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Can Cats Eat Salami? What You Need to Know!

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

salami slices

It’s already difficult enough as a human to say no to a bite of rich, fatty salami. Now imagine having to be a cat and turn down that same enticing bite, except that you’re a carnivore with a hunger for meat. Before you give in to your cat’s begging, take some time to think about whether salami and other processed meats are really the best food choice for them. While a couple of bites of salami won’t harm your cat, there are quite a few dangers that could arise if they eat too much of it.

What is Salami?

Salami is a form of processed meat that first originated in Italy. This sausage is usually made from pork, but it could include other types of meat such as goose, beef, turkey, venison, or even horse or donkey meat.

Cured meats have a very distinct taste and smell because of the way that they’re processed. The meat is mixed with tons of spices, sugar, salt, and natural preservatives before it ferments or cures. After that, it gets air-dried and is ready to eat.

Sliced salami
Image Credit: DesignOil, Pixabay

Can Cats Eat Salami?

The main thing you must understand about salami is that it is very high in calories, fat, sodium, and nitrates. It does taste delicious to your cat, but it isn’t a healthy treat option for them. Small amounts of it might be okay, but too much could have some potentially dangerous effects.

Are There Any Benefits of Feeding Cats Salami?

Salami should never replace your cat’s regular kibble and wet food routine, but it is okay to have as a rare snack. At the end of the day, cats are carnivorous creatures, and eating meat is more beneficial to them than eating lettuce.

The main benefits that come from feeding your cats salami are from the high protein, vitamins, and probiotics. About 100 grams of salami contains over 22 grams of protein. Cats as obligate carnivores benefit from higher levels of protein than omnivores.

Salami also has high levels of vitamin B. Vitamin B12 boosts a cat’s immune system and cognitive function. The probiotics in the meat, also what we know as good bacteria, could help keep your cat’s gut relatively healthy.

British shorthair cat eating
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

What Are the Negatives of Feeding Cats Salami?

As you already know, there are always cons that come with the pros. The biggest issue in feeding your cat salami is the insane levels of sodium. Too much salt is highly dangerous for cats. It could increase their blood pressure and elevate the risk of kidney disease. Too much of it is toxic and could leave you making a trip to your local animal hospital.

It is possible that you could be feeding your cat a range of toxic ingredients by feeding them salami. These meats have many different foods mixed in, and if they were to eat too much garlic or onion, it could lead to organ failure or even death.

What Deli Meats are Safe for Cats?

Of all the processed meats out there, are there any that are actually safe for cats to eat? While we don’t recommend giving your cat deli meats on a regular basis, there are a few that are better for them to have as an occasional treat than others. Try to stick to lean meats with minimal ingredients. The safest deli meats for you to give your cat include cooked chicken, turkey, and beef. Always make sure that the meat is fully cooked. Raw or spoiled food could make your cat sick.

How to Share Salami with Cats

We don’t advise feeding your cats any salami, but if there is a rare chance where you can’t say no to them, then there is a safe way to feed them salami. In general, you should always check with a vet before feeding them any human food. You must also look over the list of ingredients to see if there are any other foods that could be dangerous or even fatal to them.

If you insist on giving your cat a little bit of salami or pepperoni, only allow them to have a few small nibbles. After that, do not give in to them again. Refrain from feeding them any more of these fatty and highly salted foods for at least a couple of months before letting them have a few more nibbles. If you really want your cat to have treats on a regular basis, there are far better options for them. In fact, plain cooked chicken is the perfect high-protein treat.

cat owner feeding her pet cat
Image Credit: Milles Studio, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

It can be hard to say no to our cats when they won’t stop staring at our plate of food. Even though they’re looking at you with those sad eyes, you have to remind yourself that some foods just aren’t good for them and could leave you feeling devastated in the future. To keep your cats from getting sick, stick to veterinary-recommended foods and treats.

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Featured Image Credit: SteffanLewis, Pixabay

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