Can cats eat bacon?
There is more than a simple yes or no to this question as there are many caveats attached. If you are not careful while feeding bacon to your cat, there will be consequences.
Crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, toasted bread, and light tanned coffee are potentially the ideal American breakfast, according to the data collected by YouGov.
It seems like our breakfast is incomplete without bacon, but what about our feline friends? Can cats eat bacon? Is it safe for them?
Cats and Bacon
Cats are the bosses in the house. Even though you poured the cat food in your cat’s bowl before making your breakfast, your cat may still decide to join you for breakfast—asking for a strip of that crispy bacon.
You have to leave your cat home alone as you have to go to work, so try not to make your cat sad by not extending her a bacon strip. But at the same time, you are also worried—can cats eat bacon safely?
We know you will feel bad after contritely denying your cat a strip of bacon, but it is your responsibility not to share human foods with your cat without knowing if they are safe for cats or not. Cats have very different nutritional requirements than humans, and they also process food differently. This is why many of the foods that are safe and healthy for us can be harmful to our cat’s health. It is therefore suggested that you never give any people food to your cat without checking it with your vet first.
Let’s get to the specifics. Can cats eat bacon?
Can Cats Eat Bacon?
Yes. Cats can eat bacon, but as with other human foods, only in moderate amounts.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they must eat meat to stay in good shape. Bacon is meat—pig meat—thus, it is safe for cats to consume.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Bacon?
Cats are carnivores. It is no wonder that they come running to you as you start cooking bacon in the kitchen—they are drawn to the aroma of bacon being cooked. While it is completely safe for our cats to have a small strip of bacon every now and then, it should not be made their everyday diet.
Bacon that you are cooking for your cat must not contain any flavoring or seasoning, such as cinnamon powder, pepper, salt, and so on. While these flavorings make the bacon more palatable for us humans, many of these flavorings are toxic to cats. For instance, the salt used in the kitchen is poisonous to cats when consumed in excess and could cause several health issues in cats, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and coma.
Can Cats Eat Raw Bacon?
It is generally advised that any meat product that we eat ourselves or feed to our cats must be properly cooked to kill bacteria and parasites in it. However, there is nothing to be concerned about if your cat sneakily takes a bite or two of raw bacon. Just like the cooked bacon, you can give little amounts of raw bacon to your cat, occasionally, as a treat—provided it’s fresh and clean.
Can Kittens Have Bacon?
A nibble of bacon would not harm a fully weaned kitten, but you need to be cautious. Baby kittens, not yet fully grown, have a fragile digestive system and might not be able to handle food like bacon. Bacon has a high concentration of sodium, grease, and saturated fat and may cause stomach upsets in baby kittens, in addition to other issues.
Baby kittens should not be eating anything other than their kitten food. Actually, baby kittens have special nutrient requirements that can only be met by the special kitten foods designed considering their special nutritional needs.
If you do not have an idea about how much and how frequently to feed your baby kitten, take a look at the kitten feeding chart.
Is Bacon Good For Cats?
Bacon in the breakfast provides us the energy for the day, but what about our feline friends? Can our cats reap these benefits by eating bacon?
Bacon is a nutritious treat not only for humans but also for our feline fellas. It is loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals, which help cats maintain good health. But there are some real concerns about a cat eating bacon. Therefore, it is suggested that cat owners never replace the cat meal with bacon. It should only be given to cats in minute amounts, occasionally, as a treat—maybe after a vet visit, bath, or a nail trimming session.
Do Cats Like Bacon?
Cats eat bacon—they love it.
Cats are obligate carnivores—they are always looking for meaty proteins. There is nothing in the world that they will drool over more than savory bacon slices—the aroma of bacon cooking in the kitchen will turn their heads, and a bite of the crispy bacon will please their taste buds. But cats do not know what is good for them and what not, so as a responsible pet parent, it is your responsibility to decide what food to share with them and what not.
Is Bacon Bad For Cats?
Bacon is not the healthiest food for humans or cats. The concerning factors about bacon are the high content of saturated fat in it and its saltiness. It is associated with the development of many serious health issues in both humans as well as our feline friends. Below we have discussed some of the health hazards of bacon for cats.
Too Much Sodium
The real concern about cats eating bacon is salt poisoning. Actually, it’s the manufacturing of bacon that leads to its saltiness. There are two ways of manufacturing bacon. First, it is brined by soaking it in brine—water saturated with salt or other curing ingredients like sodium nitrate—leading to a pronounced increase in its saltiness. Secondly, it is dry-packed in salt—creating a hostile environment for bacteria and fungi with increased saltiness.
This is the reason that eating bacon in excess causes salt poisoning in cats. It is because cats need very small amounts of salt in their diet, which is already present in their cat food. So feeding bacon to your cat gives them more salt than they need, thereby causing salt poisoning. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, salt poisoning in cats can lead to the development of certain signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, and coma, etc.
The consumption of bacon can also lead to high blood pressure, kidney issues, and heart diseases in cats.
No doubt, bacon contains many useful vitamins, proteins, and minerals, but it does not contain all the nutrients required for cats to maintain good health. Therefore, making bacon an integral part of our cats’ diet or replacing it with their regular diet is never a good idea. In addition to causing salt poisoning, it can lead to the deficiency of many vital nutrients in cats.
The Fatty Content
Cats need fats to stay in good health, but bacon has excessive fats and that too saturated fats. According to Lisa Cimperman, a dietitian, “about 68% of the calories from bacon come from fat—and about half of that is from saturated fat—so it’s definitely not the healthiest meat you can choose.” The high saturated fat in bacon is associated with an increased risk of heart diseases in cats.
Apart from increasing the risk of heart issues, excessive bacon consumption can also cause other issues like indigestion and obesity in cats.
Obesity in Cats
Domesticated cats do not have much to do. You will find them sleeping most of the time, around 16 to 20 hours a day. Given their lack of activity, we must be careful about what we put in cats’ bowls. For instance, giving them food with excess calories or unhealthy fats can lead to obesity in cats. In the United States, 59.5 percent of cats are overweight or obese. Therefore, as responsible cat owners, we should not be feeding bacon to our cats regularly. It should only be given as a treat, in small amounts, and that too occasionally.
Can Cats Eat Turkey Bacon?
Many people argue that turkey bacon is a better alternative to bacon, but it is not—don’t be fooled. Just like the pork bacon, turkey bacon also contains unhealthy levels of sodium and fats. If you are going to feed it to your cat, you will still have to be as careful as with the bacon.
Can Cats Eat Bacon Grease?
No cats cannot eat bacon grease. Bacon grease is the liquefied bacon fat. No doubt, cats need fats for good health, but there is too much fat—saturated fats—in the bacon grease. This high fatty content will not only make your cat obese but also increase the risk of the development of cardiac issues.
The Final Verdict
So, what’s the final verdict? Can cats eat bacon?
Yes, cats can have bacon but occasionally as a treat and only in minute amounts. You can also give cooked bacon to your cats (in small amounts), but it should be free of seasonings or any additives.
Now that you have the answer to the question “can cats eat bacon?” you may want to look at other human foods that you can give to your cats as a treat, such as store-bought mushrooms, watermelon, spinach, and cinnamon, etc.