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Can Cats Eat Slim Jims? Nutritional Facts & Alternatives

Because your cat is a carnivore, you might be wondering if your furry friend can eat Slim Jims. Although Slim Jims are not toxic to cats, they aren’t a good treat because they are filled with preservatives and ingredients that your cat should not eat in mass quantities.

In other words, you don’t have to worry if your cat eats a bit of Slim Jim when you aren’t looking, but you should not feed Slim Jims to your cat on a regular basis. Regularly feeding Slims Jims to your cat can lead to several adverse health effects.

Because there are some potentially worrisome ingredients in Slim Jims, it’s a good idea to understand why Slim Jims do not make a great snack for your cat. Scroll down to see what we mean.

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Can Cats Eat Slim Jims?

Yes. Cats can technically eat Slim Jims. There is nothing within the Slim Jim that is outright toxic or poisonous to your cat. If your cat sneaks a bite of your Slim Jim or snags it off the floor before you have a chance to pick it up, you don’t have anything to worry about. Monitor for signs of an upset stomach such as vomiting and diarrhea but this shouldn’t last long, if at all.

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Image Credit: Piqsels

Are Slim Jims Healthy for Cats?

Just because cats can eat Slim Jims does not mean they should. Slim Jims are highly processed and packed full of  ingredients that are not healthy for cats.

Slim Jims could lead to several adverse health effects in your cat when eaten frequently or in large amounts. For example, high sodium levels can lead to salt poisoning in cats, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination or even seizures and coma.

What’s In a Slim Jim?

To understand why Slim Jims are not healthy for cats, you have to know what’s in the Slim Jim first.

Slim Jims are made from a mixture of meat products, including pork, beef, and mechanically separated chicken. In addition to these meats, they are also made with artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Corn syrup, textured soy flour, and salt are even added for further flavoring.

Although various meat products are healthy for your cat, human highly processed and flavored snacks are not usually. More so, the additional preservatives and artificial ingredients can be outright dangerous for your cat, even in small quantities, such as garlic and onion.

Corn syrup, for example, is unhealthy for cats, it is a source of carbohydrates which cats don’t need in their diets. To make matters worse, your cat can’t even taste the flavor of corn syrup, which means they aren’t even enjoying eating a sweet ingredient. Instead, they are only getting excess calories without even tasting the sweetness.

Can Cats Eat Slim Jims As a Treat?

Even with all of this in mind, some cats outright love the flavor of Slim Jims. They are primarily made from meat and have a flavor, which some cats adore. If your cat falls into this category, you might be wondering if it’s OK to feed Slim Jims to your cat as a treat.

Generally speaking, giving your cat a small bit of Slim Jim every once in a while will likely not do much harm. However, you should not feed your cat Slim Jims as a treat on a regular basis. In fact, it’s best to avoid Slim Jims altogether since they are not healthy for your cat. If your cat has known health issues, avoid Slim Jims entirely.

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What Are Healthier Slim Jim Alternatives for Cats?

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If your cat loves Slim Jims, it’s best to find a healthier alternative for your cat. There are plenty of Slim Jim-like treats on the market that cats love. Use these Slim Jim alternatives as a treat so that your cat gets the delicious flavor without the harmful ingredients.

Specifically, look for freeze-dried and dehydrated treats. These treats will still be very savory and meat-packed for your cat in a way that is reminiscent of Slim Jims. There are many freeze-dried treats to consider, some being made from chicken, whereas others are made from salmon.

There are also treats in stick form so you can easily break a piece off and offer treats and rewards.

What Should I Do If My Cat Eats a Slim Jim?

If your cat eats a Slim Jim, don’t panic. The Slim Jim is not outright toxic to your cat, which means your cat should not have any adverse reactions. Just make sure to keep the Slim Jims picked up so that your cat does not eat anymore in the future.

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At the end of the day, you don’t need to panic if your cat has eaten a Slim Jim, but you don’t need to feed your cat anymore Slim Jims either. Slim Jims are not suitable for cats because of their high sodium and corn syrup content.

Instead, look for healthier meat-packed treat alternatives, such as freeze-dried treats. It shouldn’t be difficult to find these sorts of treats at pet stores near you. Not only will the cat love the flavor, but it will be much healthier than Slim Jims.

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Featured Image Credit: Six unwrapped Original Slim Jims in the Dulles section of Sterling, Loudoun County, Virginia (Famartin, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)