Can I Give My Cat Ham?
Ham is a kind of pork meat which is prepared after lots of processing methods. Basically it is prepared from the hind legs of pigs, which is then cured and added lots of preservatives and flavors to make it tasty and delightful. But it is highly fatty and frequent consumption is not at all permissible to anyone. On the other hand, ham also contains lots of nutritional ingredients which may be beneficial for people.
Now, the question is whether it can be given to a cat or not? The answer is simple but not straight. In one word it can be said that Yes, Ham can be given to a cat. As a carnivorous animal, cat is very much comfortable with pork meat. So there is no problem in eating ham by a cat. But before going to buy, one must be sure about the quality of the ham. Preparation of ham includes lots of processing. Many additives, preservatives, salt and flavors are added to it to make it delicious. So such kind of processed meat which is more salted or sweetened should not be given to a cat. It may cause many digestive problems to the animal. Otherwise a very less amount of good quality ham won’t be harmful to a cat. However it should not be given frequently and it should not make a habit to the animal. Occasional consumption won’t cause any serious problem to the animal.
Risks and Benefits of Ham:
Ham is nothing but pork meat which undergoes a lot of processing before getting ready to be consumed by people. Pork as a raw meat can be eaten by a cat as cat is a carnivorous animal which needs meat in its daily diet. But cured ham which is very much popular among the people of all ages is made by adding many additives, flavors and preservatives in order to make it delicious. These additives and flavors are of course not good for a little animal like cat. Cured ham contains lots of salt and too much of salt is harmful for cat. But again pork contains lots of protein specially the amino acid which is also known as Taurine. A cat cannot produce amino acid unlike dogs and human beings. But taurine is very essential for cats, absence of which may cause many health related issues to the animal. Therefore it is important to provide it through its dietary items. Since pork contains taurine, so as a source of taurine or more specifically as a source of protein, pork items can be given to a cat to eat. Taurine is very essential for cat’s digestive system.
But again pork meat or ham is not the only item which can provide protein to a cat. There are of course many other items available in the market which contains protein. Since ham contains many other ingredients which are not at all good for the animal so it is better to avoid it if possible. However occasional consumption will not cause any serious problem, yet it may be risky.
Nutritional Ingredients in Ham:
Ham contains many nutritional ingredients. Since ham is a pork meat so it is a rich source of protein. And protein is very much beneficial for our health. Though all kinds of meat are rich in protein but ham has some other nutritional ingredients too. As stated above ham also contains Amino acid or taurine.
Apart from protein and taurine, ham is also a very rich source of vitamins as well as minerals. It contains B Vitamins including vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and also niacin. Among other nutrition, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine etc are the main which are found in ham.
Ham also is a good source of sodium. It can provide the half the amount of sodium a body needs per day. So it’s very rich in sodium.
Moreover, ham also contains a good amount of fat. Fat is very important for our bodies as it absorbs different soluble vitamins to produce energy. However excess of fat may cause many other problems. It may increase the cholesterol level in our bodies which is very dangerous.
So it is seen that ham is a very rich food in terms of its nutritional ingredients. It is a good source of almost all the vitamins and most importantly of protein.
Things To Keep in Mind:
Till now it is quite clear that ham is a processed pork meat which is highly nutritional. It is a rich source of protein, taurine, and many other vitamins and minerals and therefore can be a very good treat for cat. The vitamins it contains are very much beneficial for cat’s health and so can be given to a cat. But before going to feed your cat with ham one must keep some important things in mind.
First of all, the nutrition stated above is found only in good quality ham only. Therefore, one should be very careful in this regard, before going to buy ham for his or her pet.
Secondly ham is a processed food. And processing is done in many ways. Throughout the whole process of processing, many preservatives, flavors, salt etc are used in the meat. These preservatives specially the high amount of salt is very much harmful for a cat. Excess amount of salt may cause food poisoning in cat which may lead to the death of the animal too.
Thirdly, the flavors specially the honey, sugar etc which are used in ham are also very much harmful for the animal. Though these things increase the taste of the meat yet these cause many health problems in cat. Excess sugar or sweet foods may affect its digestive system.
So these are the important things, one must keep in mind before going to feed his pet a piece of ham.
Can Cat Eat Ham- Any Benefits?
In one word, ‘Yes’ is the answer. Yes, cat can eat ham. Ham is a rich source of many vitamins, minerals, protein, taurine, fat etc., which are very beneficial for a cat.
First of all, like many other meat, ham is also a good source of protein. And cat needs protein.
Secondly, Taurine is also very much essential for cat. For a good digestive system, cat needs taurine. But unlike dog and human beings, cat cannot produce taurine by itself. So cat needs it from other sources in its diet and ham is a good source of taurine. So cat can get taurine through ham.
Thirdly, ham contains a good amount of B vitamins including Vitamin B6, B12, niacin etc. These B vitamins play a very important role in cat health. Like this, potassium is also important in order to keep its kidneys strong and zinc is very much important in order to keep its fur healthy. Moreover, ham also is a source of riboflavin, which acts as anti oxidant guard in cat’s body and thus it keeps its metabolism healthy.
Apart from all these other nutrients including, copper, phosphorous, magnesium etc also play an important role in keeping the cat healthy.
Ham also provides a good amount of fat which is important to produce energy in the body.
This in these ways, ham is beneficial for cat.
Can Cat Eat Ham- Any Precautions?
Till now it is quite clear that though cat can eat ham and ham has many nutritional values, yet before going to feed, one must be sure about the quality of the meat. There are now a day many different qualities of hams available in the market. But many of them are prepared from very cheap and low quality of meat. These meats may contain different harmful ingredients like antibiotics, some synthetic materials or many other preservatives. These packaged hams do not contain all the above mentioned nutrition and hence not at all good for cat. So before going to buy one should be very careful regarding the quality of the meat.
Moreover, packaged and processed ham contains high amount of sodium in it. Sodium is very harmful for cat. Excess amount of sodium may cause many health problems to the tiny animal.
One of the very common preservatives used in preparation of ham is potassium nitrate. This is harmful for cat as well as human beings too.
Feeding a cat ham on regular basis causes vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea and many other health related problems. So ham should never be fed regularly and in a large amount. Occasional feeding of ham in a very small amount may not cause serious problem, yet one must be very careful before going to feed his or her cat any amount of ham.
Firstly, a big slice of ham should not be given to a cat. The slice of ham should be made into small pieces so that digestion can be taken place easily. Row ham should never be given to the cat. It should be properly cooked. Now a day there are many cat foods which are flavored with ham. This kind of food is the best option for a cat rather than giving it packaged ham. And lastly one should provide the cat large amount of water if he is given ham to eat. Because, ham contains a large amount of sodium in it, consuming of which, makes the animal thirsty. So these are some precautions one should take before going to feed his cat ham.
Can Cat Eat Ham- Bottom Line:
From the above discussions it is quite clear that being the carnivorous animal cat can eat ham, as ham is made from the pork meat. But making ham involves a long process which includes processing. Throughout the process of processing, many things are added into it in order to make it tasty and delicious. These additives are very much harmful for a cat and hence should never be given to the animal. So keeping all these in mind it can be said that ham is not a healthy food for a cat. Regular feeding of ham may cause diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, digestion problem etc. to the animal.
However then also if someone wants to feed his or her cat ham then it is important to remember that large amount of ham should never be given to the animal. A very small amount of ham can be given to it. And this should be given in small pieces so that the cat can digest it easily. Moreover the ham should be cooked well before going to feed the cat. Raw ham may cause indigestion to the animal. And after feeding it with ham enough water should be given to it as presence of excess sodium in ham makes the tiny animal very thirsty.
So to conclude following statements can be made whether cat can eat ham or not.
Though answer is easy and simple yet cannot be said in straight way. Before going to say something following observations should be made.
1. Being carnivorous animal a cat can eat ham, as ham is made of pork meat.
2. Like many other meat products, ham also contains many nutritional ingredients. Apart from protein ham also contains vitamins, minerals, fats etc.3.
3. These ingredients are however available in the good quality ham only. But now a day many packaged ham are prepared from low and cheap quality meat, which contains nothing nutritional ingredients, (which are stated above, )rather than lots of fats and preservatives. These preservatives are very harmful for the cat.
4. So before going to buy ham for cat one must be very careful regarding the quality of the meat.
5. Cat should never be fed ham on regular basis. Regular feeding of ham may cause diarrhea, indigestion etc to the animal. Occasional feeding of ham in small amount is not so harmful.
6. Then also the slice of the meat should be given into small pieces so that the cat can digest those easily. After feeding it with ham, ample amount of water should be given to it as presence of excess amount of sodium causes thirst to the animal.