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Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? How Much Is OK To Feed Them?

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? How Much Is OK To Feed Them?

Cats are the second most popular animal owned as a pet after dogs and the number one cutest pet. Most people love cats because they are gentle, cute, and loving. It will be a shame if you lose your cat because you fed it the wrong food, especially if you think it is okay for your cat to eat what you eat.

Yes, cats can consume beef jerky; however, it is not healthy to feed them. If you give your cat beef jerky, it should be in very little quantity because beef jerky contains high sodium content and can cause fluid buildup, choking, dehydration, and kidney damage when consumed in a large amount. 

Beef jerky is one of the foods that has been in existence for millennia; it is also a very popular snack that you can find in several homes. When you feed a cat with beef jerky, it will eat it because they are carnivores. Beef jerky has some beneficial nutrients for cats, but it can also cause some damage when a cat feeds on it in large quantities.

beef jerky on table

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

Yes, cats can eat beef jerky. The name beef jerky comes from the Quechua word ‘ch’arki,’ which means dried and salted meat. It is made from lean cuts of beef marinated with spices, sauces, and other additives. Beef jerky undergoes various processes like smoking, curing, and drying before it is packaged for sale.

Beef jerky has some health benefits for cats; it contains protein and some healthy fats. A cat’s diet should mainly contain protein because they are carnivores, and beef jerky is a good source of protein for your cat. Beef jerky also contains some beneficial minerals and vitamins that improve the well-being of a cat.

Some of the vitamins and minerals in beef jerky include iron, phosphorus, zinc, folate, and vitamin B12. Phosphorus is one of the nutrients that help boost the growth of a cat’s bones and teeth. Iron helps transport oxygen to every part of the cat’s body, while zinc helps boost the reproductive system and the immune system.

Vitamin B12 is one of the main nutrients a cat needs; this vitamin helps boost its immune system and improve its digestive tract and nervous system. Vitamin B12 also aids digestion in cats. Folate is a form of folic acid found in beef jerky, and it treats any folic acid deficiency in a cat’s system.

Most cats love the smell of beef jerky, which is very strong in flavor, and they will want to have a bite. A few cats are not interested in feeding on beef jerky, but several others love the taste of it. Feeding your cat with beef jerky is not a bad idea; however, it should be an occasional treat or meal for them and not something they consume every time.

Can Beef Jerky Kill Cats?

No, beef jerky cannot kill cats; however, it can cause some serious health issues if consumed in large amounts regularly. Beef jerky is extremely high in sodium; when a cat consumes a high quantity of sodium, it can result in sodium poisoning. Sodium poisoning can lead to dehydration in cats, swelling of the legs, and sometimes permanently damage the cat’s kidney.

Most beef jerky is seasoned with several flavors like pepper, teriyaki, jalapeno, and garlic. These flavors are quite delicious to humans, but they are bad news to cats. Garlic is the most toxic seasoning for cats; when a cat consumes garlic, it can result in hemolytic anemia, which will cause symptoms like diarrhea, pale gums, difficulty breathing, and vomiting.

Beef jerky seasoned with jalapeno is quite harmful to cats because they contain capsaicin, which can cause some problems for a cat’s digestive tract. It can result in burns in the mouth, esophagus, and several other parts of the cat’s digestive tract. When a cat consumes a high quantity of jalapeno, symptoms like diarrhea, wheezing, nausea, skin irritation, vomiting, and burns on the face and paws will occur.

Some beef jerky also contains onions which are not a good idea for cats. When consumed in large quantities, onions can break down a cat’s red blood cells and result in anemia. Some of the effects of consuming onions in cats are weakness, diarrhea, liver damage, elevated heart rate, vomiting, lethargy, blood in the urine, and dyspnea.

Beef jerky usually contains preservatives that keep them fresh and safe to eat. These preservatives are mostly in the form of chemicals, which are very harmful to your cat’s system. Preservatives can result in high cholesterol levels in a cat. Some beef jerky also contains nitrate, which can lead to nitrate poisoning when consumed in large quantities.

Nitrate poisoning affects a cat’s cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems. The symptoms include frequent urination, abdominal pain, dyspnea, weakness, anxiety, vomiting, salivation, and gastric hemorrhage. In some cases, it can result in anoxia, leading to death if care is not taken.

Are Jerky Treats Safe For Cats?

Jerky treats are one of the foods that dogs eat; it was produced mainly for dogs even the packaging has an image of a dog. However, when you have a dog and a cat as pets, you might be wondering if you can feed them with the same treats. There are several treats for dogs; however, not all of them are suitable for cats because the nutrients a cat needs are slightly different from a dog’s.

Feeding a cat with jerky treats is not a bad idea; jerky treats are safe for cats. They have a softer texture and are easy to chew, so there is no possibility that they can break a cat’s teeth. Jerky treats also contain no flavorings and toxic preservatives; hence they are quite harmless to cats.

However, not all kinds of jerky treats are healthy for cats; there are some with ingredients that can cause damage to a cat’s health and system. Jerky treats with ingredients like garlic, onion, and propylene glycol are unhealthy and harmful to your cat.

When a cat consumes propylene glycol, it can result in seizures, low blood pressure, and cardiovascular collapse. If the cat is not given medical attention immediately, it can result in death. Garlic and onion can lead to anemia in cats if consumed in large quantities. It would be best if you never feed your cat with Newman’s Own Jerky Treats For Dogs.

cat eating beef jerky

How Much Beef Jerky Is OK For Cats?

Although beef jerky contains some beneficial nutrients, it is not advisable to feed your cat with lots of them. It would help if you never feed your cat beef jerky in large quantities regularly. Beef jerky should be an occasional treat for your cat and something it eats only once in a while.

When you feed your cat with beef jerky regularly, it might begin to show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, and nausea. If a cat eats several pieces of beef jerky at once, there is a high chance the cat will choke on it.

Beef jerky is thick and tough, so a cat will have to chew thoroughly before swallowing; if it does not, it might get lodged in the throat and cause choking. You should not give your cat more than a piece or two of beef jerky, and it should be once or twice in two weeks.

Final Thoughts

Although beef jerky has some health benefits for cats, it does not mean you should make it a part of your cat’s regular diet. When you feed your cat with several pieces of beef jerky daily, the result will be harmful to your cat. You can decide to get a cat’s jerky treat to give your cat to prevent any diseases or infections in your cat.