Bacon refers to boneless pork cuts cured in salt before they are smoked, boiled or air-dried (for several months). Common cuts include the belly, collar, side, cottage, jowl and the back areas that have less fat.
Bacon can be part of breakfast side dish, eaten alone, used to flavor other dishes as well as larding or barding roast meat, especially game meat.
Finally, meat cuts from beef, lamb, chicken, goat, turkey, et cetera prepared (cut and cured) to resemble bacon, they may also use the name. However, they have specific meat cuts such as chicken or turkey bacon.
Can cats have bacon?
Yes. Cats can have bacon but only as a snack. A bite-sized piece once in a while is ok for your kitties.
You must be asking yourself why not give them more, yet these pets are true carnivores? There are even some cat foods that have pork as one of their key ingredients.
We understand that bacon is a good source of high-quality protein, fats, and vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12). Furthermore, it has minerals including selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and other nutrients. However, here are the real some concerns:
1. It lacks some nutrients
While it is nutritious, it does not contain all the nutrients that your feline pal needs. Replacing it with their normal diets may result in deficiencies in some vital nutrients.
2. It is high in salt
Since curing uses salt, it ends up with a lot of salt which is sodium chloride. Too much means giving your pets more salt than they require, something that can lead to sodium poisoning. It has about1,717 mg of sodium per 100g.
Sodium poisoning has symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, walking drunk, tremor, accumulation of fluid in their body, lethargy, seizures, high blood pressure, excessive urination or thirst, comma or even death.
Catster.com includes clogging of blood vessels and obesity as a possible effect of your kitty having excessive amounts of salt.
Also, felines with chronic kidney disease (CKD), high blood pressure as well as heart disease require little salt in their diet making bacon unsuitable for them. In fact is can be a possible cause of CKD.
3. Has other additives
Also, it has some including its nitrites, nitrates, and nitrosamines. For instance, nitrosamines are carcinogenic (can potentially cause cancer) to human beings.
4. It is greasy
Fat is good for cats as opposed to humans and can handle it better. Did you know 100g of pan-fried bacon has about 42g of fats?
While cats can eat bacon fats, this high amount may cause obesity and indigestion problems. Also, if your kitty has pancreatitis, it requires less fat too, notes PetMD.
Can cats eat raw bacon?
Yes. They can eat it if properly frozen and handled. Still, it should be a small part of their diet and not replace their normal diet. These pets digest raw meat diets better than cooked ones.
Although there is no salt curing and it does not have any additives, it still presents the issue of being very high in fats unless you go for a lean cut.
Secondly, it needs proper handling to avoid any contamination and may present the risks of having pathogens such as salmonella as well as some parasites.
While the acid cat’s digestive system can kill most of the present bacteria, felines with a weakened immunity may get ill.
Finally, for the case of parasites such as toxoplasmosis Gondii and trichinosis will only die by freezing it or pork meat or any raw meat at temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius for 3 days.
What about cooked one?
Can cats eat cooked bacon? Yes. Cooked one is much safer than raw since cooking will kill all the pathogens and parasites.
If it fresh (unprocessed), do not add any ingredients. Just boil it. For the case of a cured one, it will still be having the various additives and salt.
Can cats eat turkey bacon
Yes. Cats can eat turkey bacon but only as a small snack because its processing is a similar way as the one from pork and hence it has a lot of salt and may have other additives.
However, it has a little less fat, but this alone does not make it better. Furthermore, it will be much better if it is uncured and does not have any additives especially preservatives but cannot replace normal feline diets.
Avoid flavored bacon bits if they have any ingredient that is harmful to your feline friend. Also, always check for all the ingredients present.
Finally, the main part of your cat’s diet should be high-quality commercial cat foods. If you prepare foods tat home, get the guidance of your vet. He or she will ensure the foods are suitable as well as balanced for these pets.