You may have been cat-sitting one day in your grandma’s house to find out you are out of cat food.
Searching around the house you can’t find any cans of tuna or anything the cat might eat.
All of a sudden you reach to the back of that closet and you unearth a tin of Spam.
‘Can cats eat spam?’ You ask yourself – and here we are to answer your calls.
Read our guide to learn if cats will eat spam, if it is healthy for them, and what Spam actually is.
What Is Spam?
Spam is a preserved meat product originally created in 1937.
The product is made from pork offcuts as well as salt, spices, sugar, water, sodium nitrite (for preservation) and formed into a paste and extruded into tins.
This product became very popular during the Second World War, mainly because the food lasts for such a long time in tins.
Sodium nitrite included in the ingredients means that the Spam is preserved for a long time. Even when not refrigerated, branded Spam can last for a long time.
The fact that Spam, as a meat product, will contain a lot of fats and calories, and moreover, that Spam can last a long time due to preserving chemicals, makes it the perfect meat product for rationing.
During the war food was sparse, Spam fuelled both the domestic and frontline efforts and is said to have fuelled most of the war as a result.
Can Cats Eat Spam?
One of the main things that make you think a cat cannot eat Spam is that it could be raw.
The meat content of Spam is mostly pork shoulder and meat from the hind legs of the pig that is ground into what they label as ‘pork’.
This meat is already cooked long before it is ground into what we know as Spam so there is little chance of the meat being uncooked.
Moreover, the canning process usually involves some form of cooking on a miniscule level.
The cans are usually heated before shipping in order to kill any potentially harmful bacteria that could grow on the inside of the can, so any chance of infection from raw meat is pretty low with Spam.
There is no chance of raw meat infection from Spam for animals or humans.
Cats are more likely to be able to digest raw pork than humans are anyway.
What Is Cat Food Made From?
To keep pet owners at ease, let’s think about what cat food is made from.
Cat food is mainly made from offcuts of meat that are high in protein, they are combined with a jelly like gravy that is then extruded into cans or pouches
Sounds pretty similar to Spam, right?
The likelihood here is that your cat will actually enjoy spam as much as it enjoys cat food.
A cat’s favorite texture is often jelly and thick gravy, which is why their food is made that way.
Spam has a very similar texture and the fat present in the Spam often congeals into a similar jelly like gravy that they will salivate at the idea of licking it all up.
Is Spam Good For My Cat?
Now, the real question you should be worried about is whether Spam will be good for your cat.
We all love giving our pets treats that aren’t necessarily great for them, but maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is something we need to provide our pets with as well as ourselves.
Spam isn’t that great for humans, so it isn’t really that great for cats either.
This is probably the stellar difference between cat food and Spam.
They may look and smell very similar, and your cat may enjoy them both similarly.
Yet, the real difference is that cat food is full of great vitamins, minerals and cereals that your cat may need to remain healthy.
The other side is Spam which is full of sodium and fats that your cat won’t be particularly used to.
So while we can guarantee that your cat will love some Spam, it may not be the best thing for humans to eat, let alone your furry friends.
The sodium content of Spam is actually far far far beyond what a cat should be consuming within one day. (⅙ of a can is around 20 times of cat’s daily sodium allowance.)
In dire situations where you can’t go out and get more cat food for whatever reason, and you don’t have anything that resembles cat food in the house, like tuna or fish, and you only have Spam, your cat will likely enjoy it, but we shouldn’t feed it to them all the time.
They need balance just like we do.
So, yes, of course cats can eat spam. Spam is a meat product so there is no reason why the obligate carnivores that cats are cannot eat Spam.
Spam is also not raw as many people suspect it is.
The canning process gets rid of any harmful bacteria in any case, but Spam is already made from cooked cuts of pork.
In reality, your cat will actually love Spam, it has all the textures and meatiness that cats love and that cat food is designed to have.
The downside is that Spam is pretty unhealthy for both cats and humans, and just like we wouldn’t eat spam every day, unless in the event of a war, then we wouldn’t really feed our cats the same way either really.
So, if you have really run out of cat food and want something to give your kitty to tide them over till you get real food, a little spam won’t hurt.
Although a full can of Spam may be way too much for a little cat.
The ultimate answer is that Spam is fine for cats to eat, and cats will actually love Spam, but the sodium content should raise alarm bells for cat owners across the globe.