Can cats eat pepperoni? Or should you start panicking right away?
How often does it happen that you leave some leftovers just to find your cat munching on them a while later, right? You take your eyes away from him for only a second, but the little hunter of yours knows how to take that gap!
Now you’re playing a game of tag with your furry feline. Before you could even get to him, he’s taken a slice and run off. This wasn’t on your to-do list when you woke up this morning.
If anything, you just wanted to enjoy a peaceful day, but now you can feel your heart leave your body. He took the pepperoni under the couch and is enthusiastically munching on it.
Great. Now what?
Can cats even eat pepperoni? It’s meat so it should be fine, right? But what else is in there?
Good for you that you found our page where we’ll give you all the answers you’re looking for. As a cat mom myself, I understand your fears, so please don’t lose your mind just yet.
Can cats eat pepperoni?
As with so many other foods that were designed for humans, a small amount of pepperoni won’t be poisonous for your cat. However, you should pay close attention to him and know how much of it he actually ate.
Pepperoni certainly does look like a tasty treat for your cat. He can smell the meat, and once he starts eating it, he won’t be able to get enough.
I would love to tell you that your domestic cat is able to foresee what is and isn’t okay for him, but you know just as well as I do that it’s wishful thinking. He’ll eat it if it looks edible to him at that particular moment.
If he likes the pepperoni, you can always give him a few nibbles here and there. But don’t go ahead and put the entire packaging in front of him and expect him to be fine afterward!
You, as a human, would face problems in that situation. Imagine what it would do to your furbaby. I know you want to keep him safe, but this could turn into a fatal mistake.
Rather than that, give him one or two slices and then watch him lick his whiskers for any residue. You’ll feel tempted to give him even more, but be smart.
If you want to keep your cat alive and have many more years of friendship to come, then understand that pepperoni wasn’t made with cats in mind.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to give up on your favorite pizza topping, you simply need to keep a close eye on it.
What ingredients in pepperoni are harmful to your cat?
The meat itself isn’t the issue here. We already covered that part, so you don’t need to worry about it. However, there are other ingredients that could easily send your cat to kitty heaven if you’re not careful.
To us humans, this is a delicacy, but to a feline, it’s a hazardous treat.
Just remember that different brands of pepperoni will have different ingredients. Each of them has a list of ingredients on the packaging, so you can simply look it all up, just to be safe.
So, in order to determine whether cats can eat pepperoni, here’s a list of all the substances that are potentially harmful to your cat.
In smaller amounts, sodium can be very beneficial for the human body. We need those electrolytes to regulate the water in our bodies. However, the feline body doesn’t need nearly as much salt as the human body does.
For example, two grams of pepperoni contain around 35.2 mg of sodium. That’s more than your cat needs in a day.
His daily sodium intake shouldn’t go above 20 mg because he’s a small creature and his body processes these things differently. For example, an entire slice of pizza contains almost 700 mg of salt – this could cause serious health issues for that tiny friend of yours.
If your pizza was delivered to your doorstep, there’s no ingredients list on it. You know what you ordered, but the pepperoni on it doesn’t have a detailed description.
So you don’t know what’s actually in it. You may think that there’s nothing wrong with it and that’s it’s safe for cats, but the last thing you want is to see him rolling on the floor from all the pain.
If you want to be extra safe, you should never give him pepperoni off of a pizza. The best thing you could do would be to buy the packaged pepperoni so you’re at least informed of what you’re giving him.
In large quantities, salt can be extremely poisonous to your cat. Sodium poisoning isn’t something to be taken lightly, instead be aware of the dangers it brings. Some of the symptoms of sodium poisoning are lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, extreme thirst, tremors, and seizures.
If your cat shows any of these symptoms, don’t just sit at home and hope for them to go away. Take him to the vet and let the professionals take care of him. Don’t hesitate, because every second could is crucial to his recovery.
If you don’t, in extreme cases, sodium poisoning can result in a coma or even death. Don’t let it come to that.
The one thing you love the most about pepperoni is the flavors that explode on your tongue the moment you put it in your mouth. Would your cat feel the same?
Those spices certainly do make him more curious about the food because the smell it gives off is so interesting to him.
The spices that are mostly used for pepperoni are paprika, black pepper, powdered pepper, garlic, and onions. As a result, your cat won’t be able to eat a lot of it.
He’ll be able to get through a small amount, but it’ll soon start to attack his taste buds in a very uncomfortable way. That’s why the moment he satisfies his curiosity, he’ll stop eating it.
However, you probably already know that garlic and onions can be toxic for your cat. In many cases, the acid in them can become hazardous if you’re not careful enough.
Garlic in particular can cause anemia and even gastrointestinal issues. If you feel like he ate a bit too much of it and you’re certain that the pepperoni did contain garlic, then you should be on the lookout for symptoms like drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, lethargy, increased heart rate, and sometimes even collapsing.
My advice to you would be to take him to the vet before waiting for symptoms to develop. Sometimes it could be already too late to act because not all cats can eat pepperoni without having some sort of reaction to it.
You probably know that nitrates are used to prolong the shelf-life of certain foods. Because pepperoni is made out of processed meats, nitrates are necessary for it to stay fresh for a longer time period.
This is one of the reasons you need to keep your pepperoni pizza away from his curious paws! Nitrates can be extremely dangerous and poisonous to your cat.
There’s nothing remotely similar to this in the wild and his little body isn’t made to digest these things. Soon, he’ll develop issues that you’re not able to deal with. Don’t let it get to that point.
Can cats eat turkey pepperoni?
So, instead of beef pepperoni, you’re thinking of giving your cat some turkey pepperoni. You know for a fact that turkey pepperoni doesn’t contain as many spices and additives as its beef counterpart.
Turkey pepperoni also contains less fat, so it should be fine, right?
Well, no. You can give your cat one slice, just to see how he’ll react. Even if you’re just trying to ease his curious mind, you can’t give him more than one slice.
This is because his body isn’t able to digest turkey as well as beef. Besides that, you can’t just give him turkey pepperoni without checking the label for the ingredients first.
There could be different types of preservatives that are harmful in different ways.
It’s always better to give your cat chicken or beef pepperoni to eat. They’re easier to digest and your cat has a smaller chance of getting some type of poisoning or allergies.
What if your cat likes it a bit too much?
Can cats eat pepperoni if they really show interest in it? Sometimes, your cat will fall in love with certain food and he’ll want more and more.
You’ll know that he’s obsessed with pepperoni once you can’t bring it into your house without your cat jumping onto you. He’ll go crazy at the mere scent of it.
This isn’t a common thing to happen, but definitely is possible. In these situations, you need to keep it away from him, even if that means that you don’t bring it into your house at all.
He won’t be able to control himself. Your feline friend will eat so much of it that he’ll get sick right before your eyes. He just doesn’t possess a “stop” button.
This may happen if he lacks some nutrient in his body, for example, sodium, so he’ll go for anything and everything that could compensate for it. He’ll get poisoning and then no veterinarian will be able to save him.
Just to be safe, don’t even buy it.
What can I give my cat instead of pepperoni?
There are so many alternatives that you can go for. Whether cats can eat pepperoni shouldn’t even be on your mind considering how many options there are out there.
But, sometimes, you can’t remember one of them. Good thing is that you have me to remind you of all those foods that are actually beneficial for your cat.
Any type of commercial food for cats is better than pepperoni. Pepperoni is a food that was specifically made for humans, so there’s nothing in it that your cat needs.
Pepperoni in large quantities is bad for the human body, so it’s even more hazardous to your cat. Instead of risking his life, you’d be way better off buying a can of cat food.
It’s better, it’s safer, and you won’t have to lose your mind every time he eats an entire bowl of it.
Other than that, you probably know by now that cats love to play with their food. Your cat isn’t any different.
If there’s something that he loves is when food has a stringy consistency that he can munch on and play with. Some cooked spaghetti would even work in this situation (unsalted, of course).
Other foods that you could consider are cooked chicken, tuna, salmon, sardines, pork, and shrimp. Just remember that raw foods like fish and chicken can contain salmonella, which can cause major health issues for your cat.
Also, be careful about where you get these foods from – your cat will thank you.
Can cats eat pepperoni sticks?
If cats can eat pepperoni in smaller amounts, doesn’t that also mean that they can eat pepperoni sticks? Well, I wouldn’t bring this choking hazard anywhere near my cats, but if you’re dead-set on feeding your cat these, then there’s no point in stopping you.
The issues are the same as with usual pepperoni. Simply because pepperoni sticks are also filled with spices and flavors that could be toxic for him. The meat itself can be quite hard to digest because it’s so processed.
Moreover, pepperoni sticks are usually air-dried. This means that they’re potentially filled with all sorts of bacteria that aren’t good for your cat.
Pepperoni sticks could be polluted with microorganisms like salmonella or trichinellosis, which is another, lesser-known parasitic disease.
The only reason your cat would enjoy this is because of the chewiness of the pepperoni sticks. He’d be happy to munch on it for hours on end.
As you know, he loves to play with his food, which leads us to believe that he’ll go to town with these sticks. But the fact that they’re not chopped into smaller pieces does pose the danger of it getting stuck in his tiny throat.
When this happens you need to act quickly and remove the chunk slowly. If you want to avoid that, then simply don’t give your cat any pepperoni sticks.
Easy as that.
Owning cats is always an internal battle about giving them your food to eat. More often than not, you let him try things and see how he’ll react.
When it comes to the question of whether cats can eat pepperoni, you could’ve guessed that it’s going to be okay for him. As long as it’s in small amounts and it doesn’t contain any poisonous ingredients, your cat won’t face any dangers.
Enjoy your pepperoni and see if he’ll jump on the counter to join you. It’s better to give him a slice while you’re supervising him than him stealing some and you having to chase him around your apartment afterward.
And remember. always take him to the vet if you feel like something will go horribly wrong. You’re the parent, your instincts are rarely wrong here, so spoil your baby, but take care of your baby and don’t forget to spoil him!
Read more: Can Cats Eat Chicken Nuggets? The Crunchy Treat And Its Dangers