Can Cats Eat Spam? (Yes & Vet Thoughts)
It was rainy afternoon and I was feeling a little down so I decided to get myself a snack. I had some leftover Spam in the fridge and thought, “Why not?” I googled “Can cats eat spam?” The first result that popped up was from the ASPCA website which said, “No, cats should not eat spam.”
However, further down I found a forum where people were discussing whether or not their cats had ever eaten spam and if so, what happened. Some said their cats seemed fine afterward while others said their cats got sick. So, I decided to do some more research on the subject.
Yes, cats can eat spam in moderation, but it is not a healthy food for them to eat on a regular basis due to the high sodium content. Spam is a pork product that is high in salt and fat. While small amounts of spam are safe for cats to eat, they should not consume it regularly.
Spam and It’s Origin
Spam is a type of processed meat that is made from pork shoulder and ham. It was first introduced in the United States in 1937 by the Hormel Foods Corporation.
The company created the product as an alternative to other canned meats such as chicken and tuna. Spam became extremely popular during World War II, when it was rationed to troops.
After the war, Spam continued to be a staple in many American households. Today, it remains one of the most popular canned meats in the world.
While its exact origin is unknown, it is believed that Spam gets its name from either “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham.” In addition to being eaten on its own, Spam is also often used in dishes such as spaghetti, chili, and rice casserole.
Why your Cat Should Eat Spam in Moderation?
I know what you’re thinking, “If Spam is so unhealthy for cats, then why should they eat it at all?” The answer is simple: moderation. While small amounts of Spam are safe for cats to consume, they should not eat it on a regular basis.
Here I’ll provide you with a list of reasons as to why your cat should eat spam in moderation:
1. Spam is high in sodium
Yes, I said it earlier. Spam is high in sodium. In fact, one can of Spam contains about 1,560 mg of sodium. That’s more than half of the recommended daily intake for humans!
While a small amount of sodium is essential for cats, too much can be harmful. High sodium levels can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
2. Spam is high in fat
Spam is also high in fat. In fact, one serving of Spam contains about 17 grams of fat. That’s more than twice the amount of fat found in a serving of chicken!
While cats need some fat in their diet, too much can lead to obesity and other health problems.
3. Spam is high in cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in animal products. Too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
While a small amount of cholesterol is essential for cats, too much can be harmful. One serving of Spam contains about 60 mg of cholesterol.
4. Spam is not a complete and balanced meal for cats
While small amounts of Spam are safe for cats to consume, it is not a complete and balanced meal for them. Cats need certain nutrients, such as protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, in order to stay healthy.
Spam does not contain all of the nutrients that cats need in order to stay healthy. Therefore, it should not be fed to them on a regular basis.
5. Spam can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats
Eating too much Spam can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. Symptoms of gastrointestinal upset include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If your cat experiences any of these symptoms after eating Spam, contact your veterinarian immediately.
I found a random YouTube video where a cat in the street is fed spam from a can. Let’s watch it.
From this video, we can see that the cat does like the taste of spam. However, this is not a good long-term food choice for them. If you must feed your cat spam, please do so sparingly and in small amounts. Also, make sure to supplement their diet with other healthy foods.
Are There Any Nutritional Value in Spam for Cats?
Now that I’ve talked about all of the reasons why your cat should eat spam in moderation, you’re probably wondering if there are any nutritional value in spam for cats.
The answer is yes and no. While small amounts of Spam are safe for cats to consume, it is not a healthy food for them. Spam is high in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. It is also lacking in essential nutrients.
Therefore, it is not a complete and balanced meal for cats. If you are going to feed your cat Spam, make sure to do so in moderation and supplement their diet with other healthy foods.
What Expert Vet Says about Feeding Cats Spam?
I spoke to Dr. Katie Grzyb, a staff veterinarian at Brooklyn Cares Veterinary Hospital, to get her professional opinion on the matter.
“Spam is not a nutritionally complete food for cats,” she said. “It is high in sodium and fat, which can lead to obesity and pancreatitis if consumed in large quantities.”
Pancreatitis is a condition that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. It can be very painful and potentially life-threatening.
While small amounts of spam are safe for cats to eat, Dr. Grzyb recommends limiting their intake to avoid potential health problems.
“If you do feed your cat Spam, I recommend doing so in moderation and supplementing their diet with other healthy foods,” she said.
How Much is Too Much Spam for Cats?
Now that you know all of the potential risks associated with feeding your cat Spam, you’re probably wondering how much is too much.
The answer depends on a number of factors, including your cat’s age, weight, and health. Consult with your veterinarian to determine how much Spam is safe for your cat to consume.
In general, it is best to feed your cat small amounts of Spam as a treat, rather than making it a part of their regular diet.
What will Happen if Cats Eat Spam?
I’ve talked about all of the potential risks associated with feeding your cat Spam. But what will actually happen if they eat it? Here I’ll go over some of the most common symptoms that cats may experience if they eat Spam.
Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms that cats will experience if they eat too much Spam. If your cat vomits after eating Spam, contact your veterinarian immediately.
2. Diarrhea (with or without blood)
Diarrhea is another common symptom of Spam consumption in cats. It can range from mild to severe, and may even contain blood. If your cat has diarrhea after eating Spam, contact your veterinarian immediately.
3. Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is another common symptom of Spam consumption. If your cat experiences abdominal pain after eating Spam, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Pancreatitis is a condition that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. It can be very painful and potentially life-threatening. If your cat experiences any symptoms of pancreatitis, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Obesity is another potential health concern associated with feeding your cat Spam. If you do feed your cat Spam, make sure to do so in moderation and supplement their diet with other healthy foods.
Treatment for Cats that Eat Spam
If your cat has eaten Spam and is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to provide you with the proper treatment for your cat.
In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Treatment will typically focus on managing the symptoms and may include IV fluids, pain medication, and antibiotics.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the best way to prevent your cat from experiencing the potentially harmful effects of Spam is to avoid feeding it to them altogether.
If you do choose to feed your cat Spam, make sure to do so in moderation and supplement their diet with other healthy foods. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are also important to ensure that your cat remains healthy and happy.
It’s time to say good bye to Spam, at least when it comes to feeding it to your cat. While small amounts of spam are safe for cats to eat, the risks associated with feeding them Spam outweigh the benefits.
There are much better foods out there that you can feed your cat that will provide them with the nutrients they need without putting their health at risk. So, do your cat a favor and keep the Spam out of their diet. Thanks for reading!