It’s an instinct shared by many pet owners. You’re enjoying a food you like, and your pet also wants a piece. It’s hard not to give in to the temptation and give your furry friend a bite. After all, if it’s safe for you, it’s safe for them, right?
Unfortunately, the truth is, that’s not always the case. Plus, we often eat plenty of foods that aren’t actually good for us. Our human bodies have mechanisms that can cope with processed foods, but our pets do not.
A hot dog may seem like a harmless stick of meat, not far removed from any rat or bird that your cat killed and dragged home. However, looks can be deceiving. That hot dog is vastly different from any food your cat would naturally have in its diet. Experts will tell you that hot dogs are not a food you should feed your cat, but if you want to know more, then read on.
No, You Shouldn’t Feed Your Cat Hot-Dogs!
But, Aren’t Cats Carnivores?
Most of us are aware that cats are clever hunters, stalking and killing all sorts of small animals. Every cat owner has been gifted one of these small tributes from their feline at some time.
To us, eating a dead pigeon seems disgusting. On the other hand, we eat hot dogs all the time without giving it a second thought. So, to us, a hot dog seems like a healthier, safer bet. Why wouldn’t we want to share some with our cats?
On the surface, this logic seems to make sense. Pigeons and rats carry diseases that we know aren’t present in our hot dog meat. But the meat that your cat would be eating in the wild is very different from the processed meat that’s contained in a hot dog.
Wild Meats vs. Processed Meats
If it’s all meat, then why should I avoid feeding my cat a hot dog when it eats rats outside?
Our human bodies have evolved to digest the processed foods that we eat. Before we created these foods, they did not exist on earth. This means that no other creatures have had the time to adapt to eating these processed foods.
A hot dog isn’t just ordinary meat, though it looks like that on the surface. It’s actually an amalgam of quite a few different meats and parts of animals, plus a whole bunch of chemicals and preservatives as well.
Moreover, hot dogs have incredibly high- fat content. In the wild, very few animals have high-fat content. This means that a cat’s natural diet consists almost entirely of very lean meats.
Humans aren’t the only ones with an obesity problem today. Many pets are as overweight as their owners now, and part of the problem is that they’re being fed processed foods that were never meant to be a part of their diet.
What’s in a Hot Dog That’s Bad for Your Cat
In truth, hot dogs aren’t healthy for humans either. It’s recommended that humans avoid consuming this food, especially in large amounts. Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients in a hot dog that you don’t want to feed your cat, or yourself!
High Sodium Content
Everyone knows that too much sodium in your diet can cause problems. In humans, it can cause high blood pressure and worse. But with cats, the effects can be even more detrimental.
Though excessive sodium isn’t good for humans, our bodies can still process large amounts of sodium fairly easily. However, cats’ bodies aren’t built to process sodium since it’s not present in any of a cat’s natural food sources. A cat just isn’t going to be adding table salt to a rabbit it killed in the bush.
The extra sodium can cause dehydration in your cat, even in small amounts. But it gets worse. Your cat could even end up with sodium-ion poisoning if you regularly feed them too much sodium. This can cause elevated blood pressure, tremors, seizures, anxiety, depression, nausea, vomiting, and more.
Too Much Fat
We’ve already mentioned the high-fat content of hot dogs, but it’s one of the biggest reasons not to feed them to your cat. Cats’ digestive systems don’t have a way to process all of that fat, so it ends up getting stored. This is going to contribute to an obese and unhealthy cat with a shorter and less enjoyable life.
Nitrates and Nitrites
All sorts of preservatives and chemicals are found in hot dogs, including nitrates and nitrites. Since hot dogs are made to have a very long shelf life and be ready to eat without needing to be cooked, they contain far more preservatives than most other foods.
Though our bodies have learned to adapt to the high amount of preservatives and other chemicals that have become such a major part of our diet, our pets still can’t process these chemicals as effectively. This means that they’re twice as toxic to our four-legged friends, so it’s not worth risking.
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- See also: Can Cats Eat Beets? What You Need to Know
In the end, every pet owner has to make their own decisions about their pet’s life. But if you want to help your cat live their best life, then hot dogs should not be a part of their diet.
These foods contain too much fat, which will be easily stored and contribute to your cat being overweight since they can’t process fat as well as humans. Plus, the excess sodium can dehydrate your cat and even make it sick. Finally, the preservatives and chemicals found in hot dogs are toxic for your cat, just one more reason why hot dogs aren’t a good food to feed your furry loved one.