Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat (2022)

Beef jerky is a quite famous snack among us. A packet of beef jerky will not miss in our kitchen. Don’t we?

Occasionally, we may give those to our furr balls. They seem thrilled to eat them.

There are carnivals. They like meat, so beef jerky is nothing more than dried meat. Isn’t it?

But, did you ever thought that beef jerky could harm your cat?

Well, it appears that it’s possible in some cases.

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So, let’s dig deep into this matter and clear everything we need to know to ensure the safety of our cats.

Can cats eat beef jerky?

Yes. Cats can eat beef jerky, and they’re a good source of protein. However, the selected beef jerky should be a quality product with minimum sodium, salt, MSG, and nitrites.

Are there any precautions to consider before giving beef jerky to a cat?

Even though it is a good source of protein, you should not give them regularly.

(Video) Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky | Healthy Food or Not?

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat (1)

You may have asked why? Well, the main reason is we do not believe the commercial beef jerky products so much.

Most of these products contain highly toxic elements such as;

According to ASPCA, the above items are highly toxic to the cats; even there are used in human foods.

Well, we all know those items are really toxic to our self too. It’s kind of 3x toxic to cats.

Can beef jerky kill cats?

Technically speaking, it won’t kill your cat. However, if it is given regularly, then beef jerky could increase the amount of food preservation elements in your cat’s body.

Then eventually, it will make your cat vulnerable to a deadly illness.

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat (2)

Therefore, my advice is to educate yourself properly on this matter to know A to Z about beef jerky.

Okay, let’s move into the next part in details.

Is it good to feed dried beef to your cat?

A small bite shouldn’t cause too much harm, but a huge one could cause more problems.

These delectable treats were developed for people, not for cats. Because of this, they frequently contain high levels of sodium, spices, and preservatives—ingredients suitable for human consumption but not for cats.

What happened if you overfeed beef jerky to your cat?

As I mentioned earlier, too much beef jerky is not good.

What about if you overfeed beef jerky on a single day.? Do, not worry. Nothing will have happened to your cat.

The most important point is not to feed beef jerky daily, or other words, regularly.

(Video) Cats love beef jerky!!

By the way, if you happened to overfeed beef jerky, then you need to be alert about the water content requirement of your cat.

Cats are not good drinkers. Most of the time, they consume their water requirement through their food.

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat (3)

That’s why most of vet’s are recommending wet cat foods for your cats and kittens.

So, in beef jerky case, it has nothing called water. It’s dried meat. To make the case complicate, it has salt too.

I think you know that salt will make you thirsty very much..! Same goes for your furr ball too.

Due to this reason, you need to make sure that your cat’s water bowl is filled with water.

If it’s possible, make sure that she is drinking water.

Beef jerky compound?

Up to this level, I have mentioned all the points that you need to be alert for your cat’s safety.

Now, let’s see how much nutrition’s does beef jerky contain.

The following nutrition information table is derived from the data provided through the United States Department of Agriculture.

The table contains the information for 90g of beef jerky. It is an equal amount of 1 cup.

Nutrition ProfileAmount in beef jerky (90g)
Calories369
fat23g
Sodium1870mg
Carbohydrates10g
Fiber2g
Sugar8g
Protein30g

Other than these co-nutrition elements, there are several macro-nutrition’s available in beef jerky.

Potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium and vitamin b12 can be seen in beef jerky.

But, remember, these vitamins and minerals amount is not enough for your cat. The amounts are really small for a single serving.

(Video) Can Cats Eat Beef

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat (4)

Also, you could not increase the serving amount, hoping to increase the mineral and vitamin values.

It will do more harm than the good due to other major nutrition such as sodium, fat, and sugar.

Different types of beef jerky available in the market

There are lots of brands available in the market for beef jerky.

But, there aren’t many variations for them. Mostly, we can divide them into two sections.

Flavoured Beef Jerky – This is the most famous and well known type. Most beef jerky products we find in the market are flavoured. Otherwise, they are seasoned with other food preservation.
My advice is to skip these types as much as possible. The added food chemicals will do more harm than good for your cat.

Raw beef jerky – Technically speaking, there isn’t a beef jerky type called raw. It is always precooked.

But, if you can find a beef jerky without flavour or any food additives, then it could be considered as raw beef jerky.

Also, the homemade DIY type beef jerky goes to this category too.

If you can find this type of beef jerky, then you are good to go. You can give them to your cat without much disadvantage.

Advantage and disadvantages of beef jerky as a meal for cats

If we are to judge the beef jerky, then I’ll say it’s good for your cat till you know what you were doing.

As I explain in my earlier sections, beef jerky contains lots of sodium and other food additives. Even though you are giving only homemade beef jerky; it will increase the sodium concentration in your cat (which is bad).

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat (5)

But, their ability to provide protein is quite admirable. Cat’s need protein in their diet to stay active.

The proper way of giving beef jerky to your cat

Now, you may wonder what to do. I’ll simplify it to you.

(Video) Can Cats Eat Raw Beef? 5 Things You Need to Know Before Feeding Your Cat Raw Meat! #cats

All you need to do is, take control of beef jerky amount.

That means, do not give beef jerky as a full meal. Instead of, give them as a treat. Beef jerky will add more nutrition than your sugar enriched regular cat treats.

Also, remember, do not give them every day. You can treat you cat with beef jerky for 2 or 3 times a week.

Cat’s will love them as a treat. Pro Tip: You can use beef jerky (as a positive encouragement) to teach him some good manners.

They will love those and try to eat everything. So be careful. Do not let them eat the whole beef jerky packet.

DIY way of making beef jerky for your cat

Homemade beef jerky is the best. It will reduce lots of problems for you.

I have found this video showing how you can make homemade beef jerky. It’s really helpful, and you can follow the same instructions to make beef jerky for your cat too.

By the way, handling beef, do not forget to follow these guild lines from USDA. These are ensuring both your cat and your health safety.

  • You need to clean your hands thoroughly before working with meat products.
  • Always use well-cleaned equipment.
  • Keep meat refrigerated at 40 Fahrenheit or below that. Also, when defrosting, use the refrigerator. Do not use your kitchen counter.
  • When steaming or roasting meat, use 160 Fahrenheit.
  • When drying meat, use 130 to 140 Fahrenheit throughout the process. It is a good practice if you could use a food dehydrator for this purpose.
Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat (6)

Beef jerky feeding related common problems

All right, now, I think you do have enough knowledge to decide whether beef jerky is good or bad for your cat.

However, during my research work on this article, I do find a few more related questions been asked in the cat community.

so, I’ll try to answer them briefly here.

Final Thoughts

Beef jerky is a good food source for protein. But, you need to be careful due to the added toxic food preservation. Providing beef jerky as a treat is the best way you can follow. Further, if possible, giving homemade beef jerky is the best choice other than any commercial product.

References

FAQs

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? | Walk With Cat? ›

While cats are carnivores and do love meat, beef jerky for human consumption should not be given to your feline friends. If your cat consumes a small amount of beef jerky, they should be perfectly fine. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian for the best course of action. You should avoid feeding your cat beef jerky.

How much beef jerky is too much for a cat? ›

To summarise you should exercise great care when feeding your cat beef jerky, do not feed them more than 2 grams to avoid excessive sodium intake, also avoid jerky which is seasoned with anything as some seasonings can be toxic or make your cat ill. Can Beef Jerky Kill Your Cat?

Are the packets in beef jerky poisonous to cats? ›

According to the Carolinas Poison Center, the packs are neither poisonous nor toxic to either pets or humans. The real danger, however, is that they could lead to choking.

Why does my cat want beef jerky? ›

So, beef jerky does physiologically agree with cats. Take a look at your cat's treats. If your cat likes softer treats, you'll notice they're primarily some form of dried meat whether it's fish, poultry, or beef. And if your cat loves these, they'll likely love beef jerky.

Can cats eat jerky treats? ›

Most jerky treats don't contain any toxic preservatives or flavourings either, although it's still important to check just in case. However, the tough nature of jerky could make it a choking hazard for your cat, so you should always keep an eye on your kitty if you decide to offer them a jerky treat.

Are Slim Jims okay for cats? ›

They are also high in salt and fat and contain soy and wheat. Too much salt can actually be toxic to cats, and consuming even one Slim Jim adds a huge extra 210 mg of sodium to your cat's daily diet. The spices found in Slim Jims could upset your cat's stomach, causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Is sodium chloride toxic to cats? ›

Only a few grams of salt per kilogram of body weight can be hazardous to a pet and signs can be seen with as little as 0.5-1 g/kg. Therefore, even a teaspoon of salt is potentially dangerous in a cat.

What happens if cats eat silica? ›

Silica gel packets are used as a desiccant (drying agent) to prevent moisture damage, and are often labeled with the message “Silica Gel Do Not Eat.” If eaten, silica gel can cause gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea—depending on the quantity consumed.

What human foods can cats eat? ›

Whole grains such as oats, corn, brown rice and even couscous all contain lots of protein and are all human foods your cat can eat.

Is dried meat good for cats? ›

Feeding your cat with freeze-dried food is arguably the most nutritional and complete diet you could get for your furry friend, as it's rich in vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes,” she explains.

Can cats have peanut butter? ›

In short, the answer is no. Since cats are carnivores, they rely on meat for nutrition. Much like cookies aren't the best for us, peanut butter provides cats with no nutritional value and an excess of certain things, such as: High Fat: Peanut butter contains trans-fatty acids in order to make sure it's shelf-stable.

What treats can cats have? ›

Which Human Foods Are Safe for Cats to Eat?
  • Apples. Apple flesh is safe for feline consumption, but apple seeds, stems, and leaves contain cyanide, which is poisonous to cats and must be removed before serving.
  • Bananas. ...
  • Blueberries. ...
  • Strawberries. ...
  • Watermelon. ...
  • Peanut butter. ...
  • Cooked eggs. ...
  • Baked bread.
Aug 24, 2020

Can you give cats chicken jerky? ›

Homemade Cat Treats - Dehydrated Chicken Jerky for Cats Recipe

Can cats eat beef jerky for dogs? ›

Plain beef jerky without flavourings is acceptable, but it should only be fed to your cat in very small quantities. Jerky tends to be high in salt and is very dry. This can leave your cat thirsty, and too much will contribute to dehydration (a bigger risk to cats than most people realise).

Are Slim Jims okay for cats? ›

They are also high in salt and fat and contain soy and wheat. Too much salt can actually be toxic to cats, and consuming even one Slim Jim adds a huge extra 210 mg of sodium to your cat's daily diet. The spices found in Slim Jims could upset your cat's stomach, causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Is sodium chloride toxic to cats? ›

Only a few grams of salt per kilogram of body weight can be hazardous to a pet and signs can be seen with as little as 0.5-1 g/kg. Therefore, even a teaspoon of salt is potentially dangerous in a cat.

Is dried meat good for cats? ›

Feeding your cat with freeze-dried food is arguably the most nutritional and complete diet you could get for your furry friend, as it's rich in vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes,” she explains.

Can cats eat beef jerky for dogs? ›

Plain beef jerky without flavourings is acceptable, but it should only be fed to your cat in very small quantities. Jerky tends to be high in salt and is very dry. This can leave your cat thirsty, and too much will contribute to dehydration (a bigger risk to cats than most people realise).

Why do cats love Slim Jims? ›

Even with all of this in mind, some cats outright love the flavor of Slim Jims. They are primarily made from meat and have a flavor, which some cats adore. If your cat falls into this category, you might be wondering if it's OK to feed Slim Jims to your cat as a treat.

Are beef sticks safe for cats? ›

Beef jerky contains several ingredients that are unsafe for cats to consume. While cats are carnivores and do love meat, beef jerky for human consumption should not be given to your feline friends. If your cat consumes a small amount of beef jerky, they should be perfectly fine.

Can cats eat cheese? ›

Cheese is not a natural part of a cat's diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they can only get necessary nutrients from meat. But even though cheese is also high in protein, it can upset a cat's delicate digestive system. The reason for this is that cats don't tolerate dairy very well.

What does sodium poisoning look like in cats? ›

Salt poisoning in dogs and cats results in signs of vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, incoordination, excessive thirst or urination. In severe cases, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death are possible.

How long does salt poisoning last in cats? ›

For all affected animals, the treatment should slowly return the animal to normal water and electrolyte balance over 2–3 days.

Do cats need a salt lick? ›

Pets can have mineral deficiencies that may lead to chronic diseases. In such cases, pets need more than their regular feed. Hence, you would need salt licks for your pets to fulfill their mineral requirements. Himalayan salt licks can be a great addition to their diet.

What human food can cats eat daily? ›

Whole grains such as oats, corn, brown rice and even couscous all contain lots of protein and are all human foods your cat can eat.

What are some good treats for cats? ›

Here are some of our cats' faves:
  • Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Treats.
  • Blue Wilderness Chicken & Turkey Soft Moist Treats.
  • Greenies Tuna Feline Dental Treats.
  • Cat Person Dry Food.
  • Wellness Kittles Salmon & Cranberries Crunchy Treats.
  • WholeHearted Savory & Tasty Soft Cat Treats, Chicken.

Can cats have peanut butter? ›

In short, the answer is no. Since cats are carnivores, they rely on meat for nutrition. Much like cookies aren't the best for us, peanut butter provides cats with no nutritional value and an excess of certain things, such as: High Fat: Peanut butter contains trans-fatty acids in order to make sure it's shelf-stable.

Can cats eat canned tuna? ›

If you choose to offer your cat the occasional tuna treat, you can choose canned tuna or fresh tuna. Select canned tuna packed in water, not canned tuna in oil or canned tuna with added salt or other flavorings. Chunk-light tuna is a better choice for your cat than albacore, which is higher in mercury.

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