Cats have quite the sixth sense when it comes to food. You often won’t be able to sneak a bite of your favorite snack without them showing up to ask for their share. In fact, some cats will wake up from the deepest of sleeps when they hear the fridge or cupboard door opening.
However, no matter how much we love our pets, we need to be the responsible ones and not feed them foods that aren’t actually good for them, no matter how much they seem to like it.
So, when your cat absolutely demands to be given a bit of the salami you are putting on your sandwich, what are you supposed to do? Give in, or gulp it down as fast as possible?
Can Cats Eat Salami?
Cats can eat salami, but it’s not the best choice of meal for them. While it does contain a lot of meat, there is still some salt and fat in it, as well as spices and preservatives that aren’t the healthiest for cats.
As you know, cats are obligate carnivores, and need a lot of protein in their diet. Since salami is without a doubt mostly meat, it can seem like a good idea to share some with your cat.
However, the issue that arises is that salami also happens to have more salt than is good for your cat. Cats can’t eat salt, as they are highly susceptible to sodium poisoning.
There are also the spices and preservatives to consider, which aren’t actually the healthiest for humans either and can give your cat an upset stomach. And no one likes to clean up after that.
In short, you can give your cat small amounts of salami as an occasional treat, but you should definitely not make it the central part of their diet, or even a weekly thing.
Can Kittens Eat Salami?
Kittens shouldn’t eat salami, as it is high in sodium that can be highly toxic to them. They are also not able to completely digest some of the fats in it either.
Kittens need a lot of nutrients to grow into healthy adult cats. This includes both protein, as well as various minerals and vitamins that kitten food is full of.
If you give your kitten salami, they may get quite sick from it. First, the amount of fat found in salami will be tough on their digestive system. Second, the amount of salt found even in the smallest slice of salami is enough to cause sodium poisoning in a kitten, which can even be fatal, or at the least cause severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Kittens also don’t have a fully working immune system yet, so salami that is infested with different microbes can prove too much for them to handle.
Can Cats Have a Little Salami as a Treat?
Cats can have a bit of salami as a treat, as long as it’s only on a rare occasion. Don’t make it a staple in their diet, and don’t get them so used to it they demand some on a daily basis.
Salami is not the healthiest of snacks for your cat, so you may want to consider giving them a bit of chicken instead. Cats can eat raw chicken as well, which is certainly more beneficial for them than salami. Even store-bought cat treats are a better choice than salami.
How Much Salami Can Cats Have?
You should give your cat no more than a couple of bites of salami at a time. They may be able to eat much more of it, but it’s not good for their health.
Cats that are young (i.e. over a year old) and active will likely be able to eat more salami than older, lazier cats, as they will burn a lot more calories. Salami is fatty and salty, and overfeeding your cat these types of foods can make them overweight.
While there is no actual formula that will tell you how much salami to give your cat, stick with the occasional bite or two.
Is Salami Safe For Cats?
It should be perfectly safe for your cat to eat salami, as long as they do so only rarely, and in small quantities.
The one issue that can arise from giving your cat salami is the potential for salmonella poisoning. Since salami is fermented and air-dried and not actually cooked, it may contain different bacteria and parasites. Your cat should be able to handle most of them, but salmonella can be fatal.
The symptoms you need to watch out for if you’ve given your cat salami are vomiting and diarrhea, sluggishness and a lack of appetite. If you notice your cat is not feeling well after a salami meal, stop giving it to them and see how they feel. If they don’t seem to be getting better, take them to the vet just to rule out sodium poisoning or salmonella.
Why Salami Is Not the Best Snack Choice
Salami is simply not the best snack for your cat, even though they may quite enjoy it. Here is why:
High Salt Content
Salami is high in salt that can cause sodium poisoning in cats, when consumed in large amounts. The average cat should not be eating more than 40 milligrams of salt per day, while half an ounce of salami will have about 200 milligrams.
Sodium poisoning will cause an electrolyte imbalance and excessive thirst, and can even lead to diarrhea, vomiting, tremors and lethargy.
High Caloric Content
Salami is also rather high in calories, which can lead to obesity in your cat. Overweight cats are more likely to develop diabetes, have heart and joint problems, and they also live shorter lives than fitter cats.
High Fat Content
While cats certainly need some fat in their diet, they don’t need more than what they are already getting from their regular cat food diet. The added fat that comes with salami can again make them put on some extra weight.
Too Many Spices
Salami is also seasoned with numerous spices to make it as tasty as possible for humans. These same flavorings can however give your cat an upset stomach.
How and When to Feed Your Cat Salami
If you want to give your cat salami as a treat, there are several points to bear in mind.
- Buy salami that is low in sodium and has the fewest possible spices. Look for plain flavors and low-fat options.
- Don’t replace a cat’s entire meal with salami. They still need to eat both their wet and their dry cat food.
- Only give them a couple of small bites and make sure they have access to plenty of water.
- Monitor their behavior after eating salami. If they seem unwell or less energetic than usual, refrain from giving them salami again.
Wrapping It Up
Cats have the uncanny ability to influence their owners to do practically anything they want. Those sad eyes will certainly try to convince you to slip them a slice of your salami. Practice your resistance and only give your cat salami on those rare occasions when they have been exceptionally good, or not at all. There are after all much healthier snacks available.