Can cats eat meat? The biggest reason people have this question in mind is that nowadays you will see that the domestic are more into packed cat foods.
It is really important to clarify the question, that’s the reason why you are reading an excellent blog on this topic.
Many cat owners have one more question what type of meat you should feed your cat and how much.
No worries, here I have provided the complete information on how you can include the meat in your cat’s diet, what type of meat is best for your felines’ diet, how much you should feed, and in which form.
Allow me to explain to you everything in more detail about which is the best meat for your cat.
Cats Are Meat Eaters
You may know that cats belong to the obligate carnivores family, which means cats are meat-eaters. If you have a look at the cat’s ancestors you won’t find any of the fruits, vegetables, or grains in their diet.
Meat covers a major part of a cat’s nutritional cycle, however, they cannot digest plant matter, instead, they get 70% to 80% of dietary fibers from meat.
There are many types of meat that cats can eat such as Beef, chicken, turkey, chevon, deli meat, lamb, duck, etc are safe for cats. These meats are meant to be a major part of the cat’s diet.
You may have seen that most commercial cat food manufacturers include beef and other meat as their first ingredient.
If you are not providing meat to your cat, then too, your cats have been eating real beef. So instead, you can add the cooked beef to your cat’s diet.
Is Eating Raw Meat Healthy for Cats?
The short answer is no, beef and other meats are safe for cats to consume. However, there might be some health complications in cats.
There are few studies that prove, that feeding raw meat to your cat can cause infection with food-borne illnesses. That has been said, raw meat may contain bacteria like Salmonella.
The affected animals may seem like they are more tired than usual. They may also suffer from fever and vomit.
Every single cat is different from each other, some may not suffer from diarrhea, but will experience appetite, fever, and excess salivation.
The most common saying is when it comes to meat, if you wouldn’t eat it, then you should not feed it to your cat. Whenever you are feeding meat then you should make sure that it is properly cooked.
How Much Meat Is Enough for My Cat?
Whenever you are feeding meat to your furball, then it should in a moderate amount. You also know that too much of anything is detrimental to your feline’s well-being.
Your feline’s diet should contain a variety of protein sources. Such as you can try different meats every week.
If you are providing too much beef or too much pork, then it may lead your cat to indigestion, diarrhea, and an upset stomach. If you are feeding the same food then your feline’s body will hit a plateau.
Ways to Feed Meat to My Cat!
The best way to feed meat to your cat adding a small portion of meat with commercial cat food.
If your cat loves to have beef-flavored cat food, then you can find a cat food manufacturer that already offers the same.
If not then you can simply add the cooked beef with the traditional cat food which is also the best option. Make sure the meat is cooked properly, just as you are making it for yourself, but without adding any of the ingredients to it.
You also know that every meat has its temperature and cooking timing, make sure to accomplish it.
Now you can place the meat in the bowl at the bottom and then you can add some of the cat food to it. Then you can add more meat at the top, making it a meat and cat food sandwich.
If you are planning to provide a slice of meat to your cat, then make sure that the center of the meat is cooked properly.
Can Kittens Have Meat?
Yes, kittens can have meat, but the kitten must have started eating the solid food. You might know that kittens still have a sensitive stomach, and they might face difficulties digesting the meat.
Whenever you are providing meat to a kitten then you can cut the meat into small pieces, so that it will be easier for kittens to swallow or chew.
If you are feeding it the first time then make sure you give in a very little amount, if it is suitable for your kitten then you can slowly increase the quantity.
You should monitor after feeding if you see any symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting. Then you can take your feline to the veterinarian.
It would be best if you are consulting a veterinarian and taking advice about feeding meat to your kitten. They can suggest to you an exact amount, of calories that your feline will need from meat, depending on your cat’s current health conditions.
Different Meats That Cats Can Eat
If you look around then you will find there are different types of meat available on the market. You will find that some of the meat is made by mixing the same amount of 2 or 3 meats.
The most common meat is chicken it is one of the most consumed meats in the world. You might know that cats hunt chicken for eating, As it is non-toxic, but there are a few conditions that you need to check before you feed chicken to your cat.
Cats & Raw Meat
The cats are obligate carnivores, which means in the wild they hunt for a living. They are perfectly fine with raw meat. However, if you plan to feed your cat raw meat, you should know that raw meat may contain bacteria like salmonella and Ecoli.
One more safe option is using frozen meat, as it usually eliminates the parasites. You can also try to buy it from a reputable source, which might be good for cats.
Cats & Chicken
“Be it be dog or cat or any other pet, they never say no to chicken, they enjoy every bit of it!“
You will see that chicken is one of the most used meats by the manufacturers in their cat food.
Yes, you can feed chicken in your cat’s diet, it might be beneficial for your cat’s health. If you see there is much protein in the breasts & leg pieces, try to feed the best protein-rich part of the chicken to your cat.
You should avoid giving the cartilage and skin part as it does not provide much protein. Moreover, feeding the cartilage & skin to your cat can lead to weight gain.
You should make sure the chicken is not cooked with garlic, onion, or spices, as these ingredients are not good for your cat.
Forms of chicken that cats can eat: Chicken broth, Cooked Chicken, and Steamed Chicken.
Forms of Chicken that cats cannot eat: Raw Chicken, Fried Chicken, Chicken nuggets.
Cats & Pork
If you are including pork in a cat’s diet then it might not cause issues, if your cat is gonna try pork for the first time then you can start with a small amount. Monitor how your cat reacts to pork.
The thing that is not good about giving pork to your cat is it is high in fat. If your cat is overconsumed then it may lead to weight gain.
If you are willing to feed pork to your cat then the best recommendation would be, to feed them as an occasional treat and it is from the leanest cuts.
In fact, pork is considered as high in sodium which is bad for your cat. If you do not monitor the sodium in your cat’s diet then it may cause hypernatremia.
Moreover, pork is famous for carrying harmful parasites. So if you are feeding then make sure it is cooked properly. Make sure that you never feed raw pork to your furball.
Cats & Bacon
Bacon is considered as bad for cats. As it is extremely high in sodium, which is not good in the long term for your cat’s health.
In fact, the bacon is high in fat, which may cause excessive weight gain if you feed your cat regularly. If you are feeding bacon occasionally then it absolutely fine, however, you will have to make sure it doesn’t become a habit.
Cats & Ham
Ham is also considered bad for cats, similar to bacon, it is extremely high in salt. Also, the ham is high in fat, so it might lead your cat to gain excessive weight.
You will have to monitor your cat’s weight if your cat is overweight. Feeding ham can attract too many health problems, related to kidneys, heart, livers, lungs, etc.
Generally, veterinarians advise you to feed ham to your cat, but only in a moderate amount. You will have to make sure that feeding ham does not replace the cat’s meal.
As Ham is high in fat & sodium, you should monitor it after feeding it to your cat. It might lead your cat to gain weight and other health problems.
Also Read: Are Oatmeals Safe for Cats?
Cats & Salami
Yes, you can feed salami to your cat. However, you have to keep in mind that salami contains many unwanted ingredients like salt, colorants, and flavor enhancers. Moreover, it contains seasonings like garlic or paprika which may be toxic for your feline.
You might know that salami is prepared by fermenting and air-drying the pork, It leaves a small chance of salmonella and trichinella viruses & bacteria.
Cats & Pepperoni
Yes, you can feed pepperoni to your furball, before you feed check that it is properly cooked. Being said that, keep in mind you should not include any ingredients or seasonings.
You should not feed pepperoni to kittens, because a normal kitten needs 21mg of sodium daily, whereas, a slice of pepperoni has 35 mg of sodium. So it might be toxic for your kitten, if you feed them regularly, you can feed it once in two weeks or occasionally.
Cats & Beef
People ask me can cats have beef? Beef is good if you feed it to your cat, it contains lots of essential amino acids that your cat might need. Moreover, beef has a lot of nutrients that will keep your cat healthy.
Whenever you feed beef make sure that you provide the leaner cut of beef. You should avoid the meat that is not fresh, as you know cats have an excellent smelling sense. If the meat is noxious then your cat might not eat it.
Forms of Beef that cats can eat: Ground Beef
Forms of Beef that cats cannot eat: Raw Beef, Roasted Beef, Beef Jerky
Cat & Steak
Yes, you can feed steak to your furball, but you must make sure that it is properly cooked. Also, do not feed the bones and extra fat, it is bad for the cats.
You should feed steak on a regular basis, it will lead your feline to excessive weight gain and various health problems.
That being said, make sure you provide the plain steak to your cat, without any seasonings & ingredients like garlic & onions.
Cats & Lamb
Lamb is considered perfectly fine for cats, if you are feeding it in small pieces. The lamb meat tends to be fatty, so if you are offering make sure it is in a moderate amount.
Also make sure it is properly cooked, try to trim out the fat from the sides before you cook.
If your cat is already overweight, then you should avoid feeding lamb to your furball, as it might cause health problems to your cat.
Cats & Duck
A slice of duck meat is a good addition to your cat’s diet, it is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
You have to make sure that duck meat is cooked without garlic and onions. Moreover, it should not contain any seasonings as it is toxic for your cats. Additionally, you have to make sure the skin is removed properly as it might upset the cat’s stomach.
If you are feeding it for the first time then you should provide the meat in small amounts. Once you feed then you will have to monitor your feline, if you see any symptoms like vomiting, and diarrhea, then you should visit the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Cats & Hot Dogs
No, you should not feed hot dogs to your felines, as it is made from low-quality meat cuts, that are very high in fat.
In fact, it is not a good source of protein and contains too many salts or other additives, which are not beneficial for cats. If you are willing to feed high-quality meat to your cats then you should exclude hot dogs from your list.
Cat & Sausage
Sausage is not considered safe for cats, as it contains an excessive amount of sodium, fat, and nitrite contents. This meat often contains garlic, onions, and other spices, that are harmful to your furball.
You should avoid including sausage in your feline’s diet plan. Instead, you can try out other protein-rich alternatives.
Cats & Turkey
Turkey is one human food that is one of the safest to share with your cat, but there are some critical considerations.
Dark meat and turkey skin should be avoided as they are very fatty and cause stomach upset and weight gain. A fresh, skinless turkey that’s been appropriately cooked without seasoning is an excellent addition to your cat’s diet as a treat.
As always, pre-cooked or processed turkey should be avoided. For example, processed turkey lunchmeat is a hard no for cats since it usually contains preservatives, salt, and saturated fat that are no good.
Cats & Hamburger
Yes, you can feed hamburgers, but, it should be homemade. Also, salt should not be added & you have to remove the excess oil. Your felines should not eat garlic and onions, if the hamburger recipe contains them, then you should avoid feeding your feline.
Never feed the ready-made hamburgers, they have lots of oil & are high in salt and fat. Moreover, they use the other preservatives, and sauces like mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard which are bad for your feline’s digestion system.
At what age can cats eat meat?
You can start feeding meat when your kitten starts eating solid foods. Usually, kittens start eating solid foods when it is 4 weeks old. However, you should feed them meat at the age of 8 to 10 weeks. As their immune system and digestive system are still developing.
Can cats eat all meats?
Mostly everyone knows cats are obligate carnivores, they need meat to survive, but there are a few conditions for domestic cats as we have explained thoroughly in the article. You should have a look to understand more.
Can cats eat raw steak?
Cats can eat steaks, however, it is not the best choice to provide the raw steak to your feline. The raw steak is really hard to digest for domestic cats. However, it may contain harmful bacteria which will be bad for your furball in the future. So try to provide the cooked meat to your feline (Queen).
If you have felines, then you know they are a very important part of our families. We, humans, have a tendency to share foods with all pets, but without proper knowledge sharing human foods is not advisable.
People should realize that cats belong to the obligate carnivore families, eating meat is in their blood. Their ancestors are doing the same for several years, they have this in their blood.
I hope now you have a clear idea what are the best meat forms that you can provide to your felines. Here I have tried to cover all the forms of meat that cats can and cannot eat.
I hope this blog was helpful to you and you got the answers that you were searching for. If still, you have any questions related to cats eating meat. You can feel free to ask me in the comment section below, I will more happy to answer your questions related to cats having meat.
Also Read: Do Cats Eat Fish?
- Cats are carnivores, so they should eat like one — VetMed
- Raw meat diet of cats — Tufts
- Same food safety rules apply to pets as humans — K-State Olathe