It can be difficult to ensure that you’re feeding your cat the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and proteins to ensure they stay happy and healthy. Since protein is good for your cat, you might be wondering can cats eat steak? Maybe adding a few pieces of steak to the food bowl will entice your cat to eat more and stay healthy.
The short answer is yes cats can eat steak. However, there are some considerations to make before feeding your cat steak. You’ll want to make sure it is cooked properly, doesn’t contain fat or bones, and is an appropriate portion.
In this article, we’ll go over the few things you need to keep in mind while feeding your cat steak, as well as why it can be beneficial, within reason, to add it to their diet.
What Are the Pros & Cons Of Giving Your Cat Steak?
While you wouldn’t want to give your cat a steak-only diet, which would prevent them from getting all the essential nutrients they need in their diet, there are some benefits to adding steak, or beef in general, to their diet, especially if you feed your cat a raw food diet.
First, we’ll go over the pros of adding steak to your cat’s diet, then we’ll share a few of the cons you might face when feeding your cat steak.
1. A Good Source of Protein & Nutrients
Beef is a great source of protein for cats, which is important to maintain their energy levels as well as provide them with essential amino acids to build muscles and fuel their bodily processes.
Other than protein, steak contains lots of helpful vitamins such as iron, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
Although they are now domesticated, due to their ancestors biologically they are designed to survive off of meat, so they’re able to absorb these nutrients very efficiently.
The meat should also be plain and unseasoned and cooked in a low-fat way such as grilling. Seasoning the meat or cooking it with oil can cause digestive upset to your pet.
If you’re considering changing your cat’s diet or are concerned that they aren’t getting the right nutrient balance, we suggest speaking with your veterinarian.
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deserves a special mention here as it’s been identified as critical for a cat’s health. Steak contains a good amount of B12 that can be beneficial to your cat’s diet.
This vitamin aids in the healthy functioning of not only their immune systems, nervous systems, and digestive systems, but also their cognitive function.
As they can’t produce it internally, it’s evident why it’s so important that they should source it from their diets.
Cons or Considerations
There are a few considerations you need to make before feeding steak to your cat. These are not necessarily cons or reasons not to give your cat steak, however. You should just be aware of these potential hazards and take them into consideration.
1. Choking Hazards
As previously mentioned, make sure that the steak is free of bones or fat. Bones can be a choking hazard to anyone, cats are no different.
Small splinters of bone may also find their way into your cat’s food even if you’ve been careful; this can lead to obstruction of airways and could injure them internally.
If possible, we would recommend buying bone-free cuts of meat if you’re concerned about removing them yourself.
2. Fat Consumption
When it comes to fat, cats are not biologically adapted to digest it.
Both raw and uncooked fat from a steak may lead to a multitude of health issues for your cat such as intestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.
If your cat eats fat or the trimmings, this can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. We know cats can be mischievous and crafty, so if they manage to steal a piece of fat, don’t panic.
We would suggest either keeping your cat out of the kitchen whilst you prepare food or buying cuts of meat that are already free from fat.
3. Portion Control
Portion control is important when it comes to feeding your cat. Guidelines differ depending on the weight and activity level of your cat as well as whether you normally feed them wet or dry food.
Many suggest that this should be no more than 200 calories per day, it is important to note that there are around 271 calories in 100 grams, or roughly 3 oz, of steak.
Therefore you should calculate portion sizes accordingly or ask a veterinarian to help you to avoid issues such as obesity and pancreatitis.
Cooked vs Raw
Although you can feed your cat raw steak, it’s important to bear in mind hygiene preparation rules when handling meat to ensure there is no cross-contamination or risk of disease.
For example: buy the steak from a reputable source, prepare and serve the steak in an easily cleaned area and make sure you thoroughly clean their bowls after eating.
Can Cats Eat Steak?
Many of us animal lovers get a thrill from spoiling our pets and we have all been the victim of giving our cute furry friends scraps of food when they are giving us the puppy-dog eye routine.
But no matter how cute they are, we have a responsibility to protect them and make sure they eat what’s safe for them.
To answer the question: yes. Cats can eat plain, fat-free, bone-free, appropriate-sized amounts of steak alongside a balanced diet.
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