Can Cats Eat Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes?

As Wikipedia notes, a corned beef refers to “a salt-cured beef product. The term comes from the treatment of the meat with large-grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt.” It may contain other ingredients including spices or sugar.

Also, initially it had nitrites or nitrates to stop the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria, and give it its unique pink color, this additive has been linked to cancer and therefore not used often.

In the US, during the Saint Patrick’s Day, as part of the  Irish-American dish, people eat corned beef and cabbage. Sometimes, root vegetables such as turnips, potatoes, and carrots may be included. Can you share this dish with your cat?

Can my cats have it?

No. We do not recommend giving your cat corned beef. These pets are obligate carnivores meaning the meat is a key food. However, since it is cured in salt during the curing or brining, it will have a high level of salt which you may tolerate but may be excessive for your kitty.

Can cats eat corned beef
Can cats eat corned beef

Excess salt may result in increased thirst, urination or lead to sodium poisoning that will have symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased body temperature, tremors, seizures, and death may occur if the condition is not corrected.

Therefore, be careful with this canned meat as it has too much salt. This applies to any salty food you like. Human and feline salt requirements are different.

Can cats eat cabbage?

A little amount of cooked cabbage is safe for cats given occasionally. As already mentioned, these pets are strict carnivores and cabbage has little nutrients to offer since they cannot utilize the various nutrients it has. They cannot digest cabbage-like carnivores.

However, avoid raw cabbage since it can make them gassy and as notes, has “anion known as thiocyanate, which can impair thyroid function, but it is highly unlikely that cats would ever deign to eat enough raw cabbage to do them any harm.”

Can cats eat carrots, potatoes, turnips or onions

Since they may be part of your St. Patrick’s Day, it is a good idea to look at each of them briefly.

1. Onions

No. Onions are toxic to cats. Do not give them any food that has them even in small quantities.

2. Potatoes

Raw potatoes are toxic to felines especially their skin or vein as they have solanine. Solanine is toxic to cats. However, cooked, roasted, baked or mashed potatoes are safe for cats.

However, being starchy, you only need to give your feline pal a small amount, once in a while.

3. Carrots

A small piece of cooked carrot is safe for your feline friend. Raw ones are still safe but may present a choking hazard.

Being plant material, they are not a required part of the feline diet and these pets will benefit minimally from them.

4. Turnips

If you are also having turnips, they can have a tiny piece as they are not toxic. However, raw ones will present digestion problems.


For your next St. Patrick’s Day, our best advice is to get your feline friend some of her favorite cat foods or treats and avoid giving them corned beef. They can share a little of your cooked turnips, carrots, or potatoes if they do not have onions or any harmful ingredient.

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