It smells so good, so your cat will likely want a nibble, but can cats eat prosciutto? Just because it’s meat doesn’t mean it’s good for them!
Prosciutto is a favorite in our house. Whether in a sandwich or on my cheese board, it isn’t long before everything’s gobbled up! My cats struggle to resist the smell and always beg for a bite. While considering if I could give them a piece, I decided to find out if cats can eat prosciutto.
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In this article, I share whether cats can eat prosciutto, its benefits, and why you might want to keep your cat away from this cured meat.
Can Cats Eat Prosciutto?
Cats can occasionally nibble on a piece of prosciutto because it isn’t toxic.
You shouldn’t overdo it when sharing this with your furry friend because it can have some dangers. It’s not the healthiest treat you can give your kitty, but a small piece every now and then won’t harm them.
The Benefits Of Prosciutto For Cats
Even though there are more dangers to feeding prosciutto to your cat, it still holds some benefits. These benefits shouldn’t be mistaken for necessities, and you should never use prosciutto as a meal replacement.
Prosciutto and other cured meats have amino acids that your cat uses to build muscle.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin B6 and B12 are present in prosciutto, and it also contains some minerals like zinc and iron.
The Dangers Of Prosciutto For Cats
The risks of feeding prosciutto to your pet outweigh its benefits. I suggest enjoying your charcuterie by yourself and giving your cat a healthier treat. Here are the dangers it holds:
Salt and Sodium
Prosciutto contains high amounts of salt and sodium. If your cat consumes too much salt, they can get sodium poisoning, which can be fatal. Some symptoms of sodium poisoning include seizures, tremors, fluid retention, dehydration, and vomiting.
Some cured meats contain more saturated fat than prosciutto, but it still has a large amount that isn’t healthy for your kitty.
High amounts of saturated fat can cause your cat to become obese, and obesity leads to other health problems.
Osteoarthritis, heart disease, and diabetes are some of the adverse effects of obesity.
Parasites and Bacteria
Cured meats aren’t cooked, so high temperatures weren’t used to kill the parasites that can linger on meat.
There is a risk of Trichinella, Salmonella, and E.coli if your cat consumes any parasites or bacteria that were left on the meat after it was cured. Some symptoms of these diseases include lethargy, weight loss, and diarrhea. It can be fatal.
Added Spices and Ingredients
Cured meat sometimes contains spices and added ingredients like garlic, which is highly toxic to cats. Garlic can cause your cat’s heart rate to increase, blood in their urine, and can break down their red blood cells.
How Much Prosciutto Can Cats Eat?
Even though it isn’t toxic and there are treats unhealthier than prosciutto, you shouldn’t be giving it to your cat regularly.
Cats are unlikely to get sodium poisoning from a small amount of prosciutto, but the risk of contamination, upset stomachs, and other diseases are too big to ignore. Instead, opt for a healthier treat for your cat.
However, if you do decide to give them a piece of your prosciutto, a tiny amount, like a bite-sized piece or maybe two, would be more than enough.
This cured meat shouldn’t be given in large amounts and is in no way a meal replacement. Keep the dangers in mind when giving your cat some and monitor them for any side effects or symptoms.
Alternatives To Prosciutto For Cats
Fortunately, there are enough healthy alternatives to prosciutto that you can give your cat. They’ll never feel neglected or left out with the number of options.
Meats that are more balanced and cooked correctly would be the first choice. Don’t add any ingredients like spices, garlic, or onions, and remove the skin and bones before you cook any meat.
Some healthy protein-filled and low-in-saturated-fat options include salmon, chicken, tuna, beef, and even turkey. You can cook these meats yourself or head to the store and pick up some dried versions made especially for cats.
These options are still a great treat, and they’re much healthier.
If you choose the fishier options, including tuna and salmon, make sure to limit the amount because all seafood contains mercury. This can be harmful to cats if given in large amounts.
Prosciutto is a definite upgrade from bacon, and if you enjoy it, your kitty will probably too! It’s always best to only give your cats small bites of human food or nothing at all. While they can eat raw meat and other things found in the wild, cats have sensitive stomachs, and spices and additives intended for human use can harm them.
There are many great alternatives to prosciutto, so you’ll have no problem finding your cat another cured meat to nibble on. Some contain less harmful ingredients and have health benefits too!
I hope you enjoyed this article and found the answers you were looking for. If you have more questions about cats and cured meats, ask them in the comments!
Is prosciutto good for cats?
Prosciutto isn't toxic to cats, but they shouldn't have it in large quantities. There are other great alternatives that are better for them!
Why do cats prefer pate?
Cats like pate because of its smooth, sponge-like consistency. This blended meal is rich in flavor and has all the nutrients your kitty needs to thrive.
Why is ham not good for cats?
Ham contains a lot of sodium, and your cat could get sodium poisoning if they eat it in large amounts.
What human food can I feed my cat?
There's a lot of human food that's safe for cats to eat, but it's not a good idea to give it to them regularly. Cats can't eat certain spices and additives found in human food, so it needs to be prepared specially for them.