Prosciutto is a type of cured ham from Italy that is considered to be very high grade and often is found on cheese and meat plates, some fancy pizzas and sandwiches or pasta.
It’s a salty, thoroughly cured meat that can be eaten raw or cooked (though grilled is best and very carefully). Prosciuttos is pretty popular with humans, but is it also good for our cat friends to eat?
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Can cats eat prosciutto?
At first glance, it would seem like the obvious answer would be yes, since prosciutto is essentially ham and cats can generally eat ham (in small amounts). But prosciutto is quite salty and rich which can and will cause most cats some digestive issues. So, short answer: while prosciutto won’t kill your cat or anything like that, it’s not something they should eat often or in large quantities.
Do Cats Like Prosciutto?
Most cats probably will like prosciutto because it’s meat and cats are drawn to eating meat. If a cat like cooked ham, it will probably also like prosciutto in all its forms.
This means that if you want to limit how much your cat eats, you’ll probably have to prepare it well away from moochers and keep it stored somewhere out of a cat’s ability to get into!
Cats will also enjoy the salt flavor and the richness as well as the texture, so it’s just a good all-around treat (or bad if you’re trying to keep the cat out of the human food!) It’s popular enough with cats that some people even use it as a way to sneak in medication that a cat may be taking (Temporarily).
Do Cats Hate Prosciutto?
It’s fairly unlikely that cats will hate prosciutto since it is ham and it’s something they will be able to taste. But you never know with cats – some are quite choosy about what they eat and some even have no interest in food prepared for humans.
I actually think my young cat wouldn’t care for prosciutto since she only likes seafood cat food or kibble. In this case, they wouldn’t hate prosciutto so much as completely ignore it.
If this is your cat, you don’t have to worry about it – prosciutto isn’t something that will be missed in their diet, and it means you have one less food you have to worry about chasing your cat out of.
Can Eating Prosciutto Kill My Cat?
Prosciutto is also unlikely to kill your cat which is good if your cat had a bit and now you’re worrying! Prosciutto doesn’t contain anything toxic to cats and even the salt content isn’t high enough to cause damage unless your cat eats far too much of it.
The danger of this meat is the high salt content as well as the fat content. Neither of these things will do much in the way of immediate harm (in fact, the higher salt content may encourage your cat to drink more water!) but over the long term, if a cat eats prosciutto too regularly, it can cause problems, just as it would in humans.
The main concern is weight gain which can cause problems with joints, increased risk of diabetes, and other health issues later in life.
Prosciutto is also high in salt. It is unlikely that the salt content will kill your cat (unless your cat eats a lot of it), but between the salt and the richness of the meat, your cat may have some digestive issues.
These usually include:
- Sore stomach
- Very temporary loss of appetite
These things should be fairly temporary and pass on their own, but if the symptoms last longer than twenty-four hours or get worse instead of better, talk to your vet for help. Your cat may be allergic or there might be something else in the meat that didn’t agree with your cat.
Unless your cat eats a mountain of prosciutto, it’s pretty unlikely that it will kill your cat, or land it at the vet’s office, though it might make your cat feel a bit ill for a little while!
Fortunately, most cats won’t tend to overindulge on this meat to the point of getting ill, so as long as you control how much you give them, your cat should be fine.
How Much Prosciutto Can I Feed My Cat?
Prosciutto should only be fed to cats as an occasional treat and in small amounts. Treats should make up no more than 10% of a cat’s daily diet (so about 20-25 calories) and 100 grams has close to 200 calories, so figure a very small piece of one slice!
This should also not be something cats have daily or even weekly as it’s quite rich and high in salt. Instead, a cat should only have a small piece once a month or even less.
Other meats simply make better treats for cats, such as cooked plain chicken, extra lean, cooked plain ground beef, or a bit of plain turkey or beef roast (again, plain).
These foods are much lower in salt and fat and will make cats just as happy. You can also of course just go for cat treats that are actually meant for them to eat as opposed to human foods.
Are There Any Nutritional Benefits of Prosciutto for Cats?
There really aren’t any nutritional benefits of prosciutto for cats. The curing process and the high salt content basically outweigh the small benefits of protein and iron found in meat.
Prosciutto certainly proves that not all meat is created equally for cats (or humans), though cats will certainly appreciate you giving them a treat!
Prosciutto is generally well-liked by cats. The flavor agrees with them, they like the texture, and it is meat that makes cats happy. But prosciutto is definitely an occasional treat for cats, not something they should have all the time.
Also, watch for uneasy stomachs after a cat eat it for the first time as it is quite rich and can cause some gastrointestinal issues.
Does your cat like prosciutto and go crazy for it when you have it around? Or are they indifferent to whatever their human is eating?
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.