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Can Cats Eat Pepperoni

Can Cats Eat Pepperoni

Short answer: Yes, but there are risks, so don't turn this into a regular treat.

Opening a pack of pepperoni can be a risky game with cats around. With one whiff, they come running, ready to put on their best begging show for a piece of that cured meat.

I often fall victim to those big kitty eyes and want to share every tasty treat with my feline friends, but can cats eat pepperoni?

We will start with the reasoning behind the undeniable fact that most cats are drawn to pepperoni. Understanding the lure of this particular meaty treat leads to how pepperoni can be both delicious and dangerous.

If you want to decide whether to share pepperoni with your pet, you are in the perfect place!

Why Do Cats Want Pepperoni

Is it just me, or does it almost seem natural for cats to want a bite of every meaty treat humans enjoy?

If you feel the same way, then you are on to something!

Cats are obligate carnivores; this means their bodies have evolved to exist on a meat-based diet.

Our feline friends also have a sense of smell estimated to be 14 times stronger than humans. Combined, these two traits cause pepperoni to fit a cat's general food preferences and make it easy for cats to track down.

Can Pepperoni Be Dangerous For Cats

You're not imagining it; your cat diffidently wants some pepperonis you eat, but is sharing a wise choice?

When it comes to pepperoni, the dose determines the danger. Yes, this is a meat product.

However, it is unlike any natural meat product or cat food your feline friend would typically consume.

One ounce of pepperoni is estimated to have 12.2 grams of fat<1>. The fat intake recommended for the average 9-pound adult cat is about 5.5 grams<2> per day.

Since a one-ounce serving of pepperoni provides double a cat's fat requirements, the extra fat can result in stomach upset and unwanted weight gain.

Our next primary concern is sodium. The average cat's diet is not very high in salt, with a moderate intake of 42 milligrams daily.

Too much salt can have toxic effects, resulting in various symptoms, from vomiting to seizures. A single serving of pepperoni comes in at about 475.9 milligrams of sodium, over 11 times the recommended amount.

How Can I Share Pepperoni With My Cat Safely

Now that we know pepperoni comes with risks for cats, what are the benefits, and how can this treatment be safe?

The excellent news is pepperoni has protein and no carbs. This aligns with cats' carnivorous nature, making tiny amounts of this meat digestible.

It can be easy to forget that cats are a fraction of our size, and this small scale also translates into their portion sizes.

One ounce of pepperoni may seem like a snack to us, but for cats, that is a hefty meal.

The goal here is to offer pepperoni in a way that makes it a special reward and does not take away from your cat's well-balanced meals.

Here are a few cases in which offering your cat a shred of pepperoni might be okay.

  • Enticing cats who have lost their appetite
  • Luring a cat back home
  • Rewarding your cat during training (watch out, little pieces can add up!)
  • Please give in to your cat's begging because they are too cute, and you want them to enjoy unique experiences safely.

Warning! Once you share a tasty treat like pepperoni with your cat, they may become conditioned and want more.

Cats are known to have preferences and be picky eaters.

Your unique cat may also have medical conditions that would make this meat's fat and sodium content dangerous for its health, even in small portions.

To be safe, asking your vet before offering your pet new foods is always best.
To pepperoni or not to pepperoni.


Pepperoni may not be an everyday treat, but it can be carefully shared with your cat.

This prized meat is high in fat and salt, so the smaller the piece, the better.

Also, congratulations on being a great pet parent! The fact that you are looking into the safety of foods your cat is interested in means you are trying to give them a great life.

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