Hot dogs are a popular and simple meal that many people enjoy making. It’s common to add ketchup and mustard on top. Just like with any other meal you make, your cat might be interested in it, but you’re unsure if cats can eat hot dogs.
Cats should not consume hot dogs. Hot dogs have ingredients that are not suitable for cats and can cause digestion problems. The high levels of salt, spices, starch, sugar, and corn syrup in hot dogs can be dangerous for cats.
Hot dogs are not a good option as a snack for your cat. Although they may appear harmless, that is not always the situation for cats. To find out more about hot dogs and cats, continue reading this article!
What Are Hot Dogs Made Of
Hot dogs are a favorite choice among many Americans, and it’s important to understand what ingredients they contain.
Hot dogs are typically composed of a primary protein source, such as beef or pork. Although there are variations made from turkey or poultry, we won’t focus on those types of hot dogs at the moment.
These are some extra ingredients that will be mixed together with the protein:
- The composition of spice blends can vary depending on the specific brand and type of hot dog.
- The type of hot dog will determine whether it is made with beef or chicken stock.
- Salt (and lots of it)
- Corn syrup
Just by looking at those ingredients, it’s pretty obvious that they’re not meant for cats to eat. The spices, salt, corn syrup, and starch are especially worrying. These are not commonly found in cat food. Hot dogs have a lot of these ingredients (I’ll explain more in the next section), and they can actually poison your cat to some extent.
For many people, hot dogs are simply seen as a tasty meat treat. However, they are actually a combination of various meats, spices, and other ingredients that are rolled together.
After all the ingredients are combined, the mixture is put into casings, which may or may not have to be taken off before eating.
Hot dogs are typically smoked and cooked before they are packaged, so when you buy them from the store and heat them up at home, they are usually ready to be eaten.
Is It OK To Give Cats Hot Dogs
Cats should not be given hot dogs.
Hot dogs are not good for people, and they definitely aren’t appropriate for cats either.
There are many ingredients in hot dogs that your cat should stay away from, including:
- Extra ingredients for taste, such as garlic or cheese
- The skin of the casing
- Additional toppings that you can include are ketchup, mustard, onions, or chili
Hot dogs wouldn’t be harmful to your cat if they were just made of meat, but that’s not the case anymore.
Hot dogs also have numerous preservatives that help them stay fresh for a longer time, and this is also a harmful addition to your cat’s diet.
The amount of salt in hot dogs is particularly worrying. A regular hot dog has around 567mg of salt! This is a huge increase compared to the recommended daily salt intake for cats, which is 21 – 43mg per serving.
The amount of fat in hot dogs is quite high. Each hot dog typically contains about 13g of total fat, but this can go up to 19g depending on the brand.
Excessive additives can be a concern as well. Cats can get upset stomachs from too many different flavors mixed together. Also, certain additives like garlic are toxic to cats and they should never eat them.
Hot dogs can be preserved with chemicals to extend their shelf life. Regrettably, these substances can be extremely dangerous for cats, particularly the sodium nitrate present in them.
Remember, some hot dogs have casings that must be removed. You definitely don’t want a cat to eat that because it’s not safe, and the plastic can cause serious harm to them.
Usually, when you munch on a hot dog, you enjoy adding various toppings. Stuff like ketchup, mustard, and even onions are not good for cats to eat. Moreover, the bread contains lots of sugar and carbs, so letting your cat have a taste of it is just inviting problems.
What Happens If Cats Eat Hot Dogs
Feeding your cat a single bite of a hot dog is not harmful, but if they eat it regularly, it can cause various problems for them.
It’s important to be aware of the salt content in hot dogs, as even low sodium ones contain more salt than cats should consume.
If your cat eats too many hot dogs and consumes too much salt, it can become dehydrated. Cats may not realize that they are dehydrated, which can make them feel tired and dizzy. If your cat is dehydrated, you may notice a change in their behavior.
If your cat eats hot dogs frequently, you should be concerned about sodium poisoning, which is even worse than dehydration.
Hot dogs contain a high amount of salt, which is not suitable for cats to consume. Therefore, it is not surprising that it can have negative consequences on your cat’s health.
Consuming too much sodium can cause a variety of problems such as:
- High blood pressure
- Prolonged dehydration
Once again, these are worries that come up when your cat is constantly munching on hot dogs, so make sure you pay attention to what your cat is consuming!
Can Cats Eat Turkey Hot Dogs
If you have to choose between regular hot dogs and turkey hot dogs, go for the turkey ones as they are a better choice. However, it’s important to note that even turkey hot dogs are not good for your cat’s health.
When it comes to the human diet, turkey hot dogs are considered healthier for the heart compared to regular hot dogs due to their lower salt content.
Even if you only have a third of the salt found in beef hot dogs, turkey hot dogs still contain more salt than what a typical cat should consume in their diet.
If you want to give your cat a treat, a turkey hot dog is okay once in a while, but it doesn’t have enough health benefits to be a regular part of their diet.
Can Stray Cats Eat Hot Dogs
Many people believe that outdoor cats can consume lower-quality meals compared to indoor cats. Although this may be accurate, outdoor cats should also avoid consuming hot dogs.
Outdoor cats that eat a variety of foods, including hot dogs, may have more resilient stomachs compared to indoor cats that only consume specialized wet and dry cat food.
Ultimately, cats without homes have to consume whatever they can in order to stay alive, which may include live creatures, trash, and leftover cat food that you may have left outdoors.
Stray cats face the same issues with hot dogs as indoor cats that you have as pets.
If a hungry cat comes across a hot dog in the garbage, it might decide to eat it instead of starving.
If you’re looking after stray cats, it’s not a good idea to feed them hot dogs.