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As a species, cats aren’t known for having the most demanding palettes. When it comes to meat and protein, they will generally try to eat anything, regardless of the freshness of the meat. But, can cats eat spoiled meat?
Cats cannot eat spoiled meat. Spoiled meat can cause diarrhea, vomiting and fever in cats. While cats can eat old meat, discolored or moldy meat is dangerous for cats.
Although it’s dangerous to feed your cat spoiled meat, it’s generally okay to eat meat that’s been a few days past its expiration date and doesn’t smell good or isn’t discolored. Read on to learn more about how to safely feed your cat meat.
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Reasons Cats Shouldn’t Eat Spoiled Meat
Feeding your cat spoiled meat is a very bad idea. However, you might still be curious about the specific problems it can cause your cat.
Rotten meat will make them vomit
Usually, when a cat eats something that it doesn’t like, the first reaction is that it starts to vomit. When the meat is rotten, it is likely to trigger this reflex in your cat.
Vomiting of spoiled meat can last for a few days, which can also cause your cat to become dehydrated. This will result in an expensive vet bill to rehydrate your cat, so it’s best to prevent them from eating spoiled meat in the first place.
They can contract E. coli
Both humans and animals are warned to avoid eating spoiled or rotten meat due to the bacteria and infections it can cause, with E. coli being one of the most common types of bacteria.
Ground beef is the variety of meat most likely to spread E. coli, so be very careful when feeding aged ground beef to your cat.
Your cat can contract botulism
Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by a toxin found in a type of bacteria. This is most commonly contracted by cats that eat road-killed or contaminated meat.
This specific type of bacteria grows on meat and can be passed to your cat when they ingest it.
Symptoms of botulism usually do not develop for a few hours after ingesting contaminated meat. The first symptom is hind leg weakness, which eventually spreads to the front legs and then to your cat’s face.
Botulism can be treated when caught early enough and the cat will be given an antitoxin. However, this is not a disease to be played around with, as it can lead to hospitalization for your cat and they may become more susceptible to developing a secondary infection.
It could put an older cat’s life in danger
As cats begin to age, it becomes more difficult for them to fight off dangerous viruses and diseases. You want to do everything you can to keep them healthy and prevent them from getting sick, and that includes avoiding spoiled meat.
Rotten meat will upset your cat’s gastrointestinal tract
Cats should avoid eating any form of spoiled meat, as it contributes massively to the spread of foodborne illnesses. Your cat will likely be in pain and pain for at least several days after eating spoiled meat, as it can cause fever, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting in your cat.
Can cats eat expired meat
It’s generally okay to offer deli meat or chicken to your cat a day or two past its expiration date at the grocery store.
Be sure to smell the meat yourself first and check that nothing happens before serving it to your cat. Never feed a cat anything that has changed color or has mold on it.
Cat stomachs are much more accustomed to eating various questionable items, so cooked meat that’s a little past its peak shouldn’t bother them.
Can cats get food poisoning from old meat
Yes, cats can get food poisoning from eating old meat. Usually the first sign that your cat has food poisoning looks like flu-like symptoms. Your cat may start to vomit or have diarrhea, and he’s likely to have a fever or an extreme increase in his heart rate.
It is even more likely that a cat will contract salmonella or food poisoning from raw meat. Avoid giving your cat anything other than fully cooked meat to minimize their risk of contracting this disease.
Do cats know if meat is spoiled?
Cats primarily use their sense of smell to tell if food has gone bad, and they should know when something has gone bad. If they smell something and don’t like what they’re sniffing, they’ll usually jerk off and leave without eating it.
However, this is not an exact science, and cats are much less picky about stale meat than a human would be. It’s best to use your judgment before giving anything to a cat.
What happens if my cat eats spoiled food
Cats have stronger stomachs than humans, but it will likely upset their stomach if your cat eats spoiled food. They can’t communicate and let their owners know, which will likely make them sick.
Usually food poisoning or stomach upset takes a day or two to go away. Be sure to watch your cat during this time and make sure she drinks enough water.
Things to consider
When considering what human food to give your cat, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Some cats are very picky eaters and others will happily eat table scraps you give them.
Cats are real meat eaters, and any food containing protein will be their first choice. Although spoiled meat is never good for pets, it is okay to feed your cat cooked meat in general.
Meats like cooked beef, chicken, lean deli turkey, and chicken are all table scratches that can be safely given to your cat. As a bonus, your cat will be delighted to receive one of these leftovers!
While raw meat isn’t as dangerous to cats as it is to humans, it’s still not best to feed them raw protein.
Raw meat can contain bacteria that can make your cat very sick. The safest option for your cat is to stick to a strict cat diet!