Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

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 Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are a summer staple. Served smothered in ketchup and mustard plus a side dish of pasta salad, hot dogs are an almost irresistible snack. As a pet owner, you may be guilty of always sharing your meal with your fur baby without a second thought. But you may want to take a minute to rethink your decision of sharing this meaty juiciness with your cat.

We all know cats are carnivores, which means they like meat. But is hot dog safe for cats? Just because your cat seems to be interested in your hot dog, does that mean they can have some?

In this post, I talk about all you need to know about feeding hot dogs to your cat. Let's get to it!

Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

The simple answer to "can cats eat hot dogs?" is yes. But on the other hand, if you are asking to know if cats should eat hot dogs, then the realistic answer is no. Hot dogs are processed meat that is not healthy for cats. High in sodium and fat, hot dogs can cause digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea when consumed in excess. If you suspect your cat has eaten a piece of hot dog, watch out for any symptoms that may indicate illness.


Will Hot Dog Harm My Cat?

Hot dogs may be an animal-based food but it is not healthy for your feline because of other ingredients and spices apart from meat that is found in it. You may not need to worry if your cat has only eaten a tiny amount of hot dogs. But if you have been making it a habit of feeding hot dogs to your cat, you might just be putting your cat's life at risk.

The salt content in hot dogs is worrisome. Cats do not require too much salt whereas a regular hot dog contains about 567mg of salt. When this is compared to the daily amount of 21-43mg of salt per serving than a cat needs, you can begin to see the problem. If cats consume hot dogs even in small amounts, they may suffer from sodium poisoning.

Hot dogs also contain a significant amount of fat. This can make your cat overweight in no time. Cats do not need the excess fat that is found in hot dogs.

Additives are another concern. Hot dogs contain different additives that give them their distinct taste. While this may be appealing to humans, it can become a source of ill health for cats. Too many mixed-up flavors can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Also, some additives such as garlic are toxic to cats and should be avoided at all costs because even a small amount can be fatal.

Finally, the preservatives and toppings that are served with hot dogs such as onions, ketchup, and mustard are not good for your cat. Preservatives are added to keep the hot dogs fresh for longer but these same preservatives can cause a health crisis for your cat.

Can Cats Eat Turkey Hot Dogs?

If you are contemplating between a regular hot dog and a turkey hot dog, the latter is a better choice. Turkey hot dogs pass as less harmful to cats because they contain less salt content than the regular hot dog but overall, they are still not a healthy choice for your cat. 

Cats can eat turkey hot dogs but it should also be a small amount and not frequently. This is because although turkey hot dog is a better option than the traditional hot dog, it still does not contain enough benefits to become a regular part of your cat's diet.

 Hot Dogs

Is Cooked Hot Dog Okay For Cats?

You may be wondering if cooked hot dog is a safer option for cats compared to raw ones. But unfortunately, whether cooked or raw, it doesn't matter because both are bad for cats. When it comes to hot dogs, neither cooking nor not cooking changes anything because it is the ingredients and the processing that matter. Most, if not all, of the harmful ingredients in hot dogs are added during the processing. 

Can Stray Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

I know what you are thinking. Stray cats are already used to eating anything and everything, eating hot dogs shouldn't be bad for them. But this is not the case. Stray cats may not be used to quality foods of wet and dry commercial cat food like your cat is but it is possible that if they eat hot dogs, they may experience the same symptoms your cat would.

If left to themselves, stray cats will eat hot dogs without a care in the world even though they may get sick later. But if you decide to welcome a stray cat into your home, then it will be your responsibility to ensure they only eat healthy and nutritious foods henceforth.

Can Kittens Eat Hot Dogs?

Kittens should not eat hot dogs at all. Processed meat offers no benefits to your little furry guy and will rather cause them to become sick. 

Kittens require their specially formulated commercial cat food to grow and develop properly. Snacks like hot dogs are not advisable for them. There are other healthier snack options that your kitten can enjoy. If you are not sure which option to include in their diet, you can consult with your vet. 

What Should I Do If My Cat Has Eaten Hot Dogs?

If you suspect that your cat has eaten a small piece of hot dog, watch them over the next few days for symptoms of severe gastrointestinal issues. If they have mild vomiting or diarrhea, you may not need to take them to the hospital.

However, if you are not sure of the quantity of hot dogs they ate, your best course of action is to take them to the vet as soon as you can.


It is not advisable to feed hot dogs to your cat because of their high fat and salt content. However, if you choose to treat your cat to hot dogs once in a while, make sure to give them only a small bite-sized piece to reduce any digestive issues and prevent choking hazards.

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