Can cats eat red meat? 

Red meat – such as beef, lamb, and pork – is a great source of different essential nutrients for both humans and pets. This article will cover the concern “Can cats eat red meat?”, the benefits and risks associated with its consumption, which type of meat is safe for cats, etc.  

Can cats eat red meat? 

Yes, cats can eat red meat, but only in moderation. They can eat beef, pork, or lamb whether it’s raw or cooked. Meat is a healthy source of proteins for them and this protein provides important building blocks for muscle, and soft tissue maintenance and repair. 

Cats are obligate carnivores and their diet mainly comprises animal-based proteins. Research has shown that meat is an essential part of a cat’s diet and cats can’t digest plant matter. Make sure the meat you’re giving your pet doesn’t contain any bones and is free of fat. 

What are the benefits if your cat eats red meat? 

The following are the health benefits associated with meat consumption in cats: 


Proteins are the essential macronutrients that act as building materials for the muscle tissues and organs of all animals. When digested, they produce energy and also provide a functional role in the body, including enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. 

Dental Health 

Meat chops are chewy and will encourage chewing in your cats, which, in turn, improves teeth and gum health. 

Energy source

Good quality meat serves as a great energy source for your pet. It improves the agility, attentiveness, and body health of your cat. Cats, with sufficient energy reserves, engage in exercises and lose weight, should they be obese. 

Improved digestive system 

Cat’s digestive system is adapted to eating a meat-based diet and is short and acidic. It means they can efficiently digest food in 10-12 hours, resulting in better stool quality. 

Healthy skin coat

Cats eating a meat-based diet have better hair coat quality, bear less shedding of the fur, and potentially fewer hairballs. The meat contains unsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which are fundamental for good hair coat conditions. 

Vitamin source 

Red meat has high levels of minerals along with B complex vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Cats cannot produce their vitamins, therefore, they absorb these vitamins from their diet. These vitamins are absorbed by the small intestine, liver, stomach, and pancreas. 

Vitamins B12 are critical for a cat’s health, promoting the health of the digestive, nervous, and immune systems. If the organs involved in the absorption of vitamin B12 are not working properly, then B12 supplements and some well-cooked meat, served daily, may help. 

What are the risks associated with red meat consumption in cats? 

The list of risks associated with red meat consumption in cats is as follows: 

  • Raw and uncooked meat sometimes causes vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, and other intestinal upsets.
  • Raw or uncooked meat can be contaminated with pathogens and can cause infectious diseases in cats. 
  • High fat intake from meat can cause health issues like obesity and pancreatitis. Obesity in turn increases the risk of diabetes in cats. 
  • Bones and splinters in meat can cause a choking sensation or internal injuries in cats. 
  • Avoid giving meat with additional salts and spices to your cat because they can cause salt poisoning, dehydration, and hypernatremia-like complications. 

What types of raw meat are safe for cats? 

Here’s a list of meat types considered safe for cats: 

  • Beef is considered a decent meat for cats because it’s rich in essential amino acids and contains many other nutrients that a cat needs to be healthy. 
  • Pork, when given in moderation can serve, can serve as a great occasional treat for your cat. 
  • Lamb, given to your cat as a treat, is a great source of fats and it’s recommended to cook it properly before feeding. 

How can I feed red meat to my cat? 

First, make sure the meat being fed to your cat is properly cooked. During cooking, this meat should get rid of all kinds of a bacterial and parasitic contamination. You can simply put some chopped pieces of meat in your cat’s bowl or on top of their normal cat food. 

Most cat foods already have meat contents like beef in them, so make sure you balance the amount of meat being given to your cat as a treat. You can also contact your veterinarian about how much meat is safe for your cat according to its age and body weight. 


Today, we covered the article “Can cats eat red meat?”, the benefits and risks associated with its consumption, which type of meat is safe for cats, etc. From the above discussion, it’s concluded that cats can eat red meat because of its nutritional benefits and health effects.

However, you can consult your veterinarian about how much meat is safe for your cat along with its regular cat food diet. If your cat is on a low-fat diet, you should avoid giving them lamb chops as they are high in fat content.