In this cat article, we will entertain our important question, “Can cats eat beef jerky?” we will also discuss the major unhealthy ingredients of beef jerky for your cat, what you can do if your cat ate beef jerky, and what other healthy alternatives you can provide your cat.
Can cats eat beef jerky?
No, cats cannot eat beef jerky. Beef jerky has several ingredients that are not healthy for your cats such as salt, seasonings, spices, and the dried hard texture of the beef jerky which can cause choking. You should take your vet’s advice before giving beef jerky to your cat.
What are the major unhealthy ingredients in beef jerky for your cat?
Following are the unhealthy ingredients in the beef jerky for your cat:
The first is the high amount of salt content that is present in beef jerky. Beef jerky has too much salt for the cat while it is safe for humans.
Cats are intolerant to high amounts of salt content. High amounts of salt content can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and lethargy in your cat. The salt removes the water content from the body and the dehydrated body is more prone to face hypovolemic shock and death.
Consuming high amounts of salt can lead to hypertension in your cat. Persistent hypertension can lead to heart attack and the death of your cat.
The next unhealthy ingredient is sugar which can cause obesity, diabetes, and pancreatitis in your cat.
Consuming sugar more than the required limit turns your smart cat into an obese animal. It is due to the conversion of extra sugar into fat and stored in the body.
Obesity can lead to chronic joint problems and high cholesterol levels in the body. The high cholesterol level can cause heart problems in your cat.
The next disease is diabetes. If there is continuous consumption of high sugar content, the insulin will not be able to control the high blood sugar level in the body.
Sometimes the body of your cat becomes resistant to insulin. This is due to the reactive species in your cat. This type of diabetes is called type II diabetes.
The next is pancreatitis which is the inflammation of the pancreas in the body. The inflammation is due to the indigestion of high amounts of sugar content in the intestine. The pancreas releases the enzymes to digest the content of the duodenum but high sugar content remains undigested leading to inflammation of the pancreas in the body.
Following are the major clinical signs of pancreatitis in your cat:
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
The next is the seasonings which are not healthy for your cat. Garlic and onion powder are the most important seasonings used in beef jerky. Both of these have thiosulfates and disulfides which are responsible for the hemolysis of the red blood cells in the body. This leads to a shortage of oxygen as the red blood cells are carriers of oxygen.
You will see the following signs in your cat if your cat is suffering from hemolytic anemia:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased breathing rate
- Decreased appetite
- Pale mucous membrane
The last thing is the spices. The most common spice is black pepper which can cause stomach upset in your cat.
Black pepper can cause irritation in your cat’s stomach and it can cause vomiting in your cat. Vomiting can cause dehydration in your cat. It can also cause diarrhea in the cat.
What would you do if your cat ate beef jerky?
If your cat ate beef jerky, the one thing you should do is give plenty of water to your cat. This will help the kidneys to remove the excess salt from the body.
After that, you should call your vet and seek his advice. If your vet tells you to bring your cat to the vet hospital, please do not hesitate to do that.
Your vet will examine your cat and will treat cat according to the condition of your cat. Your vet might go for inducing vomiting if your cat has eaten beef jerky recently. Your vet will administer fluid to prevent dehydration in the body of your cat.
What are the other healthy alternatives you can give your cat?
Following are the other healthy alternatives you can give your cat:
- Dried fish
- Boiled chicken
- Jerky treats designed for your cat.
In this cat blog, we answered the main query, “Can cats eat beef jerky?” we also covered the major unhealthy ingredients of beef jerky for your cat, what you can do if your cat ate beef jerky, and what other healthy alternatives you can provide your cat.