Can cats eat ham? If you’ve ever been hanging out in the kitchen fixing a sandwich, this is a question that might have popped into your head. After all, if humans can eat ham, so is it safe for cats to eat it, too?
The short answer is yes, cats can safely eat ham. Although, while some other meats are great for cats, there are definitely a few exceptions and things to consider when it comes to feeding ham to your cat, especially the issues of where you source the meat and how you cook it.
And as always, you must ask your veterinarian before sharing any human foods with your cat, including ham. Let’s get into the details about cats eating ham.
How Is Ham Good For Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that the majority of their diet should come from meat. In that sense, cooked ham without added salt and spices can be okay for a cat because it provides a sort of protein.
But most of the ham you’re likely to pick up in the supermarket or at the store has been processed in a way that means it’s exceptionally high in added sodium. So ham from a can or cold cuts of ham are not really suitable for a cat.
While sodium itself isn’t harmful to cats in appropriate amounts, it can upset the animal’s stomach in some cases. Remember, cold cuts of ham that you pick up pre-packed at the supermarket are not going to provide the lean protein that your cat requires.
How Can I Safely Give Ham To My Cat?
If you’ve been thinking about giving ham to your cat and your vet says it’s okay, there are two main rules to follow.
First of all, source your ham from a reputable butcher or farmers market, and make sure that you cook it without any extra seasoning.
Secondly, because ham doesn’t provide the same sort of lean protein that chicken does, only feed your cat ham as a special treat. Try chopping it up into small cubes and adding the ham to their wet food, or serve pieces on their own as rewards for good behavior.
Do you have a cat that loves to gobble down a little ham? How do you prepare the ham that you serve to your cat? Let us know in the comments below!