Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? What You Need to Know!

Beef jerky is a popular human food that has been around for a long time, and you may be wondering if your cat would love it as well. Is beef jerky safe for cats to eat? Is it as delectable to them as it is to us? Is it, most crucially, secure?

Cats are carnivores, and meat makes up the majority of their diet. As a result, many cat owners believe that any meat product is a terrific treat for cats, and that they would enjoy the taste. However, you shouldn’t give your cat beef jerky on a daily basis because it could be dangerous and, in the worst-case scenario, poisonous!

Beef jerky is meat, but it’s cured and kept in a way that’s unlike the fresh wild meat that cats eat in the wild. In this essay, I’ll explain why this is important and how consuming beef jerky can lead to serious health problems.

What Happens If My Cat Eats Beef Jerky

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? What You Need to Know!

Depending on how much beef jerky you give your cat, there could be some negative consequences.

In general, if you offer your cat a modest amount of beef jerky, she should be alright. Though it’s high in salt and has other substances that aren’t entirely good for feline digestive systems, a small amount wouldn’t hurt. But keep in mind that Kitty might like it!

When she hears the beef jerky bag open, even a small sample might make her dash into the kitchen. If you’re a softie pet owner (and there’s nothing wrong with that! ), you might be tempted to give in anytime she makes those impossible-to-resist begging eyes appear.

What may appear to be a few harmless beef jerky treats could, in fact, lead to a slew of more serious health issues. Too much beef jerky can induce dehydration and, in extreme circumstances, chronic kidney damage due to the high sodium content.

As a general rule, don’t feed your cats human food!

Can Beef Jerky Kill Cats

Unfortunately, if a cat eats too much beef jerky in one sitting, he may die.

Beef jerky is high in salt (have you ever noticed how thirsty you become after eating it?). Human bodies can withstand a lot of salt, but cats’ bodies are far more sensitive. A cat might become seriously dehydrated if he consumes too much of this sodium-rich food. An excessive sodium intake can cause leg swelling and imbalance, as well as chronic renal damage.

Too much salt can be fatal for some cats, especially those who are elderly or have other health problems.

Is Teriyaki Beef Jerky Okay For Cats

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? What You Need to Know!

Teriyaki beef jerky isn’t a good treat to give your cat.

Though small dosages may be relatively harmless (and your meat-loving kitten may like eating teriyaki beef jerky! ), it’s not a smart habit to develop.

For starters, the high salt content in beef jerky is detrimental for a cat’s digestive tract. Additionally, the extra flavors can have a negative impact on a cat’s health. While teriyaki is one of the less dangerous flavorings, garlic, which is extremely toxic to cats, is one of the most harmful.

Can Cats Eat Dried Beef

In general, cats can eat dry beef – but too much is bad for them!

These delectable treats were intended with humans in mind, not cats. As a result, they’re frequently high in sodium, spices, and preservatives, which are fine for humans but unsuitable for cats.

While a small bite shouldn’t cause much harm (we understand, you want to spoil your pet! ), a huge quantity could cause additional problems.

However! There are some companies that provide beef jerky for cats. It’s recommended to stick to snacks produced exclusively for cats as a matter of thumb!

Is It OK To Give Cats Meat

Your cat’s diet should primarily consist of cat food and other feline-specific items; but, your cat is allowed to have the occasional meat snack.

Just make sure the meat you’re feeding your cat is safe! It’s fine to give her little portions of cooked chicken, beef, turkey, and other deli meats to try. (We’re sure your cat would enjoy it!) Fish, whether canned or cooked, is also fine to feed her; cats, after all, love fish!

In general, make sure the meat you offer your cat is adequately cooked and not spoilt. Don’t give your cat anything you wouldn’t eat!

What Ingredients In Beef Jerky Are Bad For Cats

Beef jerky has a number of substances that are harmful to cats. To begin with, beef jerky manufacturers add sodium to the snack to help it last longer (and taste better!). Preservatives are also included in beef jerky for preservation purposes.

Preservatives and salt are good for humans, but cats’ digestive systems aren’t designed to deal with them.

Beef jerky has a variety of tastes and seasonings that are harmful to cats, in addition to substances designed for long shelf life. For instance, even though the jerky isn’t expressly garlic-flavored, manufacturers frequently add it for flavor. Garlic is delicious to humans, but it is poisonous to cats!

Can Cats Choke On Beef Jerky

A piece of beef jerky can quickly choke a cat if given too much. Because the rubbery texture is different from that of regular cat diets and treats, if a cat consumes too much of it, she may not be able to chew it as thoroughly as she should. She might also swallow it before she realizes she hasn’t chewed it properly enough.

This type of food is thick, harsh, and unforgiving, and if it becomes caught in your kitty’s throat, it can be lethal!

Though it may be tempting to share one of your favorite treats with your cat, it’s best to stay away from beef jerky! Even a portion that appears to be small enough may be too large for Kitty’s tiny mouth and throat.

Keep treats and snacks for cats to a bare minimum!

Can Cats Eat Slim Jims

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? What You Need to Know!

It’s better to keep your Slim Jim away from your cat! Many cat owners believe that because this sort of beef jerky is softer, it is safer to feed to their feline companion.

However, because many of the components in Slim Jims are toxic to cats, it’s still best not to offer them to them! These foods are high in salt, preservatives, fats, and other flavors, all of which can be harmful to your cat.

Is there a better human-food substitute? Small pieces of fresh, well-cooked chicken or turkey should suffice. Better still, limit yourself to cat goodies!

Why Your Cat Should’t Eat Beef Jerky

Although a little piece of beef jerky may be fine for your cat to eat, there are a number of reasons why you should avoid doing so, as well as substances that can be poisonous to your cat.

Tough Texture

The process of drying the meat helps to preserve it, but it also makes it tough. Human teeth can be difficult to dig into jerky, and your cat’s teeth are intended to rip apart fresh meat from small birds and rodents.

Your cat is also accustomed to eating cat food with a softer consistency, so the tough meat, especially if it’s a large portion, may be difficult for them to chew. A large chunk of tough jerky could cause your cat to choke.

The tough meat may be painful for your cat to chew if he or she has tooth decay or dental disorders.


Salt is also utilized in the jerky-making process to aid in the prevention of bacteria growth, and it can be used to flavor jerky marinades. Jerky from the store is frequently heavy in salt.

Your cat is most likely obtaining the required daily salt level from his or her cat food. Adding additional salt to their diet can promote dehydration, and if they consume more jerky, they could reach hazardous sodium levels.


Sodium nitrate, in addition to salt, is occasionally used to preserve meat. Although it’s improbable that your cat will eat enough beef jerky to be poisoned by sodium nitrate, the chemical compound has been linked to feline fatality (source).


Sugar is used in the marinades of some jerkies, such as teriyaki jerky, to provide sweetness. Humans enjoy sweet flavors, but cats lack the ability to detect them.

Sugar isn’t poisonous to your cat, but it might cause weight gain. Sugar raises blood sugar levels, which is something to keep in mind if you have a diabetic cat.


Unless you make your own jerky, most store-bought jerky is flavored with more than just salt. There are a few things to keep in mind:


Onion powder and garlic powder are two typical flavoring ingredients in jerky. The allium family includes onions and garlic, and alliums are harmful to cats. In powder form, they’re also more potent.

If your cat eats too much beef jerky flavored with onion and garlic powder, it will become very sick and perhaps die. Alliums can be extremely harmful to a cat’s health.

Beef Allrgies

Your cat may have a beef allergy, which is uncommon (source). Itchy and irritated skin will be the symptoms, which are similar to mild allergic reactions in humans. If your cat eats beef and is allergic to it, they may develop stomach distress, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

Bad Habits

Last but not least, you should avoid offering your cat beef jerky because it could encourage poor eating habits. If you let your cat to eat off your plate or have a nibble of the foods you consume on a regular basis, they may develop a strong desire for what you’re eating.

When your cat is attempting to get to what’s on your plate, or even your guest’s plate, this can be aggravating. Alternatively, if they jump up, run to your feet, and begin meowing every time you enter the kitchen.

They may eat too much human food and not enough cat food, resulting in them not meeting their nutritional requirements. If they are fed human meals frequently enough, they may develop health problems such as weight gain, indigestion, and so on.

Is Beef Jerky Toxic To Cats

Although beef is not hazardous to cats, components in beef jerky (such as salt, onion powder, and garlic powder) can be toxic in excessive concentrations. If you’ve given your cat a modest amount of beef jerky, they should be fine, but it’s not a good habit to form. You also don’t want to leave a bag of beef jerky out where your cat could get into it and consume more.


You should not offer beef jerky to your cat when trying to treat them. Despite the fact that it is prepared from meat and is low in fat, it includes a high amount of salt, which can lead to dehydration or, in the worst-case situation, sodium poisoning. The preservatives in jerky are also harmful to cats, as are the added seasonings and flavorings, as well as the tough texture, which can cause choking.

If you do decide to offer your cat beef jerky, make sure it’s soft and tender with no flavorings or preservatives, and only give them a small amount at a time. Treating your cat with jerky treats, on the other hand, is a superior option. These treats were created with cats in mind and are a delightful and delectable solution without the hazards. Also delicious are homemade jerky nibbles, lean meat, or grilled fishV

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