If you’re a cat owner, picture this scenario. You’re having a little snack of cheese, crackers and a bit of deli meat on the side, enjoying the salty, crispy treat when all of a sudden, you see your little furry companion looking up intently at you, swishing her tail about while making you feel guilty for not sharing your food with her.
So the question is: Can cats have salami? Well, if you’re looking for a short answer – it’s yes, cats can eat salami. You’ll also be glad to know that you’re not the only cat owner who’s been pondering this question. Back in 2017, this question became a internet meme, and prompted many other googlers to satiate their curiosity regarding the link between cats and salami.
But just because your cat can eat salami, does it necessarily mean that she should? In this article below, we look at all the benefits and risk factors related to feeding this delicious deli cured meat to your furry companion, so that you can make a more informed decision in the future.
What Constitutes Salami?
You probably already know what salami is (and what it tastes like), but how is it actually made? Here’s a quick explanation.
Salami is basically ground meat such as pork or veal mixed with herbs and spices such as garlic, fat, pepper, vinegar, salt, herbs, and wine. This mixture is combined to form a meat paste, which is then fermented for a day before subsequently being stuffed into an edible casing and hung up to cure for anything from 6 to 10 weeks.
The final product is a salty, herby and tasty dry meat that is used in anything from sandwiches to cheese platters, or can even be eaten on its own.
Is Salami Good For Cats?
So, we now know that Cats can eat salami. But how safe is it for cats? Well, here’s the truth about the popular delicacy. During the fermentation stage, salami is treated with a high amount of lot of salt – this means that when it is cured and dried, the sodium and fat (which doesn’t evaporate easily) content that constitutes it goes sky-high, making it one of the saltiest and fattiest foods in the world.
And we all know what high sodium, fat, and cholesterol can lead to: a significantly increased risk of developing heart disease. This goes both ways for both cats and humans – and taking into consideration the size difference between you and your tiny tiger, the overconsumption of salami may very well cause a lot more harm to your cat.
However, that’s not to say that cats can’t eat salami at all. When served as an occasional treat, your cat will definitely love the taste and texture of this delicious deli meat, thanks to their carnivorous nature. It may not be good for their health, but it sure is good for the tastebuds! (same goes for ourselves, honestly).
Is Salami Safe For My Cat?
In small amounts, salami is perfectly safe for your cat to consume. However, the problems only start arising when your cat starts consuming too much of it. The high fat and salt content means that based on a nutritional standpoint, there is no reason at all to think that salami could supplement the nutrients your cat is already consuming from a well-balanced commercial cat food diet.
It should not be a staple in your cat’s diet. So the next time you see those pleading eyes looking up at you while you sit back with your snacktime deli spread, think twice about how much salami she’s already had this week before sharing any with your furry friend!
Kittens and Salami
Because of their genetic disposition as obligate carnivores, kittens are able to consume and digest salami at a young age. However, remember to portion the salami pieces for the kittens in your household according to their size.
If your bigger cats in the house are enjoying their salami treat while your kittens are watching them expectantly, cut the salami into smaller portions before serving the little guys so that they don’t end up having too much fat and salt in their diet.
Risks of Feeding Salami to Cats
There are no inherent health risks when it comes to feeding salami to cats. Salami is a meat product, and as obligate carnivores, your cat’s digestive system is more than equipped to deal with digesting salami, or other deli meats in general.
However, that’s not to say that there is nothing to worry about at all. The risks start coming into play when your cat starts having too much salami in their regular diet, resulting in complications such as heart conditions, high cholesterol and weight gain – all of which are connected closely to each other.
Alternative Foods to Salami for Cats
There’s no doubt that cats (and humans!) love the taste of salami. The salty, savoury and meaty texture of this delicious cured meat has made it a popular delicacy over the centuries, and still continues to do so.
However, if you decide that salami isn’t too healthy a choice for your furry companion, here are a few meat alternatives that you can serve:
- Skinless Turkey Meat
- Skinless Chicken Meat
- Cooked Beef
These meats are best served cooked and without any seasoning, if possible. So skip the honey soy marinade – your cat will enjoy these meats plain.
Salami is a great snack that ticks off all the right boxes when it comes to savory, salty, and the delicious meaty texture. Plus, it goes well with everything from sandwiches to cheese and crackers.
Serving salami to your cat is a great way to bond with her. The experience of sharing your own food with her is absolutely priceless and unlike any other. However, keep in mind that as much as your cat loves sharing your salami snack with you, the high salt and fat content may end up causing her more harm than good.
In short, when it comes to serving salami to your cat – always remember that a little goes a very long way!