It is not recommended for cats to eat salami because of potentially harmful ingredients found in it.
Cats are obligate carnivores that need to consume animal-derived meat to function properly. Technically speaking, salami is made from ground beef or pork, so your cat should have no issues eating it. However, it is the ingredients mixed with the ground meat that may cause toxic reactions to your pet.
Common ingredients used to make salami that are harmful for cats include salt, garlic, and certain herbs and spices. Too much salt in your cat’s system can lead to severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and stomach inflammation. Meanwhile, garlic consumption can cause vomiting, weakness, panting, fever, blood in urine, high heart rate, skin discolouration, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
Aside from the ingredients used, this type of cured sausage is high in saturated fatty acid and cholesterol content—making it an unhealthy treat for your cat. Plus, your pet is at risk of contracting salmonella or trichinellosis since the meat is simply fermented and air dried. As such, it is not recommended for pregnant cats and young kittens to eat salami.
What to do if your cat accidentally eats salami: Contact your veterinarian immediately. Monitor your cat’s behaviour in the next 24 hours. Observe if there are any changes in her eating, drinking, and litter box habits, and share your observations with the vet.
For cats that eat salami infected with salmonella, watch for the following symptoms: loose stools that contain blood or music, appetite loss, fever, and excess salivation.
In summary: Salami may seem like a harmless treat that you can give to your cat. However, feeding her this cured sausage meat comes with certain risks that may lead to irreparable damage. If you really want to feed your cat salami, get your veterinarian’s permission beforehand. Find out how much and how often you can give her salami depending on her size, weight, and health conditions.