Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

Cats are curious by nature, and will quite often be interested in what you’re eating no matter what it is!

You might be curious to know: Can cats eat beef jerky?

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

In this article, I will cover some important information on whether cats can eat beef jerky.

Let’s get into it.

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

No, cats shouldn’t eat beef jerky.

This comes down to the fact that beef jerky is made with a variety of different ingredients that are unsafe for cats to eat.

Beef jerky is made from beef and often contains salt or other additives that are not good for your cat to consume, even in small quantities.

As a result, allowing your cat to eat jerky can cause a lot of problems for their health if you let them have it.

Cats do need protein in their diets, but it should come from natural sources like chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

If you’re wondering whether your cat would actually enjoy eating beef jerky, the answer is no.

So, let’s take a deeper look at the reasons why you shouldn’t give your cat beef jerky.

Reasons To Avoid Giving Your Cat Beef Jerky

There are a variety of reasons why you should avoid giving your cat beef jerky.

Salt Content Can Dehydrate Your Cat

One of the main concerns with beef jerky is its high salt content.

The salt in beef jerky includes sea salt itself, as well as soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

While the salt content in beef jerky is safe for human consumption, this level of salt is not suitable for your furry friend.

The salt content in beef jerky can cause a variety of problems for your cat, including excessive thirst, dehydration, and when too much sodium is consumed, it can be toxic for a cat.

The Dry & Tough Texture Of Jerky Is A Choking Hazard

Another problem with beef jerky is that it has a very dry texture.

The dehydration process makes beef jerky shelf-stable, however, it also makes it tough and hard to chew.

Unlike humans, cats have smaller, sharper teeth that are designed to make their life easier tearing through and eating fresh meat.

When your cat eats jerky, the dry and hard texture makes it very easy to choke on the pieces of jerky, and they can become stuck in his throat, which could lead to an emergency situation.

Jerky Contains Other Ingredients That Are Not Safe For Cats

While beef jerky contains other ingredients that are not safe for animal consumption.

For example, many brands of beef jerky contain corn syrup, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

These ingredients are not safe for cats at all.

In addition to this, some jerky brands contain ingredients that can actually be toxic for cats to consume.

For instance, some of the most common seasonings added to beef jerky are garlic powder and onion powder, both of which are toxic to cats.

It’s also worth noting that seasonings that contain peppers with capsaicin like chili peppers, cayenne pepper, as well as jalapeño peppers can cause digestive issues if you’re not mindful.

In this circumstance, if your cat consumes enough of the jerky, it can cause diarrhea and vomiting for your cat, so it’s best to stay away from these types of foods.

Sugar Content Can Cause Weight Gain

Sugar Content Can Cause Weight Gain

Another concern with cats consuming beef jerky is the high sugar content.

The majority of jerky brands add sugar to the marinade of the jerky, meaning that your cat could put on an unnecessary amount of weight.

Unhealthy weight gain can put your cat at risk of developing a variety of health issues, including obesity and diabetes.

What If My Cat Eats Jerky?

Jerky isn’t good for your cat, however, if they only eat a small amount then they should be okay.

That being said, jerky isn’t a snack that you should risk leaving out, as your cat could choke if they get into a bag of dehydrated jerky.

In addition to this, cats that consume beef jerky are at risk of suffering from an array of digestive issues including nausea, vomiting, as well as diarrhea.

Bearing this in mind, if you know that your cat has eaten a substantial amount of jerky you should make sure that you call your veterinarian.

This is especially important if you notice any signs of distress or discomfort, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.

In this circumstance, it’s important that you take them to the vet immediately.

Your vet will be able to determine whether or not your cat needs medical treatment.

If your cat does need medical attention, your vet may recommend that you feed them a bland diet until they feel better.

This way, your cat won’t be craving anything else but plain food while they recover.

How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Jerky

The easiest way to prevent your cat from eating jerky is to keep it well out of their reach!

As I’ve discussed, your cat is likely a curious animal.

The saying “Curiosity killed the cat” comes to mind, so make sure that you don’t give your cat the opportunity to reach the jerky.

A good way of ensuring your jerky is safe and hidden away from your cat is to place it inside your snack cupboard up high and away from your cat.

Avoid any cupboards that are their level near to the ground, as this is just asking for trouble if the cupboard door accidentally gets left open!


No, cats shouldn’t eat beef jerky.

There are a variety of other reasons why cats shouldn’t consume jerky, two being that it is both extremely salty and dry, meaning it is difficult for them to chew and can dehydrate them.

Hopefully after reading this article you have a better understanding of why you should avoid feeding your cat beef jerky.

Make sure you choose a more suitable snack for your furry friend to consume.

Courtney Trent
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