Cats have been around humans for quite some time now – living next to them, sleeping with them, and even sharing our food. So, it’s no wonder you’re thinking about whether or not cats can eat vienna sausage too.
The human need for sharing food with beloved pets seems like a nice idea. This is something that just comes naturally to us. However, sharing isn’t always caring. We may have good intentions while giving our furbaby a nibble of vienna sausage.
Even though she eats it, though, it doesn’t mean it’s good for her. In an attempt to bribe your greedy little monster, things could take a turn for the worse. You should always first ask yourself if it’s the right thing to do when she begs you for a piece of your food.
Cats often find sneaky ways to bribe us with some meowing, purring, and angelic eyes. It’s a test of self-control when around these little master manipulators.
What’s in vienna sausage?
Vienna sausage is a common item in stores and on our menu. It’s most often a combination of meat such as pork and beef, cased in sheep’s intestines. Doesn’t sound too appealing, right?
The sausage meat is cooked and smoked before it’s put in the casing. Some other countries may use turkey as well as chicken, to fill the casing. Another meat that can be found in these parboiled sausages is horse meat.
Apart from the meat combinations, a lot of additives and preservatives are used in the production of these sausages. And it’s precisely due to all of the added flavors and sauces that it isn’t recommended for cats to eat.
Is vienna sausage safe for cats to eat?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. It isn’t safe because of the way it’s produced. Vienna sausage has a lot of different meat, which you would think is great for a carnivore like your pet.
However, this is not the case. The meat in these sausages is highly processed and actually, only a small amount of meat is incorporated. Cats can’t get the needed nutrients from vienna sausage.
All of the protein is usually destroyed by the time production is finished. Besides having no nutritional value, this parboiled sausage contains ingredients that don’t do your feline any favors.
Pork, which is often used for the production of vienna sausage, isn’t generally safe for felines. Pork is high in fat and therefore, poses a certain threat to your cat’s health. And while beef and chicken have lower fat content, due to them still being highly processed, they are almost useless to cats.
1. Preservatives and salt
Sodium – or as we all know it, salt – is incorporated in sausages in high quantities. This is bad for your cat because it could potentially lead to sodium toxicity.
Salt toxicity happens when your cat consumes salt in excess. The symptoms of sodium toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, tremors and seizures. Remember this next time you want to feed your furchild some sausages.
Sodium nitrite is an inorganic compound that gives meat its characteristic color and flavor. This is a type of salt that’s used for meat, especially in sausages. This preservative is bad for your feline as it can lead to heart diseases.
Another preservative is added to guarantee a longer shelf life of these processed meats. Ascorbic acid powder in cured meats gives a citrus flavor and prevents the sausage from spoiling.
Also for prolonged shelf life, food additives such as polyphosphates can be found in these sausages. These are used as stabilizers or emulsifiers that are added to processed foods.
Another stabilizer is called potassium chloride. It’s used for adding flavor and maintaining low sodium levels. However, when it comes to cats, any type of salt is detrimental to their health.
To contrast the high salt content in sausages, sugar is added to this processed meat. In small amounts, it isn’t likely to cause harm to your feline. Yet, any unnecessary sugar intake can reflect badly on her health.
Another added flavor is corn syrup. It’s used in the production of cured sausages to aid in the binding of the meat. Corn syrup enhances flavor and helps in the fermentation process. It also allows the meat to keep its color for a longer period of time.
Another sugar that comes from corn or wheat is dextrose. This type of sugar can also be found in processed meat such as sausages. This artificial sweetener can leave your cat with elevated blood sugar levels.
Sugar in general is bad for your pet’s health. It’s a carbohydrate that holds no nutritional value for felines. Your cat can’t benefit from any type of sugar and could only end up harmed.
Sugar consumption, in the long run, can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay. Cats can also become obese, which could furthermore damage their joints. And just like with their two-legged companions, it isn’t uncommon for cats to develop diabetes.
3. Garlic powder
This is another reason for concern when it comes to your cat eating vienna sausage. These processed meats often have added garlic powder for flavor. This is a big reason cats should stay away from sausages.
Garlic is highly toxic to felines and even small amounts can be dangerous. Due to its widespread use, garlic comes in various forms, such as raw, dried, or powdered. Both are equally poisonous to your pet either by ingesting or inhaling.
Garlic poisoning can result in vomiting and diarrhea, as well as respiratory problems. Other members of the allium family are also poisonous to felines, for instance, onions, leeks, and chives. Keep in mind that garlic is more toxic to cats than onions and it’s an ingredient in vienna sausage.
Is vienna sausage bad for my cat?
The short answer to this question is yes. Cats can technically eat vienna sausage (and will want to), but it’s bad for their health. Because of all of the above-mentioned preservatives, salt, and sugars, your cat won’t benefit from it.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat for survival. You would think sausages are a great source of animal protein felines need daily. We see why you were deceived though.
Unfortunately for cats, the amount of protein found in this processed meat isn’t enough for their needs. Your pet would do better with some cooked meat with no seasonings. Also, keep bones and raw meat off of her menu.
Can cats eat vienna sausage because of fat? Is it good for them?
Another deceiving fact when it comes to vienna sausages is fat. Cats need a certain amount of fat daily to keep them going. Fat serves as an energy source – this is why they can keep running around at 4 am!
In the wild, felines eat meat that contains a lot of fat. They will rather eat parts of animals containing this rich source of energy. However, your fluff isn’t in the wild, so you must provide her with these much-needed nutrients.
Unfortunately, the fats found in vienna sausage aren’t the best option for your cat. Most of the fats contained therein are saturated fats. This is a type of dietary fat that can leave your cat with high cholesterol.
High cholesterol levels in your feline’s blood can result in stroke and heart diseases. Some of the symptoms that may reveal your cat having this kind of problem are fatigue, shortness of breath, and nausea.
What about calories found in vienna sausage?
Apart from the high fat content, vienna sausage is a threat to cats because of its amount of calories. This calorie-dense food is not the best option if your cat is trying to lose some weight.
Felines are lean animals and usually small in size. Their balanced diet requires them to maintain a sufficient intake of calories. Your pet needs around 280 calories per day to satisfy her needs.
Vienna sausage has around 100 calories per single serving. So, if you combine these sausages with her regular food, guess what? You’re going to have one chubby fluff.
This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the stress on her joints. Overweight cats have a harder time enjoying activities like jumping, climbing, running, and playing. This could leave your pet in a depressed state, not to mention some medical conditions. Next to obesity and joint problems, your cat also faces the risk of heart diseases.
What about canned vienna sausages? Can cats eat those too?
Canned vienna sausage isn’t much different from regular ones. The high amounts of sodium and other preservatives used to enable longer shelf life make it a poor menu choice for your feline.
Canned vienna sausages don’t have to be cooked. But, it doesn’t mean it’s the perfect meal for your beloved pet either. As an occasional snack, yes. Keep in mind that cats can eat vienna sausage in various forms, but always in moderation.
Can cats eat raw vienna sausage?
Having in mind that vienna sausage isn’t the best option for your cat, you should avoid feeding her raw ones. Due to the production of this meat, leaving the package open for too long can spoil them.
Cooking meat, in general, is good because it’s easier to chew and digest by breaking down fibers and connective tissues. Raw meat isn’t recommended in cats’ diets at all. It may carry certain diseases such as salmonella and E. coli.
By cooking meat, your feline will be protected from harmful parasites and bacteria that can be found in raw meat. A few bites of raw, uncooked meat or vienna sausage may not necessarily hurt your cat, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Healthy alternatives to vienna sausage
You may want to leave vienna sausage for yourself. Offer your kitten some less processed meat or preferably, plainly cooked ones. Seasonings and spices that come with store-bought foods can’t benefit your cat’s health.
For example, tuna is a great snack for your feline. Cats love fish and it’s super beneficial to their health. Fish has lots of vitamins that serve as immune system boosters in felines. However, don’t replace your cat’s regular diet with just fish.
Even though cats are carnivores, they need a balanced diet that you can find in quality cat foods. Besides, cats are picky eaters and not afraid to voice their wishes. Your cat will tell you what she likes and dislikes.
Yet, sometimes even cats can make mistakes. If your cat launches for a vienna sausage, remember it’s because of all the fats that attract her. To avoid this unhealthy treat, try opting for some cooked chicken instead.
Just make sure that whatever you feed your cat, it’s free from any additional flavors and seasonings. Your pet’s health should be your main concern, even if sometimes it means denying her wishes.
Cats can eat vienna sausage but not regularly. Regular intake of this processed meat is detrimental to your cat’s health. Excess salt and other preservatives, as well as artificial flavors, are bad for your feline.
The amount of protein found in vienna sausage isn’t enough to satisfy your cat’s dietary needs. And other factors, such as high fat and calorie content, lead to some unwelcoming situations and probably, a vet consult.
To be sure your cat is getting all the needed nutrients and maintaining a healthy diet, avoid these. Try to avoid processed foods like vienna sausage because it not only holds no nutritional value, it can affect your cat’s health negatively.