Bologna is a common staple in many households, especially those looking for an affordable lunch meat or sometimes an affordable dinner meat! (Fried bologna anyone?) It’s cheap, it’s abundant, and it can be used in other cheap and easy-to-make meals, so it’s popular.
But is it as popular with your cat as it is with you? Can cats eat bologna?
A small amount of bologna is not going to hurt your cat and eating it once in a while is harmless. But bologna should not become a regular part of your cat’s diet and it definitely should not replace their regular food.
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Do Cats Like Bologna?
Bologna is made with meat. Not very high-quality meat to be sure, and a lot of different meat products all mashed together, but meat. It generally smells good to cats and cats tend to be curious about what their humans are eating to boot. So, it makes sense that bologna will have a lot of cats coming around to take a taste.
Personally, my cats have never shown a lot of interest in bologna back when we’d have it around, though I think my brother scolded my fat cat once or twice for mooching in her younger days. I do think though that if we gave it to them, both cats would probably at least try it.
Do Cats Hate Bologna?
Some cats probably won’t like bologna – the texture may annoy them, or they may not like the other flavors found in it. Or they may simply not be the type to care too much about what their humans are eating (my newest cat is kind of a snob about human food – she won’t touch any of it, other than sometimes whatever the toddler is eating and I think that’s a power play…)
It’s not so much that a cat will hate bologna, but some may turn up their nose at it and not touch it. They may be put off by the scent which, while meaty, is still going to come off as fake to some cats.
That’s perfectly all right. As you’ll see, bologna is far from the best treat to be giving your cat anyway, so if you don’t have to discourage mooching, you’ve saved yourself some time and energy!
Can Bologna Kill My Cat?
Bologna is, uh, made from ‘meat‘, so why do you have to worry about your cat eating more than a very small amount once in a while? Bologna, in very small amounts once in a while, will not kill your cat, or even make it particularly sick unless it has a very sensitive stomach.
However, it’s still something that cats should not have too much of and in high quantities, can cause a lot of problems. It can also cause long-term issues.
There are several reasons why bologna is junk food and in too high a quantity can be quite toxic:
- Bologna is highly processed and contains a lot of salt. Too much salt leads to salt poisoning and in cats, too much isn’t very much at all compared to humans. 42mg is all the salt a cat needs – the equivalent of a slice and a half of pepperoni! Salt poisoning in cats can lead to severe dehydration, digestive problems, and even seizures.
- Bologna has a lot of other seasonings like paprika, coriander, mustard, corn starch, sugar, and black peppercorns as well as nitrate, MSG, and the myrtle berry. The real problem here is the myrtle berry which is toxic to cats. Corn starch is also hard to digest, and the other spices can cause their own digestive issues.
- Bologna is high in fat. If a cat eats too much fatty food in the long term, it can lead to heart problems, obesity, and hypertension. This is more of a long-term problem, but you don’t want to ruin your cat’s quality of life in its old age.
When you stop and think about it, bologna is pretty unhealthy for us humans, so the results are magnified severalfold for a nine-pound cat!
That being said, if your cat stole a small piece of your sandwich or you gave your cat a little, it’s unlikely that it will suffer any ill effects.
Bologna is just not something that cats should have regularly or in large quantities. A small amount is unlikely to even make your cat sick, let alone die. And you should supervise your cat the first it has any to monitor it for any allergic reactions.
Some cats are extremely sensitive to things that don’t even faze other cats, so be mindful and watch for things like diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive scratching.
If your cat stole a lot of bologna, monitor it for any signs of health issues and if you see your cat acting out of the ordinary or anything worrying, contact your vet.
Myrtle berry poisoning in particular is something to watch for as it’s quite toxic. Symptoms include vomiting, drooling, low blood pressure, loss of coordination, coma, tremors, and seizures.
Again, bologna probably won’t kill your cat in small quantities once in a while, but if your cat eats too much of it or too regularly, it can cause problems that are easily avoided by keeping the bologna out of reach.
How Much Bologna is Safe For My Cats to Eat?
Your cat should really only have a very small amount once in a while. I’d recommend something like a chunk not even as large as the top of your thumb and only very rarely (like once a month or less). There are a couple of reasons for this:
- As outlined above, too much bologna is extremely unhealthy for cats.
- Feeding cats human food too regularly will make them think that’s normal and then they won’t eat their regular food and become deficient in important nutrients.
- Cats can also become quite demanding of things they feel are theirs, which leads to a poorly behaved pet. You really don’t want your cat stealing a large part of your sandwich!
Some cats may even try to steal an entire slice of bologna which will make them sick and put stress on their internal organs, notably the kidneys and liver. And cats stealing their human’s food, while funny, is not a habit that you want to cultivate.
A small bit of bologna once in a while is not going to hurt your cat and it may even be a good way to coax an appetite or bribe a cat into taking a bit of medication. But it’s not something you want to encourage.
Bologna is not very healthy for cats (or humans), and it contains ingredients that are downright toxic. The high quantity of fat is bad for your cat’s heart, and it can be fairly indigestible as well, due to the presence of corn starch.
Sure, bologna is made from meat, but it’s not very high-quality meat and cats would be better off getting their protein needs met through their cat food.
All in all, while Bologna isn’t completely toxic to cats, it’s also not the best human food to give your pet as a treat.
Does your cat go after bologna?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.