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Beef is one of the most consumed types of meat for us humans and we use it in soups, stews or even in snack such as the beef jerky. In recent times with the Paleo or low-carbohydrate diets it is even more popular and thus you can find these almost anywhere. They are good for us but can cats eat beef jerky? Let us find out together!
Cats are carnivores so meat should be the main choice for their diet and this is where they take most of their essential elements from. By itself, beef jerky is just dried beef meat and thus it has many of the amino acids required for cats to stay healthy as well as minerals and vitamins.
To top all that, cats will definitely love how tasty it is due to the somewhat metallic taste which meat has and some psychologists called the umami flavor.
Make sure your cat isn’t allergic to meat (look for signs of itching, hair loss or skin rashes) and remember that you should only consider these to be occasional treats at best since even if the cat might love them they do pose some problems.
The curing process that also preserves the meat naturally is done with a lot of salt and this makes it even more delicious for us but cats are much more sensitive to this flavoring ingredient. We really love salt although it can lead to health problems for us too but cats can actually get sodium poisoning.
Depending on the quantity they ate, too much sodium makes cats dehydrated and they will probably have extreme thirst. Salt poisoning, or hypernatremia can also help fluid build up in the legs making the pet more clumsy and lacking energy and in the most serious cases it will give your cat tremors, seizures or even lead to permanent kidney damage.
If you suspect your cat had too much salt then you should probably call your vet to determine the appropriate action or directly go see them as the treatment usually requires intravenous fluids and keeping the pet on observation.
Some preservatives are used in some products to keep them fresh for a longer time and even if you don’t have problems with them, remember that a cat has a much lower body weight so they are a lot more susceptible to symptoms.
One other thing to consider with beef jerky is the other flavors they might have to make them tastier for humans. Some of the things that you should definitely keep away from a cat are garlic and onion powder as these two will put the cat’s life in danger even if they ate just a small quantity.
It isn’t recommended as they have too much salt and there are much better options for beef meat on the market.