Cat experts warn against new viral ice cube TikTok trend

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Experts said many cats will likely be distressed by the TikTok challenge

The latest TikTok trend, the “put an ice cube on your cat” challenge, is getting attention online, but not entirely for the right reasons. What started as a simple social media moment now has some experts concerned. As reported by Newsweek, feline experts are concerned that the challenge is distressing for the cats involved “as it could appear harmless but may agitate cats and cause them anxiety.”

“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,” JoAnna Puzzo, U.K. animal shelter Battersea Dog and Cat’s Home’s feline welfare manager, told Newsweek on Sunday.

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The TikTok trend challenges viewers to place an ice cube on their cat and record their pet’s reaction. According to BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Veterinarian Dr. Alana Canupp, it’s a challenge that pet owners should steer clear from.

“This reminds me of years ago when owners scared their cats with cucumbers, which may have seemed funny, but I saw cats who were terrified,” Dr. Canupp told Newsweek. “Anything done to risk scaring your pet is not good for the human-animal bond.”

“People and pets need each other more than ever. Doing anything to your pet, which may seem harmless, could have unexpected negative consequences. All pets are different,” she said. “People should be advised though that their own pet may not react the same way.”