Can cats eat pork? Is pork safe for cats?

Yes, of course cooked pork is safe for domestic cats to eat because it is the flesh of a pig and as we all know cats are strict carnivores. Carnivores rely on the flesh of animals to live. The only complication is that a cat owner knowing that it is all right for their cat to eat pork is likely to give their cat cooked ham which is how it is bought in the supermarket for human consumption.

Cat and ham
Cat and ham. He’s interested unsurprisingly. Photo deemed to be in the public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

And cooked ham contains other ingredients such as salt so you’ve got to be a little bit careful when you feed human food to your cat as a treat. It’s these added ingredients to make the food more tasty for humans which don’t necessarily do any good to a domestic cat and indeed they may be harmful.

So the answer to the question should be slightly qualified with the caveat that cat owners should watch out for any added ingredients. It is also wise to only provide human food treats for a domestic cat in relatively small amounts to ensure that they eat a balanced diet.

And the pork should be cooked. I wouldn’t feed raw pork to a domestic cat because it can contain trichinella parasites which can make a cat or dog ill.

High quality commercially prepared cat food of the wet kind is a balanced and complete diet and the most suitable for a domestic cat. There’s nothing more to say really except perhaps one thing. If you’re going to buy pork for human consumption you might consider animal welfare issues. ASPCA have an excellent page on understanding pork labels in the USA and how they impact pig welfare. This allows consumers to enhance animal welfare when purchasing pork products.

P.S. Like many people, I occasionally give my cat some ham if it’s leftover but I rarely eat ham myself because I am more or less a vegetarian. It pays to keep on the straight and narrow when it comes to cat food and rely on variety, to stimulate interest in your cat, and high quality wet foods which are the most natural for a domestic cat. This is because the mouse which is their primary prey animal contains about 70% water. Dry cat foods are essentially unnatural and often cereal-based which makes them even more unnatural. Although they are incredibly convenient and economical which is why they’re so popular.


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