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Can Cats Eat Sausage? Everything You Need to Know

Can Cats Eat Sausage? Everything You Need to Know

✔ This article was reviewed for accuracy by a licensed veterinarian.

Cats love to eat almost anything they can get their paws on. At least mine do. When cooking, my cats are always over my shoulder trying to get a sample of the latest menu. An item that they seem quite interested in is sausages. So, it begs the question: Can cats eat sausage?

Yes, cats can eat sausage in limited quantities, but they shouldn’t have them often. Sausage, although high in protein, have other ingredients that are tougher on a cat’s digestive system than ours. 

Our team has performed extensive research on the feline diet in recent months. We’ve been coordinating with our staff vet, reading peer-reviewed research, and speaking with specialists in the field. This due diligence has enabled us to share answers to your pressing questions about cat dietary restrictions!

We cover the following items in this post:

So, Can Cats Eat Sausages?

Can cats eat sausage?
This is a tough choice. Do I eat the sausage or the waiter serving the sausage?

Yes, but they shouldn’t. While cats can eat sausage, they shouldn’t as most sausages made for human consumption have high amounts of trans fats, sodium, and preservatives that a cat’s digestive system isn’t built to process.

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they require meat to survive.

Your cat may enjoy the taste of sausage but they shouldn’t be fed any processed meats. Meats can be processed by means of smoking, curing, salting, or any other type of intervention to maintain a longer shelflife.

If you are tempted to give your cat some sausage on occasion, then it should be a very small treat.

Why A Cat Shouldn’t Eat Sausages?

Sausages are often heavily processed. Very few, if any commonly consumed sausages contain simple raw meat. Sausages are typically smoked, salted, and preserved.

The essential nutrients of the raw meat are replaced with high salt content and added preservatives.

Cats have a very sensitive digestive system. If they eat too much-processed meat, like sausages, then they will likely experience bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In addition, too much salt also means your cat needs to drink much more water to remain hydrated. Many cats can be susceptible to dehydration as they don’t drink enough water throughout the day. So, adding in a salty treat could make the issue of dehydration even worse.

Is Sausage Bad for My Cats?

A sick kitten. Can cats eat sausage?
I’m a bit under the weather. Can you leave me alone until I decide I want to be on you at the worst time possible? That would be great.

Unless it’s fresh, unprocessed meat, then yes. The reasons are as follows:

  • Salt or Sodium. Large amounts of salt can be poisonous to cats. And sausages often have a ton of sodium. Most processed meats do.
  • Trans fats. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that naturally occur in milk and meat fat. The Mayo Clinic states “Trans fat is considered the worst type of fat to eat.” Cats can have small amounts of trans fats, but less is more.
  • Preservatives. Preservatives refer to any type of compound which slows and/or prevents the growth of bacteria in our food. Do you know what the most common preservative used in our food is? Salt. The others aren’t much better for cats.
  • Additional Spices. Most sausage comes with some form of spices or flavoring. Most of these spices are not to be consumed by cats. It’s not uncommon for spices to have an onion or garlic base, which are both poisonous to cats (if large amounts are consumed).

What’s The Best Type Of Sausage To Give To Your Cat?

The short answer is none! But, if you do share some sausage with your cat, try to ensure it meets the following recommendations:

  • It is low in trans fats. You can determine this by reading the label of the sausage and determining the trans fat content. You should avoid pork-based sausage if possible, due to its high fat content.
  • It has little to no preservatives. The fresher the sausage, and the fewer preservatives, the safer it will be for your cat.
  • It is low in spices and salt. As mentioned above — salt, onion, and garlic are not good for cats. Spicy foods are not food for your cats either. If you share some sausage with your cat, try to ensure it is very low in these ingredients.
  • It’s shared in small amounts. Even if the sausage meets all of the criteria listed above, you should only share a small amount with your cat. You don’t want to create a habit of sharing sausage with them, and you don’t want them to expect too much when you share some.

If your cat seems to really enjoy sausage and other meats, we recommend flavored cat treats. These are usually made from chicken or turkey rather than pork. We love Temptations Cat Treats!

Just remember to always keep treats to a small amount so your cat doesn’t get too big!

How Should I Feed My Cat Sausage?

If you have decided to feed your cat some sausage, please follow the below recommendations:

  1. Follow the directions listed above in “What’s The Best Type Of Sausage To Give To Your Cat?”
  2. Cut the sausage into small pieces for your cat.
  3. Remove the sausage casing if possible. The casing is what is used to enclose the sausage meat, and it’s usually made from the submucosa of the animal’s intestines. The casing can be difficult for your cat to eat, so it’s best to remove it.

Can Your Cat Eat Uncooked Sausage?

Raw sausage. Can cats eat sausage?
Please do not feed this to your cats unless you want to clean up some diarrhea. My personal preference is not to clean up diarrhea but to each their own!

No, it’s essential to avoid giving your cat uncooked sausages. Raw meats contain bacteria, like Salmonella, that can cause serious health problems.

Possible salmonella poisoning in cats can cause symptoms such as:

  • High fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Decreased appetite
  • Excess salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration

In bad cases, the infection can also spread throughout the rest of the body causing much more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia or meningitis.

If you want to give your cat a sausage, then make sure that you cook it first.

Why Kittens Should Never Eat Sausages

Kittens are still immensely vulnerable as their bodies develop. You should never feed your kitten even a small piece of sausage, or hot dogs and bacon for that matter.

Young cats haven’t yet established a strong immune system. They are much more susceptible to illnesses and stomach upsets than adult cats.

Processed meat contains a significant amount of toxins that can be a serious risk for a little kitten.

It’s best to keep feeding your kitten a healthy diet as prescribed by your veterinarian. This will help them to grow into healthy adults who enjoy a long life and can terrorize you for years!

Cat-Friendly Alternatives To Sausages

Skinless chicken. Can cats eat sausage?
Please note: Do your best to provide your cat with unseasoned, skinless chicken. The kind you wouldn’t want to eat anyways!

There are many alternatives to sausages that are safe for cats. Some of these include:

  • Chicken without skin
  • Lean beef
  • Lamb
  • Turkey sausage that is low in preservatives
  • Chicken sausage that is low in preservatives
  • Any other protein that is low in preservatives
  • Cat treats. If your cat enjoys meat flavor, go for those ones specifically!

What Other Meat Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?

Due to a cat’s anatomy, its nutritional requirements, risks of bacteria and poisoning, and other factors, a cat shouldn’t eat the following items:

  • Raw fish
  • Raw meat
  • Meat with bones in it
  • Fat trimmings from meat
  • Liver. It’s okay in small amounts, but it’s best to avoid feeding liver to your cat.
  • Tuna. It lacks sufficient nutrients for a cat’s diet, but small amounts in moderation are okay.

Raw meats could contain bacteria, such as Salmonella, which could lead to food poisoning.

Additionally, a specific enzyme in fish can destroy an important vitamin B for your cat, which can result in neurological issues. It can even cause convulsions and coma.

Your cat needs a complete nutrition plan with all the vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.

A balanced diet is especially important during pregnancy, lactation, recovering from an illness, and when your kitten is still growing.

What Foods Should Cats Never Eat?

As a general rule, cats shouldn’t have any human food. But, if you’re like us, you likely treat your cat from time to time with some scraps off of your plate. If that’s the case, just remember — less is more.

The majority of our food is processed which means they contain ingredients that aren’t made for a cat’s digestive tract.

We’ve put together an extensive list covering the foods poisonous to cats. Some highlights from that list include, but are not limited to:

  • Salty snacks
  • Potatoes and tomatoes
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Raw eggs
  • Milk (Regardless of what the movies say!)
  • Alcohol or caffeine
  • Chocolate and candy

Final Thoughts: Can Cats Eat Sausage?

Your cat can eat small amounts of sausage, but shouldn’t have it often. If you do give your cats some sausage, it’s best to give them a lightly seasoned version, preferably with the casing removed.

It’s worth remembering that cats can and do fend for themselves in the wild. They don’t always have the best cat food available and tend to do alright. So, don’t fret if you shared a bit too much of something your cat shouldn’t eat often. If you feel it was too much — monitor your cat, and do your best to avoid doing so in the future.

We recommend reading our article on how much to feed a cat. You may learn some helpful tips to keep your cat’s weight and overall health in check!