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Can Cats Eat Sausage? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Facts & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat sausage

Can Cats Eat Sausage? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Facts & FAQ


Dr. Maja Platisa Photo


Dr. Maja Platisa

DVM MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

As cat lovers, we all want to spoil and treat our feline friends, but we also want to keep them happy and healthy. While your cat may show interest in some of your human food, not everything on your plate is healthy for them, and you may want to think twice about sharing. We know cats are primarily meat-eaters, so what about the fattier meats that we enjoy, like sausage? Is it safe to give your cat sausage?

While the answer is technically yes, the hoops you have to jump through to find the right sausage are difficult. So it may be best to avoid giving your cat sausages, as many will contain harmful ingredients for cats. Read on to hear more about why sausages are not appropriate for cats and which ingredients are most problematic.


The Issue Is Not the Meat Itself

Some people struggle with the idea that cats are meat-eaters, but really their diets are made up primarily of animal proteins. The pork, chicken, or turkey that your sausage is likely made up of is perfectly safe for your cat to consume if it were in their plain form, and in fact, these meats are beneficial to your cat’s health and well-being. It’s critical to make the distinction between sausage being healthy or unhealthy for your cat and meat, in general, being healthy or unhealthy.

A healthy sausage may be difficult to find, as these are intended for people and not with the cat’s nutritional needs and requirements in mind. Sausages are also made with many preservatives, such as nitrates and nitrites, that may be harmful for cats if ingested in large enough amounts. Additives, such as garlic and onion, are quite problematic as well, as plants from this family are toxic to cats and should always be avoided.

Can Cats Eat Sausage
Image by: webandi, Pixabay

Is Sausage Too Fatty for Cats?

It’s no secret that sausage isn’t all that healthy for us, and one of the main reasons is the abundance of trans fat found in most sausage products. There is a limited amount of evidence-based information and research available about the potential effects of trans fats on cat’s short-term and long-term health, but the concern is that they may be harmful to the liver if ingested in large amounts or too frequently.

While it may be delicious, sausage is not a good example of a food that has a moderate amount of what we typically think of as “unhealthy fats.” Although cats can safely consume some trans and saturated fat in their diet, an abundance of sausage is not a good source of these for your cat.

Is Sausage Too Salty for Cats?

Sausage tastes good because it’s fatty and salty, so now that we know the fats aren’t necessarily healthy for our cats, what about the salt content?

The high salt content in foods can be an issue for cats, but it actually may be less of a problem than you think. Cats can tolerate a fairly wide range of dietary salt amounts, but remember, sodium is already a part of their diet and treats, and all this adds up.

There is a high concentration of salt in sausage, and although it may not be terribly detrimental for your cat, it’s best to keep their salt intake down to prevent issues.

What About Sausage With Low Fat Content?

So, if fat seems to be the issue, are pork-alternative sausages safe for cats? Turkey and chicken sausage generally have less of the fat we try to avoid ourselves and limit our cats. Therefore, you may think that sausage made with less fatty meat is generally healthier for your cat.

However, another health concern with feeding your cat sausage of any kind is the presence of sulfites, nitrates, and other preservatives. Experts maintain that these preservatives (which are particularly abundant in sausage and deli meats) can be quite detrimental if consumed in high quantities or long term by cats and other pets.

The combination of fats, sulfites, and nitrates makes the majority of sausage products unhealthy and unsuitable for cats.

Image by: Pxfuel

Are Any Sausages Healthy for Cats?

Because the main health concerns when feeding your cat sausage are the high amounts of fat and abundance of preservatives, the only sausage that could be acceptable is one made without any preservatives, and ideally one that is low in fat content. There are many options for sausage made without preservatives, and opting for a base meat lower in fat than pork is a good idea. Still, you’ll want to feed your cat this lower-fat, preservative-free sausage in small quantities to avoid any issues. You should also make sure not to give your cat spicy sausage, as the spices in the meat can lead to stomach issues, mouth irritation, or discomfort, regardless of the meat used to make the sausage.

If your cat seems to love the smell or taste of sausage, there are plenty of sausage-flavored cat foods and cat treats available, and they’re made specifically for felines! So while some sausages may be safe for your cat, it may be a better idea to leave the diet to the professionals and opt for appropriate and complete cat food.

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Should I Feed My Cat Sausage?

Not really, especially when it comes to sausage formulated for human consumption. Like we’ve discussed, too much of a delicious thing can be unhealthy for your kitty, so if you do choose a sausage that is low in fat and salt and is made without preservatives, consider offering your cat a tiny piece here and there as a special treat and not as the main treat or portion of a meal. Ensure that any piece you share with your cat is small enough that they won’t choke or have difficulty chewing.

You should also remember that raw sausage can hold harmful bacteria like Salmonella, so always fully cook any sausage pieces you offer to your cat. A good rule of thumb with feeding your cat sausage: if you wouldn’t eat it, neither should your cat.

Lastly, sausage is made of meat stuffed inside of a casing, and even when cooked the casing can be stringy and difficult to chew. Before giving your cat any sausage, make sure that it’s a piece from the inside of the link and doesn’t contain any of the casing. This will help prevent your cat from choking as well.

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What’s the Final Verdict?

Sausage in small quantities may be fine for most cats to consume now and then or by accident, as long as it is made without harmful preservatives. In that case, be sure to opt for lower-fat, low-sodium sausage made with chicken or turkey rather than pork. Fat is good for cats, but the high concentration in sausage can be problematic, so moderation is key. Additionally, you should only offer small pieces of fully cooked sausage without any of the casing to your cat, and it should be consumed sparingly as a treat and not a meal. Sausage will not bring any health benefits to your cat, and some may develop an upset stomach, so it’s best to avoid giving any sausage to your cat if you want to be on the safe side.

Related read:

Featured Image Credit: mali maeder, Pexels, Ariana Suárez, Unsplash

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