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Can Cats Eat Ham?

Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

Ham is usually made out of pork and is found in many varieties throughout the world due to the delicious taste and the fact that it goes well with many vegetables or cheese. Now since we know that cats are supposed to eat meat it might seem as an odd question but there are many ingredients in processed meat that can do harm to pets so let us find out the answer to the question: can cats eat ham?

How Ham is Made

Ham is pork meat preserved through salting, smoking or wet curing and it isn’t considered very healthy to us humans due to the saturated fats even if options which are leaner can be found today on the market.

Cats and salt

The most usual type of curing done for ham is through salt and a small slice contains a lot more than the recommended sodium intake for cats. If your pet ingests more salt than they can assimilate in a day then they will become poisoned with salt starting to have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst, kidney problems, tremors and in more serious cases even seizures, coma or death.

It’s not a good idea to experiment with salty products on your cat due to these problems and if they accidentally ate a very salty product it might be a good idea to go to a vet for observation. The treatment for salt poisoning is the administration of IV fluids to take care of the dehydration and of the brain swelling along with supportive care.

Saturated fats aren’t as dangerous to cats as they are to humans but they can still lead to digestive problems and if they continue to ingest this kind of food then obesity is a risk along with other health problems.

Raw options?

Raw ham or bacon can be good for a cat only if they aren’t cured at all but then there are other potential risks you have to take care of. The meat has to be fresh and also make sure the place from where you serve it isn’t contaminated with anything. Don’t put raw meat in their bowl and then leave it there for a few days without washing the bowl or your cat will probably get sick.


As a general guideline don’t feed your cat with the same things you are eating because they have very different digestive systems from ours. If you want to reward the pet do so with treats made specifically for cats since those have many health benefits and remember that simpler is better when it comes to your cat’s menu. Cat food and water are the only things they need so make sure you always offer them the highest quality on those two and you will have a happy cat that is full of life.

Short Answer:

Yes, they could eat it but should do so in moderation and there are many better alternatives.

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