can cats eat beef sticks

Beef jerky contains several ingredients that are unsafe for cats to consume. While cats are carnivores and do love meat, beef jerky for human consumption should not be given to your feline friends. If your cat consumes a small amount of beef jerky, they should be perfectly fine.

Cats are carnivores, and in the wild, they depend on their natural instincts to survive. So naturally, many people assume that beef jerky would be a perfectly fine snack and even good for cats.

To the surprise of many loving cat owners, beef jerky is not safe for cats. If your feline friend scratched their way into your bag of beef jerky and had a little nibble, they should be fine. But when in doubt, it’s always best to speak to your veterinarian.

Why Shouldn’t Your Cat Eat Beef Jerky?

Following are just a few reasons to reconsider feeding your cat beef jerky.

Sodium poisoning, also called hypernatremia, is an electrolyte imbalance in your cat’s blood. When your cat has too much salt, it will behave unusually, leading to brain and kidney damage and even death.

The signs of sodium poisoning in your cat are:

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive thirst
  • Seizures
  • Low appetite
  • Changes in behavior
  • Weakness
  • Internal bleeding

Your initial sign may be that your cat is dehydrated and maybe, unstable on its feet.

Preservatives and Other Ingredients

In addition to the salt, other ingredients may be included in your beef jerky that can also be harmful to your cat. Most jerky contains hot peppers and garlic, and neither of them is good for your cat. Garlic is dangerous and possibly toxic to cats.

Other than salt, sodium nitrite is often used as a preservative in beef jerky. It kills bacteria on meat and protects consumers against bacterial attacks. Unfortunately, sodium nitrate is also carcinogenic and will compromise the health of your cat.

Sharing your treat with your cat may not be in their best interest.

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The tough, rubbery texture of beef jerky is not at all like most cat foods. Jerky may present a challenge for your cat to chew adequately and then to swallow. Your cat may get too large a piece, or it may mistakenly think that they have thoroughly chewed it, only to find it stuck in their throat. This could be fatal to your cat.

Just like us, your cat can have allergies. Believe it or not, beef is a common allergen among cats. You might not realize that your cat is allergic to the proteins in beef until after they consume enough of it to see the symptoms, ranging from mild to critical.

Here are the symptoms your cat has been exposed to an allergen:

  • Itching. Primarily, the itching is around the head and neck but may also be anywhere else on the body
  • Alopecia. Baldness and patches of skin can be the result of the excessive itching.
  • Crusty little bumps on their skin all over the body, filled with fluid
  • Vomiting
  • Dull Coat
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infection
  • Inflammation

In addition to beef jerky, jerky packages also contain silica gel packets. They’re there as a desiccant – a means of moisture absorption. They keep your jerky dry and fresh. Unfortunately, they consist of tiny beads that your cat may find an attractive toy. It could be a problem if they accidentally ingest them. So beware of this danger if you eat your jerky near your cat.

Added Sugar Can Lead to an Obese and Unhealthy Cat

As much fun as fat cats are to look at, it’s really an unfortunate health problem that many cat owners deal with.

Especially for the fun new flavors of beef jerky popping up, it’s important to realize the amount of sugar they contain. If your cat gains too much weight, it may need to be put on a specialty diet — which will complicate your life as much as theirs.

Beef jerky contains several ingredients that are unsafe for cats to consume. While cats are carnivores and do love meat, beef jerky for human consumption should not be given to your feline friends. If your cat consumes a small amount of beef jerky, they should be perfectly fine.

FAQ

Can cats have meat sticks?

To the surprise of many loving cat owners, beef jerky is not safe for cats. If your feline friend scratched their way into your bag of beef jerky and had a little nibble, they should be fine. But when in doubt, it’s always best to speak to your veterinarian.

Can cats eat slim jims?

Because your cat is a carnivore, you might be wondering if your furry friend can eat Slim Jims. Although Slim Jims are not toxic to cats, they aren’t a good treat because they are filled with preservatives and ingredients that your cat should not eat in mass quantities.

Why can’t cats eat beef?

Our cats’ ancestors have grown in the wild, and meat from prey has always been their primary diet. But our domesticated felines have come a long way, so raw beef may be too much for their sensitive stomachs to handle. If you want to try feeding raw beef to your cat, reach out to an animal nutritionist.

Can cats eat beef jerky for dogs?

While your cat might enjoy a nibble or two of beef jerky, it’s not in their best interest. As shown above, jerky contains ingredients that can have mild to deadly effects on your cat. What seems like a loving act of sharing your treat with them can cause your cat a great deal of discomfort or pain.

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