We all love to give our furry friends the occasional treat, and what could be better than some delicious salami? It’s delicious… but caution asks, “Maybe a lot of things are better?”
Unfortunately, as much as cats may enjoy the taste of cured meats, we have to be careful about what we feed them. So, can cats have salami?
Cats And Salami
As it turns out, cats are able to digest salami just fine. In fact, some veterinarians recommend adding a little bit of meat to their diet for the extra protein. Salami is a dried or smoked meat made of pork or beef, so it mostly fits the bill, but it can have coloring and nitrates (a preservative in it) that isn’t great for a cat’s stomach.
The key is to make sure that the salami is fully cooked before feeding it to your cat. Undercooked or raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that can make your cat very sick.
When a salami is air-cured (as in not entirely “hard”) it can harbor bacteria is isn’t good for cats. Adult humans are better able to cope with these bacteria, particularly better than kittens, plus we can diagnose the problem much better than when this happens in a cat.
Additionally, it’s important to keep treats like salami to a minimum. Even more so than with people, a diet that consists of fatty foods is not good for cats and can lead to obesity and other health problems down the road. Also, any form of dried meat, pepperoni in particularly, is going to have way more salt (labelled as “sodium”) than your cat needs in its diet, so it’s important this isn’t a regularly reoccurring treat.
So while a little bit of salami won’t hurt your cat, it’s still important to make sure that they’re getting most of their nutrients from a balanced diet of dry food and wet food.
Salami Varieties And Add-ins
While some basic forms of salami might be OK for your cat in limited quantities, not all types are acceptable.
Any salami that has garlic or onions in it is definitely not OK for a cat, so be cautious and read the ingredients before sharing.
Deeply red colored salamis, like pepperoni often contain spices and coloring that won’t agree with a cat, so while these can be OK in small amounts, they aren’t ideal.
So there you have it! The next time your cat comes begging for a taste of your salami sandwich, go ahead and give them a little piece. Just be sure it’s fully cured, doesn’t have any ingredients that a bad for cats, and it isn’t something you do too often.