Many people’s regular midday meals include delicious deli meat. Cats, as we all know, are carnivores. Perhaps you’ve considered feeding your cat some of the deli meat from your lunch sandwich.
Before trying to feed your cat deli meat, you should discuss the pros and cons of doing so.
Don’t give your cat any lunch meat (deli meat). What you should know about giving your cat deli meat.
Can Cats Eat Deli Meat?
There are a few reasons why deli meat is not a good option for cats. Most lean deli meats can be safely consumed by your cat in very small amounts; however, it is recommended that you do not feed your cat any deli meat.
For reasons of preservation, deli meat has a high sodium content. High sodium levels aren’t great for anyone, but cats especially.
Due to their smaller size, cats would be more negatively affected by the sodium in an entire piece of deli meat than humans would be.
Sodium nitrate, a preservative, is typically found in deli meat as well. Atherosclerosis is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, and some human studies have linked the consumption of sodium nitrate to this condition.
Although feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is extremely uncommon, this preservative may have the same effect on a cat’s heart.
Deli meat may be seasoned with onion or garlic, both of which are toxic to cats. Because some meats list their seasonings or flavors as “seasonings” or “flavors,” it can be difficult to know what you’re actually feeding your cat.
Deli Meat and Cats: The Pros and Cons
Protein is abundant in all types of meat, including deli meat. Cats are true carnivores, meaning their bodies are perfectly adapted to ingest and process nutrients found exclusively in meat.
Giving your cat treats like lunch meat is a good idea because it provides protein and other nutrients in addition to flavor.
However, the health benefits of unprocessed meats are shared by neither humans nor felines. Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are common in deli meats, and many of them are also high in salt and fat.
About half of all adult cats kept as pets are considered overweight, so many owners need to watch the amount of food their cats are given.
What About Listeria?
Pregnant women are cautioned against eating deli meat due to the risk of Listeria contamination, which you may be aware of if you or someone you know has ever been pregnant. Knowing this, you may wonder if cats are susceptible to the illness.
The bacteria Listeria (L. monocytogenes) is responsible for food poisoning. It’s a common source of contamination for deli meat and other foods.
Listeria poses the greatest threat to humans when they have weakened immune systems, such as young children, the elderly, and pregnant women. This bacteria can affect a wide variety of animals, but it rarely affects cats.
While Listeria can make your cat sick, the greater risk is that they will become infected without showing any symptoms and then spread it to the people in their lives.
Feeding Deli Meat To Your Cat
If you must feed your cat deli meat, opt for the leanest, least processed option available, preferably all-natural.
Your cat only needs about 10%-15% of its daily caloric intake to come from treats. Before feeding your cat any deli meat, make sure you verify the number of calories in a serving by checking the label.
Lunch meat that has expired or gone bad should never be fed to a cat. They are susceptible to the same diseases, such as Listeria, that humans are.
Ask your vet if deli meat is safe for your cat if it is overweight or has a chronic health condition.
Your veterinarian can also advise you on the appropriate daily calorie intake for your cat.
Add some lunch meat to your cat’s regular meals or give it as a snack. Be wary that your cat doesn’t develop an unhealthy obsession with deli meat and refuse to eat anything else. If your cat requires medication, you can use lunch meat as a pill concealer or a training reward.
The digestive systems of different cats have different quirks. While it’s true that deli meat poses no health risks, not all cats will agree.
If your cat exhibits digestive distress symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, you may want to switch to a different treat or eliminate them altogether.
Are There Better Alternatives to Give to My Cat?
If you’re looking for a treat for your cat, there are plenty of options that are safer and healthier than deli meat.
As obligate carnivores, cats thrive on a diet rich in meat. As a special treat, you can give your cat a small amount of lean meats.
The vast majority of households already have the ingredients necessary to prepare chicken, turkey, and fish. If you’re going to serve meat, make sure it’s prepared without any added fat, salt, or flavoring.
What are the Best Foods to Feed to My Cat?
Your cat will thrive on commercial pet food that conforms to AAFCO guidelines. Commercial treats are also a great choice because they are made specifically with cats’ dietary requirements in mind.
You can rest assured that your cat is getting the best possible nutrition from commercial cat food and treats.
If you want to feed your cat something other than commercially available food or treats, it’s best to consult with your vet first.
Your cat’s veterinarian is in the best position to advise you on how to ensure your cat enjoys optimal health because they are familiar with your cat’s individual needs and medical history.
Feeding your cat deli meat is not recommended. A nibble or two here and there probably won’t cause any problems, but there are better options than deli meat that you can give your cat.
Both the sodium and the sodium nitrate in deli meat can put a strain on your heart.
Onions and garlic are two examples of seasonings and flavorings that could be harmful to your cat. It’s best to keep your cat away from deli meat altogether because you never know when it might contain one of these seasonings.
If you want to give your cat meat, make sure it’s plain, fresh, and cooked without any oil or other seasonings.
Don’t feed your cat any kind of seasoned meat. Your feline companion will do best on a diet of lean meats like chicken and fish. If you’re unsure about giving something to your cat, it’s best to check with your vet first.
They’re great for finding out what kinds of foods will work best for your cat.