Sausages have been around for a very long time. However, it is interesting to note that pepperoni seems to be a recent invention in comparative terms. Apparently, the first known use of pepperoni to refer to pepperoni happened in 1919, which suggests that the sausage wasn’t invented too long before that point in time.
Before that, well, suffice to say that pepperoni is Italian for “bell pepper,” which is native to the Americas but was brought over to Spain in the late 15th century. In any case, a lot of people will assume that pepperoni is an Italian creation. They should know that pepperoni is an Italian-American creation. Even now, it remains very popular in its homeland for very good reasons. Is it okay for cats to eat it?
Can Cats Eat Pepperoni?
Given its popularity, it is natural for cat owners to wonder whether their cats can eat pepperoni or not. Generally speaking, eating a small amount of pepperoni shouldn’t be too dangerous for our feline companions. However, if cats are eating pepperoni on a regular basis, there are a wide range of issues that can come up. As a result, cat owners should do their best to prevent their cat from eating pepperoni.
There are at least three things about pepperoni that can cause problems for cats. First, it contains a lot of salt. Cats are like cat owners in that they need some salt to survive. Unfortunately, it is very easy for cats to eat too much salt, so cat owners need to be careful when feeding human foods to them. Second, pepperoni contains a lot of nitrates, which hinder the development of certain microorganisms that can have a very negative effect on those who eat them.
In fact, interested individuals should know that these are the substances responsible for pepperoni’s reddish to pinkish color. There are concerns that nitrates can become problematic for cats under certain circumstances, so this is something that cat owners should be careful about as well.
Third, pepperoni isn’t made out of just pork or beef and pork. Much of its flavor comes from various spices that are mixed in. The problem is that those spices often include garlic powder. Something that should always be avoided because garlic and every other member of the genus Allium destroy red blood cells when consumed by cats. Combined, these things mean that cats shouldn’t be eating pepperoni at all.
Should Cats Eat Any Processed Meats?
For that matter, cat owners shouldn’t feed processed meats to their cat at all. Yes, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to eat meat in order to survive. However, that doesn’t mean that cats can just eat every single kind of meat that can be found out there. Cats should avoid other processed meats for much the same reasons that they should avoid pepperoni. Processed meats tend to come with a lot of salt, a lot of preservatives, and a lot of spices.
As a result, they tend to present the same issues as pepperoni. For that matter, some of them can come with other issues as well. To name an example, ham is high in fat. Eating some fat shouldn’t be a huge issue for most cats. Unfortunately, eating too much fat is a separate matter. In the short run, a cat can experience gastrointestinal distress because of that; in the long run, a cat can become obese because of that.
Having said this, cat owners themselves might want to reduce their intake of processed meats, seeing as how there is a fair amount of evidence that they increase a human’s chances of getting cancer. If cat owners want to feed meat to their cats, they should choose fresh meat rather than processed meat.
This doesn’t mean raw meat. Cats can eat the stuff. However, they are also capable of getting sick from the microorganisms that can sometimes be found on raw food. As a result, it is better to err on the side of caution by cooking the meat that will be offered to cats. Of course, make sure to avoid any ingredient that can be problematic for cats while cooking the meat, meaning that the meat cooked for cats should be kept separate from the meat cooked for cat owners.
What Other Human Foods Should Cats Avoid?
There are a wide range of other human foods and beverages that cats should avoid as well for one reason or another. To name an example, chocolate is very bad for cats because it contains caffeine as well as theobromine. Darker chocolate means more risk, though interested individuals should keep in mind that this isn’t the same as saying that white chocolate is harmless for our feline companions.
Since caffeine is bad for cats, it should come as no surprise to learn that tea should be considered off-limits for cats as well. Even ingredients can be extremely problematic, with an excellent example being yeasted dough. Being eaten won’t automatically kill the yeast in yeasted dough. Thanks to that, it is possible for the yeast in yeasted dough to continue working even while it is in a cat’s digestive system. That means that it is possible for the yeasted dough to rise up until it blocks the cat’s digestive system, which might need surgical intervention.
Moreover, that means that it is possible for the yeasted dough to produce alcohol, which is another one of those things that cats shouldn’t be exposed to. Besides these, there are also a whole host of things that cat owners should be very careful about. Strictly speaking, ripe tomatoes shouldn’t be dangerous for cats so long as they are eaten in small quantities.
Even so, cat owners might not want their cats to associate tomatoes with food, seeing as how cats can be poisoned by tomato plants. Green tomatoes contain solanine. Similarly, both the leaves and the stems of tomato plants contain solanine as well. Meanwhile, a lot of nuts aren’t poisonous for cats. Despite that, nuts can be problematic for them for a number of reasons. One, they can be a choking hazard, particularly since cats don’t chew their food. Two, they contain a lot of fat as well as a lot of calories, meaning that they can be bad for cats in both the short run and the long run.
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