Can cats eat spam? This question must have crossed your mind a hundred times while opening a can of spam. If you have a cat, you already know by now that you must be careful about what you feed them. If it’s okay for humans, can cats eat spam too? The answer isn’t as direct as you would hope.
Spam is a pork product and isn’t toxic to cats. However, they have excessive fat and sodium content which can be detrimental if you want to maintain a nutritional and balanced diet for your cat.
As always, if you’re unsure, you must always consult with your veterinarian before you feed your pet any food. Through this guide, we answer one of the most asked questions by cat owners, ‘can cats eat spam?’. Here’s everything you need to know.
Before we answer the question, ‘can cats eat spam?’, you need to know the nutritional content of spam so that you would have an idea about how spam works in your feline’s digestive system. Generally, spam contains only six ingredients including sodium nitrate, water, sugar, salt, potato starch, ham, and pork. It’s highly processed.
As such, spam doesn’t possess great nutritional content. Generally, just 2 ounces of Span contains about 16 grams of fat and 180 calories. That’s not all, it also has a high sodium content—A single serving is equal to about 34% of a human’s daily value.
To make spam, salt and sugar are added to ground up the meat. After that, it’s cooked in the can. It’s as simple as that. Spam was made to solve a specific problem.
Before its arrival, pork shoulder was an unpopular cut and there was a demand for an affordable meat product with a longer shelf life. Spam meets these requirements but for cats and animals, it has its drawbacks.
Spam is a pork product and as such isn’t toxic or harmful for cats if taken in small quantities. Spam doesn’t contain anything that would make your cat sick immediately. If your feline took a bite or ate a single serving, you don’t need to worry about it.
Technically, spam isn’t toxic but that doesn’t mean that you can feed spam to your cats on a regular basis. In fact, due to spam being made of pork, many people assume it’s healthy for cats since cats require protein to survive. However, spam is a processed food, and is high in fat and protein which is known to lead to health issues among cats such as obesity.
Obesity is already a common health issue among cats. Especially among house cats, it’s a major problem, so you shouldn’t feed your cat anything that will increase its weight. Obesity can in turn lead to other serious health issues such as pancreatitis, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.
Sodium is another concern. When fed in moderation, sodium is an important electrolyte for your cat. However, excess sodium intake can lead to salt poisoning, kidney diseases, diarrhea, fluid loss, and dehydration. Spam contains about 20 times more sodium than the amount a cat should take daily. As such, you shouldn’t feed your cat spam regularly.
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If your cat took a single bite or savored an entire can just once when you were not looking carefully or perhaps you fed it unknowingly, there’s nothing to worry about. As mentioned earlier, spam isn’t toxic and your cat consuming it once isn’t going to make a major difference in your cat’s health.
The only time you need to worry about your cat consuming spam is if it consumed spam continuously over a long period of time. If you’ve fed or are feeding spam to your cat regularly, you need to change its diet. Consult your veterinarian to ensure that your cat doesn’t have any health problems and listen to their recommendations properly.
Spam is savory and salty and cats tend to love the taste. If your cat ate it once, it might want to taste it again. If you tend to have a lot of spam in your home, you might want to keep it far away from the reach of your cat and tightly sealed.
You won’t find exact alternatives to spam. However, if your cat is trying to get their paws on spam, it’s most likely that they are just craving the taste of meat. The best thing to feed your cat would be food made specifically for them.
Additionally, there are numerous cat treats in the market with a taste and texture similar to spam. Cat treats are delicious and specifically formulated to be healthy for cats and are an excellent addition to their main diet. Moreover, they are packed with protein, nutrients, and other good for health ingredients for your cat.
Cats crave meat and in moderation, it’s good for their health. From time to time, you can also feed your cat low-sodium unflavored ham. Plain, unseasoned, and cooked chicken or turkey will also be enough to meet your cat’s meat requirement.
Several food items are unhealthy and some are even poisonous for your cat. Here is a list of food items you should avoid feeding your cat:
- Sugary items
- Raw eggs
- Milk ( most cats are lactose intolerant)
- Anything with caffeine
If you’ve fed your cat any of the above food items, you need to take it to your veterinarian and follow their recommendations.
Can cats eat spam? In short, spam isn’t toxic or dangerous for your cat. If it’s only a one-time case, you shouldn’t worry about it. However, being fed over a long time can lead to serious consequences. If you’ve fed spam to your cat and notice any side effects or abnormal behavior, take it to your vet immediately. Always consult your vet if you’re unsure of a food item.