Carnivores are organisms whose diet is mostly meat. But not all types of meat are suitable for every animal.
Yes. Cats can eat beef. It is better for the cat if the cut is lean and fresh. This type of meat has many nutrients that are healthy for cats. Some meats have to be carefully prepared to avoid complications in the animal’s digestive system that is going to consume them.
Remember that felines are very picky when it comes to their food. A cat will smell very quickly meat that is not fresh and harmful to them and just walk away. They do the same with water. They only drink freshly poured water. So, please pay attention to them.
What Is Beef?
The skeletal muscle from cattle is what, in the culinary world, is called “beef.” It is an excellent source of nutrients and protein. We, humans, have been consuming beef way back in time since prehistory.
There is beef from steers and heifers. It’s similar. An older bull’s meat is tougher. That is why it is most frequently used for mince; in the United States, that’s called “ground beef.”
Depending on the type of beef, there are processes that animals go through so the meat gains more quality and texture.
A cattle raised specifically for beef may have different treatments to ensure the expected qualities of the meat. They are fed with protein, grains, vitamins, and minerals.
Beef is the third most eaten meat in the whole world. That’s about, give or take, 25 percent of the meat production of the globe. Pork and poultry have first and second place.
Is Beef Bad For Cats?
No. But there are factors to be taken into account.
Cat owners are always looking for new feeding and nutrition information to keep their pets as healthy as they can. At the same time, trying to maintain a diet for them that does not make them bored over time. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need to eat meat as their primary protein source. But what about beef or steak? Can cats eat beef?
Felines are designed to consume meat every day. A lean steak, cooked, contains several nutrients and vitamins that can boost a cat’s health, including zinc, iron, protein, niacin, selenium, zinc, and Vitamin B12.
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Meats like beef are filled with proteins, but we must be careful not to serve it with bones because it might hurt our little friends.
Fat is another aspect that we must be vigilant about. Depending on the cut, the fat varies. If not taken seriously, there may be a ton of problems related to obesity. I will explain a little more of the risk of feeding beef to your cat:
We all know the problems that fat causes in all living creatures if not considered, like obesity and everything that comes with it. Also, it can irritate organs like the pancreas. Ingesting large amounts of fatty meats is a possible source of pancreatitis. That is why a lean cut is the better option.
It is not something that will happen instantly. Maybe if the amount is extremely high, irritation will come in the following hours. But in other cases, this is cumulative. It will happen after a careless amount of time eating meat with fat.
Bones must be removed from the meat because they can cause a blockage in the cat’s gut. That can be very delicate and can risk the cat’s life.
If your cat eats the bones, but they do not get stuck in the gut, there is still a risk of damage related to sharp edges. They can irritate the wall of the gut and cause diarrhea or vomiting. So, make sure to give boneless meat to your cats to avoid any of these risks.
Obesity And Risk Of Deficiencies
For sure, our cats would be happy to live eating just beef. But it is not healthy for them, and they cannot survive on it alone. It is imperative that you keep track of the calories consumed by your cat. Any food you give them must be subtracted from their daily allowed amount. If you provide beef to them, you must give them a smaller quantity to compensate.
Ninety percent of the calories should come from the correct food. The other ten percent is where you include beef or other treats. If you do it like that, you ensure that most of all the calories are from healthy cat food. You avoid any risk related to vitamin, nutrients, and minerals deficiency.
Make sure to apply this rule when you are giving them treats.
Every cat is different, and some do not like to eat beef. As with any new food you may present to them, it may cause vomiting and diarrhea after ingesting it. So offer small amounts of beef to see if they like it, and they process it well, with no undesirable side effects. If everything goes fine, then you can continue to give them more.
If everything doesn’t go well and the cat develops symptoms of gut sensitivity, start them on a diet of digestible foods with a soft texture. They are low on protein, low on fat, and fiber. That is called a bland diet and often contains a single carbohydrate source and lean protein. Usually, they will recover in a couple of days, and everything will be back to normal.
Once you take your cat off the bland diet, check if any symptoms persist; if they do, that might be a suitable time to call the vet.
Raw Beef? Or Cooked?
While cats can consume raw beef, raw diets are another story. It can be challenging to tell if this is a good option for your cat.
Raw meat has the risk of having parasites and pathogens transferred to your cat after eating contaminated meat. That’s why it is safer for them to eat cooked meat to avoid diseases related to uncooked meat and parasites.
Can My Kitten Eat Beef?
The same goes for kittens. You can feed them beef but be careful with the cuts as not to eat much fat. Discount the portion out of the calorie intake of the day. Remove the bones and start with small bits to be sure that they process it well.
Do this for every type of meat you want to give them.
Stay away from salty, fatty, fried, greasy meats or those with nitrates or preservatives. Please don’t feed your kitten with hot dogs or bacon. These are not lean meats and will upset the cat’s digestive system, potentially causing vomiting or diarrhea.
Your cat is a carnivore. It is in his nature to eat meat but remember that food is not 100% natural in these modern times. So, there are a lot of processes that affect the quality. Salt and preservatives are ubiquitous to help meat “last” longer and be imported or exported. If you ignore what you eat and what you give to your pet, you will both risk suffering some conditions related to food consumption.
Beef is not bad, but we have to pay more attention to it. Lean cuts, no processed meat, no bones, cooked, small bits first, and caution to ensure the cat is okay.
If anything happens after giving beef to your cat, stop right there. Start the bland diet and keep a watchful eye on it.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.