Can Cats Eat Deli Meat

Meat is one of the most loved dishes today, as we can cook in various forms. The sheer variety of meat available, and the different types it can be cooked never ceases to amaze us. Even if we eat meat daily for the rest of our lives, we can still cook it differently every day, which is the beauty of this dish. So, when we have such a versatile dish on our hands, we would be compelled to feed it to our feline friends as well.

Can we give deli meat to cats?

Can deli meat kill cats? What are the health risks, if any, associated with feeding deli meat to cats? Your mind may be exploding with these questions. Don’t worry, though! You have to come to the right place. Please keep reading the below sections to know the answers.

Being obligate carnivores, cats love meat. When you have your bite of sandwich, you would mostly find your cat giving you puppy eyes because they are also interested in a bite. However, before sharing anything with them, you must know if it is safe for them. You should always feed cats foods that are rich in protein. This way, the foods can fulfill the daily nutritional requirements of cats.

The answer to the main question, “can cats eat deli meat” is yes, but in the right portion size. Let’s learn more about this in the trailing paragraphs.

Is Deli Meat suitable for cats?

Deli meat or cold cut pieces of meat have a huge amount of sodium nitrate levels. The bacterium gives the meat its pink color, while the nitrates in the meat work differently for cats and humans. Especially cats are very picky, yet persistent when it comes to snacks. So you shouldn’t feed them whatever they are interested in. Just because they can eat deli meat, they shouldn’t eat this in large quantities.

Cats have very sensitive stomachs. Their digestive system is very different when compared to the human digestive system. Therefore, they are allergic and sensitive to many foods. Deli meats or cold cuts contain a very high level of sodium nitrate, which can be toxic to cats. If cats accidentally eat one or two pieces of deli meat occasionally, it shouldn’t be a problem for you. However, when they eat too much deli meat, they may start exhibiting allergic or toxic reactions. The sensitive digestive system of cats is not equipped to handle high levels of toxic sodium nitrate. Therefore, cats can show symptoms like gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, and diarrhea, if they consume more than the recommended levels of deli meat.

Portion control is the key when it comes to feeding deli meat to cats. You can feed them finger-sized strips in a very little quantity as treats, or as special rewards, on special occasions. If you feed a very large amount of deli meat to cats, it can cause serious health hazards, such as high fever or loss of appetite.

What meat should not be fed to cats?

Any meal that is rich in sodium, or full of preservatives, can cause a toxic reaction in cats. So, they should be avoided. In addition to this, any meat coming from pigs, ham, bologna, salami, and bacon should be kept out of reach of your cats. These meats are very tough on the cats’ digestive system and can cause severe health issues.

Sodium-rich meats, especially cause a condition known as sodium poisoning in cats. When we eat salty foods, we feel the urge to drink water. Similarly, when cats eat sodium-rich foods, they feel excessive thirst. However, making them drink the required amount of water can be a huge challenge. So, they get dehydrated, weak, and lethargic. Excessive sodium poisoning can also lead to fluid build-up in the cats’ legs and damage their kidneys and liver.

Cats really love fish, but prepackaged tuna or other fish should not be fed to cats if you want them to stay healthy throughout their lifetime. These prepackaged foods contain a ton of preservatives, which can adversely impact the digestive system of cats. Small quantities of packaged food, when consumed very rarely, may not cause any problems to cats. However, overconsumption of these can lead to mercury poisoning. Raw fishes and meat should never be given to cats because they contain thiamine – an enzyme that destroys your cat’s natural Vitamin B.

What human foods can you feed cats?

There are many human foods that cats can consume. Cats, staying true to their nature, will be drawn to human food at some point in their life. However, as we keep on insisting, “moderation” is the key term you should remember when feeding human foods to cats. If you exercise portion control, you can ensure that your cats won’t suffer from allergic or toxic reactions.

Human foods that are safe for cats are:

  • Most veggies, especially the ones with a lot of water content, like cucumber
  • Cooked turkey, chicken, or beef in the meat
  • Whole grains like rice and wheat
  • Eggs

Since the digestive system of cats and humans are different, you should first speak to your veterinarian to chalk out a proper dietary plan for your feline friend. The foods that are absolutely safe for humans, may cause some allergic reaction in cats, even when consumed in very small quantities. For example, deli meat or cold cuts is perfectly safe for humans. However, cats can eat only a small amount of it because of its high sodium nitrate and salt content.

Final Word

Yes, you can feed deli meat to your cats, provided you exercise portion control every time. You must feed them very small pieces, occasionally. Always practice moderation while feeding deli meats to cats, because these should be considered as treats only. Deli meat can never become the main diet of cats, even though they are carnivorous animals. The ingredients in deli meat can impact the digestive system of cats when eaten in large quantities. So always remember to feed only very small pieces of deli meat to your feline friends, to keep them safe forever.

Leave a Comment