Cats need lots of protein, and meatballs are packed with it, so… can cats eat meatballs?
No cat will refuse a juicy, tender ball of meat when you put it in front of them. I’m sure mine will gobble it up in seconds! But before I gave them some of the frozen meatballs that I warmed up for myself, I stared at the ingredient list to make sure it was safe.
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In this article, I share what I found, reasons to serve your cat meatballs, and how I make mine!
Can Cats Eat Meatballs? Let’s Tackle This First!
Meatballs are loaded with protein which makes up most of your cats’ diet. You’d think this is reason enough to feed your cat one, right? So did I!
On the contrary, traditional meatballs can be toxic to cats – whether you buy them frozen or make a batch from scratch.
Traditional meatballs and recipes for it typically include egg, breadcrumbs, herbs, milk, onion, pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Only some of these ingredients are safe for cats to consume.
If you feed your cat traditional meatballs, you risk exposing them to sodium poisoning and the harmful effect of onions, including anemia. Besides this, the herbs in meatballs can cause excessive gas and uncomfortableness.
Reasons To Still Feed Your Cat Meatballs
Just because you can’t feed your cat traditional meatballs, it’s not to say that they can’t enjoy meatballs at all! You can make your cat non-toxic meatballs at home, and there’s good reason to do so. Here’s why my cats love eating meatballs!
Meatballs are fun to eat! Unlike a typical protein serving, meatballs are round-shaped to resemble a ball. Your cat will enjoy trying to get a bite while it rolls around in its bowl. It’s an interactive meal that keeps your cat busy and develops their coordination in a fun and filling way.
It’s packed with protein
Protein is one of the most essential nutrients your cat needs to stay healthy. It contains essential amino acids that help build and repair claws, fur, muscles, and skin. Proteins also help strengthen a cat’s immune system.
When your cat doesn’t get enough protein, they can experience health issues like fluid build-up in their abdomen and chest, weight and muscle loss, poor digestion, and overall weakness.
It contains several herbal benefits
When making meatballs for my cats, I include cat-safe herbs to add flavor. Some of my most used herbs are:
- Cat Thyme
These help my cats with stress and reduce skin problems like itchiness.
How To Make Meatballs That Are Safe For Cats To Eat?
I like experimenting with recipes and think I’ve found the perfect cat-safe meatball one! If your cat has their nose up in the air when you serve them these, simply adjust it and replace my favorite herbs with ones your cats like.
My cats like beef meatballs the best, but you can use any type of meat your cat enjoys, like chicken, lamb, pork, or turkey.
Adding vegetables to your meatballs is optional, but I like to toss them in when I have some on hand. You should choose veggies high in water content because their job is to bulk the meatballs up and add some moisture. My favorite to use is finely chopped carrots.
You need to add a cat-safe binding agent to keep the meatballs together. I like using creamy cheese like feta, but breadcrumbs will also do. Eggs are required together with this.
Learn more about Can Cats Eat Mac And Cheese? The Surprising Facts!
My favorite herbs to use are a combination of catnip and chamomile, and only a tiny amount is necessary.
You should use cat-safe oil to form the balls. My favorite choices for meatballs are olive oil and coconut oil.
The ingredients for the meatballs recipe:
This recipe makes about 40 small meatballs.
- 400 grams of beef
- 1 ½ tablespoon of finely grated carrots
- 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon catnip
- ¼ teaspoon chamomile
- Olive oil as needed
Step by step
Season the beef with catnip and chamomile.
Add the carrots, feta cheese, and egg to a separate bowl and mix until well combined.
Mix the binding mixture with the meat.
Form bite-sized balls in the palm of your hand and use splashes of oil to lubricate the meat.
Place the balls in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 1.5 – 2 minutes using 30-second intervals.
The meatballs should be cooked through when done.
These cat-safe meatballs also make a great freezer meal! Since you won’t be feeding your cat all at once, you can freeze the meatballs uncooked or cooked in the freezer for approximately 2 months. Whenever you feel like giving your cat one, just pop it in the microwave or give it as a frozen treat on a hot day if it’s been cooked before freezing.
My Cat Doesn’t Like Meatballs!
If you’re screaming this at the top of your lungs, you’re not alone. While we think all cats will love meatballs, they don’t. Some are pickier than others, and they’ll refuse to eat a meatball even if just one ingredient in it isn’t to their taste.
To Sum It Up
You should not feed your cat store-bought meatballs or make them some following a traditional recipe. The ingredients in these can make them very ill. Instead, make your own meatball at home where you can control what goes into it and ensure that it’s all non-toxic to your cat!
Please share your questions in the comments, let me know if you made my recipe, and if you adjusted it, I’d love to hear about your twist and how your cat enjoyed it!
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Can a cat eat spaghetti and meatballs?
Cats can eat spaghetti and meatballs, as long as both are made without salt and other harmful spices.
Can cats eat meatballs in tomato sauce?
Meatballs in tomato sauce are not safe for cats to eat. Tomato sauce is loaded with salt that can make your cat extremely ill.
Can cats have raw ground beef?
Yes, cats can eat raw ground beef, but it does hold a risk of food poisoning.