Can Cats Eat Pork?

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Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require a diet that is rich in protein and essential nutrients like taurine, arginine, and niacin to thrive. Although cats primarily eat meat, they can also eat certain other foods in moderation. One of the questions that cat owners often ask is whether cats can eat pork. In this article, we will explore the nutritional benefits and potential risks of feeding pork to cats.

Is pork safe for cats?

Pork is safe for cats to eat in moderation, provided that it is cooked thoroughly and served without any seasonings or additives. Pork is a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for a cat’s overall health and wellbeing. However, some parts of the pig can be harmful to cats, such as the bones, fat, and skin.


Pork bones can be dangerous for cats because they can splinter and cause choking or internal injuries. Cooked bones, in particular, are more brittle and likely to break into sharp pieces that can pierce the cat’s throat, stomach, or intestines. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving cats any type of bone, including pork bones.


Pork fat is high in calories and can lead to obesity if consumed in excess. Moreover, fatty foods can cause digestive problems, such as diarrhea or vomiting, in cats. Therefore, it is important to trim off any visible fat from the pork before feeding it to your cat.


Pork skin is another part that can be harmful to cats. The skin contains a high amount of salt and spices that can cause stomach upset, dehydration, or high blood pressure in cats. Additionally, the skin may be contaminated with bacteria or parasites, such as salmonella or E. coli, which can pose a health risk to cats and their owners.

What are the nutritional benefits of pork for cats?

Pork is a good source of protein, which is essential for cats to maintain their muscle mass, skin, and fur. Protein provides the building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and antibodies that regulate various bodily functions and protect the cat’s immune system. Pork also contains other essential nutrients, such as vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus, which are vital for the cat’s growth, metabolism, and bone health.

Vitamin B12

Pork is rich in vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in the cat’s nervous system, red blood cell production, and DNA synthesis. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, neurological problems, or gastrointestinal disorders in cats.


Pork contains zinc, a trace mineral that is important for the cat’s immune system, wound healing, and skin health. Zinc also helps to maintain the cat’s sense of taste and smell, as well as its insulin sensitivity and reproductive function.


Pork is a good source of selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant and protects the cat’s cells from oxidative damage. Selenium also plays a role in the cat’s thyroid function and DNA repair.


Pork contains phosphorus, a mineral that is essential for the cat’s bone development, energy metabolism, and acid-base balance. However, excessive intake of phosphorus can lead to kidney problems in cats, especially if they have pre-existing renal disease.

How much pork can cats eat?

Can Cat Eat Pork (1)

The amount of pork that cats can eat depends on their age, weight, and activity level. As a general guideline, cats should consume a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats. A typical serving of pork for a cat should be no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake, which equates to about one ounce of cooked pork per day for an average-sized cat.

It is important to note that feeding your cat a balanced and varied diet, and not rely solely on pork or any other single food item. A variety of protein sources, including chicken, turkey, and fish, can provide your cat with the essential nutrients they need.

If you are unsure about how much pork to feed your cat or whether it is safe for them to eat, it is recommended that you consult with a veterinarian. They can assess your cat’s individual nutritional needs and provide you with tailored advice on how to maintain their health through their diet.

What are the potential risks of feeding pork to cats?

As with any food, there are potential risks associated with feeding pork to cats. Some of the main risks include:

Foodborne illnesses

Pork can be contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses that can cause food poisoning in cats. This can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and lethargy. To reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, it is important to cook the pork thoroughly and handle it properly to prevent cross-contamination.

Allergic reactions

Some cats may be allergic to pork or certain components of it, such as the protein or fat. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itching, swelling, hives, and respiratory distress. If you suspect that your cat is allergic to pork, you should stop feeding it to them and seek veterinary advice.

Nutritional imbalances

Feeding too much or too little pork can lead to nutritional imbalances in cats, which can affect their overall health and wellbeing. For example, feeding excessive amounts of pork can cause obesity, while feeding insufficient amounts can lead to protein deficiencies.

Bone and dental problems

As mentioned earlier, pork bones can pose a choking or injury risk to cats. Additionally, chewing on bones or hard objects can cause dental problems, such as fractured teeth or gum disease.


In conclusion, pork can be a safe and nutritious food for cats when served in moderation and prepared properly. It is important to avoid feeding cats pork bones, skin, or fat, and to ensure that the pork is cooked thoroughly and served without any seasonings or additives. Additionally, pork should be part of a balanced and varied diet that includes other protein sources and essential nutrients. If you have any concerns or questions about feeding pork to your cat, it is best to consult with a veterinarian for guidance.

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