Pepperoni is a spicy cured meat that is commonly used as a pizza topping. While pepperoni may seem like a tasty treat for cats, it is generally not recommended as part of a cat’s diet. Here’s what cat owners should know about feeding pepperoni to cats.
Is Pepperoni Safe for Cats?
Pepperoni is not toxic to cats. However, it is high in fat, salt and spices which can cause digestive upset if cats eat more than just a small amount. The main risks of feeding cats pepperoni are:
- Upset stomach – The high fat and salt content can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. The spices can further irritate a cat’s sensitive digestive system.
- Pancreatitis – The high fat content increases the risk of pancreatitis, a potentially serious inflammatory condition.
- Obesity – Pepperoni is high in calories and fat. Feeding it regularly could lead to weight gain and obesity.
- Nutritional imbalance – Pepperoni lacks the balanced nutrition that cats need. Feeding it instead of a complete cat food can lead to deficiencies over time.
Healthier Alternatives for Cats
While an occasional small piece of pepperoni won’t harm cats, it should not be a regular part of their diet. Here are some healthier treats for cats:
- Cooked, unseasoned chicken or turkey
- Canned fish like tuna or salmon, packed in water
- Low-fat deli meat, like turkey or chicken slices
- Commercial cat treats (low-fat options)
- Freeze-dried raw cat food
Talk to your vet about the best diet and treat options for your cat based on their health, weight and preferences. They can provide portion guidance to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Pepperoni should only be fed to cats sparingly and in very small amounts. The high fat, salt and spice content can cause stomach upset. Stick to pet-safe people foods or commercial cat treats in moderation for a healthier feline diet. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your cat’s nutritional needs.