By now we’ve all seen the “cats getting brain freeze video” that’s been making its way around the internet and have probably had a pretty good laugh at it. Here it is. Just in case you were the only one in the world who missed it.
Yup, we’ve all been there. Brain freeze, also known as an “ice-cream headache,” or, scientifically speaking, sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (“nerve pain of the sphenopalatine ganglion”), is no fun at all.
If you’ve never experienced anything like it before, you know that brain freeze feels like a sharp shooting pain, or a severe short-lived headache. It generally happens after you eat foods like ice cream and popsicles or when you drink cold beverages. The slurpee brain freeze is one of the more well-known occurrences.
So, when something cold touches the roof of your mouth, experts say a nerve response causing rapid constriction and swelling of blood vessels can cause that kind of pain. A study in 2012 showed that an abrupt increase and rapid change in blood flow to the brain could actually be the culprit behind the big freeze. Take that along with the rate at which you take in whatever cold food or drink you’re consuming and voila – you will feel like you literally have icicles sprouting in your head.
The baffling phenomenon has even got cats feeling the freeze.
Warmer weather and a love for milk products could make for an uncomfortable cat-astrophe this summer. Just ask these kitties.
You know this cat is so happy – but also appears to be frozen in time.
This cat’s colorful expression is all it takes to see that cats are just like us.
This furry feline has the freeze for sure.
This picture is worth a thousand words – or maybe just one – “ouch.”
Although we don’t know exactly what these cats are feeling, it’s safe to say that most likely they are having a similar sensory experience to what we get when it happens to us.
Another theory that’s been put out there is that the reaction you’re seeing could be due to the sensitivity of the nerve endings in kitty’s teeth because of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is apparently pretty common in cats, especially when they are not getting their teeth brushed every day.
Yes, these images can serve as a reminder that our feline counterparts can be just like us. From our love of ice cream to our goofy reactions, we all enjoy to indulge in some icy goodness, especially in theses warm summer months.
Do keep in mind though that ice cream or other frozen human treats may not necessarily be good for cats. Where some cats might be able to digest ice cream with no problem, other cats might not be able to handle all the fat and could become seriously ill. Pancreatitis (which is a potentially life-threatening disease) is a real possibility for cats that are sensitive to high fat foods.
So make sure you think about it before you start feeding your cat something cold just so you can capture their reaction on video. There are other ways you can keep your cat cool and happy this summer. Check with your vet for some clever foods and treats that your kitty will love.
Try an alternative like a catsicle –
15 8-ounce plastic cups
1 5.5-ounce can of your cat’s favorite wet food (smooth, not chunky, works best)
Catnip and/or soft cat treats (optional)
One small square of Saran Wrap
Mix the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Fill each plastic cup with about ¼ – ½ inch with your mix. Flatten in by stacking the cups on top over each other. Cover it up with saran wrap and then place in the freezer overnight. In the morning, run the bottom cup under warm water until you can pull it free from the other cups and pop out the catsicle. Put the catsicle in a bowl and let it stand for five minutes. Next, you’ll have one happy cat.
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