In this post we are going to answer the question of “can cats eat ham”? The short answer is yes, cats can eat ham as it’s not toxic for them. It’s just the high salt levels found in ham are not healthy for your cat and not an essential part of a balanced diet. Cat’s are carnivores but they process human foods differently than what we do.
This means that these kind of foods can upset a cats fragile digestive system and cause some side effects if they consume too much of it. All of the facts and information will be covered in the rest of this post on can cats eat ham?
Does Ham Have Any Benefits For Cats?
There are a few benefits of giving ham as a treat on the odd occasion to your cat. If your cat is generally healthy, then the sodium levels found in processed ham won’t pose much of a threat. Some of the benefits include:
- Provides natural animal protein.
- A nice occasional treat.
- Great for training purposes and learning new tricks.
Can Cats Eat Raw Ham?
Feeding cats raw meat has become very popular amongst pet owners. The idea behind this is you are replicating the way your cat would eat out in the wild. This would then in turn make them happier and healthier. So can you feed your cat raw ham?
The main problem with cats eating raw ham is that they become susceptible to enteropathogens which could cause salmonellosis and clostridial diarrhea. Both the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association advise that giving your cat raw or uncooked meat is a bad idea.
Side Effects of Your Cat Eating Ham
The high salt content found in ham can be bad for your cats health. As with humans, sodium in itself is not harmful, but they should never have too much of it. Sodium is actually an important electrolyte which plays an important role not only in a cats fluid balance, but it also regulates several organ systems. A result of excess sodium includes:
- Excessive thirst
- Poor appetite
- Behavior changes
- Internal bleeding
Can Cats Eat Bacon?
If you cook bacon on a morning you will find that your cat follow you around looking for a nibble. Bacon not only smells good to your cat but also tastes very good. The problem lies in the fact that bacon contains high volumes of fat, grease, and salt. It is highly recommended that you do not give your cat any bacon at all.
Can Cats Eat Pork?
With bacon and ham both being pork, another popular question people will ask is can cats eat pork?. Feeding your cat raw pork can cause illness because of Salmonella and E. coli. It can also contain parasitic worms that lead to infectious diseases such as trichinosis.
Can Kittens Eat Ham
We have looked at the question of “can cats eat ham”? but can kittens eat ham? With the information provided so far, the answer to this one is pretty obvious, but let’s take a look at it in more detail.
As a kittens digestive system is not fully developed, it is far more fragile and delicate than the digestive system of an adult cat. With this in mind, it’s obvious that feeding ham to a kitten can be more dangerous, and should be avoided. It’s best to just stick to regular kitten food which provides a balanced diet and all of the nutrients needed.
What Foods Can’t My Cat Eat?
You may also be wondering what other foods you cat can’t eat. Here’s a list of other foods which should not be given to your cat:
- Anything containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener
- Sugary treats
Alternative Healthy Snacks For Your Cat
Here are some choices of healthy alternatives you can give your cat in place of ham. All cats are unique and have very different personalities, so you may have to to experiment with these to see which ones your cat likes.
- Some whole grains like brown rice or barley
- Celery (they love the crunch!)
- Scrambled eggs
- Green bell peppers
It’s stated by experts that treats should only take up 10-15% of their daily diet, even if they are protein treats. Properly formulated cat food should take up a large majority of their daily diet which will provide them with balanced nutrition.
Hope you enjoyed this post and that your question of can cats eat ham? has now been answered. Just remember that the odd slice or two of ham on the odd occasion as a treat is fine. The best option is to always stick to a regular cat diet of wet and dry food.