Can cats eat beef jerky- Is it bad for cats?

Beef jerky is a common snack in most households. Most people across the world enjoy eating it as it’s very delicious. Not only do people enjoy eating the snack but also animals. That is why people with cats in their homes like to share a tasty snack with their favorite pets.

Cats can feed on beef jerky since they are carnivores and jerk is dried meat. This is why whenever cats smell beef jerky from a distance, they come running towards where the smell is coming from. However, some beef jerky may contain preservatives that are toxic to their bodies.

Therefore, it is essential to limit the amount of jerky you feed to your cat or use one with no preservatives. This is because beef jerky essentially contains substantial salt amounts that serve as a preservative and can be harmful to a cat. People may not experience problems whenever they feed on jerky they buy in stores, but cats can lead to serious problems because they have a very sensitive digestive system.

Cats are known to be meat lovers, with beef jerky being among their favorites. If you are wondering whether to feed jerky to your cat, here, you will find detailed information regarding this. Keep on reading to know if it’s healthy for your cat to eat beef jerky.

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky is one of the best choices for humans. It is dried meat that cats can also eat. Beef jerky is a great source of protein, but this tasty snack is meant for humans. Although you may feed a cat with jerky, it should not be the only type of food they consume. Try as much as possible to try other foods to feed your feline friend. This will give its body time to adjust to the new food to avoid causing health problems since too much beef jerky isn’t good for them.

Sharing your beef jerky with your cat can be a great experience. Cats are carnivores in nature, but their owners should take precautions concerning the quantity of beef they are fed. Jerky that people buy in stores is not just pure meat, but be careful with the meat as it contains too many preservatives and salt than the raw meat. If you feed your cat with too much jerky, they may experience complications such as excessive itching, skin irritation, and hair loss.

Cats are known to digest beef with ease, but too much beef jerky can lead to health problems due to excessive preservatives, which can be toxic if consumed beyond the normal limit. If possible, whenever you want to feed your cat with jerky, make a point of using small quantities and avoid doing it very often. Beef jerky is generally dried beef meat containing lots of amino acids, minerals, and vitamins essential in keeping cats healthy. Thus, cats can eat it but in small quantities.

Table showing the nutritional information contained in 90g of beef jerky

NutritionQuantity
Sodium1870mg
Calories369
Protein30g
Fat23g
Sugar8g
Carbohydrates10g
Fiber2g

Is Beef Jerky Bad for Cats?

If you are thinking of feeding your cat with beef jerky, you may be wondering if your favorite feline will be fine. Well, beef jerky is not toxic to cats. Still, the ingredients and preservatives, including salt, onion powder, and garlic powder, usually added to the jerky, can be toxic if consumed in higher doses.

Precautions to Feeding Your Cat with Beef Jerky

The meat we consume tends to attract cats’ attention, and beef jerky is not an exception. It’s normal for cats to love meat as they are carnivorous by nature. But if you find out your cat dislikes the meat or has allergies that can lead to diarrhea or vomiting, get other alternatives to avoid causing harm to your cat. However, if you plan on sharing your tasty meal with your cat, then you should be aware of the following precautions:

Jerky is rich in sodium

Beef jerky contains a lot of salt. To prepare jerky the meat, it is put in a salt solution and then later on dried. This ends up giving your cat too much sodium in its body, which is harmful. Moreover, excessive consumption can lead to kidney failure.

Beef jerky contains silica gel packets

Silica gel is a substance that is meant to absorb moisture from the surroundings. You will find it in various applications, including food storage. In beef jerky, the silica gel helps to maintain its dryness and freshness. Do not attempt to feed your cat with the silica gel.

Excessive jerky preservatives can lead to health problems

It is not easy to find plain beef jerky in food stores. You will always get one with some extra flavor. While this may seem to be very delicious to people, it can be harmful to your cat. Garlic is one of the commonly used food seasonings used in beef jerky, but it can be toxic to your cat. These excessive preservatives can cause serious problems to your cat, and no one would wish their cat to continue taking them. To be on the safe side, whenever you come with a packet of beef jerky near, make sure to place the packet far from your cat.

Beef causes allergy in cats

Cats are known to have allergies, just like people. Beef jerky appears to be a common cause of allergies for cats. Once your cat feeds on beef jerky, you can easily tell whether your cat is allergic to the meal or not. If the cat is allergic, it will develop symptoms such as skin irritation, excessive itching, redness, or hair loss.

How Often Can You Feed Your Cat Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky was invented in ancient times as a method of preserving meat. If you love eating jerky, you probably may have fed yourself with the same at some point. But you may be wondering how often it is advisable to feed your cat with beef jerky. With this type of meat becoming more popular today, you can use it to feed your cat though not always. When consumed in large quantities, it causes health-related problems. The most common problem comes from the spices used in preserving the meat.

Though one may not tell the exact amount of spices in the jerky you purchase, it is worth noting that the spices can cause health issues that result from indigestion. Therefore, too much jerky is not good for your cat. Ensure that you consider how often you feed your cat with beef jerky because too much can be dangerous.

What Should I Do If My Cat Happens To Eat Too Much Jerky?

If your cat got into your and found a bag of flavored beef jerky by any chance, it would be attracted to the tasty smell and went ahead to eat the meat. You would wonder what to do if your favorite friend happens to take too much jerky. Since too much of it can cause damage to the cat’s digestive system, keep a close eye and, if possible, contact your veterinarian immediately to come and help in determining if your feline is at risk. With lots of salt and other ingredients, too much jerky is not good for a cat.

What are the Alternatives to Beef Jerky for Your Cat

Beef jerky can contain flavoring or additives which can harm a cat. Since other alternatives choose from that are healthier for your cat, consider using these alternatives as they would be a safer choice for your cat. These alternatives include:

Dried Fish

Dried fish or seafood is much safer for feeding your cat as compared to beef jerky. They can easily be found in your local food market. The dried fish contains zero additives or flavors, making it a good alternative to beef jerky. Additionally, dried fish has many health benefits as it has Omega-6 and Omega-3, which is useful in maintaining your cat’s health. They are a great source of protein and contain small amounts of fat. Although dried fish has, it should not as well constitute a cat’s full diet.

Jerky Food Designed for Cats

Beef can be allergic to cats. But beef jerky is not the only food that can sustain your cat. If your cat experiences allergic reactions to beef jerky, avoid feeding the cat with the jerky. Not only do you have to take precautions if you detect allergic reactions, but you should always see to it that you feed your cat with food specifically meant for cats.

Even if your cat can still enjoy the taste of beef jerky, it is a good practice to feed your cat with their specific meal. The food is readily available in various pet stores that deal with cat treats. These meals are designed in a manner in which they cannot cause harm to your favorite pet.

Does Beef Jerky Make Your Cat To Dehydrate?

Beef jerky is a salty snack. It contains high amounts of salt, which can make a cat dehydrated. Even though the salt in beef jerky is meant to make it delicious, cats end up feeling thirsty after eating the snack. Unlike humans, cats are not capable of tolerating high levels of salt. Thus one should take caution not to feed the feline too much jerky. If they consume too much beef jerky, it can lead to dehydration. If your cat happens to make jerky in large quantities, always ensure they take plenty of water.

Final thoughts

You can feed your cat with beef jerky but ensure to be careful in the amounts you give. See to it that the beef jerky is not the only meal for the cat. If possible, make a point of giving your cat unflavored jerky as it contains low sodium contents. Avoid feeding your favorite feline with flavored jerky as it has lots of preservatives that can be harmful. To be side while feeding your cat, purchase the jerky that is specifically meant for cats.