The look and texture of pepperoni makes some people’s mouths water. Since cats love all kinds of salami-related products, it is not a surprise that they could want a little bit for tasting, but because there are many ingredients in the making of pepperoni, it could be harmful to them.
Pepperoni is one of the favorite toppings on pizza. You may want to give it as an appetizer for your cat because the texture looks soft and harmless. However, the amount of sodium it contains can affect the digestive system of our felines, so it’s best not to feed it to them.
Because the digestive system of our felines is different from humans, we need to be careful of the type of food we give them. This is why appetizers like pepperoni and others that could look innocent can damage the health of your cat.
What Is Pepperoni Made Of?
The name “pepperoni” was initially brought by Italians who referred to salami and red pepper as pepperoni. The word “peperoncino” in Italian refers to a spicy pepper. It mainly looks like a giant sausage, and the texture is smooth and soft, easy to digest (on humans), and not very saggy.
Pepperoni is made from pork and beef mixed with a lot of spices and other flavorings to create the red color we know it for. Because it is an inlay, it has to contain a high volume of sodium nitrate and salt. This will prevent unwanted microorganisms from growing inside of our salami.
The meat mixture gets stuffed into a machine that will either blend or stick them together as a single meat product. Additionally, all the ingredients from the beginning are added and are put to rest for several days. When it’s ready, they take it out of the machine, cut it, ensure the shape is correct and follow additional quality assurance processes.
Can I Give Salami To My Cat?
Veterinarians recommend that all the food you give your feline is somewhat processed and cooked before feeding it to them. Providing a slice of raw meat can directly affect their immune system. This reaction is similar to what happens to us whenever we eat any kind of food that is not cooked all the way through.
Salami is considered to be a raw food because of the way that it is prepared and packed. All ingredients get into a machine that processes them all together and prepares them for fermentation and air-drying. As a result, the chances for it to accumulate bacteria are very high, and it could cause very severe health problems in your cat.
Developing the immune system of your cat is a process that takes time. So any kind of toxins or bacteria a feline consumes could be very dangerous, especially if they are still kittens. Additionally, constantly feeding these types of human food like pepperoni, salami, chicken, or any other kind of food that has to be cooked and contains a high volume of salt could result in your pet getting overweight.
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You want to make sure your cat’s diet has all the necessary nutrients so they can grow happy and healthy without any complications. Because of the ingredients and amount of sodium, pepperoni poses a health risk for your feline friend. For example, one piece of this processed food is packed with 35 mg of sodium which is a very elevated amount for an average-sized cat.
The amount of food you give to your cat will depend on their age and size. So if you want to keep track of your pet’s diet, you can confirm with your veterinarian to determine the actual amounts of food you can give them. They will usually guide you on which one your pet is allowed to eat and which ones to avoid.
Pepperoni is also very high in saturated fat, increasing the chance of the cat gaining weight. This food has many spices like paprika that can harm your cat’s stomach because it is hard for them to process it. When they eat food that cannot be digested properly, the first signs will be vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes lack of appetite.
Small amounts of salami or pepperoni won’t lead to any significant health issues. However, you still want to be on the lookout for anything that could affect your pet. Cat stomachs are not fully prepared to digest all types of spices. Therefore eating food with different kinds of seasonings or flavorings like garlic, onion, pepper, and so forth can cause them to have indigestion, so you’d want to watch out for that.
How Much Pepperoni Can I Give To My Cat?
Even though we have to be very careful with the type of food we provide our cats with, it is not wrong to have them taste some human food treats. So feeding them small pieces of salami or pepperoni every once in a while in proper amounts should be okay. If you want to be 100% sure before taking the “risk,” it is recommended that you check with your cat’s veterinarian to confirm if it won’t cause any significant issues for your pet.
As long as you don’t give them pepperoni on a regular basis, and if they start begging you for a small piece of it, you can have them enjoy a slice. Ensure they drink enough water because keeping them hydrated will cause the digestive system to work somewhat better with the amount of food it’s receiving.
Pepperoni is considered a cured meat, and it goes through the same process that this type of meat needs to help it last longer. These meats have many nitrates inside them to prevent any germs from going inside the actual food and to add flavor to the pepperoni.
All the ingredients inside the pepperoni are somewhat good for humans but what might be good for us is not always safe for our beloved kittens. Aside from the seasonings, there is a slight spiciness in its taste, which is very dangerous for cats. Unlike us, felines’ taste buds are very sensitive and cannot handle spice very well.
Feeding cats with spicy food can hurt not only their tongue but could alter their sense of taste. Aside from that, one of the ingredients inside pepperoni is garlic, black pepper, and red pepper, which could be harmful to your cat’s stomach.
The Food You Should Avoid Giving Your Cat
Here’s a brief list of foods you should probably try to avoid giving your feline so they won’t catch any type of infection:
- Spices like pepper
- Dairy products
It is important to check with your veterinarian in case you want to change or modify your cat’s diet. They will also be able to provide you with a more detailed list of the dos and don’ts when it comes to your cats’ dietary needs.
In general, we agree that pepperoni is not that beneficial to include in your cat’s diet due to all of its negative potential health risks. However, you can try to give your feline a small amount of it and keep checking if it causes them any health issues.
Remember that your cat is like your little baby, and you always want to be aware of all the types of things that go inside their mouth. So you must have a clear idea of what kind of food is served to them so they can grow healthy and strong!
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.