Cat owners are aware of the importance of regular nutrition for the health and wellbeing of their cats.
When all we want is a cat food that is tasty and provides the proper amount of nutrients our cat needs, it might be difficult to choose the right one because there are so many brands and types available. If your cat can and should eat meat is a common query at many veterinarian offices (and especially raw meat).
You should constantly keep in mind that your cat will benefit from eating a raw diet, but fresh food is much more crucial. Domestic cats, unlike dogs, are only accustomed to eating fresh meat. Cats must consume meat since they are obligate carnivores.
Can Cats Eat Steak?
The simple answer to this question is yes! Your cat can eat steak in moderation. In fact, red meat is one of the safest meat selections for your furry friend.
However, if you want your cat to be healthy, strong, and happy, it is always recommended to feed a diet that is a combination of meat and high-quality cat food. This will give your cat all the nutrients it needs to be healthy, whilst providing your pet with essential nutrients.
Cats being carnivores mean that the protein they get from the animal meat is the only type of protein that will fulfil their nutritional need, so in other words, a high-quality cat food should have all the correct nutrition that your cat needs.
To make sure it is suitable to introduce a new food to your cat’s diet, always check with your veterinary surgeon who will review any health problems they have.
What Are The Benefits For Cats That Eat Steak?
Steak contains many nutrients for a healthy cat, but it is important that your cat does not have any nutritional imbalances, so never replace their normal cat food with a steak only diet.
Steak, while healthy for cats, will not meet all the dietary needs than that of a cat food which is specifically formulated for cats.
If you are considering changing your cat’s diet to only include one whole food, please seek the advice of your veterinary surgeon in the first instance.
As obligate carnivores, cats benefit hugely from animal protein, in fact a cat’s body has been designed to process foods that are rich in animal protein, which is one of the reasons why a high protein steak is so good for cats.
Proteins are essential macro-nutrients which act as building blocks in the tissues of the muscles and organs of all animals. They produce energy when digested. Proteins also provide a functional role in the body, including enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. These play a pivotal role so need to be regularly replaced by consuming good quality food, like steak.
Better Dental Health
Raw chunks of steak (The cheaper cuts are chewier) which will encourage your cat to work harder to chew, is beneficial to the teeth and gums.
Some owners have noticed that feeding a meat diet to their cats has resulted in better coat quality, causing less shedding of the fur and potentially fewer hairballs. The meat in their diet contributes to the unsaturated fatty acids omega three and omega six, which is fundamental for good coat condition.
After adding good quality meat to cat food, owners notice how much more energy their cats have. Cats can utilize proteins, turning to energy in their liver, which in turn may help your cat lose weight, should they be obese.
A cat’s digestive system is adapted to eat a meat-based diet.
Its digestive system is short and acidic meaning that they can efficiently digest food in twelve hours, resulting in a better stool quality.
As with all lean meat, steak has high levels of iron, zinc, and phosphorus as well as B complex vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
Whilst each of these contributes to your cat’s overall health and growth, vitamin B12 gets a special mention. Vitamin B12 promotes the health of your cat’s nervous system, digestive system and immune system.
Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is critical for a cat’s health, including their nervous system, immune system, and their digestive tract. While felines do not produce their own B12, they can absorb this vitamin through their food.
Sick and elderly cats may not be able to absorb enough Vitamin B12 that’s present in their food. The absorption process is a complex one that takes the work of the small intestine, liver, stomach, and pancreas. If one of these organs is not functioning properly, the less Vitamin B12 is absorbed by your cat.
Some signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency in cats include vomiting, weight loss, lethargy and diarrhoea. If your cat is not absorbing enough then B12 supplements and some well-cooked lean steak, served daily, may help.
Always check with your vet before you make changes to their diet and prior to giving your cat supplements.
Risks For Feeding Cats Steak?
Whilst there is nothing wrong with giving your cat steak as a treat or in moderation (alongside their normal feline food), you must feed a plain steak that contains no fat or bones.
Both meaty substances can be dangerous to cats. Fat, both raw and uncooked, can cause health issues, including diarrhea, vomiting, and other intestinal upsets.
Additionally, too much fat (or worse, fat trimmings) can lead to additional health issues such as obesity and pancreatitis. Obesity leads to a heightened risk of feline diabetes.
Usually, the more weight a cat carries then the increased likelihood of diabetes and other health issues.
Cats can also choke on bones and splinters can cut them internally or cause obstructions.
So, remember, if you want to give your cat steak, that is fine, but dice the steak small enough for your cat to eat, and check for bones!
Besides from fat on the steak, do not give your cat steak that contains a high amount of salt or spices like onion and garlic.
Onions are toxic because they contain thiosulphate, which has the potential to damage a cat’s red blood cells. This vegetable is toxic in all forms, from raw to cooked and even onion powder.