Can cats eat spam? Spam is made of mainly pork meat so it should be safe for cats to consume, right? The answer to that question is not a simple yes or no!
The ingredients of spam are pork, ham, potato starch, salt, sugar, water, and sodium nitrate. While the ingredients seem to be OK depending on the consumed amount, the list of ingredients is not the only thing we need to consider if we want to answer the question “can cats eat spam”.
Can cats eat spam?
It is correct that spam is mainly pork meat however it is highly processed, and it contains more fat than proteins. These two alone are good reasons not to give any spam to your cat but it doesn’t end there. Spam also contains high amounts of sodium.
Only 1/6 of a can of spam has 20 times more salt than the recommended daily salt intake for cats. For your reference, National Research Council has an amazing publication on the daily nutritional requirements for cats and dogs.
Therefore, it is not very wise to give spam to your cat but since spam is not toxic to your kitty, there is no harm if it steals a bite or two while you are preparing your lunch. Spam does not instantly harm cats but instead it creates health risks in the long run.
Is spam safe for cats?
As mentioned above, spam does not instantly harm your kitty but due to the high fat and sodium content it is an invitation to obesity, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, pancreatitis and many more difficult illnesses if you feed it to your cat regularly or in high amounts.
So, the safety of spam depends on how often and how much you feed it to your little friend. There is also the issue of allergy, which is always a risk because just like people, cats can have food allergies, especially for human foods.
If your cat shows any unusual behaviours after consuming spam, such as weakness, extreme thirst, diarrhea, etc. please call your regular veterinarian without losing time and act according to the vet’s instructions. It might turn out to be nothing serious, but it is always better to be safe than sorry, right?
Does spam have any benefit to cats?
Well, spam is a good source of proteins and micronutrients such as iron, zinc and potassium but when you compare the benefits your cat may get with the health risks it involves, it just isn’t worth it. There are far superior and safer options for providing some extra protein to your kitty.
Boiled chicken or turkey without any seasonings such as salt or pepper can be a far more nutritious meal as it won’t have any salt and the amount of fat will be minimal. While it is true that cats need some fat and salt in their diets, spam has too much of it. Only one can of spam meets 34% of a person’s daily sodium intake so it is too much even for you.
Conclusion – Can cats eat spam?
In light of all the information above, the question is not really can cats eat spam, but it is rather should cats eat spam and the answer is NO! Although cats are obligate carnivores, not all human foods containing meat is good for them.
Spam is unhealthy for cats and may cause a lot of nasty illnesses in the long run.
My cat ate some spam. What should I do?
If your cat doesn’t have any food allergies to what is inside spam, you have nothing to worry about. But as in all cases of cats eating human food, it is best to keep an eye on the little rascal and inform your regular veterinarian if it shows any unusual behaviours.
How much spam is too much for a cat?
Actually, there is no research made specifically targeting spam consumption in cats. Just like Bologna or Vienna sausage only one or two bites will not immediately affect your cat’s health.
The real danger is in trying to replace your cat’s regular diet with spam or giving spam regularly over a long period of time. So, don’t let your kitty eat more than a few bites and it will be fine.
How can I know if my cat is allergic to spam?
Different cats show different symptoms if they are allergic to a certain food. Some get diarrhea, some get extremely thirsty, some vomit, and some others just get weak. If you observe any kind of unusual behaviours, please consult your veterinarian.