Bacon to us humans is one of the most enjoyable snacks out there, delicious, salty and crunchy to our hearts content. The crispy slice of pork is one of the best parts of a hearty breakfast or a Sunday brunch and can be a tasty way to start the day off right. But, can cats eat bacon?
Cats are obligate carnivores after all, with a diet that rests primarily on meat that is required for them to gain the necessary nutrients to be healthy.
We already know how unhealthy a lot of bacon can be for humans with its high levels of fat, sodium and calories, and since cats digest food differently to us, how bad would bacon really be for a cat?
Everything you need to know from the dangers to potential benefits of feeding a cat bacon are listed below along with some alternate recommendations, so keep reading to understand when, how and if you should feed your cat that last bacon strip.
The Hazards Of Cats Eating Bacon
While bacon is undoubtedly tasty to eat, a lot of the flavor comes from the mixture of high levels of salt, fat and sodium which for a cat with a smaller body and organs, can be very unhealthy. Bacon is not necessarily toxic to cats, however the high fat levels can cause a cat quite a bit of discomfort if they eat a lot of it, often causing them to vomit and have diarrhea.
Cats don’t always move much during the day, sometimes sleeping for up to 20 hours a day, so they would also not have much of an opportunity to burn off the high amount of fat and calories from bacon
The high amounts of salt can also be dangerous to cats and their digestive system. Consuming too much can cause a cat to get high blood pressure, obesity, dehydration and clogged blood vessels.
One small piece of bacon contains about 13 milligrams of sodium which is already far more than a cat usually gains from their regular wet food and kibble meals.
When To Feed Bacon To A Cat
Bacon is not toxic to cats, however it contains chemicals and ingredients that can lead to some nasty side effects that can damage the health of your feline friend.
We can’t deny the fact however that cats are still carnivores, they love bacon for both its taste and its smell, so if all you have in the fridge are a few strips or if your cat is giving you sad eyes, when should you feed a cat bacon?
As with other pork based meats like ham, the best way to use bacon is as an occasional treat, not as a substitute for regular cat meal diets.
Feeding a cat some bacon as a treat after a nerve-racking trip to the vet or after a hard day of training not only limits the negatives by a large margin, but also lets a cat know that bacon is a treat and one they will savor each time you give it to them
When preparing the bacon, while some of the bigger cats often show off how much they can eat in one go, it is always recommended to just tear off small pieces no bigger than a pencil eraser to mitigate the health risks while still allowing your cat to have a nice tasty treat.
It is also advised not to give any bacon to kittens to avoid upsetting their developing digestive systems and risks of diarrhea, this also goes for pregnant cats who must not be given bacon to avoid similar issues for her and her babies.
Best Cat Food Options
When it comes to keeping your cat healthy and happy, it’s important to choose the highest quality food. Our team has curated a list of the best cat foods, based on customer reviews, quality ingredients, and price.
What Kinds Of Bacon Can Cats Eat?
With so many kinds of bacon for us to choose from as humans, are there any options that are better for cats than the others?
While raw bacon can be fed to cats if needed, it is highly recommended to cook it first as with all pork based products to avoid any potential parasites and bacteria. While it can be tempting to quickly throw some bacon from the fridge for a cat to gobble up, taking that extra few minutes to cook it should always be done to avoid nasty side effects.
Turkey bacon may be packaged as a healthier option to regular pork bacon, but don’t be fooled, turkey bacon still possess high amounts of sodium and grease, and should still be fed in very small bite size pieces if given to a cat to avoid its unhealthier qualities.
Bacon bits, while small in size, are also not a great healthy option since they are often made of artificial bacon with added seasonings and salads which could have toxic effects on your cat’s digestive system depending on what they are.
Some owners may also become tempted to try sprinkling bacon grease over dry pet food, this works to give our own meals that extra hint of bacon flavor on what might be a pretty ordinary meal.
This again however may not be the best option if you want your cat to stay healthy as the grease alone still contains lots of saturated fat and sodium that can give a cat a seriously upset stomach.
There is no real ‘healthiest’ option for serving a cat bacon since none really provide great health benefits as the unhealthy ingredients and chemicals overshadow these in each variant.
Regardless of what kind of bacon it is however, if you find your cat has eaten the odd piece when you’re not looking or have nabbed a few pieces from the dinner table, they will be fine and probably just end up with an upset stomach, so it works better as a sparing treat.
So, Can Cats Eat Bacon?
Cats love the taste of bacon and can be rewarded a piece now and again, they just shouldn’t make a habit of it unless they want to be very round, heavy and unhealthy in the long term.
Curious about how healthy other foods are for your cat? Check out these other articles:
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