Cats are natural-born hunters and carnivores. They require a good amount of protein in their diet to stay healthy. Commercial cat kibble is typically chock-full of all the protein they need.
Familiar sources include chicken, fish, and other popular meat products.
But what about pork?
Pork is more of a novel protein source for cats. While it’s something that many humans enjoy regularly, pork doesn’t appear very often in cat foods unless you get a specialty recipe.
Pair that with some oddball myths about pig meat, and pork is a source of contention among cat owners.
So, what’s the truth? Can cats eat pork or not?
Debunking Pork Myths
Contrary to what you might have heard, pork isn’t this ultra-dangerous meat source that will cause issues when your feline friend consumes it. While not as healthy as other protein sources, pork has a bad reputation.
It’s not clear how this negative connotation started. However, some cat lovers point to old misleading articles as the start of the meat’s notoriety.
Others blame its mysterious absence in commercial foods as the source of skepticism. Either way, there are many rumors about pork that don’t have much basis in reality.
Myth 1: Pork Fat Globules
One common myth is that pork fat globules can clog blood vessels. While too much fat can undoubtedly cause trouble in the future, pieces of fat can’t get into your cat’s bloodstream immediately after eating pork. That leads us to the next rumor.
Myth 2: Too Fatty
Some cat owners avoid providing pork because they say it’s too fatty. However, this meat is pretty lean compared to the alternatives. Chicken, the most common protein source for commercial food, tends to have more fat than pork.
Even if pork was fattier, cats have no problem handling it. As a result, saturated fats aren’t a significant concern for felines.
Myth 3: Toxins
Finally, there is the ridiculous myth that pigs don’t sweat, resulting in a buildup of toxins in the meat. This is simply not factual. Pigs do sweat and have toxin-filtering organs like the liver and kidneys.
Is Pork Good for Cats?
So now that you know pork isn’t this super poisonous food for cats, can they eat it? Yes, cats can eat pork, but it shouldn’t be the central part of their diet.
Pork has a lot of great things to offer. It’s a fantastic source of protein and offers many beneficial vitamins and minerals
. Pork contains a Vitamin B complex, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, niacin, and more. All of those nutrients are great. However, pork is high in sodium and fat.
Earlier, we mentioned that cats could handle saturated fats just fine. But that doesn’t mean they should eat fatty foods like pork all the time. Fat and sodium can lead to weight gain.
Sodium, in particular, is known to cause stress on the kidneys when eaten in excess. It’s not very good for the heart and liver, either.
How to Feed Pork to Cats
You can feed pork to cats, but it needs to be in moderation. The best way to give your cat a taste of pork is to use the 10 percent rule.
Treats and human-grade foods like pork should make up no more than 10 percent of your cat’s nutritional intake.
If you plan on letting your cat eat some pork, you’ll need to prepare it first. Remove all bones and bone fragments. Even small pieces could present a choking hazard or digestive trouble. Then, cook the meat all the way.
Cats can usually handle raw meat, but there’s still a risk of Trichinosis. Parasites are rare, but you shouldn’t take any chances with your feline friend. Cook the pork thoroughly and let it cool down before giving your cat a taste.
Related: Why Won’t My Cat Eat Wet Food?
Should You Feed Your Cat Pork?
It’s perfectly fine to give your cat a piece of pork every once in a while. As long as it’s adequately prepared and only given as an occasional treat, your cat shouldn’t experience any issues.
The protein source has a lot to offer and isn’t as dangerous as old rumors would have you believe. Give your cat a taste next time you’re cooking up pork for yourself, and let them enjoy the unique flavor!