Can Cats Safely Eat Hot Dogs?

Perhaps many pet owners are guilty of giving human food to their four-legged friends. If you find your cat begging you to give him a bite of that freshly-cooked hot dog, you might be wondering: can cats safely eat hot dogs? What will happen if they eat one? Many would give their cat that small piece of hotdog. However, is it the right thing to do?

Although cats are carnivores, which means that a huge portion of their diet will consist of meat, there are certain restrictions that you need to know because not all human foods, even if it is meat, are safe for them to eat.

Read on to find out if cats can eat hot dogs, and what you should do if they have eaten one.

Can cats safely eat hot dogs?

Technically, cats can eat hot dogs. However, it does not mean that they should. Although a hotdog is made of meat, it can cause your cat to get sick and suffer from gastrointestinal issues if they have eaten it in huge amounts. Therefore, although they will eat hotdogs, it is suggested not to give them one.

Why are hotdogs bad for cats?

It may be difficult to understand why hotdogs are bad for cats when they are made of different kinds of meat. Therefore, we listed some of the reasons why cats should not eat hotdogs.

Hotdog is a processed meat

The meat devoured by cats in the wild is different from the meats used to make hotdogs. Although hotdogs may look like regular meat, they are made of different processed meats. This means that various chemicals, including salt, flavorings, seasonings, preservatives, nitrates and nitrites, are added during the processing to make them more delicious and palatable for humans but unsafe and dangerous for felines.

can cats safely eat hot dogs?
Image credit: Victoria Shes from Unsplash

Hotdog contains high-fat content

While it is true that cats need some fats for them to stay fit and healthy, too much of it can be dangerous to their health. Cats need more proteins than fats in their diet, which hotdogs cannot provide since they contain too much fats for cats to consume.

And because the fat content in hotdogs is too much for cats, feeding them this human food on a regular basis can cause them indigestion, heart problems, and other health concerns. In addition, since cats cannot process all those fats in hotdogs, the remaining fats will end up being stored in their body, which can result in an obese and unhealthy cat that is prone to several health conditions.

Hotdog contains too much sodium.

Aside from having high-fat content, hotdogs also have excessive amounts of sodium. It is bad not only for cats but can also damage a person’s health and cause some health issues, including high blood pressure.

While our bodies can process large amounts of sodium, the case is different for cats. Cats may suffer from dehydration if eaten in small quantities but will get better after drinking enough water. However, too much sodium intake can result in hypernatremia or salt poisoning.

If your cat has eaten something high in sodium, here are the signs that he may be suffering from salt poisoning:

Call your veterinarian immediately if you think your cat is suffering from salt poisoning.

Hotdogs contain nitrates and nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites are preservatives that are added to some foods, including hotdogs, to give them a meat-like appearance and increase their shelf life.

Although human bodies can adapt to such preservatives, cats cannot process foods with these preservatives, therefore should not be given to them. While preservative-free hotdogs are available in the market today, it is still not healthy for cats due to other reasons mentioned in this article.

can cats safely eat hot dogs?
Image credit: Hannah Chen from Pixabay

Flavorings are added to hot dogs

Flavorings and seasonings are added to human foods to make them more delicious and palatable. However, such ingredients can be dangerous and unhealthy for cats. As a matter of fact, onions and garlic, in any form, are toxic for cats. In addition, mustard, which is often added to hotdogs, can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues in our feline friends.

See Also:

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What should I do if my cat has eaten a hotdog?

Perhaps you have seen your cat secretly snacking on that piece of hotdog. Don’t worry, a small piece of hotdog won’t cause him any major problems. Therefore, there is no need to panic right away.

However, if your cat eats hotdog regularly, this can cause him to suffer from obesity and other health problems, including bloating, vomiting, and discomfort. Your cat will also suffer from dehydration due to high amounts of salt.

The likelihood of your cat suffering from salt poisoning depends on various factors, including the quantity of the hotdog eaten, if it is cured, and if other seasonings are added which can be toxic to him. In the worst-case scenario, salt poisoning can lead to coma and even death. Therefore, it is important to be on the safe side and not give your cat a hotdog at all.

Why is my cat hiding and not eating?

Final Thought

In conclusion, cats, despite being carnivores, and hotdogs, despite being made of meat, should not be eaten by our feline friends since they contain ingredients and chemicals that can be hazardous to their health.

If you want to make sure that your cat lives a healthy, happy, and long life, and I’m sure you do, only give them food specifically designed to their nutritional needs. This way, the risk of having several health problems will be reduced. It is also crucial to warn other family members not to feed human foods to cats, as they may become accustomed to eating them and refuse to eat their regular kibbles and canned food.

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