Have you ever wondered if it’s okay for your cat to eat Spam? If the thought has crossed your mind a time or two, you’re not exactly alone. As it turns out, a lot of people have asked themselves this question. After all, it’s more or less a pork product and cats do eat meat, so there shouldn’t be a problem, right? If you’ve owned a cat for more than a couple of months, you probably already know that it’s rarely as simple as saying yes or no to any question. There are a lot of factors that come into play here and those factors will ultimately determine when it’s okay for your cat to eat Spam and when it isn’t.
Is It Toxic?
The good news is that Spam is not toxic to your cat, so you don’t have to rush him to the veterinarian if he accidentally snags a bite that has fallen on the floor. In fact, you can probably even get away with giving him a bite or two every once in a while as a special treat. Since it is a pork based product, there is every chance that your cat will truly enjoy the taste and there’s nothing wrong with giving him a treat from time to time. That said, you shouldn’t be feeding your cat Spam on a daily basis. In reality, you shouldn’t give him more than a couple of bites in a week’s time, at most. If you’re wondering why, keep reading because all of your questions are about to be answered.
Sticking to a Healthy Diet
It all comes down to the fact that you want to give your cat the healthiest diet possible. When you consider the fat content and the amount of sodium that is in a can of Spam, it quickly becomes obvious that this does not fall under the category of a healthy diet in any way, shape or form. In fact, the fat content is absolutely alarming, so much so that regular consumption by your cat could easily cause obesity. Even more alarming, it can cause dramatic weight gain in short order. This can lead to a whole host of other health problems which will be discussed in the next paragraph. In addition, the sodium content is extremely high. Remember, cats don’t metabolize food the same way that human beings do. The salt content in just 1/6 a can of spam is roughly 20 times higher than the amount your cat should be eating during any 24-hour period. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat will have health problems if he gets an occasional bite or two, but eating an entire can is definitely not a healthy option. It’s not even a healthy option for human beings, effectively sending their sodium content through the roof. If it’s a potential problem for people, it’s obviously not a good idea for a cat that only weighs a few pounds.
Potential Health Concerns
Before you get too comfortable with the idea of feeding Spam to your cat, even on an interim basis, consider this fact. In some rare cases, Spam has been known to cause serious health concerns such as pancreatitis. How does this happen? It basically occurs as a result of everything that has already been discussed. The most dangerous aspect of it is the overwhelming fat content. It can be difficult for cats to metabolize this much fat and in some cats, it overwhelms the pancreas until it becomes inflamed. This can happen when too much junk food is fed to cats, as well as foods that are too spicy. Considering both the fat and the sodium content in Spam, it’s already been determined that it’s not the healthiest option. In some cats, it simply isn’t possible to handle the fat content. As a direct result, the pancreas becomes inflamed and pancreatitis can follow. This is a serious disease that can be fatal if not treated properly (and promptly). Depending on your cat’s age, his overall health and any other health concerns that he may have, pancreatitis can potentially be fatal even if you rush him to the veterinarian and he gets the best care possible. While a lot of cats do survive the condition, some do not. Furthermore, you will have to be extra careful about what you feed your cat from that point forward if he gets the disease. Therefore, it’s best to avoid the condition altogether. This can best be accomplished by feeding a healthy diet and refraining from feeding too much food at any one given time.
Of course, there could be other issues that come into play as well. If your cat is already on the heavy side, you definitely don’t want to be feeding Spam or anything else like it. If you’ve already put your cat on a special diet to help him lose weight, the last thing you want to do is sabotage those efforts by feeding something with such a high fat content. In addition, certain cats that already have issues with their pancreas or liver should steer clear from Spam and other items that have similar ingredients. If your cat is older, it’s important to remember that he can still have treats. However, it’s equally important to remember that his metabolism may be slower than that of a younger cat, meaning that he could easily gain weight much faster. All of these things have to be taken into consideration before you decide whether or not to feed Spam to your cat in any capacity. So, what’s the bottom line? Provided that your cat is healthy and of average weight, you can occasionally feed a couple of bites of Spam as a special treat, but nothing more. It’s definitely not a good idea to feed it on a regular basis or in large amounts. That said, a few bites now and then probably won’t hurt a thing.