Can Cats Eat Pork? Why You Should Avoid That

Pork is not toxic to cats, but it is not a suitable part of their diet. Read on to learn why cats should not eat pork and how it can affect their health.
Can Cats Eat pork?

Can cats eat pork? The short answer is no, cats should not eat pork. Although pork is not toxic to cats, it is not a suitable part of their diet and does not provide the necessary nutrients that cats need.


Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their bodies are designed to obtain nutrients from animal-based sources, primarily meat. While it is true that cats require meat in their diets, not all types of meat are appropriate for cats to consume.

Brief overview of cats' dietary needs

Cats require a balanced diet composed of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy. Their primary source of nutrition should come from animal-based sources, as they cannot synthesize certain essential nutrients from plant-based foods.

Importance of meat in cats' diets

Meat provides cats with essential nutrients, such as high-quality proteins, amino acids, and vitamins. Some meats are better suited for cats due to their nutrient composition, making them more appropriate for fulfilling a cat's dietary needs.

Debunking the myth that cats can eat all types of meat

Not all meats are good for cats. Each type of meat has a different nutritional profile, and some may not provide all the essential nutrients that cats require, making them less suitable for consumption.

Essential Nutrients for Cats

Cats have specific nutritional requirements, and it is vital to provide them with a diet that meets these needs.

Taurine: its role and importance

Taurine is an essential amino acid that cats need for proper heart and eye function. Their bodies cannot produce enough taurine on their own, so they must acquire it from their diets. Taurine deficiency can lead to severe health problems, such as heart disease and vision loss.

Other essential amino acids

In addition to taurine, cats need other essential amino acids, such as arginine, methionine, and lysine, which play crucial roles in various bodily functions.

Vitamins and minerals necessary for cats

Cats require various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium, for various bodily functions and maintaining overall health.

The Nutritional Content of Pork

Pork does not provide the necessary nutrients that cats require, making it less suitable for their consumption.

Protein and amino acid composition

While pork is a good source of protein, it lacks the high levels of taurine that cats require.

Fat content and types of fat present in pork

Pork is high in fat, and consuming too much fat can lead to health problems in cats, such as obesity and pancreatitis.

Caloric value of pork

Pork has a high caloric value, and feeding cats pork can contribute to weight gain and associated health issues.

Health Risks Associated with Feeding Pork to Cats

Feeding pork to cats can lead to several health problems due to the lack of essential nutrients, high fat content, and potential exposure to parasites and bacteria.

Lack of taurine leading to health problems

Without enough taurine in their diet, cats can develop heart disease and vision loss.

The high fat and calorie content of pork can contribute to obesity, which can cause various health problems, such as diabetes and joint issues.

Pancreatitis and its causes

Cats are prone to pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can be caused by consuming too much fat.

Parasites and bacteria found in raw or undercooked pork

Feeding cats raw or undercooked pork can expose them to parasites and bacteria, causing illness and digestive problems.

Alternatives to Pork for Cats

Instead of pork, consider feeding your cat other, more suitable meats or commercially available cat foods.

Chicken, turkey, and fish are better options as they provide essential nutrients and are lower in fat than pork.

Commercial cat foods: wet and dry options

High-quality commercial cat foods, both wet and dry varieties, are formulated to provide a balance of nutrients that cats need.

Homemade diets and their benefits

Some cat owners prefer to feed their cats homemade diets, which can be tailored to meet their cat's specific nutritional requirements when formulated correctly.

Tips for Feeding Your Cat a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a balanced and appropriate diet for your cat is crucial for their overall health and well-being.

Proper portion control

Monitor your cat's weight and adjust their portion sizes accordingly to prevent overfeeding and obesity.

Maintaining a balanced diet

Ensure that your cat's diet provides all the essential nutrients they require, paying particular attention to the inclusion of taurine-rich foods.

The role of treats in a cat's diet

Treats should be given in moderation and should not make up a significant portion of your cat's caloric intake.

Importance of regular veterinary check-ups

Regular veterinary check-ups can help monitor your cat's health and ensure their nutritional needs are being met.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can cats eat cooked pork?

While small amounts of cooked, unseasoned pork can be given as a treat, it should not make up a part of their regular diet.

Can cats eat bacon or processed pork products?

No, these products contain high levels of sodium and other preservatives, which can be harmful to cats.

What if my cat accidentally eats pork?

Monitor your cat for any signs of illness and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

How do I know if my cat has a food allergy or sensitivity?

Common signs of food allergies or sensitivities in cats include gastrointestinal upset, skin irritation, and excessive itching. Consult your veterinarian if you suspect a food allergy or sensitivity.


In conclusion, pork should not be a primary source of nutrition for cats due to its lack of essential nutrients and high fat and calorie content. While small amounts of pork can be given as a treat, it is important to do so with caution and monitor your cat for any adverse reactions. If your cat accidentally eats pork, it is essential to contact your veterinarian for guidance. Provide your cat with a balanced diet and seek regular veterinary care to ensure their health and well-being.

Medically Reviewed by Nauman Zaheer, DVM

Nauman Zaheer Ghumman, DVM is an MPhil qualified Licensed Veterinary Doctor with a wide range of academic writing experience, including published work in an International Veterinary journal and educational material for Pet owners.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Can Cats Eat sausage?
Dangerous to Cats
Ivana Crnec, DVM

Can Cats Eat Sausage?

Is it okay to give your feline friend a taste of sausage? Find out in our article! Just remember, always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet.

Read More »
Can Cats Eat beef?
Safe for Cats
Ivana Crnec, DVM

Can Cats Eat Beef?

Cats are obligate carnivores, but can they eat beef? Find out the nutritional benefits and potential risks of feeding beef to your feline friend.

Read More »
Can Cats Eat steak?
Safe for Cats
Ivana Crnec, DVM

Can Cats Eat Steak?

Can cats eat steak? Find out in this comprehensive article, including information on nutritional benefits, risks, and proper portion size.

Read More »
Can Cats Eat chicken?
Safe for Cats
Ivana Crnec, DVM

Can Cats Eat Chicken?

Cats are known for their love of fish, but can they also enjoy chicken? Find out if this common protein source is safe and healthy for your feline friend.

Read More »
Can Cats Eat salami?
Dangerous to Cats
Ivana Crnec, DVM

Can Cats Eat Salami?

Is salami safe for your furry friend to eat? Find out in this comprehensive article about the dangers of processed meats for cats.

Read More »
Can Cats Eat turkey?
Safe for Cats
Ivana Crnec, DVM

Can Cats Eat Turkey?

Cats are known for their love of meat, but can they safely enjoy a Thanksgiving feast? Find out if it’s okay to let your feline friend enjoy some turkey.

Read More »
Can Cats Eat raw chicken?
Safe for Cats
Saba Afzal, DVM, RVMP

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?

Can cats eat raw chicken? Find out the potential benefits and risks of feeding your feline friend this tasty treat. Plus, learn the appropriate portion size to maintain a healthy diet.

Read More »