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Can Cats Eat Raw Meat?

Can Cats Eat Raw Meat?

The long answer: Cats are obligate carnivores that need animal-derived protein in their daily diet to survive and thrive. They can eat cooked meat such as chicken, pork (but only occasionally and in small amounts), and turkey that are prepared without oils or  seasonings. Salt, garlic, and onion are the most common ingredients to be avoided. 

However, when it comes to serving raw meat to cats, multiple sources do not recommend it. This is because raw and undercooked meat have greater chances of carrying harmful pathogens such as E. coli, listeria, campylobacteriosis, and salmonella. They may also contain parasites such as roundworms or tapeworms. Letting your cat eat raw meat that is contaminated may result in digestive problems and other health complications.

What to do if your cat accidentally eats raw meat: Contact your veterinarian and inform him of the situation. Let him know what kind of meat and how much of it your cat has eaten. Additionally, monitor your cat for any changes in her behaviour as well as her litter box habits. The most common signs of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, salivating, twitching and fitting, difficulty in breathing, shock or collapse, skin inflammation or swelling, depression or coma, and/or changes in drinking, urinating, and appetite. Also, observe her for signs of gastroenteritis such as abdominal pain and dry heaving.

In summary: Cats can get all the nutritional benefits they need from high quality, commercially sold wet and dry cat food. If you are seriously contemplating on feeding your cat raw meat, discuss your options with a veterinarian and animal nutritionist beforehand. Do the necessary research regarding clean raw meat sources, and take note of how to handle and store them properly to prevent infections. 

References:

Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat

Is Raw Cat Food Good for Cats?

Poisoning in Cats

Gastroenteritis in Cats



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