What Meat Can Cats Eat?

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What Meat Can Cats Eat?

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By their true nature, cats are carnivores. Their ancestors hunted prey in the wild and ate them completely, all these flesh, bones, even feathers. Since cats belong to the great group of carnivores, they should eat meat. According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, amino acids from meat are essential for cats’ growth, metabolism, muscles and their survival, as a whole. Cats also need fats from meat, because meat is rich in essential fatty acids such as linoleic and arachidonic acid, which enhance processing of vitamins in their bodies. These fatty acids improve the condition of the cat’s kidneys and reproductive system. However, within adding meat in a cat’s diet we have to be cautious in order to prevent them from some harmful bacteria such as Echerichia coli and salmonella. The article What Kinds of Meat Can Cats Eat?” gives us some advices on what we have to pay attention when buying meat and how to cook it.

What Meat Can Cats Eat?

Chicken, Turkey and Duck
Poultry is an excellent source of protein for cats. The majority of protein should be derived from skeletal muscle, such as the breast and thighs, rather than organ meat. Chicken and turkey breast are classified as lean meat, which is the best calorie source for cats. Duck meat is also safe but is higher in fat, so it should be fed more sparingly. Always make sure that poultry is cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill pathogens.

Beef
Beef is another affordable meat option for cats. Ground beef is cheap, easy to prepare and easy for cats to digest. Beef organ meat can also be used, although organ meat should only make up a small portion of a cat’s diet. Beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145 F to be considered safe. Ground beef must be cooked to 165 F.

Pork
Pork is safe for cats to eat, although ham and bacon should be avoided. Smoked meats have a high sodium content and can contain sulfites, which are not ideal for cats. Pork should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 F.

Lamb and Veal
Lamb and veal are both safe for cats to eat, although they are pricier than most other options. Lamb is often fatty, so should only be fed in small quantities or should be trimmed of excess fat before feeding to your cat. Lamb and veal should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F.

Fish
Just about all fish is safe for cats to eat in small quantities. Canned tuna and salmon are affordable options for cats and can be served as an occasional treat. Canned fish has much higher sodium content than cat food, so it should be fed sparingly. Also, carnivorous fish such as tuna and salmon contain higher levels of mercury, which is dangerous to your cat if it accumulates in the system. Smaller fish like cod, halibut and flounder are safer for cats to eat because their flesh contains less mercury.

Other Seafood
If you’re willing to splurge, you can treat your cat to many other types of seafood, such as shrimp, scallops, and calamari. Small sea creatures are considered to contain much less mercury compared to large ocean fish. Oysters and clams can also be served in small quantities. Seafood must be cooked until the flesh is opaque. Start small when feeding your cat seafood for the first time and watch for adverse reactions after eating, as some cats can be allergic to seafood.

Although, many advocates a raw food diet as the most optimal diet for the cat, there is no scientific evidence which confirms its benefits. On the contrary, the latest researches show that raw food diet carries various health risks for cats like nutritional imbalance, blood infection, gastroenteritis, and bacterial infection. The common argument for a raw food diet is that freezing can eliminate bacteria from meat, but actually many bacteria can survive low temperature. Since we all want our cats to be healthy and live longer, taking all arguments into account for and against a raw meat diet can help us to make the best decision for our lovely pets.

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