Nutrition

Can Cats Eat Steak?

Cats are obligate carnivores who need meat to live. Owners often want to know if they can give fresh meat like steak to their feline friend. Learn all about steak and cats in our quick guide.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: June 29, 2022 | 5 min read

Young cat eating red meat

Cats are carnivores, and they need meat for proper health and development throughout their lives. Kitties are known to be fussy eaters, but they should always eat food with real meats as the first few ingredients. Owners may wonder about feeding kitties extra meats, especially if the specific felines have a picky appetite.

Red meat is loved by humans and felines alike. It is rich in flavor and chock full of protein. Felines crave the animal proteins and fat found in red meat like beef. Beef is often found in commercial cat foods, so it may seem like a logical conclusion that giving a cat bits of beef like steak is good for them.

Can cats eat steak? While the answer may seem straightforward, there is a little more to it. Adding fresh beef to a cat’s diet can be a scrumptious treat, but being done the wrong way can actually be harmful to them. We have everything owners need to know about if cats can eat steak. Let’s get into all the juicy, delicious details.

Can Cats Eat Steak?

Yes, cats can absolutely have steak. Red meat is a safe, healthy, nutrient-packed choice for feline consumption. Steak cooked properly is perfectly good and easy to digest for cats. Felines need diets high in animal protein, and steak has plenty of high-quality animal protein. Steak that is lean can have many beneficial nutrients and minerals. These include protein, niacin, iron, selenium, zinc, and Vitamin B12.

However, owners should not start feeding kitties steak at every meal, they get everything they need for healthy nutrition from specially formulated kitty food, and steak will not provide them with everything they need. Fresh beef can be a lovely treat or addition to their diet but should never replace high-quality feline food.

Is Steak Bad For Cats?

In moderation, red meat is not bad for felines and can have some beneficial properties. In particular, it is high in Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is incredibly important for felines, as it is not something they can synthesize on their own. It supports healthy immune, nervous, and digestive systems. Felines must absorb B12 from their food, and when they do not get enough, it can cause several symptoms. These include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and excess weight loss. Certain conditions, like inflammatory bowel, can inhibit the amount of B12 the intestines can absorb, leading to a deficiency.

Some risks are associated with feeding a kitty beef. These include the preparation if there are bones in the meat, cut of beef, how much food the kitty is given, and fat content. The health and age of the cat also impact how safe, fresh meat is for them to eat.

Can Cats Have Raw Steak?

Cats can have raw steak. In fact, raw beef is better for them than cooked beef. Kitties are by nature predatory obligate carnivores who, before they became domesticated, hunted and consumed raw prey. Fresh raw beef is a luscious snack and has all its nutritional value. Cooking beef lessens the potency and breaks down nutrients. Fresh, raw beef is best. This ensures it is free of harmful bacteria.

Raw beef can have many benefits for felines. It can help keep teeth healthy, has high water content, and is very filling. Additionally, eating raw beef can actually help make their poo smell better. It also makes their poo smaller. This happens because more of the beef is digestible than kibble. So, the feline digestive system will break down and absorb more, leading to smaller bowel movements. Felines are less hungry after eating raw meat and have fewer urinary issues. Additionally, it can provide an energy boost and support skin and coat health.

Can Cats Eat Cooked Steak?

Cats can eat cooked steak if prepared properly. This is not the same as preparing food for human consumption. Felines do not need any extra ingredients like onion, garlic, pepper, or other spices. Beef should be cooked on moderate heat, not too hot or too cool. It must cook at a high enough temperature to kill bacteria but a low enough temperature not to break down all the nutritional value.

Cooked beef for a kitty should be as low fat as possible and not cooked in extra fat. Beef is already high in fat. Too much fat for a feline is a significant health issue. Excess fats can cause pancreatitis, heart disease, obesity, breathing issues, high cholesterol, and diabetes, among other issues.

Can Cats Eat Steak Fat?

Steak contains some fats that felines can digest perfectly fine. However, fat trimmed off the meat should never be fed by itself to a cat, raw or cooked. While felines might find these bits extremely delicious, they are not a great idea for them to eat. Fats are extremely hard to digest and can cause a painfully upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Large pieces can be a choking hazard. Too much fat can cause obesity, which brings on a whole host of health concerns like heart disease, and it is best never to feed a feline the fat trimmings from any kind of beef cuts or fowl.

Can Cats Have Steak Bones?

Felines can eat bones meaning they have the capacity to, but it is not highly recommended. There can be some benefits, the marrow is highly nutritious, and bones can help with a dental cleaning. Additionally, kitties love to gnaw the beef from bones. However, bones have a high potential to be extremely dangerous. They can cause stomach upset and constipation, and raw bones can splinter, causing tooth breakage and mouth damage. These splintered bones can also cause internal damage, perforations, and obstructions.

Cooked bones are not better than raw bones, and they may possibly be worse. Cooked bones can become very brittle, causing them to splinter easier, and have enormous potential to harm a kitty. Some raw bones with a bit of meat on them can be a nice treat for a cat to gnaw on, under very close supervision, and only until they remove all the beef. Overall, it is best to keep kitties away from gnawing on and eating bones.

Can Kittens Eat Steak?

Very young kittens cannot eat steak. Their digestive systems cannot handle heavy meats until about 20 weeks. Then they can eat tiny bits of raw meat beef is ok in minimal doses. Be extra careful with feeding kittens raw beef, especially those with sensitive stomachs. Steak can just be too complex for their little GI tracts to handle. It is best to wait until about 5 or 6 months before giving kittens raw meat. This allows their immune system to build up. Always introduce new food slowly, and never replace a meal with fresh beef.

A hungry cat watches as he cuts raw meat by knife

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cats have red meat every day?

Unless on a carefully crafted, human-grade raw diet, cats should not eat red meat daily. It is an excellent addition even a few times a week but should not be fed every day or in place of meals.

Can cats have steak with salt and pepper?

No. Felines cannot eat meat with any seasonings. Plain meat cooked with no extra fats is best. Cut up into bite-sized pieces.

Can cats have steak sauce?

Cats should not have any kind of extra sauce. It has too many ingredients like sugar, garlic, onion, jalapeno, peppers, and salt for kitties to digest correctly. Stay away from steak sauce for kitties!

Final Thoughts

Cats can eat steak, both raw and cooked. Red meat is chock full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to live healthy lives. As long as cats are fed beef that is cooked without extra fats or salts, avoids human seasonings, and has no sauces, this is a delicious snack for dogs. It cannot replace meals and should not be given if dogs beg or bug for it. Steer clear of bones and over-cooked meat. Felines can eat red meat. They like it, and it has many health-boosting qualities. In moderation, this is a healthy, delectable addition to a cat’s regular diet. Learn more about other human foods that are safe for cats to eat. Always check with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s health or eating habits.

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