There’s nothing like having a morning routine that you follow every day. One of the best that we’ve found is waking up, making breakfast, and trying to convince the cat wrapped around your feet that they don’t need to share your bacon.
What if you have a moment of weakness, though? Will feeding your cat bacon do them harm? As it turns out, the answer is both yes and no — read on to learn exactly what that means.
Is Bacon Safe for Cats?
Bacon isn’t toxic to cats, so you don’t have to worry about them eating a bit of it and immediately needing to be rushed to the emergency vet. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe for them, however.
The problem is that bacon is loaded with fat, grease, and salt. Those things aren’t good for your cat (they’re not that great for you either, but we’ll spare you the lecture).
As a result, bacon isn’t likely to do much harm to your cat in the short term, unless they eat so much of it that it gives them digestive issues or causes dehydration. However, over time, it can wreak havoc on their health.
Eating too much fat and salt can lead to health problems like obesity, high blood pressure, and clogged blood vessels. Those things can dramatically reduce your cat’s quality of life, and they can even shave several years off their lifespan.
Giving your cat a bite or two of bacon isn’t likely to have any effect on them. However, don’t give them too much, and you certainly don’t want to make a habit of it. They’ll be in much better shape if you simply tell them “no” every once in a while.
What About Raw Bacon?
Raw bacon won’t have as much grease as cooked bacon, but other than that, it’s worse across the board.
While cats have evolved eating raw meat, it’s the rare housecat that’s capable of taking down a pig. Raw pork may have parasites or microbes that cats can’t easily tolerate, so you’ll be taking a risk by feeding it to them.
Raw bacon may be harder for them to chew as well, so it can pose more of a choking hazard than bits of the cooked stuff.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t feed your cat raw bacon at all, but if they manage to sneak some behind your back, there’s little to be concerned about (assuming that they get it down, of course).
What About Turkey Bacon?
Turkey bacon is often seen as a healthier alternative to regular bacon, and it certainly is that — for both you and your cat. You should understand, however, that “healthier” doesn’t quite mean healthy.
Turkey bacon is still going to be fatty and greasy, and it has way more salt than your cat needs. It’s not good for them, even if it is better than pork bacon.
If you simply can’t refuse their cute face, then go ahead and give them turkey bacon instead of the regular stuff. Just don’t try to convince yourself that you’re giving them a healthy snack by doing so.
What About All the Other Types of Bacon?
If you’ve spent as much time perusing the bacon aisle of your grocery store as we have, then you know there’s a massive number of choices when it comes to this breakfast staple.
None of them are good for your cat. Some are worse than others, but while none are toxic, none are healthy either. Bacon Bits might be the worst because they’re loaded with sodium and preservatives, but the difference is minimal.
As a general rule, if it’s bacon, it’s not cat food.
Are There Any Health Benefits to Giving Your Cat Bacon?
Yes, your cat can derive some nutrition from the bacon that you feed them. Any health benefits that they get will be massively dwarfed by the negatives, however.
Bacon has a fair amount of protein in it, and cats need all the protein that they can get. That’s the primary benefit that bacon has to offer, but it doesn’t make up for all the fat, salt, and other stuff inside.
There’s one circumstance in which giving your cat bacon might be acceptable, though. If you’re struggling to get them to take medication, wrapping it in bacon might solve your problem.
Don’t do this with a daily medication, though, as the negatives of the bacon will likely outweigh the benefits of taking the medicine. For something that your cat only needs to take for a brief period of time, it can be quite helpful.
One Other Thing to Worry About
So far, we’ve focused on the health impacts that can occur if your cat eats the bacon. Bacon can be dangerous in other ways, though.
Many cats can get burned if you give them bacon that’s fresh from the skillet, so make sure that it’s cool before you share it. Keep them away from the skillet and stove as well, as long as they’re both hot.
You should also dispose of the grease as soon as you can. Grease has all the negative traits of bacon, but to the nth degree, and it can also make your cat sick in the short term. Throw the grease away, and get it completely out of the house if you can, especially if your cat likes to go through your trash.
How Much Bacon Can You Safely Give Your Cat?
Giving your cat the occasional small piece is no big deal. Limit the serving size to less than a pencil eraser, and only give them one or two pieces at a time.
We recommend doing this once a week at the absolute max. Any more than that and all the fat and salt will start to accumulate and have a noticeable impact on your cat’s health.
If you absolutely must give your cat bacon, there are plenty of bacon-flavored cat treats out there that your kitty will love. They’re not exactly good for your cat either, but they’re considerably healthier than regular bacon.
What’s the Verdict? Is Bacon Safe for Cats?
Bacon won’t poison your cat, so there’s no need to worry if you’ve given your cat a bite or two of it. It’s not healthy, though, and you’re much better off denying it to your cat.
That means telling your cat “no,” of course, and we know that’s not easy. Still, it’s better to have an angry cat than one that’s not going to live very long — and as a bonus, it means even more bacon for you.
Learn more about what your cat can and can’t eat:
- Can Cats Eat Turkey? What You Need to Know!
- Can Cats Eat Garlic? What You Need to Know!
- Can Cats Eat Popcorn? What You Need to Know!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay