Can Cats Eat Bacon? Get the details
Cats are obligatory carnivores, which means they must eat meat; their bodies just need it. (Dogs, on the flip side, are considered carnivorous eaters, which means they're primarily meat eaters – but they could survive on plants alone if necessary.) But what about meat like bacon? Can Cats Eat Bacon? And if cats can eat bacon, should they?
The basics about bacon
Before we answer the question, "Can cats eat bacon?" Let's look at what bacon is exactly. Bacon belongs to the pork family, one of the most versatile types of meat we include when planning family meals. But pork and its counterparts – like bacon and ham – are loaded with sodium, fat, and calories that our cats should be given in very small doses.
Should Cats Eat Bacon?
Can Cats Eat Bacon? Technically yes. Too much bacon could make them sick right away (more on that later), but the bigger problem is that bacon can have some negative long-term effects on our cats. Many cats – especially as they get older and are kept strictly indoors – sleep much more than hunt or play. They really need a careful nutritional profile to counteract their sedentary lifestyle.
With a 16-20 hour sleep schedule (yes, you read that right), the cat's body doesn't have much time to burn off the dense calorie profile of bacon or other pork products. Bacon is particularly high in sodium and fat, which is no better for pets than it is for us.
Put simply, too much salt can cause your cat to:
- high blood pressure
- Clogged blood vessels
Can Cats Eat Turkey Bacon?
Cats who eat turkey bacon are not a better alternative to your usual bacon either. Turkey bacon should also be fed to cats in very small doses because of the high amount of sodium and preservatives required to make the product.
Can cats eat pieces of bacon?
You may also be wondering, "Can cats eat pieces of bacon then?" Again, avoid the fake pieces of bacon that you may sprinkle on salads for exactly the same reasons why overprocessed, high-sodium products are not a good idea for your cat's wellbeing.
Can cats eat bacon raw?
While it is generally important that any type of pork product is thoroughly cooked to avoid parasites, you can occasionally feed your cat a piece of raw bacon. However, the lack of actual health benefits persists. It is therefore highly recommended that you consult a veterinarian or nutritionist before feeding your cat raw meat.
Can Cats Eat Bacon as a Treat?
When should you feed cat fat? Bacon and pieces of ham are especially good for hiding pills for short-term or high-level rewards (think about it after a nail cutting session or a trip to the vet). Remember, if it is an occasional treat, it will likely be even more appreciated by your cat.
"We love our pets and want to give them treats, but we often don't think about treats from a caloric perspective," says John P. Loftus, PhD, DVM, of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “It adds up over time. It is better to show our love in other ways than through food. "
What if your cat eats a lot of bacon?
If your cat unexpectedly ingests a hefty chunk of the bacon you tried to serve guests at a Sunday brunch, it may get an upset stomach and eventually vomit (so be careful where you step). But the chances are he's fine and hopefully you have extra bacon to cook with for your guests!
Thumbnail: Photography © anmbph | iStock / Getty Images.
Read more about what cats can and can't eat on Catster.com:
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