“Cats can have little a salami”
This seems to be a very popular meme making the rounds across the Internet again, but where did it all start? And is it really a good idea? Here’s how it all began: A salami company called The MeatMen wrote a blog post titled, “Can My Cat Eat Salami?”.
The blog is still there although the company went defunct, but it became famous because of a typo. Instead of asking can cats have a little salami, the blog post read “cats can have little a salami”.
The idea of feeding a cat a little salami might be funny for a meme, but is it really safe to feed a cat salami? The Meatmen blog says that, “surprisingly, cats are much better than other household pets when it comes to the heavy sodium and fat content of the cured sausage, your cat should be just fine with a couple pieces of salami as a treat.” So even if it’s not healthy, it’s not a big deal if your cat eats something salty once in a while, they say.
But actually, although a very small amount of salami might be ok for your cat as a treat here and there, you shouldn’t make it a main staple of their diet. Nitrates and Nitrites (Sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and its close relative sodium nitrite (NaNO2)) are preservatives that you find in many processed meats. Salami, pepperoni, bologna, ham, bacon, even SPAM, all normally contain sodium nitrate as one of the ingredients. Sodium nitrate can become a carcinogen upon entering a cat’s body, and can also cause kidney disease.
Also, most (if not all American processed) salami contains garlic and spices, in addition to a high sodium content. Garlic contains chemicals that damage or destroy red blood cells and is very toxic to cats, and even in small amounts feeding your cat garlic can cause poisoning, according to the ASPCA.
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In moderate cases of garlic poisoning cats might fully recover, but complications can occur in more severe cases, and it could take days before any symptoms even appear. And don’t forget the spices. Even if you buy low sodium salami (if that’s even possible), and you can check every ingredient in it to see if all the added spices are safe for cats to ingest, it’s probably better just to not give salami to your little furry feline friends, or any pet for that matter.
Finally, both cooked and uncooked fats can cause intestinal problems causing vomiting and diarrhea, so any kind of cured meats such as Salami, chorizo and brined or smoked ham should not be given to your cat.
Here’s a few other things you should never feed your cat.