Just like humans, your feline friend has different nutritional requirements. As a carnivore, cats get most of their nutrients from meat, including seafood and small animals. However, that doesn’t mean they cannot eat fruits, veggies or other treats. This is because if you place your feline friend on a strict diet, it might lead to digestive distress and malnutrition.
However, the real question is, can cats eat prosciutto?
Well, prosciutto is non-toxic and non-poisonous for your feline, making it a great food for your feline. However, you should not consider prosciutto as a permanent nutritional source for your cat because too much consumption of this Italian ham can lead to severe health complications.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about prosciutto and their nutritional value for your cats:
Cats and Prosciutto
Let’s start with the basics; what is prosciutto? Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured, unsmoked, and uncooked ham. Several regions in Italy offer numerous variations of prosciutto. However, usually, this ham is served thinly sliced.
What about cats? Can cats have prosciutto? Even though cats follow their stomach, they are still fussy eaters, which means they can be picky sometimes. That being said, cats do require a balanced nutritional diet. Their diet must have three main nutrients: carbohydrates, lipids and protein.
When it comes to prosciutto, this Italian ham is loaded with all these nutrients. So, you can offer a tiny bite of prosciutto to your feline. However, this should be done in moderation.
Is Prosciutto Good for Cats?
As mentioned earlier, a little volume of prosciutto is not toxic for your feline. In fact, this meat is rich in essential nutrients that your feline needs to survive. Here are some of the most common reasons why prosciutto is an excellent treat for cats:
Creating an ideal diet for a cat is not a piece of cake. You have to find items that are inexpensive yet offer all the essential nutrients. Plus, you cannot even buy these items in bulk, which is an economical way of shopping. As most cats require fresh food to stay healthy, you’ll need to buy a cat’s treat again and again.
However, that’s not the same with prosciutto. Compared to other meats, prosciutto has an excellent shelf-life. It will be a great pick for you if you have a busy schedule and don’t go to your food store multiple times in a week.
On average, the cured meat, including prosciutto, can last for more than six weeks even without a refrigerator. These meats are loaded with moisture that keeps them fresh for a long time.
Just like cat food, the treats for your feline friend need to have balanced nutritional value as well. The nutrients in prosciutto can help your cat achieve its optimal health. This Italian ham is loaded with amino acids that can help your feline maintain stabilized moods and build healthy muscles.
Furthermore, prosciutto is also rich in essential minerals and vitamins, including vitamin B12, vitamin B6, phosphorus, thiamine, zinc, and iron. These nutrients can promote strong and healthy bones and teeth. Plus, to keep your feline playful, prosciutto will provide energy to your cat.
Health Issues Related to Prosciutto
Most experts recommend avoiding prosciutto altogether. This is because all the above-mentioned nutrients can be found in a cat’s diet. Additionally, the prosciutto ham does more harm than good for cats.
Here are some of the most common health issues related to prosciutto:
It is nearly impossible to find a prosciutto that is not loaded with salt. Salt is considered a toxic ingredient for your cat. Your feline has a sensitive stomach. As a result, even a little volume of salt can lead to salt poisoning in cats.
Following are some of the general symptoms of salt poisoning in cats:
- Excessive Thirst
- Decreased Appetite
Prosciutto is an uncooked and dry-cured type of ham, meaning there is always a risk of harmful bacteria. For cats, prosciutto might contain two of the most harmful bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella. If your cat consumes these bacteria, they can even set the death bed for your feline friend.
Plus, if you feed your cat prosciutto, containing parasites, it can cause serious health complications. The common diseases related to parasites and bacteria include:
- Weight loss
Diarrhea is actually not an illness itself. In reality, it is a sign of other diseases, including gastrointestinal tract and inflammation. If your cat eats too much prosciutto, it can lead to diarrhea. In that case, your feline will experience wobbly or indistinct bowel movements with increased amount and frequency.
Regardless of the variation, the prosciutto ham is loaded with spices. In general, this dish contains garlic, pepper and juniper. While pepper and juniper have minor toxicity for cats, the garlic is simply a no-no for your feline friend.
Garlic is considered a toxic ingredient for your cat. Even a minimum amount of this ingredient can cause garlic poisoning in cats. Remember that garlic poisoning is not that rare in cats. In garlic poisoning, your feline might experience:
- Loss of Appetite
- Increased Heart Rate
- Abdominal Discomfort
- Pale Gums
Best Alternative to Prosciutto
If prosciutto is not excellent meat for cats, what should you feed your feline friend? Well, as a carnivore, cats would love to eat other variations of meat. Instead of prosciutto, you can offer your feline friend turkey and chicken as a treat.
If that doesn’t satisfy your cat’s craving for meat, here are some of the best alternatives to prosciutto:
Can cats eat prosciutto? In general terms, prosciutto is not toxic for your cat. So, your feline can eat prosciutto. However, you should feed it to your cat in moderation because prosciutto is loaded with salt and unsaturated fat that can lead to some severe health complications.