Can Cats Eat Hotdogs? A Simple Answer!

In movies, it’s common to see pets stealing a bite from street vendors, but can cats eat hotdogs? You should know the truth about this quick snack before feeding it to your cats!

It’s easy to assume that hotdogs are good for cats because they’re made from meat. Cats are true carnivores, and eating meat is what they do best! Many people also remove the bread and sauces, making them believe that there’s no risk of feeding a hotdog to their kitty. 

Disclaimer
IMPORTANT: At stuffaboutcats.com, we regularly consult with licensed veterinarians and other industry experts. However, the information found on stuffaboutcats.com should not be viewed as veterinary advice. We do our best to help you better understand your cats, but the information on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance.

In this article, I share the facts about hotdog sausages to help you make healthier choices for your cat!

Can Cats Eat Hotdogs?

Your cat won’t need a visit to the vet if they take a bite from your leftover hotdog on the table that’s drenched in sauces, but I do recommend that you keep it in an unreachable position. 

Cats can eat hotdogs, but it’s really not good for them and can lead to serious health issues. It isn’t something you should feed them or that they should accidentally get a hold of on the regular.

Hotdog Ingredients That Cats Should Avoid

Hotdogs contain a lot of ingredients that aren’t healthy for cats. Most sausages have high levels of these, and even when they don’t, the little bit can harm sensitive felines. 

Here’s a breakdown of each:

Salt

Hotdogs contain a ton of sodium, and even low sodium alternatives can still be dangerous for cats.

Because many foods contain salt, it’s difficult to measure how much sodium your cat consumes every day, so avoiding high sodium foods is the best route to take.

Too much salt can lead to sodium poisoning, which could kill your kitty. Some signs of it are:

  • Dehydration
  • High blood pressure
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Salt poisoning is something vets see regularly, and usually, the cats who suffer from it have owners who feed them food with good intentions. 

 Can hotdogs kill cats

Additives

Hotdogs aren’t yummy without the additional flavorings added to the recipe. This can be anything from cheese to garlic or onions.

Depending on the ingredients, there can be one or more additives that aren’t good for cats. Flavorings like onion or garlic can be extremely dangerous.

Read more about Can Cats Eat Mac And Cheese? The Surprising Facts!

Fat

Cats need fat in their diet, but the fat content in hotdogs is just too high!

It can lead to digestive issues, heart problems, and even cause obesity in your cat. If you feed your feline hotdog sausages while they’re already following a diet with foods rich in fat for energy, they can quickly overheat it. 

Casing

Hotdogs casings are usually made from natural or chemical collagen. While this isn’t toxic to cats on its own, it does absorb some of the hotdog ingredients when it comes into contact with the meat. 

When you feed your cat’s hotdog skin, you’re indirectly giving them a bit of every other ingredient used to make the hotdog. 

My Cat Ate A Hotdog – What Now?

If you forgot your hotdog on the table and come back to witness your cat munching down on it, you don’t have to enter panic mode.

One bite won’t cause a fatality, and your cat might only experience some discomfort. Bloating and nausea are the first signs showing your cat struggles to digest the sausage meat. 

Keep an eye on your cat if you notice these so you can take immediate action if the symptoms worsen. Diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, seizures, and tremors all indicate something much worse. You should take your cat to the vet if these occur. 

Read more about Is Science Diet Good For Cats?

Safe Sausages For Cats

Any sausage that’s been salted, smoked, or preserved and made from processed meat is unhealthy for cats – even when you cook it!

Your best bet is to visit your nearest butchery and ask them for in-house sausages made from real meat and minimal spices. If they’re really nice, you can even request unsalted sausages! 

The best meat for cats is beef, chicken, lamb, and pork. Luckily, your butcher can use all of these to make sausage for your cat, and you can buy in bulk and freeze them.

Once you get home, place the sausage in a frying pan covered in boiling water and let it simmer. It will turn a dull color once it’s cooked through.

You can serve the sausage to your cat as-is, chop it up for occasional treats or make mini hotdogs without any sauce. Sometimes, I cut the sausage up into bite-sized pieces and make my own wet cat food with it as the main ingredient. My cats love it!

To Sum It Up

Most hotdogs referred to are made from processed meat in a casing and tossed on buns with lots of unhealthy sauces. This is definitely not something you want your cat to eat! 

If they do get an occasional nibble, the chances are they’ll carry on without any issues, but feeding them too much could potentially be deadly.

I hope this article helped you realize that it’s best to steer away from hotdogs when it comes to your cats. If you have any other questions about feeding hotdogs or sausages to your cats, ask them in the comments for other community members and me to answer.


What happens if cats eat hotdogs?

The sausage used for traditional hotdogs can dehydrate your cat. If they eat too much of it, they can get sodium-ion poisoning. This can lead to anxiety, depression, elevated blood pressure, nausea, seizures, tremors, and vomiting.

Can hotdogs kill cats?

Your cat won't die from nibbling on a hotdog, but they could get sodium-ion poisoning if you regularly feed it to them. Sodium-ion poisoning can be fatal if left untreated.

Can cats eat bologna?

Yes. You can give your cat bologna as an occasional treat, but it contains nitrates and spices that can harm them if they consume too much of it.

Can cats eat frankfurters?

No. Frankfurters have a high fat and salt content and contain many flavoring and preservatives that can harm your cat.

Find more information about Is Grain-Free Cat Food Bad For Cats?