Can Cats Eat Ham

Can Cats Eat Ham? Know The Reasons Why You Should Not


hristmas is in the air! That means more and longer dinner nights at home with roasted ham. Cat owners sometimes can’t help themselves but drop treats from the table for their kitties to devour. However, little do they know that there are foods that are risky to your feline’s tummy.

Like ham. We have owners asking, “Can cats eat ham?” And we have to say, “No.”


Ham is one of the foods that are toxic to cats either given in little bits of pieces repeatedly or those in large amounts. Ham meat is a processed product. I know you’ll argue that there is also pork meat on your cat’s canned food and it’s processed.

However, despite being processed, cat’s canned foods are designed to suit a cat’s physiology. The ham that you fork around is salted, and you’re giving it to your cat directly.

For a longer answer to the question, “Can cats eat ham?” See below.

How Toxic Is It To Cats?

How Toxic Is It To Cats

Cured ham has high salt content. Although, your kitty needs salt in its diet for a well-balanced cat food, ham offers, however, a bit more salt than it needs. And too much salt can be dangerous.

The sodium content of cat’s food should not exceed 0.2% suggested by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) in its revised report for 2015.

If your cat consumes more than the recommended amount of sodium, it will feel the ill health effects from consuming a surplus of salt. In this case, from a cured Christmas ham.

Another interesting fact to note is that when cats consume more than the recommended amount of sodium, your kitty may not grow so well. High salt intake can result in dehydration and can damage your cat’s kidneys and bladder.

How Much Is Enough?

can cats eat ham

The National Research Council published a guide for cat owners indicating that cats need, at most, 42 milligrams of sodium a day. Any more than that and your cat can suffer from anorexia, too much pee breaks, and bad growth.

So, can cats eat ham even in small amounts? Keep reading.

How Much Salt Is There In Hams?

How Much Salt Is There In Hams

On your Christmas ham? A 100-gram ham has 1.203 grams of salt according to the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. It covers every inch and every space of the meat to preserve the whole food.

Yes, the salt used to preserve the ham is strong enough. Good for you. Sad for your kitty.

Some pet owners, afterward, just threw them all away, dispensing it in their cat’s bowl. Remember, your feline companion is your friend. Not your personal food dispenser. That’s just wrong.

Well, in a canned cat food, the label is where you can see the salt percentage. It’s a bit tricky since most canned products have salt percentages and sodium percentages, which is the same. If they separated salt and sodium, this could mean a ‘hidden salt.’

And more often, a canned ham cat food is an artificial flavoring rather than the porky substance that it is. These flavors came from animal tissues, though some of them are synthetic materials, which is still not good.

When comparing the two, dry foods like your Christmas ham is more likely to have a higher amount of salt than canned cat food because its saltiness is the one that helps it stay fresh for an extended period after the initial opening. So, your cat must eat canned goods immediately.

Besides, cats don’t have a thirst for water and likely has their water intake in canned food than dry food. It’s one more thing to note. You can also get to read why a low carb diet will help them in the long run.

What Are The Risks if Cats Take Too Much Salt From Ham?

What Are The Risks if Cats Take Too Much Salt From Ham?

The salt in ham that your cat eats can cause queasiness, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fatigue, excessive water retention, and unusual thirst. Too much salt will hit the kidneys and can cause seizures or even death when your cat can’t take it anymore.

You should not treat this holiday season as an event when your pet gets to suffer. It’s called the season of joy, after all. Though it’s also the season of sharing, giving them too much of the meat from your refrigerator is not okay.

But what do you think? Can cats eat ham? Share us your stories and what happened to your cats when you fed them with ham.

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