Many people enjoy ham basically because it’s a great way to incorporate the much-needed protein in our diets. Besides, this meat has such a delicious flavor that makes our lunch sandwiches so much better. You may have noticed every time you fix a ham sandwich; your kitty seems so interested in getting a helping of it. Naturally, the question that will pop into your mind is, can cats eat ham, or is it bad for them?
The truth is your fur baby might show interest in almost every food on your table. Being a pet owner, you would want to share the little you have with your feline companion. You wouldn’t want to deprive your kitty of a few treats, including some ham off the table. With that said, it’s important to understand that not every food meant for human consumption is safe for our pets. So, is ham bad for cats? Let’s find out.
Can cats eat ham?
Basically, cats can eat different types of meat, including poultry, fish, and livestock. Their diet should be designed so that it mimics what they would naturally eat out in the wild. That’s why every time you have any kind of meat in your kitchen, your kitty will probably not leave your side. He will look at you with those large, gorgeous kitty eyes until you finally give in and share a treat.
The question as to whether you can feed your cat ham or not may not have a clear cut answer. It is due to some of the ingredients found in this meat. We will get to that in a bit. However, in most instances, cats can eat ham without any health concerns. There are just a few things that you will have to keep in mind when it comes to ham. The important considerations are how you cook the meat and the source. These are critical.
How is ham good for my cat?
As a pet parent, you know cats need meat to meet their nutritional requirements. For that reason, you might think it makes more sense to feed your cat ham since it needs meat anyway. An occasional ham treat is not bad at all but should not be a replacement for your kitty’s healthy and balanced diet.
The reason why ham is recommended as only an occasional treat is due to the sodium levels in it. The sodium in processed ham will not pose a health risk as long as the cat only eats it a few times and in moderation. But too much of it is bound to cause health problems in the long run.
In that sense, cooked ham with no added salt and spices can be a great treat for your kitty. You will be incorporating some kind of meat in the cat’s diet and providing a sort of protein. This might also be a nice way to please your fur baby’s taste buds by offering her something other than her usual meals. However, don’t forget that it should be done in moderation. Don’t get carried away and offer your cat several slices of ham even if she seems to like it so much.
When is ham bad for my cat to eat?
It’s not impossible to unknowingly give your cat too much of anything. That might be the case if you have a ham cat. These are cats that would prefer a ham treat over anything else. All things considered, ham should only be given to a cat as an occasional treat once in a while and not on a daily basis.
First and foremost, processed ham is filled with various chemicals. The ham you buy in the supermarkets and stores is processed in a way that it consists of high sodium levels for preservation purposes and also seasoning. Therefore, the cold cuts and the ham in a can are not entirely suitable for your cat to eat. The sodium levels are quite high, and that’s why it’s not recommended as a regular part of the diet.
Another thing is seasoning. When cooking ham that you intend to share with your fur baby, exclude the spices, salt, onions, garlic, and other seasonings. These can cause an upset stomach and other digestive issues for your cat. Onions and garlic are especially toxic to our feline companions. Moreover, even the non-raw ham bought in the stores still comes with a fair share of seasoning like the honey mustard glaze. These are things cats should not eat.
Moreover, while it’s easy to think raw ham is safer for cats, it’s actually not. It may look like a good idea to feed your cat raw meat because that’s what they are supposed to be eating anyway. But, raw ham might be harboring bacteria such as salmonella. This will make your cat sick and even lead to fatal health complications.
As the rule of thumb, ask your vet first before deciding to share any human foods with your cat. This includes ham.
How can I safely feed ham to my cat?
If your veterinarian gives the green light and allows you to give ham to your kitty, there are some very crucial things to keep in mind. They will be of great help in avoiding trouble for your fur baby.
The first thing is that you should source the ham from a reputable farmers’ market or butchery. This will help ensure it’s fresh and not filled with high levels of sodium. In addition, cook the ham with no extra seasoning. Don’t even add salt.
Secondly, the ham should only be a special treat. Do not feed your cat ham as an everyday snack. You can offer it sliced or chopped into small cubes.
Too much of anything is always dangerous. In this case, ham is not bad for your cat as long as it’s served in moderation. It makes for a great treat for good behavior. But there more nutritious cat foods to feed your cat as snacks or treats.