Can Cats Eat Salami? Is It Safe?

Russell Cargill

can cats eat salami

Cat owners know that their feline friend needs meat in their diet. But are all meats as safe as others? If you have ever wondered to yourself, can cats eat salami, you’re not alone.

The problem with salami is it’s often covered and prepared with ingredients that are toxic to cats.

Can Cats Eat Salami?

No, vets would advise against feeding cats any type of salami or pepperoni as it’s likely to contain high amounts of sodium and fat.

Salami, a form of cured sausage, preparation involves adding salt, garlic powder, and other spices that can be toxic to cats in excess.

Keep in mind salami is a type of processed meat typically made from beef and pork. You can get different types of salami made with chicken, turkey, venison, and in rare cases horse or donkey meat!

In excess though, any type of salami could increase your cat’s risk of salmonella poisoning as well as a host of other diseases. 

Salami is not always thoroughly cooked, so there is a chance that even a tiny piece of salami could be contaminated with deadly microbes.

It’s best to avoid feeding any type of salami to your cat.

Can Kittens Eat Salami?

No! Kittens shouldn’t eat salami for the same exact same reasons adult cats shouldn’t.

Kittens require a specialized diet until switching to adult cat food. Salami is not a recommended source of taurine protein for kittens or cats.

Fat is tough to digest for your young kitten and salt could cause salt toxicity in cats. A single slice of dry, soft, or hard pork salami contains nearly 230 mg of sodium.

Salt poisoning is not something cat owners should take lightly. Even a small piece of salami with its high sodium content could cause debilitating symptoms of poisoning in kittens. These include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, tremors, and coma.

Don’t forget that a kitten does not have a fully developed immune system. Therefore, even a small quantity of salami tainted with pathogens and microbes could result in life-threatening conditions.

If you are tempted to share your meat with your feline friend, opt for cooked chicken or shrimp instead of processed salami. 

It’s best to stick to specially formulated kitten foods. I’ve created a list of the best kitten foods here.

Dangers of Feeding Cats Salami

Here are some of the possible dangers of feeding cat salami that every cat owner needs to be aware of:

1. Could increase your cat’s risk of developing deadly diseases

Eating salami in excess could increase a cat’s risk of developing diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis. Additionally, this undercooked meat could also put your cat at risk of salmonella infection as well as septicemia.

Salmonella poisoning is responsible for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain in cats. If a cat does not get medical help in time, some of these infections could even be fatal.

2. It is particularly bad for pregnant cats

Pregnant cats are particularly at a risk of miscarriage if they eat salami in excess. The parasites in raw salami slices could increase a pregnant cat’s risk of developing toxoplasmosis. 

Toxoplasmosis is not only deadly to cats, the microbes even occur in cat feces and unknowingly harm humans nearby.

3. Can increase the risk of cancer

There are studies to prove that the use of smoke, nitrates, and salts in curing salami-like processed meats could increase the risk of cancer in humans.

While there are no such studies conducted on cats as yet, there is a high possibility that too much salami regularly increase your cat’s risk of developing cancer as well.

4. Could increase the risk of feline heart disease

Just 5 to 6 ounces of processed red meat per week is linked to an increased risk of heart disease in humans. Again, there are no studies to prove it, but the same could be applicable to our cats.

5. Could cause weight gain in cats

Many salami brands contain nearly 50% fat which, if your cat eats on regularly could increase its risk of weight gain and obesity.

6. Certain ingredients in salami can cause upset stomachs

Several ingredients in salami such as paprika, pepper, chili peppers, etc. can cause indigestion in cats. 

This could result in abdominal pain, gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. Therefore it is best to avoid making salami a part of your cat’s regular diet.

Bottom line: you could feed your cat salami in very small amounts and as long as you do not make it a daily habit.

When Is Salami Okay For Cats To Eat?

Salami is okay to feed cats in small amounts and never as a dietary staple.

Note that some types of salami contain a chockful of additives. Many American salami slices are packed with garlic powder, black pepper, chili peppers, and other seasonings to enhance its taste. 

These can be tough on a cat’s digestive system and could lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Garlic can also destroy your cat’s red blood cells.

Therefore, it is best to go for plain or natural varieties of salami made with beef, pork, chicken, or turkey for feeding your feline friend as a special treat. As always, make sure your cat isn’t allergic to any of these proteins.

When in doubt, check with your veterinarian before feeding any people food to your pet.

Alternatives To Salami For Cats

Some alternatives to salami include deli meat and cold cuts like turkey, chicken, and roast beef. In small quantities, ham is also a safe alternative to salami.

Avoid feeding fatty bacon strips and other processed meats made with salt, smoke, and chemical preservatives.

You can also buy sausage flavored cat treats. Many varieties are available in the market and some are also grain, gluten, and GMO-free for sensitive cats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can salami kill cats?

A tiny piece of salami as an occasional treat won’t kill your cat. However, if your cat has kidney or liver disease and for cats with compromised or weakened immune systems, it is best to lay off feeding salami even in limited quantities. The salt in salami combined with its high fat content could be fatal for cats with these conditions.

A cat could also die from poisoning from salami if there are Listeria-causing monocytogens on this deli meat.

Can a cat eat pepperoni?

Pepperoni is a popular pizza topping irresistible to humans and felines alike.

A small slice of pepperoni pizza won’t kill a cat but pepperoni contains artificial flavors and preservatives, which, in excess could make a cat very sick. Also, the garlic and other seasonings in pepperoni slices have the potential to cause severe stomach pain and upset stomach in your furry friend.

Can cats eat ham?

Ham can give your kitten a boost of vitamins and protein. It is a relatively safe cat treat but don’t go overboard with it. After all, ham also contains salt and it is best to keep your cat’s salt intake minimum. 

If you wish to feed ham to your kitten, it’s recommended just half a slice of ham every couple of days. 




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