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Can Cats Eat Sausage? Vet-Reviewed Potential Benefits & Risks

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Can Cat Eat sausage

Vet approved

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As pet owners, we want to provide our pets with the best possible diet while giving them plenty of variety to help keep them interested in eating healthy. Cats are obligate carnivores and can eat many different kinds of animal proteins. Therefore, you may want to know if it’s okay for your cat to eat sausage.

The short answer is yes, cats can eat sausage, though there are healthier treat alternatives you should consider before offering your cat a sausage. On top of that, you need to be mindful about the ingredients in the sausages. Keep reading while we look at the benefits and the potential risks of feeding your cat sausage.

Potential Benefits of Sausage

Protein

Most sausages have a high amount of protein of an animal source. These are necessary for your cat’s nutritional well-being. As carnivores, cats use protein for energy when possible. Protein contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscles. Additionally, it fuels many different bodily processes for your cat and is a vital component of their nutritional profile.

Perception of Carnivore-Appropriate Foods

Since sausages are primarily made of meats, they are perceived as being closer to the cat’s natural diet than the corn and soy ingredients found in some cat food brands. Many owners who feed their cat meat snacks do so feeling it is more species-appropriate for them.

cat eating food
Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

Potential Risks of Sausages

Preservatives

To obtain a long shelf life, most sausages contain many preservatives. These are added into the mix of the sausage during processing. As mentioned before, they are used mainly to provide a longer shelf life, but some of these also prevent the growth of certain microorganisms and may enhance the sausage’s flavor and color too. These include:

Common Preservatives Found in Sausages
  • Nitrates and Sulfates
  • Salt
  • Sodium Nitrate
  • Potassium
None of these preservatives should be regularly offered to your cat, as they aren’t healthy when consumed for long periods of time or in high amounts. Though legal limits exist for their use in processed foods, the actual limit may differ from country to country.
Sausages fried with spices and herbs
Image Credit: Valentina_G, Shutterstock

Unknown Ingredients

In addition to the preservatives, sausage can contain many unknown ingredients, as each brand uses its own spices, which can be harmful to your cat. Many brands will list the ingredients on the package, and you can go through them to see if they’re all safe. However, others use a secret blend of spices, so you will never know what exactly is in the sausages. For example, never feed your cat sausages that contain onion or garlic, two ingredients that are toxic to cats.

Calories

Unfortunately, sausage is high in calories. Consumption of more calories than required leads to weight gain in your cat, which may eventually lead to obesity, a major problem many pet cats face around the world. Some experts say more than 50% of cats over 5 years old are obese. Obesity can lead to several health problems, like heart disease and diabetes that can shorten your pet’s life. Obesity is entirely preventable by keeping your cat on a healthy diet and making sure they get plenty of exercise.

fat tabby cat standing outdoor
Image Credit: Li Lin, Unsplash

Raw Sausage Risks

Up until now, we’ve been talking about primarily cooked sausage. If your cat is fed raw foods, their fresh-bought sausages might not have as much preservatives and unknown ingredients. However, raw food is not without its risks either.

Salmonella is a dangerous bacterium that is frequently found in uncooked meats and is implicated as a major health risk with raw food for both you and your cat. Raw foods may also harbor some parasites and other toxins that may cause harm to your kitty. Some of these risks can be averted by sourcing your meats from reliable sources/butchers who pasteurize their raw products.

The 3 Healthy Alternatives to Sausages

1. Chicken

Chicken is a great substitute for sausage, and fresh chicken contains plenty of protein without any harmful chemicals or ingredients. We recommend boiling the chicken before chopping it up and feeding it to your cat in small pieces after it cools. Remember to never feed your cat cooked bones of any kind. You can also purchase commercial brands that are just as healthy and delicious. Chicken broth can also be used as a topper for your cat’s food.


2. Fish

Fish is another fantastic substitute for sausage. Fish is a great high-protein treat. Many cat food brands contain salmon and other fish in their product lines. Alternatively, you should cook some fish for your kitty and serve it to them deboned with no seasonings.


3. Homemade Treats

Since a store-bought sausage may have many unknown ingredients, an alternative is a homemade treat. Homemade treats allow you to take creative control of the ingredients and also offer more peace of mind, as you know exactly what’s in the food you’re offering your cat.

Now that you know what you can safely feed your cat, it’s just as important to find a bowl that supports their health and well-being. With whisker-friendly bowls and a wide tray to catch any spills, our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite option.

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Summary

If your cat steals a piece of sausage from your plate, they will likely be fine, but we don’t recommend sausage as a regular part of their diet. Choosing another meat, like chicken or fish, would provide even more nutrients without the harmful ingredients, and your cat is likely to enjoy them more than they would the sausage. If your cat enjoys sausages, it’s alright to give them a small portion on occasion. However, it may be worth it to look into other treat options for the long term.

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: Shaiith, Shutterstock

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