Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require animal protein to survive. While most cats enjoy eating meat, some people wonder if it's okay to give them beef jerky as a snack. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of feeding cats beef jerky and provide some tips on how to do it safely.
What Exactly Is Beef Jerky?
Beef jerky is a type of dried, preserved meat that is typically made from lean cuts of beef. It can also be made from other types of meat, such as pork, turkey, or chicken. The meat is trimmed of fat and cut into strips before it is seasoned and then dried.
Drying removes the moisture from the meat, which makes it shelf-stable and easier to transport. Beef jerky can be stored at room temperature for weeks or even months without going bad.
Beef jerky is a popular treat amongst humans but can cats eat beef jerky? Let's find out.
So Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?
Although meat is part of a cat's natural diet, beef jerky is a processed food that can be high in sodium and other additives. It's important to read the label carefully before feeding your cat beef jerky, as some brands may not be suitable for cats. Prevail Jerky on the other hand, does not include the ingredients that can be harmful to cats.
Even so, kittens should not eat beef jerky. This is because they are at a higher risk of developing health problems when consuming certain foods. If you do decide to give your cat beef jerky, do so in moderation and offer it as a treat rather than a meal replacement.
Precautions To Take When Feeding Your Cat Beef Jerky
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're going to feed your cat beef jerky:
Is The Beef Jerky High In Sodium?
One of the things you'll want to look for when choosing beef jerky for your cat is the sodium content. Salt is used as a natural preserving and flavor enhancer in beef jerky. The salt content also inhibits bacterial development.
Cats need some salt in their diet to help regulate their body's fluids. A little bit of salt is also necessary for proper nerve function and muscle contraction. So, while too much salt can be harmful, a small amount is actually essential for your cat's health.
Most beef jerky manufacturers cure their product in soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, both of which are very high in salt. Excess sodium can cause salt poisoning in cats. When feeding your cat beef jerky, look for a product that is low in sodium or has no added salt.
Is The Beef Jerky Made With Lean Meat?
Quality beef jerky is made from lean cuts of meat that have been trimmed of all fat. The lean meat is then cut into strips and marinated in a mixture of spices, salt, and other flavorings.
As stated earlier, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they eat meat require animal protein to survive. In the wild, cats typically eat prey that is high in protein and low in fat. When feeding your cat beef jerky, look for a product that is made with lean meat to mimic their natural diet as closely as possible.
Additional Seasonings Can Be Toxic To Cats
In addition to salt, many beef jerky products contain various seasonings and spices. These seasonings can be toxic to cats if consumed in large quantities.
Cinnamon, for example, is a seasoning found in some types of beef jerky. Cinnamon is safe for most cats in small amounts but can cause gastrointestinal upset when consumed in large quantities. Garlic and onion powder are also common seasonings found in beef jerky. Both of these ingredients can be toxic to cats and should be avoided altogether.
When feeding your cat beef jerky, look for a product that does not contain any additional seasonings or spices. You can also remove the seasoning from the beef jerky before giving it to your cat. As mentioned before, Prevail Jerky doesn't contain anything that would be harmful for cats to eat.
Watch Out For Silica Gel Packets And BPA
Some beef jerky products also contain silica gel packets or BPA. Both of these ingredients can be toxic to cats if consumed in large quantities. Silica gel is a desiccant that is often used to absorb moisture and keep food fresh.
Silica gel packets are safe for humans but can be deadly for cats if consumed. If you're going to feed your cat beef jerky, make sure the product does not contain any silica gel packets.
BPA is a synthetic compound that is used to line canned foods. BPA has been linked to various health problems in humans, including cancer. There is no evidence to suggest that BPA is harmful to cats, but it's best to avoid feeding your cat beef jerky that is packaged in cans lined with BPA.
Sugar Can Cause Unhealthy Weight Gain
Many jerky manufacturers add sugar to the marinade. While sugar isn't harmful to your cat, it can lead to weight gain problems. High sugar intake in cats can also cause diabetes under worse circumstances.
What If My Cat Eats Beef Jerky?
As a pet owner, it's important to be aware of the potential dangers of feeding your cat certain foods. While beef jerky is not harmful to most cats in small quantities, there are some risks that you should be aware of before giving it to your feline friend.
If your cat eats jerky, monitor them for any signs of gastrointestinal upset. Signs of gastrointestinal upset in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If your cat shows any signs of distress, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Most cats will be fine if they occasionally consume small amounts of beef jerky. However, it's best to avoid feeding your cat beef jerky altogether to prevent any potential health problems.
Does Beef Jerky Give Any Nutritional Benefit To Your Cat?
One of the main reasons people give their cats beef jerky is because it's a high-protein, low-fat treat. Cats need animal protein to survive and thrive, and beef jerky is a good source of it.
Another benefit of feeding your cat beef jerky is that it can help with weight loss or maintenance. If your cat is overweight, you may want to consider giving them leaner cuts of meat as treats.
Giving your cat beef jerky as a treat can also help keep their teeth clean and healthy. Dental disease is a common problem in cats, and feeding them crunchy treats can help remove plaque and tartar from their teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Teriyaki Beef Jerky Okay For Cats?
Teriyaki is a type of sauce that is made with soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. The sugar content in teriyaki sauce can be harmful to cats if consumed in large quantities.
It's not a great idea to give your cat teriyaki jerky as a treat. Though minor doses may be harmless (and though your meat-loving cat might enjoy eating pieces of teriyaki beef jerky), it's not a good habit to get into.
Can Cats Eat Dried Meat?
Yes, cats can eat dried meat. Dried meat is a good source of protein for cats and can be used as a treat or training tool.
Can Beef Jerky Kill Cats?
No, beef jerky will not kill cats. But make sure it is only eating it in moderation
Do All Cats Like Beef Jerky?
No, not all cats like beef jerky. Some cats may be put off by the smell or texture of the meat. If your cat does not seem interested in eating beef jerky, there's no need to force them to eat it. Instead, try giving it some cat food.
What Kind Of Jerky Should I Give My Cat?
When choosing a beef jerky for your cat, look for a product that is made with lean cuts of meat and does not contain any added sugar. You should also avoid products that are packaged in cans lined with BPA.
Prevail Beef Jerky
If you are looking for a safe and healthy beef jerky for your cat, Prevail is the best option. Prevail Beef Jerky is made with 100% grass-fed beef that is packed with protein! Our beef jerky is also low in sodium and sugar.
Prevail's Beef Jerky is free of additives and nitrates to ensure your cat's safety. You can feel good about giving your cat Prevail Beef Jerky as a treat, knowing that it is healthy and nutritious. Order yours today!
In conclusion, beef jerky is not harmful to cats in small quantities. However, there are some risks associated with feeding your cat beef jerky.
If you do choose to give your cat beef jerky as a treat, be sure to select a product that is made with lean cuts of meat and does not contain any added sugar. Prevail Beef Jerky is a safe and healthy option for your feline friend. Order a pack or two today!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your cat's health, please contact your veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice on what human foods are safe for your feline friend.