Can cats eat beef jerky? Is giving a cat beef jerky safe? Is it healthy cat food? What if a cat consumes too much beef jerky? What are the healthy alternatives to beef jerky?
These and several other questions hit hard on the cat owners’ minds when they sit in front of the television with a bowl of beef jerky, and suddenly their furry friends enter the TV lounge and start begging for the meat. This is when they are most confused because it is a matter of their companions’ lives.
Here is a blog to bring you out all the worries and confusion. So what are you waiting for? Just start reading and get all the answers.
Can cats eat beef jerky?
Beef jerky is thin strips of beef marinated with salt, sauces, and spices like chili peppers, cayenne pepper, etc., and then dried. It is one of the traditional human foods. But the real question is, can cats eat beef jerky?
The answer is yes. Some cats do eat beef jerky. It should be fed only in small amounts because, in this way, it is not harmful to cats. But the better idea is to provide some other healthy human food to felines or seek veterinary advice.
Is beef jerky good for cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores. It means their diet is wholly meat-based. Jerky is also meat, so in this sense, it is not a bad treat.
The problem with beef jerky is that it is dried meat. All cats cannot eat it. Moreover, it is marinated with salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. Due to these reasons, beef jerky is not an ideal meal for cats, but if consumed in small quantities, it is completely fine.
What are the risks of feeding your cat beef jerky?
Although beef jerky is suitable for human consumption regarding felines, some risks are associated with it. Let’s uncover them.
- Sodium poisoning
Beef jerky contains a lot of salt. As we know, salt contains sodium, and too much salt causes sodium poisoning in felines. Its symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, lethargy, excessive urination, and loss of appetite.
- Choking hazard
Beef jerky has a tough and rubbery texture. It is difficult for cats to chew it. Hence, it can pose a choking hazard to cats.
- Chemical preservatives
Processed beef jerky contains preservatives like sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. These are potential carcinogens. Therefore, avoid feeding processed jerky to felines.
Many cat owners complain about allergic reactions when they feed beef jerky to their cats. The symptoms of jerky allergy include excessive itching, hair loss, and redness. Do not include this human food in such a cat’s diet if it is allergic to it.
- Members of the allium family
Garlic and onion are members of the allium family. If cats consume them in any form, it leads to the destruction of red blood cells, which ultimately causes anemia. In various beef jerky seasonings, onion powder or garlic powder, or both at a time are added. It makes the cured meat terrible for cats.
Now that you know all the possible risks of feeding your cat beef jerky, it is better to look for another healthy snack for your cat, like dried fish.
Still, if your kitty wants to nibble on the jerky, try to find a cat-friendly plain beef jerky for your furry friend. It is made specifically for your cat and is suitable for the cat’s teeth, stomach, and overall health. Including it in the cat’s diet occasionally would be the best treat.
How much beef jerky can a cat eat?
It is suitable for a cat’s health to eat beef jerky occasionally. Too much of it can upset the kitty’s stomach. Moreover, if given frequently consumed by cats, processed jerky can cause horrible side effects.
Therefore, prepare the beef jerky ideal for cats at home or buy cat-specific beef jerky from a pet store. From wherever you get the jerky, feed cats with it in small amounts only twice or thrice a week. Not more than that. You can also take veterinary advice in this regard.
Health benefits of beef jerky to cats
Cat-specific jerky is a good source of protein for cats. Apart from it, it is made in a way that is suited to the cat’s stomach. It also contains complex B vitamins, folate, zinc, phosphorus, and iron. All of these are good for a cat’s health.
Can cats eat teriyaki beef jerky?
During marination, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic are added to teriyaki beef jerky. Beef jerky is already salty; the soy sauce adds more salt. Moreover, the sugar adds extra calories to the meat. It also increases the sugar levels in diabetic cats. The garlic is bad for cats’ blood cells. So, considering all these ingredients and their side effects, we say a big NO to teriyaki beef jerky. Avoid catering it to your cats.
Can beef jerky kill cats?
Eating beef jerky in moderation is not life-threatening to cats. The ingredients of most beef jerky prepared for humans are not suitable for cats. If cats eat such processed beef jerky in excess, the preservatives it contains will damage felines’ organs and suffer from several other health issues. The combined effect of all these health problems will be death.
That is why be vigilant about the type of beef jerky and the amounts you feed to your cats. Don’t panic after reading this. You need to show a little care.
Can cats eat chicken jerky?
If it is the one that is for humans, then NO. It contains a lot of sodium and other ingredients that can spoil your cat’s health. If it is homemade or cat-specific commercial chicken jerky, feed them moderately. In moderation, cat-specific chicken jerky is an occasional good snack.
Can cats eat pork jerky?
Just like beef jerky, pork jerky also contains additional spices and seasonings that are toxic to cats. If it is made at home, keeping in view the cat’s natural diet, then pork jerky is okay in moderation. The commercially available cat-friendly pork jerky is also good if given twice or thrice weekly. Avoid the one for humans because it is not fit for felines.
Alternative Healthy snacks to beef jerky for cats
There are several snacks that cats can consume, dried fish being one of the best meat products. It does not have spices and seasonings like beef jerky. Moreover, it contains fish oils like Omega 6 and omega 3 that are good for cats. They are suitable for cats’ skin and hair. Even the texture of dried fish scrapes the cat’s teeth and maintains their health.
Some other foods good for cats to eat are
Give your cat treats like these. They are not only healthy but also help them in learning good manners as well.
The bottom line
Can cats eat beef jerky? When buying beef jerky from a grocery store, this question comes to cat owners’ minds. Well! Cats can eat beef jerky but in small amounts. Too much beef jerky is the reason for many health issues that, in severe cases, can even be life-threatening. Therefore, buying cat-specific beef jerky containing minimal salt and seasonings is better.
FAQ about cat eats jerky
Can cats eat flavored jerky?
Flavored beef jerky contains the same ingredients as a normally processed beef jerky-like too much sodium, garlic powder, etc. It has some additional flavors due to extra spices that are not suitable for cats. So the answer to this question is NO. Cats cannot eat flavored jerky treats.
What to do if cats accidentally ingest silica gel packets from jerky packages?
Silica gel packets are used as desiccants in beef jerky packages. Cats love to play with them. The packets are small, and cats can accidentally ingest the silica beads while playing. They cause diarrhea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal upset. So if you notice such symptoms in felines, rush immediately toward a vet.
Which is a better option to feed cats: raw meat, cooked meat, or dried meat?
Cooked meat be it cooked chicken, cooked fish, or any other meat, is always the best option for cats. It should be plain and unseasoned. Raw meat is unsuitable because it may contain harmful bacteria that can cause cat food poisoning, and dried one can be a choking hazard. So, the best option is cooked meat.
Can cats have soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce with fresh meat?
No, cats cannot have soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Both these sauces are salty and are the reason for sodium poisoning in felines. Therefore, avoid feeding these to cats.
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