There are many human foods that your feline friend loves, and if we talk about meat, then cats are obligate carnivores, and raw meat is their best friend. A cat’s diet consists of large amounts of pork products, and there is no doubt that your furry friend will love raw ham as it is also meat. However, that does not mean, as pet owners, we should give our feline friends any type of meat we see because not all meat is good for them, and some pork products bring health issues to our furry friends.
Is Ham Good for Cats?
Ham is deli meat, a good source of animal protein, and your feline friend needs to keep their tissues and muscles healthy by eating as much protein as possible. Ham comes from pork leg cuts, usually smoked or salted to get a ham slice. Obtaining ham makes ham a less perfect food for your little feline friend.
The high fat content and excess salt minimize the potential nutritional benefits of ham and make it a food that might cause your cat an upset stomach. This deli ham is not extremely toxic to your fur baby as it has some nutritional benefits, but giving it in large amounts is not a good idea as the benefits such as essential amino acids, protein, minerals, and vitamins are outweighed by the high sodium levels and too much fat found in a small piece of ham.
Cats, Ham, Risks, and Benefits
You cannot feed your feline friend ham bones, raw ham, or any other type of ham on a daily basis. It is better to avoid ham bones and raw ham altogether, as it causes foodborne illness due to the E. coli, listeria, salmonella, and toxoplasmosis present in raw ham, and the splinters from the bones can cause damage to your cat’s digestive tract.
Adult cats usually suffer from high blood pressure, heart diseases, chronic kidney diseases, and other heart problems and digestive problems. So, feeding them such human foods high in salt content and fatty acids is not a good idea. You can give your feline friend little ham in small quantities, that is, if they love eating ham because small doses of hams contain a higher range of risks than the benefits.
Ham is not the best food to give your cat as it has more risks, such as this fatty food may cause pancreatitis in your feline friend, which is not a good condition to be in. This might lead your feline friend to vomit directly after consuming even small amounts of food, so removing fat and only giving lean ham, which is deli ham is important for your fur baby.
Similarly, cooked ham containing salt, spices, and other ingredients can be toxic and cause upset stomachs and damage the cat’s health and digestive system. The only benefit you can get from ham is giving your cats medicine and an occasional treat in small portions.
Is Ham a Commercial Cat Food?
Commercial cat foods usually have pork products to provide your cat with the required nutritional values. They use meat to cover your feline friend’s nutritional needs, but you will not find ham among those products. Commercial cat foods usually go for leaner meats such as turkey, chicken, fish, etc.
These are made to give your cat a balanced diet and to provide them with protein sources that will not lead them to health problems due to high sodium content or too much fat. Cats usually love the taste of ham, and Dr. Burch says you can use ham to mask the taste of medications. Ham is not a perfect food to give your furry ball, and it is certainly not used as commercial cat food because your feline friend cannot eat too much ham due to salt, fats, and other ingredients.
How Much Ham Can a Cat Eat?
To give your cat ham, you must ensure that they are given in small quantities without any additional seasonings that may cause food poisoning. As pet parents, you must avoid giving ham slices right from the dinner table as they may contain onions, garlic, etc., which are toxic for your feline friend. It is better to avoid giving your cat ham, but if they are obsessed, then give them ham slices on special occasions in tiny amounts to avoid any health complications.
Ham is a special treat that your cat loves to eat, and there are times when you have to wrap up their medicine in a piece of ham and then feed them. If this is the case, then you can give your cat ham in small quantities but make sure after the medication course is complete, you remove ham from the cat’s diet and shift to other healthier options.
Why Do Cats Love Ham?
Cats love catching prey, and all their preys are meat, which means they contain a lot of protein, which is the main reason they love too much ham. Healthy cats can try new foods easily, but that is not always a good idea as cats have sensitive digestive systems, and pet foods are not always a good option to give them on a regular basis. It is best if they are given as occasional treats. Feeding ham to your feline friend is not a big deal as little ham cannot harm them and is even a good source of protein, but the problem lies with the excess fats, fatty acids, high salt content, and other seasonings found in cold cuts of ham that are harmful to your cat’s stomach.
The short answer to the question can a cat eat ham is no. You can give your feline friend some deli ham with all the fat removed, so they do not face health issues. Human foods are not for cats, but if you want to include them while you eat dinner at your dinner table, then a little bit of human food is not harmful. Always do your research before giving your furry friend any new foods. The moral of the story is to give the best foods to your little best friends, and it is better to avoid foods with too much salt and fat, even if they offer nutritional benefits, because, in the long run, such foods become bad for your little feline friend.
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