Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

Cats love jerky, and pet owners offer them steak jerky as a treat from time to time.

Can cats eat jerky? As you’ll see from the article, beef jerky is a pretty popular treat for felines.

Most people offering beef jerky to cats do so unaware that some jerky has clear dangers that cats should not consume. Proper research needs to be done before you offer your cat beef jerky.

What is Beef Jerky?

This delicious, on-the-go snack is made for lean beef strips that have gone through a fermentation process.

The meat is cut into small strips, which is then soaked in a salt solution for several hours.

The meat is then dried in a dehydrator, and seasoned with a spice base that may include black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Jerky manufacturing may have been limited in the past to meat for home use.

However, today, quality jerky snacks are available everywhere from supermarkets to convenience stores.

The quality and texture of these snacks is far superior to the ones manufactured in the past.

Today, they are made with quality ingredients, including 100% beef and natural flavoring.

The range of flavors also varies from time to time, with new styles and flavors being introduced in the market.

It’s also worth noting that excessive salt can cause upset stomachs, bloating, and vomiting in pets. So it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t overdo it!

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

In general, cats are OK eating beef jerky, but it’s important to be aware of the components that go into it and to avoid the jerky if a cat isn’t enjoying it.

There are a few substances added into jerky that are harmful to cats, so it’s best to avoid giving them this particular snack.

One substance included in jerky that can be dangerous to your cat is sugar, which your cat should not be eating in large amounts anyway, and which can trigger diabetes.

Jerky also contains sodium, which can cause your cat to become dehydrated and can also create heart issues if consumed in large quantities.

As a bonus, jerky contains MSG, which can result in long-term kidney damage in your cat.

If your cat starts throwing up or seems to be experiencing any other signs of distress after eating jerky, don’t assume it’s a result of the beef alone.

There could be other strange ingredients mixed in negatively impacting your cat’s health.

The jerky shelf life is average, but it depends a lot on the storage conditions.

At room temperature, the beef jerky pleases the human taste just fine. At room temperature or in the fridge, you should consume it within 1 or 2 weeks.

The jerky shelf life is average, but it depends a lot on the storage conditions.

At room temperature, the beef jerky pleases the taste buds of cats, therefore they can’t wait to get it between their paws.

While cats like meat, too much protein at any one point can lead to a diagnosis of pancreatitis.

Cats can have pancreatitis as a result of eating too much protein at one sitting.

While jerky is traditionally a beef-based snack, most beef jerky now contains some type of filler, such as poultry or dairy, which cats don’t normally eat.

But there are many more components and methods involved in making these treats, so let’s get into it.

Jerky requires cooking the meat, which can release some of the harmful compounds found in the meat.

Since jerky is a meat product, this means that even if you feed your feline jerky, they are still ingesting a large amount of potentially harmful substances.

It also contains various preservatives or ingredients, such as sodium nitrate, which can help to extend the shelf-life, but may also cause health problems if consumed in large quantities.

Is Beef Jerky Safe for Cats?

A cat’s diet consists mainly of protein, so beef jerky is a great option for your cat.

Fruits, vegetables, and grains contain soluble fibers that aren’t digestible in felines. These fibers can cause stomach problems, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.

As a result, the physiology of your cat will favor it, which means beef jerky is safe for kittens.

Check out your feline friend’s favorite treat. You’ll see that jerky is the top appetizer on the ingredient list. Additionally, beef jerky is high in protein and fat, which cats purr-sonally love. Make sure your cat gets plenty of exercise every day.

Dry meat is usually the primary ingredient in beef jerky, so your cat won’t have any issues digesting it.

The same goes with cat food.

If your cat loves chicken or beef and can’t get enough of it, they’ll likely gobble up beef jerky as well.

Beef jerky is often made from beef muscle meat that’s been dehydrated, making it a highly nutritious snack for cats.

Why Shouldn’t Your Cat Eat Beef Jerky?

You should think twice before giving your cat beef jerky because jerky is essentially just dry meat.

Dried meat can be harmful to your cat because it lacks moisture, which means less moisture for her kidneys to process. It is also high in fat.

Silica Gel

Silica gel is a desiccant, which absorbs moisture.

If your cat is lucky enough to get a hold of a pouch of beef jerky, the silica gel inside the package will swiftly take her to that uncomfortable place known as dehydration.

Although cats need a good amount of moisture in their diets, beef jerky is not a good source of it.

Food storage is only one of Silica Gel’s many uses.

It’s been used in industry as a sealant, absorbent, lubricant, and moisture absorber. Silica Gel is a huge industry, and there are countless ways it contributes to modern life.

You can shop silica gel at just about any grocery store or hardware store.

Adding silica gel to your pet food increases the shelf life but does so at the expense of your pet’s health. Commercial dog food usually contains as much silica gel as beef jerky.

Aside than that, it’s safe to give your feline friend a little snack, but in moderation.

It’s also a good time to mention that you should never feed your cat any dried meat products.

An inadvertent ingestion of this dehydrated food can be fatal to your feline friend.

Make sure this package of beef jerky is placed in a sealed bag or container, away from your cat.

Rubbery Texture

Because of the toughness of beef jerky, even small amounts of it can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your cat.

Cats, on the other hand, do not choke on hard jerky. If you do notice your cat eating it, talk to your vet about appropriate chew toys that could help with the texture of the treat.

Because cats are used to eating canned food, they may not be able to identify the texture of beef jerky at all. They may eat a large piece without realizing it isn’t food.

Cats, on the other hand, are exceptionally well at eating mice. That’s why some brands create cat food that simulates a cat’s natural diet and that is safe for them to eat.

Cats may choke and die if they eat jerky or anything else that isn’t chewed thoroughly.


Preservatives are also often included in processed cat foods to keep them from spoiling. They are added to the list of ingredients of the cat food.

Natural preservatives such as salt are used to add flavor to meat, while artificial preservatives are used to prolong its shelf life.

Sodium nitrite, which is seen to act as a preservative, is also added to impart a tangy flavor to the meat, which also acts as a preservative.

Sodium nitrite, in addition to salt, is also sometimes used in processed meats.

However, studies carried out so far have proven that processed meats are just as dangerous as red meats.

Additionally, European Union has banned the use of nitrites in processed meats, as well as sodium nitrates, nitrites, and nitrates.

Bacteria on meat are killed with the help of sodium nitrite, which reacts with the enzymes in the meat during the curing process.

The product information label of beef jerky should list the ingredients used in the packaging process.

However, some research have shown that it is not as bad as people claim.


As part of the jerky producing process, salt is combined with water, meat, and seasonings.

The combination of the salt, water, meat, and seasonings usually produces a salty flavor in the beef jerky. All cats are able to use salt effectively, even carnivores.

However, too much salt can be hazardous to your cat’s health.

The salt content of jerky can increase blood pressure. It is important to keep your cat hydrated by drinking water.

The salt content of your cat’s food should usually be sufficient to meet their daily salt requirement.

However, jerky made from beef or pork can exceed their salt intake, and excess salt can lead to dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes.

If they eat enough jerky, they might develop electrolyte imbalances.

What Happens If Your Cat Eats Beef Jerky?

Depending on how much you feed your feline friend, too much beef jerky could be harmful to her health. Cats can develop diabetes if they get too much beef jerky.

Generally speaking, if you offer your feline friend beef jerky in moderation, she should be fine.

The label on the beef jerky package might list the sodium content as 1,100 milligrams per 100 grams, which is an appropriate amount for a human.

Cats’ digestive systems can handle a little amount of meat every now and then.

Some cats love beef jerky, and others find it revolting. So if you’re buying beef jerky for your cat, try a sample first.

Does it cause her to start acting strangely or does she just seem to enjoy it? If she does, stick with it, but don’t overfeed her.

Also, make sure to give her other kinds of healthful foods in moderation, too.

A single piece of beef jerky could be very tempting for her.

Given that she has a cat’s natural urge to stalk and kill prey, she could be tempted to gorge herself on it. If you offer her too much beef jerky, it could lead to dehydration and vomiting.

Can Beef Jerky Kill Cats?

Because of the dangers of overconsumption, veterinarians recommend that you feed your cat only small quantities of jerky.

Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to survive.

Like humans, cats need minerals and vitamins in their diet to function well. However, if a cat eats too much salt, he can experience serious health consequences.

The salt in beef jerky is extremely high, which can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in the cat’s body.

Dehydration is possible in cats, as well, since most of them don’t drink enough water.

If the number of electrolytes in their blood decreases, they may become dizzy and thirsty.

In addition to causing limb edema, sodium may also result in high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and stroke.

Experts recommend that humans limit their consumption of salty foods.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Beef Liver?

How Much Beef Jerky is Safe for My Cat to Eat?

It’s OK to offer a cat beef jerky, but avoid giving it too much.

More than a few pieces every few weeks or months may be too much.

Make sure your cat has access to lots or fresh water at all times.

It may also have a negative reaction to the salt or sugar in the meat, so it may not be healthy for your cat to eat too much jerky.


It’s not a good combination. The acid in the meat can be unappealing to your kitty, and too much protein may upset their digestion or lead to health problems.

Cats can have a treat now and again, but they need to consume more natural food as their regular diet.

Beef jerky contains high amounts of salt, which could kill your cat if you feed it to them a lot.

A veterinarian can advise you on the best meal timetable for your cat to start eating healthier.