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Can Cats Eat Spam? Everything You Need to Know!

SPAM is an easy-to-use meat product, made from processed ham and ground pork. Despite SPAM tasting yummy to us, it is not something you should feed your cat. Even though SPAM is not poisonous or toxic to cats, it contains a number of ingredients that can deter your cat’s health if they consume it over a large portion of time.

Since SPAM is not technically poisonous or terrible for your cat, it’s difficult to explain why you should not feed your cats SPAM in a simple yes or no answer. To get a better understanding of whether or not your cats can eat SPAM, keep reading. In this article, we thoroughly explore whether or not cats can eat SPAM.divider-catclaw1

Can Cats Eat SPAM?

If your cat snuck a bite or two of SPAM when you were not looking, you do not have any reason to worry. As a pork product, SPAM is not toxic or harmful for your cat to eat in small quantities. There is nothing in SPAM that should make your cat sick.

In fact, you may actually think that SPAM is good for cats since it is so heavily made out of pork. Given that cats need pork and protein to survive, many people assume that SPAM is a good substitute or alternative to regular cat food.

Even though SPAM is not technically toxic for cats to eat, that does not mean you should feed it to them. As a processed food, SPAM is high in fat and sodium. Both fat and sodium lead to a number of health issues, such as obesity, in cats and other animals.

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Credit: lonsdale_007, Shutterstock

Leads to Obesity

Obesity is a pretty common in cats. Given that many house cats suffer from obesity to begin with, you should not feed your cat any food that will make the issue worse. Because of the high fat content in SPAM, regular feedings of SPAM will certainly cause your cat to pack on the pounds quickly.

Contains 20x More Sodium Than Cats Should Eat In 1 Day

On top of leading to obesity, SPAM has a high amount of sodium. Although sodium is an important electrolyte in your cat’s health, too much sodium can lead to serious problems. In fact, excess sodium causes many diseases in felines today.

Most commonly, excess sodium leads to salt poisoning, dehydration, fluid loss, acute illness such as diarrhea, and chronic diseases like kidney disease. Since excess sodium can lead to such serious complications, avoid feeding your cat foods high in sodium. This includes SPAM, which contains almost 20 times more sodium than any cat should have in an entire day.

What Happens If My Cat Eats SPAM?

If you are making your favorite lunch and your cat happens to take a bite or eat the entire can of SPAM while you are not looking, you do not need to panic. Since it is not toxic to cats, your cat eating SPAM once is not going to make any difference on their health or wellbeing.

Because of how salty and savory SPAM is, your cat is likely to love it. If you are worried about your cat consuming too much SPAM at one time, you can call your veterinarian and talk to them about what to do. In most cases, your cat will not experience any adverse reactions.

The only time that SPAM may cause a negative consequence on your cat’s health is if your cat eats SPAM consistently over a long. of time. For example, feeding your cat SPAM for dinner every night can have serious long-term consequences.

If you have been feeding your cat SPAM consistently for some time, change your cat’s diet today. You may also want to talk to your vet to make sure your cat is in good health. Listen to your veterinarian if they give you any recommendations about your cat’s wellbeing.

SPAM Nutrients

Nutrition Facts:
  • Calories: 174
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams

SPAM is a canned form of pork and ham. This canned meat is a great option for many families because it is tasty, filling, and affordable. Its ingredients make it a decent source of protein and micronutrients, like potassium, iron, and zinc.

At the same time, SPAM is highly processed, which is why it is so affordable. Its processed ingredients make it high in carbohydrates, sodium, and fat. The high carbs, fat, and sodium in this product outshine the little protein and micronutrients it offers.

What to Feed Your Cat Instead

Cats are carnivores at heart, meaning that they require a lot of animal protein to survive. Because of how common cats are in households today, you will be able to find a variety of commercial cat food at just about any grocery store you go to.

However, not all commercial cat food is of good quality. It is important to find high-quality cat foods that aid your cat’s health while keeping them full and satisfied. You can talk to your vet for recommendations. They may also know of cat food selections for cats with specific needs or illnesses.

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Credit: DIP 500, Shutterstock

Cat Food by Age

Age is one of the biggest determiners of what type of food you should feed your cat. Depending on your cat’s age, they may have specific needs or illnesses you need to address with their diet.

For kittens, select a high quality, balanced kitten food. These foods will be designed to promote a healthy urinary tract and growth. Do not feed kittens meat with bones, and do not feed them raw meat until they are over 20 weeks old.

Adult cats are the easiest to feed. Simply select a high-quality cat food brand. You can offer your cat a variety of foods, such as freshly cooked meat or cat food. Talk to your veterinarian about what foods are best for your cat.

Senior cats need additional help with their food because of additional health issues. Always talk to your veterinarian about what to feed your senior cat to target any of their issues. A wet diet is great for senior cats because it increases their fluids as well.

No matter what age your cat is, do not feed them fish every day. Although fish is good on occasion, too much can be dangerous for your cat to consume. Similarly, do not offer cooked bones because they can potentially be a choking hazard to cats.

Foods to Avoid

Even though SPAM is not dangerous for your cat to consume, there is a long list of foods you should not feed your cat. It is generally a better idea to only feed your cat food or freshly cooked meat. Everything else is unnecessary and potentially dangerous.

Here are the most important foods to avoid feeding your cat:

  • Bread
  • Caffeinated products
  • Chocolate
  • Fruit seeds
  • Fruit stones (like a peach pit)
  • Grapes
  • Milk (most cats are lactose intolerant)
  • Mushrooms
  • Nightshades (like potatoes, tomatoes, or peppers)
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Sugary foods and snacks (cats cannot taste sugar anyways)

cat paw dividerFinal Thoughts

Even though SPAM is not toxic to cats, you would be wise to avoid feeding this canned meat to your lovable feline. Because of its high fat and sodium contents, SPAM can lead to obesity and other negative health effects over time. If your cat steals a bite of your SPAM, however, they will be fine.

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Featured Image Credit: Lyskionva Irina, Shutterstock