is unhealthy. Because of this, I never feed my cats sherbet or any other similar dessert.

Get your cat some treats if you want to see it purr with delight as it munches on something other than its regular food. So there you have it: my two cents.

A Cat’s Diet

Cats can only survive by eating meat. Therefore, they subsist solely on meat, as they not only have no need for, but also have difficulty digesting, plant-based foods.

In the wild, cats tend to hunt and eat at the break of dawn and the fall of night. During these times, you may find that your cat is significantly more active than usual.

Commercial cat food has the ideal proportions of protein, minerals, and vitamins, and can easily satisfy a cat’s dietary needs.

Fillers like meat by-products, grains, soy, and corn in cat food don’t provide any nutritional value and should be avoided whenever possible.

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This is just a taste of what felines enjoy, so let’s learn more about sherbet.

British shorthair cat eating

A Little About Sherbet

Just what is sherbet, then? “Sherbet” is derived from the Persian word “sharbat,” which means an iced fruit drink.

In the United States, it is typically made with fruit, sugar, egg whites, and either 1% or 2% milkfat from milk or cream. And it’s frozen solid, of course. It’s available in a wide variety of flavors, like orange, raspberry, and strawberry.

Water ice has a milk content of less than 1%, while a frozen dairy dessert has a milk content of between 2% and 10%. Above 10%, you have ice cream.

Another common confusion is between sherbet and sorbet. Sorbet differs primarily in that it does not contain any form of dairy.

To add further confusion, the word “sherbet” is also used to describe a fizzy, sugary powder used to make a sweet drink or to dip other sweets (like lollipops) into in the United Kingdom and other European countries. However, we will stick to talking about ice cream.

Don’t get me wrong, sherbet is dessert and offers no nutritional value. Even though it’s healthier than ice cream or gelato due to its lower fat content, it’s still dessert.

berry sherbet

Cats and Sherbet

We can enjoy sweets in moderation. However, we should never give our pets sweets of any kind. They add nothing of value to their diets, and many of the ingredients can be harmful to our cats’ health.

In addition, felines lack the taste bud receptors necessary to experience sweetness. Therefore, there is no reason to treat your cat to a sweet treat.


Even though cats aren’t particularly fruit-dependent, most types of fruit are perfectly safe for them to consume. However, you shouldn’t make an effort to feed your cat fruit.

Grapes and grape products (such as raisins) as well as avocados and citrus fruits should not be given to cats.

If your cat has diabetes, you should also keep it away from any and all fruit.


Sugar is bad for your cat’s health. Overconsumption of sugar has been linked to metabolic syndrome, obesity, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. Even though cats can safely consume trace amounts of this ingredient, there is no reason to include it in their diet. It’s a waste of time because they can’t appreciate the sweetness.


Milk and cats don’t go together, despite common belief. Most cats suffer from lactose intolerance, which can cause them to have stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea. It’s not okay to feed it to cats just because they appear to enjoy it and demand it.

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Sherbet’s cold temperature is an additional factor to think about. While it may be amusing to watch a video of a cat suffering from brain freeze after licking ice cream, for most cats, this experience is painful.

It is unclear whether cats are suffering from brain freeze or from the pain caused by the extreme cold on their teeth and gums in cases of gum disease. You should never intentionally or accidentally put your cat through any kind of suffering.

a tray of sherbet

Can Cats Eat Sorbet?

Sorbet is healthier than sherbet because it doesn’t contain any milk products, but it still has sugar. And remember, citrus is to be avoided at all costs as we discussed earlier. If your cat sneaks in a few licks, it’s probably fine, but this shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.

The Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet

I think it’s important that we all have a firm grasp on the distinction between these two seemingly identical sweet treats. The terms sherbet and sorbet are frequently used interchangeably, but they are not identical.

Sorbet is a dairy-free dessert. Sorbet relies on three primary components:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Flavoring

Sherbet differs from sorbet in that it has more components. The ingredients for sherbet are:

  • Cream (Here you can find out whether or not cats can eat whipped cream).
  • Milk
  • Whites of eggs
  • Gelatin
  • Lemonade sorbet

As a result, you get a frozen treat that’s a lot more decadent than sorbet (which always tastes like flavored ice to me). Creamier than ice cream, sherbet has to have a fat content of 2% or less to be officially labeled as such.

Because of this, sherbet is much more likely to attract cats.

Not to Be Confused with Sherbet Powder (UK)

The word “sherbet” has a completely different meaning in British English than it does in American English.

Sherbet is a fizzy powder used to dip lollipops and other sweets into in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. Sugar, flavorings, and an acid like tartaric, citric, or malic are used to create it.

Children enjoy the acid-carbonate because of the fizzing reaction it produces in their mouths. However, it is not the healthiest choice and is much worse for cats than American sherbet.

Keep this far away from your cats if you were hoping to find out whether or not they can eat fizzy sherbet.

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Cans Cats Eat Ice Cream?

Ice cream is even more unhealthy than sherbet because of all the milk products it contains. Keep in mind that sherbet typically has milk fats of 1-2%, while ice cream has milk fats of 10% or more. Not to mention the sugar and possibly other unhealthy additives. It’s common knowledge that chocolate is highly poisonous to dogs, but few people realize that cats are in just as much danger.

Make sure there are no chocolate chips, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or artificial sweeteners in the ice cream your cat wants to sample. All of these components may be harmful to our pets.

Don’t Forget – Cats Are Lactose Intolerant

Cats, like many humans, have problems digesting lactose.

This is one of the most shocking revelations for first-time feline owners. The stereotype isn’t helped by media depictions of cats drinking milk from a bowl. Although they enjoy a glass of milk, it’s not healthy for them.

You can’t compare them to intolerant kittens. Kittens need to nurse from their mothers for a while before they start eating solid foods. However, the digestive system of an adult cat changes as it transitions to solid foods.

Kittens have the enzyme lactase in their digestive systems, which allows them to digest lactose. Like many humans, they produce less of this enzyme as they get older, making lactose digestion more of a challenge.

Some felines may be able to handle dairy products better than others due to individual differences. However, it’s best practice to keep felines away from dairy products like milk and ice cream.

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In Summary – Cats and Sherbet, Sorbet, Ice Cream, and Other Desserts

Indulging your cat with a small amount of sherbet, sorbet, or even ice cream as a treat is acceptable if you’re on the fence about giving in to their demands. Like how we ought to treat our delicious desserts.

Cats, on the other hand, have far more specific nutritional needs than humans do, and it is we who provide for their needs.

Please limit the amount of sherbet and other sugary treats. This is the best option. You don’t want your cat to get diarrhea or throw up because it will require extra work cleaning up afterward.

It’s never a fun job!

Does your cat have any favorite sweets or treats? Relax; I won’t hold that against you. Feel free to list the foods your cat will try in the comments section. Thanks.

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