Can Cats Eat Deli Meat – A Surprising Discovery


If you’re having a turkey sandwich, it’s likely that your cat will be interested in having a taste. It’s understandable since deli meats like turkey and chicken trigger your cat’s craving for animal meat. They might sniff around your sandwich and attempt to take some for themselves! However, is it safe for cats to eat deli meat?

Cats can consume deli meat as long as they control the amount they eat. Cats require a lot of protein in their diets and get all the necessary nutrients from their cat food. Deli meats often have high levels of sodium-based preservatives that are harmful to cats. Safe deli meats for cats include turkey, chicken, and roast beef.

We are all aware that cats can be quite determined when it comes to obtaining the snacks they desire. Therefore, it is crucial to understand which human foods are safe for them to consume. This article will explore the deli meats that cats can indulge in, the ones they should avoid, other human foods that can benefit their diet, and ensuring that cats receive a well-rounded diet consisting of meat and other sources.

Can I Give My Cat Cold Cuts 

You can give your cat a small amount of cold cuts. But, keep in mind that the cold cuts and deli meats you buy from the store have high levels of sodium nitrite. This chemical is used to kill bacteria and give the meat its pink color. Nitrites have a complex effect on the human body, helping to eliminate harmful gut bacteria and possibly causing a condition where red blood cells carry oxygen.

Consuming large amounts of sodium nitrite is unhealthy for both humans and cats. A recent study on nitrites in pet food revealed that only a small percentage, around 1% or less, of a cat’s food should contain this chemical. Cats are highly sensitive to sodium in general, so it is crucial to monitor and control their sodium intake in their diet.

The important thing is to not go overboard, just like with treats for people and cats! It’s okay to give your cat a small amount of deli meat if they want it. You can break off a few pieces the size of your fingertip to give them as a special treat.

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Is It Okay To Feed Ham To Cats 

Deli meats like turkey, chicken, or roast beef are healthier options for cats compared to ham. Ham, including the one you get from the deli, has higher levels of preservatives, fat, and sodium compared to bird and cow meats. The reason why you don’t find cat foods with pork is because the fat content in pigs is too high for cats. While animal fats are important for a cat’s diet, the fat ratio in ham and other pork products is too high to properly complement the protein in their systems.

Besides the naturally high fat content in deli meat, it also has elevated levels of modified cornstarch. While your cat’s food may have some cornstarch, it is carefully regulated and balanced by the FDA. Deli meat also contains sodium phosphate to enhance moisture and acidity, which increases the sodium levels beyond what your cat can tolerate.

But that doesn’t mean your cat won’t be interested in ham. They find the smell of meat too tempting to resist. So it’s crucial to prevent your cat from getting near your ham sandwich, divert their attention with a treat, or simply avoid eating it in front of them.

What Meat Should Not Be Fed To Cats

Cats must avoid consuming meat that has a particularly high sodium content or is packed with preservatives. This encompasses ham, bologna, salami, bacon, or any product derived from a pig. The excessive levels of fat, sodium, and preservatives can cause significant harm to your cat’s digestive system.

Besides pork, it’s generally best to avoid pre-packaged tuna or other types of fish, although they can sometimes be a pleasant indulgence. While fish is commonly found in cat food, fish that is cooked or packaged for human consumption is different and can cause mercury poisoning if consumed excessively. Small amounts are acceptable but should be consumed infrequently. And remember, never share your sushi with your cat because raw fish may contain thiamine, an enzyme that can deplete your cat’s essential B vitamins.

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What Human Foods Are Safe For Cats 

Cats can actually eat a variety of human foods. It’s important to know which ones are safe for them, as cats often become curious about our food. As long as you’re careful and give them in moderation, there are many human foods that cats can enjoy, such as:

Most vegetables, especially cucumbers and veggies with lots of water, are the best for cats to eat.

● Cats can safely consume cooked chicken, beef, or turkey.

● Cats can eat whole grains such as brown rice or wheat

● Cheese

● Eggs

Keep in mind, cats are important to us, but their stomachs are not like ours and are only as big as a ping-pong ball! So they only need a small bite or two of these foods, even if they try to trick you into giving them more!

What Are Some Cat Food Alternatives

If you want to save money or make sure your cat gets all the right nutrients, you can make your own cat food at home. This way, you’ll know exactly what goes into your cat’s food and have control over their diet.

Balance IT’s amazing tool assists you in creating a recipe for natural food using ingredients that you may already have at home or can easily find at the grocery store. The components include meats, beans, grains, fruits, vegetables, and oils. The website also provides options for recipes to aid a sick cat and cooking demonstrations to simplify the process of making homemade food. 

Even though it may take longer, making your own cat food can be healthier in the long run, as long as you include enough protein. Before you start feeding your cat homemade food, be sure to talk to your vet about their specific health requirements.

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Can Cats Eat Raw Diets 

As stated in this article, cats have a natural need and desire for meat. Being obligate carnivores, they depend on animal flesh for their survival. For some people, it seems logical to feed cats a raw meat diet, similar to what they would consume in the wild, as it provides them with the highest quality protein sources.

There is still ongoing debate about this idea. Given the issues with sodium and additives in deli meat, a raw food diet appears to be a natural solution. Many holistic veterinarians suggest feeding cats a raw food diet supplemented with calcium for optimal nutrition. The main argument for this approach is to avoid starches commonly found in cat food. Cats that consume raw food require meat, organs, ground bone, and a small amount of vegetables, usually leafy greens, in each meal.

Some people argue that feeding cats raw food is risky because wild cats, who consume raw meat, have shorter lifespans. This is due to the potential presence of parasites in raw meat. Many reputable organizations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, strongly discourage the practice of feeding cats raw meat.

Deli And Cooked Meats Are Fine In Moderation

Although deli meat contains sodium nitrite, it is acceptable for your cat to consume a small amount occasionally. This also applies to the human foods mentioned in this article and those suggested by your veterinarian. Keep in mind that cats have small stomachs, so what may seem like a small portion to us is actually sufficient for them. However, be cautious as cats tend to have a bigger appetite than their stomachs can handle, and they may snatch your turkey sandwich if you’re not careful!

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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