As a cat owner, one of the most important decisions to make about your pet’s lifestyle is their eating habits. It is very important to know about what your cats can eat and what they cannot. And hotdogs clearly lie in the latter zone.
Cats & Hot Dogs – What You Should Know
Hot Dogs are very visually and olfactory appealing food products and can be put together pretty easily and quickly. If you are cooking or having a hot dog in front of your cats, then expect them to mewl and bounce and do their best to get their hands, or rather, mouth, on the hot dog. But, the visual appeal is where all the appeal of hotdogs end for cats.
You might think that hot dogs have meat, and since cats are carnivorous in nature, they cannot possibly harm them. But what we forget is that hot dogs are not just meat, and the meat which they are made out of is not the correct type for the consumption of a cat. The meat used in hot dogs is processed meat, which is something only humans can consume. Cats are supposed to consume raw or fresh meat. Canned meat with enough moisture content is also a good nutrition source for cats, and these are the kind of food varieties that cats naturally appreciate.
Apart from the meat content of hot dogs, there are also many other reasons why you shouldn’t feed your cat hot dogs. First off, hot dogs have a significantly high proportion of sodium in them.
Can Kittens Eat Hot Dogs?
A large amount of sodium content in your cat’s food can lead to excessive thirst and multiple trips to the litter box. Excessive sodium can also cause sodium ion poisoning in cats, which can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Sodium is generally contained in salts. That is the reason why cat food has low levels of salt in it. Some signs that your cat has had an excess of sodium are tremors, an increase in body temperature, depression, seizures, etc. Sodium poisoning has also turned out to be fatal in some unfortunate cases.
Secondly, hot dogs contain nitrates, which is again a compound that cats need to stay away from. In fact, too much exposure of nitrates can also harm humans. The consumption of nitrate should be limited to the amount that can be converted to ammonia. Any greater than that, and the nitrates and nitrites start getting accumulated in the bloodstream. And these nitrites can be extremely harmful to any organism. A cat is a much smaller organism than a human being, so you might be able to imagine what little quantity of nitrates cats can consume without it affecting them negatively.
Nitrate has been listed as a poison for cats on petspoisonhelpline.com, which can explain the seriousness of the aftermath of feeding your cat hot dogs laden with nitrates. Now, all hot dogs are not high on nitrates. Different brands and labels of hot dogs have differing levels of nitrates. But nonetheless, cats are not capable of digesting nitrates without it affecting them negatively.
Can I Give My Cat Hot Dogs?
That is not the end of the reasons why you should not feed your cat hot dogs. You might believe that putting toppings on the hot dog that you think your cat will like makes it more acceptable to feed it to them, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The general toppings such as tomato ketchup or mustard sauce are also harmful to your cats. And on top of it, if you’ve added onions or pickle, then be sure to keep it away from your cat. It is understandable that when your cat smells the aroma of the hot dog, it’ll be tempted to try and taste it. But in such situations, you can simply pull out suitable cat food for your pet. Food products specially designed for cats are easily available in stores and supermarkets these days. And with the help of these, you can rest knowing that your cat is safe and isn’t in danger of being poisoned.
Another reason why you should keep your hot dogs away from your cats is that they come with high fat content. As a cat owner, you must know that cats prefer lean meat, instead of meat with fat content. Consumption of the high-fat meat in your hot dogs can result in your cat becoming overweight, even obese, or getting pancreatitis.
Due to difficulty in processing and digesting the high-fat content, your cat might also start suffering from constipation. Therefore, it is seriously recommended that you keep your cats away from the dangers of human food. It might seem easy and convenient to feed your cat the same food that you consume. But, if one food item can have so many harmful components for a cat, imagine what a complete human food diet will do to your cat.
Can Cats Have Hot Dog Wieners?
In the previous section, we discussed the individual components of hot dogs that can cause harm to your cats. Hot dog wieners are made of all beef or a mixture of pork and beef. And they are processed, cured, smoked and then cooked. Due to the curing process, there is the addition of sodium in the sausage. And we have already discussed the drastic effects that sodium can have on your cats. Apart from that, the toppings, fat content and the nitrates present in the wieners make hot dog wieners a big no-no for cats. The processed meat is also not an ideal type of meat for cats, and therefore it is established that feeding hot dog weiners to cats is not a smart decision.
Can Cats Have Beef Or Chicken Hot Dogs?
The answer to this question is also no. Sausages that are used in the making of hot dogs are generally processed. Processed meat is any meat that has been preserved for use for a longer time with the help of the procedures of curing, smoking, and the addition of extra nitrates. Beef sausages or even chicken sausages are generally processed, and a lot of unwanted components such as sodium, nitrates etc get added into them while processing.
Apart from that, even though chicken has lesser fat content than other kinds of meat, it still has a significantly high and damaging (for a cat) level of fat. These are the reasons why we would advise you to keep your cats away from human food, especially something with as many harmful components as hot dogs.
Other Food Toxic For Cats
Cats are generally lactose intolerant, and the consumption of milk products could lead to vomiting and diarrhea. So, you should remove the possibility of adding cheese or any other such milk products to food products that you intend to feed to your cats.
As we discussed above, high-fat content in meat is harmful to cats. Similarly, the presence of fat trimmings also has problematic effects on cats. In most food types, there are onions or garlic present, which is not something to be consumed by cats in any significant quantity.
Intake of onion or garlic once in a while due to their presence in some sauce will not cause problems, but if a cat consumes a source of onion or garlic regularly, or eats a bulb of the same in one go, then we might have a sick or anemic cat on our hands.
Apart from hot dogs, there are a lot of food items that you can easily digest, but your cat cannot. At times when your cat is hungry, you might be tempted to pass along whatever you have been munching on, and it might also save you an awful lot of effort for the time being. But in a few days, you might have to put in a lot more extra effort to take your cat to the vet. So, it is a good idea to know what is good and what is not for your cats.
A good starting point is to remember that a cat cannot survive on dog food. Dog food is not toxic or very harmful to your cat, but the nutritional requirements of a cat and a dog are vastly different. If served dog food for an extended period, your cat might lose out on a lot of nutritional requirements and become deficient. Another point to remember is that raisins and grapes are toxic to cats.
Consumption of raisins can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, reduced appetite, and even kidney failure. Although the reason has not been identified yet, it is clear that cats need to be kept away from raisins. Chocolate is another example of a food substance that you love, but your cat hates. Chocolates contain methylxanthines which can cause abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, diarrhea, high body temperature, tremors etc.
Be sure to keep these and other such toxic food substances out of your cat’s paws, out of countertops or tabletops and in locked cabinets.