You know how it is. You take a bite of ice cream or slug of Slurpee and then HOLY CRAP AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH your skull feels like it’s cracking and you have brain freeze. Well, cats might share that agony.
Videos of cats getting brain freeze have been making the rounds on the Internet this summer, but we shouldn’t put them in pain for our amusement, an article by the Washington Post this week suggests. The story notes how widely shared these videos are (so very many have LOLed), then interviews multiple vets to explain what’s going on and why it’s not so funny to your cat.
The ice-cream headache is technically called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia and happens when a nerve causes quick constriction and swelling of blood vessels from the roof of your mouth to your head. One vet interviewed said it’s unclear how cats feel, but their response is similar to ours. (So, we’re guessing, a painful one.)
“I can’t imagine that [brain freeze] would be different in cats,” Eric Doughtery, veterinarian and medical director for The Cat Practice in New York, New York, told the news outlet.
Another vet was more direct.
“It’s pretty unhealthy for the cat,” Amy Cousino, veterinarian and owner of the Cat’s Meow Cat Clinic in Sebastian, Florida, said to the Post. “Cats have very similar nervous pathways [to humans].”
Maybe we can all stop with the pain infliction. If you like cats and laughing, put some catnip in a paper bag on the floor. LOLs for days.