If you’re a cat lover like me, you probably want to spoil your furry friend with some tasty treats every now and then. And what could be more tempting than a juicy sausage? They are carnivores, after all! Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, sausages are a staple in many households. But can cats eat sausage? Is it safe for them? And if so, how much and how often can you give it to them?
The Short Answer: Yes, But…
The short answer to the question “Can cats eat sausage?”, is yes, but with some caveats. Cats can eat small amounts of cooked sausage as an occasional treat, but it should not be a regular part of their diet. Sausage is not toxic to cats but can cause health problems if given too frequently or in large quantities.
Some of the reasons why sausage is not ideal for cats include:
- Sausage contains too much fat and salt for cats. Cats need a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related diseases. Sausage is high in fat and salt, leading to weight gain, high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart disease in cats. Sausage also contains animal fat, which can cause pancreatitis in cats if consumed in excess.
- Sausage contains ingredients that are not suitable for cats. Sausage is made from various types of meat, such as pork, beef, chicken, or turkey. However, it also contains other ingredients that are not good for cats, such as spices, herbs, garlic, onion, sugar, preservatives, and fillers. Some of these ingredients can cause digestive issues, allergic reactions, or even toxicity in cats. For example, garlic and onion are toxic to cats and can cause anemia and damage to red blood cells. Spices and herbs can also irritate the cat’s stomach and cause vomiting or diarrhea.
- Sausage does not meet the nutritional needs of cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to survive and thrive. They require certain amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are only found in animal sources. Sausage does not provide all these essential nutrients for cats. In fact, some sausages may contain very little meat and use more of cereals or other fillers that have no nutritional value for cats. Sausage also lacks taurine, an amino acid that is crucial for the cat’s heart health, vision, and immune system.
The Types of Sausage You Should Avoid
While some types of sausage may be less harmful than others for your cat, there are some that you should definitely avoid at all costs. These include:
- Raw sausage. Raw sausage poses a risk of bacterial contamination for both you and your cat. Raw sausage may contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli that can cause serious infections in humans and animals. These bacteria can cause symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and even death in severe cases. Raw sausage may also contain parasites such as tapeworms or roundworms that can infect your cat and cause intestinal problems.
- Garlic sausage. Garlic sausage is a type of sausage that contains garlic as one of its main ingredients. As mentioned earlier, garlic is toxic to cats and can cause anemia and damage to red blood cells. Even a small amount of garlic can be harmful to your cat’s health. Garlic sausage may also contain other spices or herbs that are not suitable for cats.
- Italian sausage. Italian sausage is another type of sausage that contains garlic and other spices or herbs that are not good for cats. Italian sausage may also contain cheese or other dairy products that can cause lactose intolerance or allergic reactions in cats. Cheese and dairy products are not part of the natural diet of cats and can cause digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
How to Feed Your Cat Sausage Safely
If you really want to give your cat a taste of sausage as a treat once in a while, here are some tips on how to do it safely:
- Choose plain cooked sausage without any spices or herbs. The best type of sausage for your cat is plain cooked sausage made from chicken or turkey. These types of meat are leaner and lower in fat and salt than pork or beef. They are also more likely to meet the protein requirements of your cat. Avoid sausage made from pork or beef, as they are higher in fat and salt and may contain more additives or preservatives.
- Cut the sausage into small pieces. Cut the sausage into small bite-sized pieces that your cat can easily chew and digest to prevent choking or swallowing problems. You can also mash the sausage with a fork or a blender to make it easier for your cat to eat.
- Give your cat only a small amount of sausage. Sausage should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake. This means that you should only give your cat a few pieces of sausage as a treat once in a while, not every day or every meal. Too much sausage can cause health problems for your cat, as discussed earlier.
- Monitor your cat for any signs of adverse reactions. After giving your cat sausage, watch out for any signs of digestive issues, allergic reactions, or toxicity. These may include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, pale gums, jaundice, or seizures. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop giving your cat sausage and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Better Choices for Your Cat’s Diet
While sausage may be a tasty treat for your cat once in a while, it is not a good choice for their regular diet. Sausage does not provide the complete and balanced nutrition that your cat needs to stay healthy and happy. There are many better choices for your cat’s diet that are more suitable for their nutritional needs and preferences.
Some of the better choices for your cat’s diet include:
- High-quality commercial cat food. The best choice for your cat’s diet is a high-quality commercial cat food that is specially formulated for their life stage and health condition.
- Homemade cat food. Another option for your cat’s diet is homemade cat food that you prepare yourself using fresh ingredients. Homemade cat food can be a good way to control what goes into your cat’s food and avoid any additives or preservatives that may be harmful to them. However, homemade cat food requires a lot of time, effort, and research to ensure that it meets your cat’s nutritional needs.
- Human food. Some human foods can be safe and healthy for your cat as an occasional treat or supplement to their regular diet. However, not all human foods are suitable for cats, and some can be dangerous or toxic to them. You should only give your cat small amounts of these foods as a treat once in a while and not as a substitute for their regular diet.
The Final Verdict: Can Cats Eat Sausage?
The final verdict is yes, but only in moderation and with caution. Sausage is not toxic to cats but can cause health problems if given too frequently or in large quantities. Sausage contains too much fat and salt for cats, and it also contains ingredients that are not suitable for them. Sausage does not meet the nutritional needs of cats and should not be a regular part of their diet.
If you do want to give your cat sausage as a treat once in a while, you should choose plain cooked sausage made from chicken or turkey, cut it into small pieces, give your cat only a small amount of sausage, and monitor your cat for any signs of adverse reactions.
I hope this article has answered your question and helped you understand the pros and cons of feeding your cat sausage. Remember that your cat’s health and happiness depend on what you feed them. So make sure you give them the best food possible that will keep them healthy and happy for a long time.