Can cats eat hot dogs?

can cats eat hot dogs
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Pet parents love to feed their fur babies junk food. It’s hard to resist when you see your pet’s cute face begging at the table, but not all human foods are good for animals! We talked about some beneficial foods for pets yesterday, but what about the more “fun” foods?

In today’s post, we’ll be talking about hot dogs! While this food item seems innocent enough, it may not be the best choice for kitty.

So, can cats eat hot dogs?

No, it’s not recommended. While it’s unlikely that a hot dog will kill your cat, they do tend to get sick after eating them. This can present itself in either vomiting or diarrhea. The reason for this is that many human foods, including hot dogs, have ingredients that cats aren’t used to eating.

Hot dogs generally contain the less desirable leftover meats, and they are also relatively high in fat and grease. Cats are not used to eating this kind of food, and it’s kind of a shock to their digestive tract.

These products also tend to contain a lot of seasonings which are not good for cats. This includes things like salt, but also hidden ingredients like garlic powder. Garlic is actually toxic to cats and can make them ill!

In addition, the calorie load of human foods, like hot dogs, can also be far too much for a tiny feline. If you feed your cat foods like this on the regular they will end up packing on a lot of weight, which is no good for them. Even a few extra pounds can have devastating results to an animal as small as a cat.

If you do insist on giving your cat a nibble of hot dog though, then be mindful about it. Only give them a very small amount, and make sure that it is cut up into very small pieces so that they don’t choke. Cats have a habit of gobbling food down, causing entirely different issues.

What should I feed my cat instead of hot dogs?

If you want to give your cat a healthier treat, then try some boiled or baked chicken. As long as you leave off the seasonings, whole meat chicken is very healthy for cats, and they love to eat it.

All cats also go crazy for most fish. In particular, salmon is great, because it contains a lot of beneficial fats that can make your cat healthier. They also go crazy for tuna, and offering them a bit once in a while for a treat is okay.

However, you should not try to entirely replace your cat’s diet with these foods. Feline dietary needs are complex, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you could be harming your cat by replacing their diet in this way. The reason being that cats simply can’t get all the nutrients they need from standard human foods. A treat once in a while though is fine!

If you want an entirely cat friendly “fish treat”, then I can recommend Purebites. Our cat goes nuts for these, and instead of giving him human food treats, I just open one of these for him once in a while.

PS. We’ve also done some other articles on the topic of what cats can and can’t eat, including one on mayo and one on chicken nuggets!

Michelle Rei
Michelle Rei
Michelle is a pet parent turned amateur pet product researcher. After adopting a fur baby with digestive issues caused by bad pet food, she's poured hundreds of hours into research to find the best of the best to help him and other pets live happier and healthier lives.
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