Can Cats Eat Bacon Raw? (Or Cooked?)
There are a number of “human” foods that cats should never eat. There are also some foods that are perfectly fine for cats to eat.
Cats are carnivores and bacon is a meat, right? So is it okay for cats to eat bacon? What if it’s uncooked? Can cats eat bacon raw?
It’s hard to avoid your furry friend when they’re just sitting there so cute, staring at you while you eat your breakfast. They want the bacon, they want your eggs, they want to lick the butter off of your toast.
Cats act the same way while you’re cooking too. They can smell that package of raw bacon that you’ve opened up. But is it safe for cats to eat that raw bacon?
Obviously it’s best if your cat sticks to cat food from a reputable manufacturer or a cat food diet that was suggested by your vet.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means they must eat meat to survive. Eating meat is programmed into their DNA and has been fed by thousands of years of evolution. This is why your cat may go crazy the second they pick up the scent of any raw meat or cooked meat.
Being an obligate carnivore is also why feeding raw meat to your cat under certain circumstances is perfectly fine!
Cats can eat bacon raw but only in very small amounts as a rare treat. Before feeding your cat a (tiny) pierce of raw bacon, Purina recommends that you make sure this bacon is uncured. The curing process involves A LOT of sodium and too much salt is very bad for cats.
When Cats Eat Raw Bacon It Can Make Them Sick
While a tiny little nibble here and there as an occasional treat won’t hurt your cat, raw bacon overall isn’t healthy for them. Heck, cooked bacon isn’t really healthy for them either.
Cats used to not have us humans to take care of them. And since they literally need a diet of almost pure animal-based proteins to survive, that left them killing their own prey. Obviously this resulted in cats eating A LOT of raw meat out there in the wild.
If cats survived for thousands and thousands of years by eating raw meat, then why is raw bacon not good for them? Well, there’s a lot that’s wrong with raw bacon (and certain types of raw meat in general)
Why Is Raw Bacon Bad For Cats
Uncooked bacon is bad for cats for a number of reasons.
The primary reason being that bacon comes from pork. (We’ll get to turkey bacon in a second). And uncooked pork is fairly susceptible to parasites that can harm your cat.
It’s very rare that uncooked bacon from a massive, FDA-regulated food company will have parasites. BUT, it’s not impossible!
Too Much Cooked Bacon Is Also Bad For Cats
Don’t think that cooking the bacon beforehand will make it safe for cats to eat. Sure, cooking it removes the chance of there being parasites, but there are other factors that come into play.
First, bacon is VERY high in sodium. This is one reason why so many people and animals love to eat bacon. Salt tastes good! Your cat’s health, however, cannot handle as much sodium as humans typically can.
Too much sodium consumption in cats leads to an electrolyte imbalance, which is just a fancy way of saying that they have too much salt in their blood. High blood pressure is also another huge concern that comes from having too much sodium.
Another reason you don’t want to feed your cat too much bacon in general is because it is VERY high in fat content. Cats need lean meat for their bodies to properly function. Too much fat is terrible for cats.
Only give your cat bacon as a SMALL & RARE treat, regardless of whether or not it’s cooked. Bacon is pure animal proteins, so this means that cats eat bacon because their brain tells them to consume the delicious animal proteins that they’re smelling.
Can you blame them? I’d bet bacon tastes much better than cat food!
Can Cats Eat Turkey Bacon Raw
When cats eat raw meat there is always a chance of some food-borne pathogens being present. Having said that, raw turkey bacon (in small small small amounts!) is also okay as a rare treat for your kitty.
Remember, in the wild everything a cat catches and eats is going to be raw. Plenty of people feed their cats a raw diet and it works out well. If you plan on putting your cat on a raw diet please make sure you do this under the watchful eye of a trained professional.
There’s a minimal chance of pathogens being on meat that has been processed in a lab that is regulated by the FDA. This is true when compared to cats catching and eating meat out in the wild.
What About Cooked Turkey Bacon
As with pork bacon, turkey bacon should also only ever be given in very small amounts, even when it is cooked.
Turkey bacon, though much leaner than the pork alternative, still has a lot of unhealthy aspects to it. When cats eat bacon from any animal they are consuming these unhealthy ingredients.
Turkey bacon also has A LOT of sodium content. Again, you don’t want to give your cat high blood pressure. Additionally, turkey bacon (as with most processed meat) has a ton of preservatives in it. None of these are naturally-occurring in animals that your cat may consume had they lived in the wild.
Is It Safe If Cats Eat Bacon Bits
Are you talking about the little bacon bits that you sprinkle over a salad or a baked potato, as opposed to the ‘traditional’ bacon that we’ve talked about so far in this article? If so:
Bacon Bits are full of sodium and other preservatives that are extremely unhealthy for cats to eat.
Bacon bits are extremely over processed and full of sodium. Don’t feed your cat bacon bits. If your cat eats bacon bits then it can and will be detrimental to their health if done too frequently.
When Should Cats Eat Bacon (Raw Or Cooked)
As we’ve mentioned above, it’s okay for cats to eat bacon raw or cooked as long as it’s a very rare, occasional treat. There’s only one other instance that we recommend bacon for cats.
When giving cats pills or medicine, bacon is a great way to mask the pill or the taste of the medicine you’re giving them.
DO NOT use this tactic if your cat regularly takes medicine. If your cat is on a daily pill then do not use bacon to give them their medicine daily. But if your cat needs something like a once-a-month flea medicine ingested, then bacon is a great way to hide that pill!
Are Bacon Flavored Cat Treats Safe
Overall, cat treats have a very high calorie content and too much of them can lead to obesity, clogged blood vessels, and digestive problems. So regardless of what type of cat treat(s) you’re using, they should be fed to your cat sparingly!
Obesity in cats is no fun, and nobody wants to be the mean parent by putting their kitty on a special little cat diet. Knowingly making your cat obese is animal abuse (though not as extreme as piercing your cat’s ears!)
Having said that: Yes, bacon flavored treats are perfectly safe for your cat as long as you get them from a reputable company or manufacturer.
In fact, bacon-flavored treats are definitely a bacon-safe alternative that works out much better than if your cat were to eat raw bacon.