Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky?

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky? While cats are carnivores that enjoy meat, we wouldn’t recommend offering your feline pals beef jerky because beef isn’t usually the first component in the grocery store.

If your cat eats a modest bit of beef jerky, he or she should be alright. However, you should consult with your veterinarian because there are many other options, such as chicken or turkey, that you can offer instead.

While it may be more difficult to obtain beef jerky for humans that do not contain any components derived from animal by-products, you can always discuss this with your veterinarian to ensure you have the best options available.

Can Cats Eat Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is literally meat that has been minced and dried using a process that produces a chewy texture. While cats are technically carnivores and they do relish meat, keep in mind that beef jerky made to be eaten by humans should never be fed to a cat since it may have toxic ingredients meant for human consumption only. As such, if your cat were to consume beef jerky from your kitchen pantry, you should seek immediate medical care as this is an emergency situation requiring quick action.


Beef jerky is an excellent source of protein that not only humans enjoy, but also many cat owners across the United States.

However, this wonderful snack food can be potentially harmful to felines if consumed on a regular basis.

If your cat has a sodium deficiency due to his diet, or if he’s a senior cat suffering from kidney disease, feeding him beef jerky could cause life-threatening toxicity in your pet.

Therefore, it’s important to monitor your kitty when he eats beef jerky. Be sure there have been no recent changes in his health or well-being following consumption of the snack.

Tough Texture

The process of drying the meat helps to preserve it, but it also makes it tough. As a result, jerky is difficult to chew for both your cat and a human with large chompers.

Your cat is accustomed to eating fresher meat, and you most likely feed it soft things such as dried cat food because it struggles to digest hard dry foods.

Giving your cat a sliver of tough jerky or a full piece could put him or her in danger of choking. If your cat has any dental difficulties, such as tooth decay, the rough jerky may be too unpleasant for him to chew on.

Silica Gel Packets

Ever open up a package of beef jerky and find that little packet that says “DO NOT EAT”? That’s silica gel and it is used in all sorts of commercial, household applications including food storage.

This silica gel helps to maintain the freshness and dryness of the product.

In fact, you’ve probably noticed by now that your food aisle contains various items cereals, rice, bread, pretzels, and more packed in such packets too.

It’s a relatively innocuous material but it means playtime for a cat. Not so fun if they accidentally ingest some.


Salt is also used in the jerky-making process to help prevent bacteria growth and may also be used as a flavoring in traditional marinades.

Commercial jerky tends to contain high levels of sodium, so it’s important to check nutritional labels on store-bought varieties.

Too much salt can cause dehydration and may even lead to toxic levels of sodium if your cat eats too much.


Beef jerky is a treat that most cats will find tasty, especially the ones which are more dependent on meat. Jerky is pure meat and assuming there aren’t any extra additives or flavorings added then it should be perfectly safe for your cat to eat some amount of it per day. It might even give them an essential protein boost and encourage them to try out new things such as beef jerky. On the other hand, they can also be very high in salt and preservatives so make sure your cat doesn’t overindulge in this particular treat because that might have adverse health effects after a few weeks or even months of continuous eating.

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