If there’s something that cats love most, it definitely has to be meat. They’re crazy about it, but can cats eat raw beef?
You think this is a silly question because you’ve obviously seen your pet eating raw meat before. Well, sure you did. But just how healthy do you think raw beef can be for felines? Is there something you should worry about?
I know it sounds unbelievable, but maybe raw beef isn’t the best choice for your feline companion. Don’t get me wrong, carnivores need to eat meat in order to survive. However, a tiger from the wild doesn’t cope the same as our domestic tiger.
What does this even mean? Aren’t cats supposed to be fine eating raw meat like beef and others? Your pet probably hasn’t had the chance to take a bite of this red meat, right? Don’t try to trick me, I know you cook it for her!
I’ve been there, done that. But some people have told you that you shouldn’t waste your time with that: “Just let her eat raw meat like she’s supposed to.”
But is she? These comments can be really frustrating because all you’re doing is trying to provide the best care for your furbaby. Although, people can sometimes do more harm than good to their pets.
I know we do everything with good intentions and not to purposely put our furkids at risk. But you have to admit that cat parents can sometimes get ahead of themselves.
We can get carried away, but it’s our pets to blame. We love them so much and want to give them the best life, just like they deserve!
Can cats eat raw beef safely?
When you go to the pet store, you always look for the best and most nutritious food for your pet. The ones they always recommend are kibbles with a high meat percentage. It’s usually chicken, pork, fish, or beef.
It seems to work completely fine because your pet’s totally healthy and well-fed. What else could she need? Perhaps you’ve recently read about the benefits of feeding your cat raw food. More specifically, raw beef.
You’re kind of skeptical because you never thought of it before. Sure, big cats survive off of it. But what about your little purrincess? Could she be able to chow down on the meat?
More importantly, can cats eat raw beef safely? Our domesticated friends certainly act tough, but can they really take it like their wild cousins?
As cat parents, we tend to dismiss the fact that our pets are spoiled. Deep down, we know it’s true. Can this somehow affect their life and health? Do we feed them too many treats and too little meat?
Should we change their diet, add more greens or throw them out completely? There are tons of questions and what-ifs when it comes to our cats’ diet. And just when we think we’re experienced owners, there’s always something new lurking.
The question “Can cats eat raw beef” might sound simple, but it’s anything but. Let’s see some pros and cons of this red meat.
Meat benefits for cats
Just like every meat, raw beef has lots of potential benefit for your feline. It’s meat after all, right?
You see, cats are obligate carnivores. This implies that they need to chow down on meat every day in order to grow. If they don’t, they’ll eventually face some health issues.
It’s simple as that: cats need meat. Their bodies are wired to digest and break down the nutrients found in meat. On the contrary, their digestive systems aren’t so good at processing veggies.
Sure, there are some greens that they may nibble on, but nothing can top the juicy flesh of raw beef. Their claws and fangs just aren’t made for hunting down an eggplant!
On the other hand, those sharp razors are perfect for taking a bite of that meaty treat. Mother nature has made sure that they have all the right equipment.
Now it’s up to us to really provide our feline companions with the best care possible. The question remains: Should they have raw beef?
I’ve already mentioned that it has some pros and cons. All we have left is to hope that the pros outweigh the cons, right?
1. Packed with protein
It goes without saying that meats are protein powerhouses. It’s an essential nutrient that boosts your pet’s immune system. Without protein, your cat would fall ill quickly.
She’d drop weight heavily, her immune system would weaken, and that would only be the beginning of her troubles. A host of illnesses would strike her in no time. Moreover, she’d lose her fur and be at high risk for skin diseases.
Protein is also one of the main sources of felines’ energy. If your furball has been lacking the liveliness she usually has, she might be in need of some bonus protein.
Your cat needs regular meat intake, especially high-quality foods like beef and duck meat, to ensure sufficient muscle mass and strong bones. She wants to jump around more and scale the highest tree, right?
However, something’s stopping her. She may not be strong enough. So what are you going to do? Throw in some more protein, that’s what!
But be careful. Although protein can also be found in some veggies such as cauliflower, it’s a good adequate enough to serve as a meat replacement. By all means, give it as an addition to her diet, but not the main course.
Felines significantly benefit from the protein that’s found in animal-based products. Remember, they’re obligate carnivores, not herbivores.
2. Vitamins and minerals
Apart from the essential protein, raw beef offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals as well. These nutritional benefits are enough to convince us that cats can eat raw beef.
What is it that makes this meat so healthy? Vitamins such as vitamin C, B, D, B12, and others are present in raw beef. So, this tasty treat isn’t just that – it’s good for your feline friend too!
These vitamins can make your cat’s life easier, quite literally. For instance, vitamin C is ascribed to the repair of all bodily tissue, as well as forming collagen, which does a great deal for your cat’s bones. Moreover, it helps in the absorption of iron that’s also present in raw beef.
As for the B vitamins, they’re known to be the building blocks of a healthy body. They’re involved in all sorts of body functions. These nutrients help your cat’s body function normally and stay healthy, and directly impact her metabolism and brain function.
The rest of the vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium found in beef intertwine and work together.
Vitamins and minerals help keep your feline’s immune system in peak condition and boost her energy levels. Together, they assist in fighting off various diseases and infections. Essentially, they’re the reason you sleep soundly at night knowing your pet’s safe and healthy.
Can raw beef be dangerous for cats to eat?
This is the least likable part. No one wants to hear how something can possibly put your beloved pet in danger.
However, this is a reality. Unfortunately, raw beef doesn’t only have the good stuff that can benefit your feline. It also has a slightly tricky side to it. This includes potential dangers and diseases that can be carried through raw meat.
Now, you’d think that raw meat is great to include in your cat’s diet. Well, you’re both right and wrong. Domesticated cats have a bit weaker immune system than their wild cousins. Therefore, they’re not that used to eating raw beef.
However, she might’ve grabbed a quick bite off your kitchen counter while you were preparing dinner. Is there something to worry about?
1. Tough to digest
For a pet that hasn’t been introduced to raw meat before, this could pose a potential struggle. Raw meat isn’t easy to digest.
But you must be thinking: “Since cats are carnivores, shouldn’t they be totally fine eating raw beef!?” That’s what you’re wondering, can cats eat raw beef, right? Unfortunately, not everything goes in their favor. Even something as nutritional as meat can give your pet a hard time sometimes.
If it’s her first time eating raw beef, she may experience some unease. Her stomach may have a hard time trying to break down the raw flesh. It can possibly cause vomiting, diarrhea, as well as abdominal pain. This feeling should pass quickly, but keep an eye on her.
2. Disease carrier
As if that stomach upset wasn’t scary enough, raw beef can cause other health issues. You never expected this much trouble to emerge out of a simple piece of meat, huh?
Unfortunately, it’s known to transmit certain disease-carrying bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and many other pathogens. All of these can make your pet’s life a living hell.
That’s why it’s important you buy approved raw beef that’s undergone all the health tests. Unfortunately, that’s usually a very expensive treat. Therefore, it might be best if your cat sticks to plainly cooked meat or kibble.
3. What about the fat content?
As if those bacteria and diseases weren’t enough to dampen your enthusiasm, raw beef has something else up its sleeve.
Unfortunately for your cat, it’s high in fats. You must wonder how can that be a bad thing since felines need fat. Well, you’re right. But the thing is that cats need unsaturated, healthy fats that can give them a lot of benefits.
On the other hand, their diets shouldn’t consist of highly saturated, unhealthy ones. These fats tend to make their life a lot harder.
For instance, she can get obese just by eating too much fat. This wouldn’t be a serious problem if the weight didn’t put additional strain on your cat’s joints, which could easily lead to arthritis.
Moreover, saturated lipids are known to raise blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, your pet would be more prone to blood clotting, strokes, and heart diseases.
Can cats eat cooked beef?
Definitely! This would be an amazing dish for our four-legged companions. She’d be head over heels for you! Cooked beef is a great source of protein and other nutritional benefits. It doesn’t pose the danger raw beef does.
Cats can eat cooked beef because high temperatures kill off any bacteria or germs present. Therefore, we’d say that cats can definitely eat cooked beef. There’s just one thing you should be aware of.
Usually, human meat dishes are cooked with various spices and seasonings. These are all, unfortunately, off-limits for felines. Cats cannot digest them well and some of them are even toxic.
For example, Allium crops such as garlic, onion, leeks, and chives are extremely dangerous to cats. All members of the Allium family of plants tend to destroy the red blood cells in a cat’s body, causing anemia.
Also, steer clear of salt, black pepper, and other seasonings. Apart from avoiding potential salt toxicity or other food poisonings, your kitto finds plain meat much tastier! And speaking of salt toxicity…
To our great sadness, cooked beef contains high amounts of salt. It’s really common in store-bought products, not to mention when we prepare meats ourselves at home.
Salt doesn’t only give flavor to the food, it also helps in preserving food and prolongs its life. However, it might just shorten your cat’s.
Sodium is poisonous to felines in certain doses, so they shouldn’t ever indulge in it. Cats only require 21 mg of salt daily, which they get in their cat food already, so it doesn’t take much for her to overdose.
Now, if your furry companion ate a salted pretzel, she should be fine. But what happens when she has too much salt?
If she has a bit of salt on one occasion, it shouldn’t pose a serious threat to her health. But a serious overdose or regular intake of high levels of salt, she will likely experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms may include diarrhea and abdominal pain.
In more severe cases, tremors, seizures, and coma may occur. If this is the case, seek urgent veterinary attention.
You wanted to find out if cats can eat raw beef, and I hope I’ve clarified it. While there are certainly benefits to this red meat, there are also a few disadvantages.
For instance, it’s nutritionally packed with protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. But unfortunately, bad stuff could be in there too – potential diseases, bacteria, and other pathogens. Not to mention how tough it is to chow down on raw beef!