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Cat experts warn against viral ice cube TikTok trend

Wet cat wrapped in towel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The internet does love a good cat trend, and the latest viral ice cube TikTok trend is certainly creating a stir. Although it’s currently without a snappy title, the ‘challenge’ can be found trending under the hashtag #icecubecat. 

Owners are urged to ‘put an ice cube on their cat and see what they do’ while filming the feline reaction for TikTok, such as this video by user moirabean_cat which has amassed over 780K views.

@moirabean_cat (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - Mochi 🐱 (opens in new tab)

A similar video under the user name mochidameow has 1.7m likes and over 9,000 comments.

@mochidameow (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - Mochi 🐱 (opens in new tab)

It’s a bit of a nod to the famous ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ which aimed to raise funds for charity a few years ago, only a much milder version. Just a bit of fun, right? Well, it turns out that your cat might not agree.

Tiktokers have been trying it for themselves, with some videos attracting hundreds of thousands of views. Although most of the feline stars appear pretty calm, experts have warned that many could in fact be finding the activity stressful.

Speaking to Newsweek (opens in new tab), JoAnna Puzzo from UK animal shelter Battersea Dog and Cat’s Home said that as a feline welfare manager she wouldn’t advise owners to try it.

"Cats don't enjoy getting wet and the extreme cold of the ice could startle your cat, potentially leading them to respond and by redirected aggression onto their owner, for example, by swiping or biting." 

Claire Haynes, an animal behaviorist from charity Blue Cross, agreed that the trend could go against the pet owner’s duty of care to create a safe and loving environment.

Although it might seem harmless, you never know how your own individual cat will react. If you’re thinking that your kitty might appreciate the cooling sensation of ice on a hot day, it’s more likely to scare her than to cool her down. Cats are desert animals and are better able to regulate their body temperate than dogs.  

If you’re worried about how your cat is coping with a heatwave, you could try using a pet cooling mat or offer the option of some homemade ice cubes to lick. Try freezing scraps of cooked chicken or tuna fish into ice cubes with water and offer them in a bowl. 

Giving her the free choice of a frozen treat is much more likely to help than doing the #icecubecat challenge, if you want a truly chilled kitty!