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Can Cats Eat Ham?

Renee Whitmore
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by Renee Whitmore

Yes, cats can eat ham. Cats are obligate carnivores who require meat to meet their nutritional needs. Ham is a type of pork from the hind thigh of a pig. It’s rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins necessary for a cat’s good health.

However, this does not mean that you should feed your cat ham whenever it’s in hand. Ham is great for your cat only in small, occasional portions because it has high fat and sodium content. Overindulgence can lead to digestive and other problems in cats. To protect your pet, buy the leanest ham you can find.

What to Do if Your Cat Ate Ham

Can Cat Eat Ham
Cat Eating Ham

Cats have a sensitive digestive system, so even if you feed them small amounts of ham, it’s important to watch out for symptoms of poisoning or digestive distress. This is especially if you’ve never fed your cat ham before or if they managed to snatch a slice behind your back.

If your cat is having trouble after eating ham, you’ll notice the following symptoms:

  •  Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Orange to dark red urine
  • Pale gums

These symptoms can result from consuming seasonings or a lot of fat and sodium with the ham. If you notice any of these reactions, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately.

If you’re used to feeding your cat ham without any trouble, you don’t need to be on constant lookout. Just ensure to keep any ham out of their reach so they won’t eat it without your notice. Also, provide your cat with lots of water to counter the dehydration that’s bound to happen from consuming all the salt that ham comes with.

Cat foods similar to ham:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cats have ham?

Cats can have ham as long as it’s well cooked, lean, lacks seasonings, and served in moderation. But, not all ham is good for your cat, so you should be selective and cautious before feeding your pet this savory treat.

Cats should only eat ham when it has little salt and fat. Store-bought ham typically contains lots of both, more so cheaper varieties. For the leanest cuts, shop from a reputable farmers market or butcher.

Is ham good for your cat?

Ham is good for your cat when you take precautions against food poisoning and too much consumption. It’s rich in taurine, an amino acid essential for the healthy development of a cat’s heart and digestive system.

Cats only make limited taurine in their bodies, so they need to consume high protein foods containing it.

Ham also provides cats with thiamine, a vitamin that plays a crucial role in metabolizing protein. Since cats eat a lot of animal proteins, this vitamin contributes to a healthy digestive process. Another important vitamin that cats gain from ham is riboflavin, which protects antioxidants in the body and boosts energy.

Do cats like ham?

Most cats like ham because they’re carnivores, and they crave delicious animal protein. But, just because your cat likes ham doesn’t mean it’s okay to feed them, even on rare occasions.

Check with your veterinarian whether it’s safe for your cat to eat ham. Some cats may have health complications such as chronic diseases that make them extra sensitive to the sodium in ham.

How much ham should I feed my cat?

A small piece or two of ham on the days you feed your cat ham is more than enough. This ensures that your cat doesn’t end up eating too much sodium or fats.

How often should I feed my cat ham?

Feeding your cat ham should not be a daily thing. With cats, ham is best used as a treat—a rare one. If a cat eats ham regularly, their risk of developing high blood pressure and obesity increases due to the high sodium intake. Therefore, never use ham slices as a replacement for meat in your cat’s diet.

Does ham give cats diarrhea?

Well-prepared ham doesn’t give cats diarrhea. But, if they eat too much ham or pieces with excess fats and salt, they’ll end up with diarrhea. Take your pet to the cat veterinarian if they have diarrhea after eating ham.

Is deli ham good for cats?

Yes, deli ham is good for cats as long as it’s of good quality and served in moderation. A typical slice of deli ham contains around 260gms of sodium, which is about 11% of the recommended daily sodium intake for healthy human adults.

This is too much sodium for your feline, especially when you’re already giving them balanced cat food. To avoid excess salt, shop for high-quality ham, which is not laden with unhealthy fillers.

To keep the lunch meat ham as lean as possible for your cat, cook it without seasonings and avoid cooking oils. Seasonings and oils can cause havoc to a cat’s sensitive digestive system. Garlic and onion, for instance, cause food poisoning in cats. They can also be toxic to your pet if they’re exposed to them in concentrated form.

Can cats eat cooked bacon?

Yes, cats can eat cooked bacon. If your cat loves ham, you might be wondering whether they can have other types of pork. Like ham, bacon also comes with lots of salt and fats. It’s also high in calories.

Therefore, when feeding bacon to your cat, take the same precautions as with ham.
Cook it well to kill harmful bacteria and offer it to your cat sparingly. It’s advisable to lay off the bacon if you’re already feeding your cat ham, as it too contributes to sodium intake.

Can cats eat raw ham?

It’s not advisable to feed your house cat raw ham. Raw ham exposes them to salmonella, which is common in uncooked meat. They can also get E—Coli, a bacteria that causes food poisoning.

Most of the ham sold in stores is cured, smoked, or baked, which means it’s cooked and free of bacteria, hence safe for your cat. But, if you buy fresh uncooked ham, cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit before offering it to your cat.

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About Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore is an American college professor and freelance writer from North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in English Education. When she is not driving her teenage son to wrestling practice or learning the ins and outs of Fortnite from her younger son, she is working on her first book to be published soon.
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