Cat Questions
can cats eat pork

Can Cats Eat Pork? What You Need to Know

Written by Steph McCulloch


Knowing exactly what you can and can’t feed your cat can be a bit tricky but we’re here to cut the cr*p and help you out - it’s what we do best.
cat looking at meat over the edge of a table


Cats are obligate carnivores which means, unlike our dog friends, they can’t eat a vegan diet. Whilst cat food contains high amounts of protein, you may still be wondering what meat cats can eat outside of their daily din-dins and if meats like pork provide any additional nutrition.

The good news is that we’re here to answer your burning questions and discuss if it‘s safe to feed your cat pork. We’ll also talk about if pork is a good option for cats and if other meats are more suitable.

Knowing exactly what you can and can’t feed your cat can be a bit tricky but we’re here to cut the cr*p and help you out - it’s what we do best.

Exciting stuff, right? Let’s get stuck in.

Can cats eat pork?

a cat looking at someones hand

Cats thrive on meat-based diets but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all meat or human food is good for your feline friend.
Lots of the commercial cat foods you’ll find in the supermarket aisles contain a variety of different meats. Usually, pork is excluded from this list but not because it’s unsafe for cats but because it should be offered in moderation as the occasional treat.

Pork refers to any meat from domestic pigs. This includes pork chops, gammon, bacon and other cured deli meats, all of which contain high levels of fat. Whilst your cat probably wouldn’t say no to pork of any variety, it won’t typically be advised for regular consumption by any vet due to the high levels of sodium. 

Pork products do contain vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to cats, so why isn’t it recommended? 

The main reason why you’re unlikely to find pork cat food on the market is simple - it’s too fatty and there are lots of healthier options out there which don't lead to weight gain.

In order for cats to thrive on their meaty diet, they need to eat animal protein that contains amino acids such as arginine and taurine - both of which sustain muscle and bone growth.

Taurine is an excellent amino acid that sustains many functions in the body such as heart function, central nervous system function, reproductive system function, and eye function. Because cats’ bodies don’t naturally produce taurine, they must get it from another source which is why their source of animal protein is so important!

Whilst pork contains taurine, meats like chicken and turkey have far less fat content and offer more micronutrients for cats without the added sodium and fat.

Can cats eat raw pork?

a cat looking up at a counter top

Feeding cats raw meat has been debated for a long time with no conclusive answer. Whilst some owners feed their feline friends a successful raw-meat-only diet, others believe they don’t provide adequate nutrition. 

It’s not toxic to feed cats raw meat but it is advised to only be given in moderation as raw meat carries a risk of health issues such as food poisoning.

Cats can technically eat raw pork and will often enjoy it but it carries a high risk of disease and parasites. If you are going to feed your cat pork, it should be fresh, not cured, and free from seasonings.

If you decide to feed your cat raw meat, always check with your veterinarian as they can highlight the safety precautions that need to be taken and potential risks to both you and your cat.

Can cats eat cooked pork chops?

a cat eyeing up some meat

Sorry to get all serious but you should never give your cat a cooked pork chop to eat - it’s very dangerous.

Whether it’s cooked or raw, the bone of the pork chop could potentially break into smaller pieces and get stuck in your cat’s throat. Even if your cat doesn’t choke, splintered bones can cause irreversible damage to the digestive tract. Ouch.

Some people believe that bones are safe for cats to chew on and provide benefits to their oral hygiene - but this simply isn’t true. 

Chewing on bones can actually cause more damage to your cat’s teeth and gums. Some cats are also predisposed to dental diseases so it’s best to provide a specialist chew toy or cat grass. These breeds include Siamese, Burmese, and Persian cats.

If you’re worried about your cat’s dental health but don’t think a trip to the vet is required, connect to an online vet immediately through Waggel’s online veterinary service - it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support you whenever you need a helping hand.

What types of pork can cats eat?

a burger with a cat in the distance

So whilst we’ve ruled out pork containing bones, what can you actually feed your cat if you decide they deserve a little porky treat?

If pork is your treat of choice, opt for a lean cut. This means it won’t contain as much fat, though remember not to go overboard as even the leanest parts of pork contain more fat than a piece of fish or chicken.

Before giving your cat pork, especially if it’s raw, check for worms. Gross, we know, but pork can potentially contain lots of nasty pathogens.

A tiny amount of ham is technically fine for cats but again, it can be salty, fatty, and not very healthy so it’s best to just offer a very small portion. Deli meats tend to be cured and contain lots of other ingredients that can be difficult for cats to process so we advise you to just avoid other forms of pork like bacon and gammon.

If you are going to feed your cat pork, we recommend slow-cooking a lean cut as this kills all the pathogens but preserves the taste cats love. Using a high-quality or organic cut of meat can also provide more nutrition than a preserved piece.


Just like us humans can’t live on a diet of Dairy Milk bars (no matter how hard we wish), cats can’t thrive on a diet of pork. 

Whilst a little tidbit of pork from time to time isn’t going to cause long-term damage, it should be slow-cooked and free from additives and preservatives as well as given on rare occasions.

Although an adequate protein source, pork can be a bit of a tricky one to decide to give your cat because it contains such high levels of fat. This means you should avoid making pork a staple of your cat’s diet and instead opt for something healthier such as chicken or turkey. Unhealthy weight gain can lead to chronic diseases so it's best to take the safest option. 

Try to remember when feeding your cat meat products; if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t give it to them. Whilst some cats thrive on a raw diet, suddenly feeding your cat raw meat could make them very sick.

In conclusion, pork isn’t considered an adequate source of protein for cats because of the high levels of sodium it contains. Even leaner cuts can still contain high-fat levels so it’s best to look for healthier treats or stick to your cat’s favourites such as chicken that’s rich in animal protein, vitamins, and micronutrients.

Interested in more information? We have an excellent guide to hypoallergenic cat food as well comprehensive info on the best cat litter. Waggel are here as your trusted partner for all things pet related.

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