My most recent piece, “Can Cats Eat Honey?” may have caught your eye.
Many of the details it revealed about cat food were ones I had never considered. This week while eating breakfast, that realization steered me in a different direction. Eggs, you say? Where’s the bacon?! Is bacon safe to give to cats?! Surely those are safe for felines!
It made me wonder if cats could safely consume raw bacon. As carnivores, they enjoy eating raw meat. Then a cat can safely consume raw bacon, right? Let’s investigate this further.
Is Bacon Safe for Cats?
A little bit of good can be found in every slice of regular pork bacon thanks to the presence of complex B vitamins and nutrients like selenium and zinc. Cats can eat cooked bacon in moderation, according to Renee Rucinsky, DVM, DABVP(F), owner of Mid Atlantic Cat Hospital and Feline Thyroid Center in Queenstown, Maryland; however, this only applies to bacon without additional seasonings or nitrates.
None of that black pepper or honey barbecue sauce. Also, avoid giving your cat any dish that contains onions or garlic. Don’t give your cat cooked bacon, raw bacon, candied bacon, or bacon bits.
A well-formulated commercial diet will provide all the minerals your cat needs, including chloride, salt, and potassium. Adult cats require about 740 milligrams of sodium per day to remain healthy. While a small amount of bacon as a special treat is fine, the average strip contains about 147 milligrams of salt, which is too much for kitty on a regular basis.
The fat content is something else to keep an eye on. An adult cat who isn’t nursing needs about 5 grams of fat per day. A single bacon slice, however, could contain as much as 4 grams of fat. Is that correct? What makes it so appealing, however, is still too much for poor Kitty.
Another disclaimer applies to the occasional provision of bacon bits. Rucinsky says, “For cats with sensitive stomachs, bacon might be a little too much.”
Stick to the cat food and treats recommended by your veterinarian if your cat is already dealing with certain gastrointestinal issues, like pancreatitis, and don’t let your determined tabby steal any bacon from your plate.
Can Cats Eat Turkey Bacon?
Turkey bacon isn’t any healthier for cats to eat than regular bacon. Because of the high sodium and preservative content, only tiny amounts of turkey bacon should be fed to cats.
Can Cats Eat Bacon Bits?
Perhaps you’re also curious as to whether or not bacon bits are safe for cats to eat. For the same reasons that overly processed, sodium-rich products are not great for your cat’s health, you should also avoid the artificial bacon bits that you may sprinkle on salads.
Can Cats Eat Bacon Raw?
Even though it’s best to cook pork thoroughly to kill any parasites it might contain, you can occasionally feed your cat a piece of raw bacon. But there are no proven health benefits, so it’s best to check with your vet or a veterinary nutritionist before giving your cat raw meat.
Cats Can Eat Bacon as Treats?
When is the right time to give bacon to a cat? Short-term medication or a significant reward (such as after nail trimming or a trip to the vet) can be concealed in bacon or ham bits. Keep in mind that if it’s something your cat only gets occasionally, it will probably enjoy it all the more.
John P. Loftus, PhD, DVM, of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says, “We love our pets and want to give them treats, but we often don’t think about treats from a caloric standpoint.” It adds up after a while. It’s better to show our affection in other ways than through food.
What Kinds of Bacon Can Cats Eat?
You’ll have to put in a little more effort if you decide to fry or bake regular pork bacon for your cat.
To prevent your cat from getting sick, place her treat on a paper towel and wipe off any remaining grease. If your cat isn’t eating, you can try removing the fatty portion of the meat, dicing up the remaining meat, and offering it to her. Explore some alternative bacons with me.
Canadian bacon, also called “back bacon” in Canada, is unsmoked ham made from the pig’s loin. Ham is another unusual treat for cats; while it is not toxic, it is also not particularly nutritious.
It’s easy to forget that cats still prefer meat if you regularly snack on “facon” made from seitan, tempeh, or coconut. This is because, as Rucinsky notes, “these alternatives can also be really high in salt content,” just like more “regular” bacons. There is nothing inherently bad about them, but they should be made available in extremely limited quantities. ”
Treats of any kind are appreciated for efforts in team building and skill development. Rucinsky, on the other hand, suggests picking from among the many different shaped and flavored commercial treats and cat-friendly homemade goodies available.
What Happens If Your Cat Eats a Lot of Bacon?
Your cat may have an upset stomach and throw up if he eats some of the bacon you planned to serve at Sunday brunch, so be careful where you step. He’ll probably be fine, though; here’s hoping you fried up some extra bacon for your visitors.
What To Do If Your Cat Eats Too Much Bacon
If you find your cat eating a piece of bacon it found on the counter or in the trash, you should take it to the vet right away. Vital signs, including blood pressure, hydration levels, and symptoms of sodium ion poisoning, will need to be constantly monitored. Common signs of this illness are:
- Dehydration or excessive thirst
If you have pets and are worried that they may have eaten too much bacon, but you can’t get them to the vet right away, call the Pet Poison Hotline at (855) 764-7661.