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Can Cats Eat Raw Pork?

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Managing what cats can eat is sometimes complicated. Food that is harmless to us can be toxic to them. Then there’s the divisive topic of raw feeding. Some owners swear by it, while others denounce it as an unnecessary and risky way to feed pets.

And there’s also the added dimension of accidental feedings that seem to go hand-in-hand with cat ownership. When you didn’t mean to feed your pet something, but they managed to get hold of it anyway, perhaps by jumping up onto the counter and snaffling something from a plate or bowl. It’s happened in our household before now and has partly inspired this series of blog posts asking things like – can cats eat chicken liver? And can cats drink oat milk?

We wanted to focus on whether cats can eat raw pork because there seems to be a lot of contradictory information on the internet. Some sources say it’s too salty and fatty, and others say it’s one of the healthiest meats. 

But what’s the truth? 

Can Cats Eat Raw Pork?

Yes, cats can eat raw pork. 

Pork is high in vitamins and minerals, including B6 and B12 and is also high in protein. However, there are a few things worth knowing before adding it to your pet’s diet. 

Firstly, the pork should be unseasoned, unsalted and unsmoked –it should be plain. 

One of the main reasons people are against feeding pork to cats is because it’s often considered fatty meat. Pork belly, for example, is very fatty and unsuitable for cats. Too much fat in a feline’s diet can cause life-threatening and life-limiting medical conditions. Pork loin is a better option as it’s a leaner cut. 

If you’re adding pork to your cat’s diet, start with small pieces of loin so that they can get used to it. 

The meat should be completely plain. You don’t want to give them anything with seasoning, salt, or garlic. It’s essential to check the ingredients before you feed your cat anything. Pork can be heavily salted. You should also avoid smoked products. 

Be careful about where you’re sourcing your meat. Commercial grade meat may contain things that are unsuitable for cats. And before serving, ensure you’ve removed anything that could be a choking hazard. Bones can quickly and easily get stuck inside a cat mouth or throat. 

It’s also important to consider food hygiene. Cats can get sick from poor meat handling, just as a human can. Food poisoning can make our pets very ill. We touched upon this point in a previous post about whether cats can eat raw mince. 

As well as safely storing and preparing meat, it’s also important not to leave it out at room temperature in the cat’s bowl. Unlike biscuits (and even cooked wet cat food), raw food has a much shorter shelf-life once it’s in the dish. Throw out anything they haven’t eaten straight after they’re done eating. You don’t want your cat coming back for seconds hours after the raw pork was first plated. 

Whilst it’s not common, you should also be aware of Aujesky’s disease, which describes as ‘an uncommon but highly fatal disease found in cats, especially those that come into contact with swine.’

Cats can contract it by eating contaminated pork. This isn’t really an issue for domestic pork, but it sometimes shows up in wild pig or boar meat. Sourcing meat from a reputable supplier is key to ensuring that the raw pork you’re using is safe for feline consumption.  

Can Cats Get Worms From Eating Raw Pork?

Humans and cats can catch worms from infected pork meat, that’s true. But while Trichinellosis was a significant concern years ago, it’s now almost entirely eradicated from pork. In some countries, the risk of consuming worm-contaminated meat is zero. Buying meat from a reputable source that you trust will help put your mind to rest. 

Can Cats Eat Uncooked Sausage?

Technically, cats can eat uncooked sausage, but it’s not recommended unless you make your own. This is because sausages are very heavily processed, salted and seasoned. 

What should I do if my cat has eaten raw pork?

It depends on the type of pork they’ve eaten and how much. We’ve already established that some owners regularly add it to their cat’s diet without issue. The cat should be fine as long as the meat is plain, fresh, stored and sourced responsibly. If your cat isn’t used to eating raw pork, it might experience an upset stomach. Speak to a veterinarian if you’re worried about something your cat has eaten. 

As always, raw feeding is a controversial topic. Personally, we don’t do it with our cat. We source her cat food from a reputable company that uses human-grade ingredients with 98% cooked meat ingredients and no sugar or grain. It works for her (and us). Raw feeding is a little too complicated and messy for us, but this may be different for you.