No, you cannot include spam in a cat’s daily diet. A can of spam contains 800mg of sodium, above a cat’s daily recommended salt intake. However, spam is neither toxic nor harmful to a cat. If your cat begs too much, sharing a teeny tiny piece won’t hurt. Alternatively, opt for treats and snacks made explicitly for cats. Cats suffering from pancreatic or liver conditions must not be fed spam. It might worsen their condition. Also, avoid feeding spam to your kittens as their metabolism is not yet ready to handle the high sodium levels.
Before anyone asks why I own three cats, I admit I am a sucker for cats! Whenever I open a can of meat, tuna, or spam in the kitchen, at least two will beg for some. If you own a cat, you know how relentless they can be.
I am keen on the well-being of my cats, and I like to ensure that I keep their diet healthy. Whenever I shared a piece of spam with my cats, I was left questioning my choice. As you probably know, processed meat is not listed among the healthiest of food choices. So is it alright to feed spam to your cat? In this article, we discuss everything you need to know before you decide to let your cat snack on spam.
Can you feed spam to your cat?
Spam is a pork meat product. Generally, it is not harmful or toxic to your cat. However, this does not mean you should feed your cats spam. If you own a cat or several cats, they probably won’t give you peace when you try to open a can of spam. They will want a share of it too.
Spam is a meat product that contains protein. For this reason, most cat owners tend to assume that spam is good for their cats. Some even use spam as a preferred alternative to cat food. Statistically, however, you should not feed spam to your cat. Spam contains high levels of sodium, 20 times higher than the recommended daily intake for your cat. It also contains high levels of fat. Below are reasons why you need to avoid feeding spam to your cat.
It contains high levels of sodium
Sodium is not bad for your cat. Cats need to consume sodium-rich food to keep their urinary tract healthy. However, high sodium levels could be detrimental to your cat’s health. Experts recommend that your cat’s daily diet must not exceed 20mg of sodium a day.
If your cat sneaks up the counter and steals a few bites of spam, there is no need to worry. Your cat will be fine. The real danger comes when you feed your cat spam for extended periods. High levels of sodium could cause your cat heart and kidney problems.
Spam contains high fat levels
Most cat owners live in apartments or gated communities. The cats do not have much room to run around or explore the wild. They live sedentary lives, mostly indoors. Sedentary living slows down a cat’s metabolism.
Therefore, it is important to avoid feeding your cat food with high-fat content. This can cause your cat to become obese over time. Obesity puts your cat at risk of developing several chronic illnesses, including diabetes, liver disease, and arthritis.
Your cat could get addicted!
Processed food is often overly flavored; your cat will love the taste. If you habitually let your cat snack on spam, your cat may fall in love and refuse to feed on regular cat food.
The table below shows a nutritional summary of spam per ounce serving. It highlights the high sodium and fat content. Most of the calories result from the fat and cholesterol. Thus, habitually feeding spam to your cat could cause them health issues or damage to the kidneys and liver.
When is spam not okay for cats to eat?
If your cat is of average weight, perfectly healthy, and is in prime age, it won’t hurt to snack on spam as a tasty treat once in a while. So when should you completely avoid feeding spam to your cat?
- Suppose your cat is a kitten. Kittens are still growing, and their digestive system is still developing. A kitten might suffer stomach upset from feeding on processed foods like spam. Also, you do not want your kitten to get used to spicy and salty foods as this may cause feeding problems in the future.
- Suppose your cat is on a diet. Sometimes you may notice that your cat is adding weight. If you put your cat on a weight loss diet, the last thing you want to do is reverse the results.
- If your cat is older. As a cat grows older, the metabolism begins to slow down. Your cat can no longer metabolize sodium and fat as easily as its younger counterparts.
- Suppose your cat suffers from pancreatic or liver diseases. Feeding such cat food with high sodium and fat content only worsens the condition.
What to feed your cat instead
If your cat asks for a share of spam, it simply means they have a meat craving. Since cats are carnivores, you can instead offer them a piece of raw, unflavored meat. The meat will equally satisfy your cat’s craving. Alternatively, you can explore the market for cat treats. You will find a wide variety of safer alternatives, specifically for cats.
If your cat sneaks up on a can of spam and manages to steal a few bites, there is nothing to worry about; your cat will be fine. However, feeding spam to your cat for extended periods could cause them serious health problems. Instead, explore the market for safe cat treat options.
My cat ate a whole can of spam. Will he die?
No, your cat will be fine. If you notice signs of stomach upset, take your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup.
Can I feed my cat spam?
No, including spam in your cat’s diet is not advisable. Feeding your cat spam may have detrimental effects in the long term.