Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

You are blissfully enjoying your delicious hot dog when you notice your pet’s eyes on you, giving you imploring looks! Let’s face it, you aren’t immune to those looks. So, it might come to your mind – a hot dog is a slice of meat, so can I let her have some of it?

Or, more importantly, can cats eat hot dogs?

Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

Yes, cats can eat hot dogs. But they are very harmful to cats. So, you should avoid feeding them to your cat.

Even though cats are obligate carnivores, not all meat is the same. For example, hot dogs are highly processed, while the meat that cats consume in the wild is the most and unprocessed as they come. We’ll delve deep into their differences and why you should not feed your feline hot dogs.

Why Are Hot Dogs Bad for Cats?

High Levels of Fat

Hot dogs have a high content of fats, whereas the meat found in the wild is mostly lean. Thus, a cat’s diet should have more protein and less fat concentration.

If fed hot dogs, your cat’s digestive system will struggle to digest that much fat. The enzymes needed for breaking down high levels of fat are lacking in cats. So, it might make them uncomfortable and bloated.

Too many hot dogs can lead to weight gain and obesity in cats. Obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It also reduces the lifespan of a cat, and the extra weight can invite early arthritis.

For a healthy life, a cat should be given a balanced diet with the necessary nutrients they need. You can feed your fluffball hot dogs if you want to, but very infrequently.

High Sodium Content

Sodium has no place in your cat’s diet. She doesn’t need it, so her body cannot process it. High sodium content found in hot dogs can be detrimental to your feline and even cause life-threatening situations.

Cats can have 0.2% of sodium in their diet. So, even a small amount of it can lead to dehydration. Studies show food with high sodium concentrations can cause sodium ion poisoning. Sodium-ion poisoning, if not detected, can be fatal for cats. It has the following symptoms –

  • High body temperature
  • Frequent tremors and seizures
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Contains preservatives and Chemicals

Hot dogs have more preservatives than most food to give them a long life. Chemicals like sodium nitrites and sodium nitrates are used to treat this food. Unfortunately, the added chemicals and preservatives are toxic to cats. They are also not found in wild meat.

You can get preservative-free hot dogs, but still, it isn’t safe for your cat.


The most common toppings of hot dogs are ketchup and mustard. Both contain salt that can lead to an upset stomach or sodium poisoning in cats. Plus, according to various research, mustard seeds in mustard can also cause severe gastroenteritis, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. Some people also use garlic and onion as toppings, which are toxic to cats.


Many brands add various flavorings while manufacturing hot dogs. The most common are garlic and onion – which enhance the taste for us. But they are very harmful to cats. Some hot dogs also contain paprika. While the sweet variety won’t cause any trouble, the spicier one will cause gastric issues in your cat.


So, to sum it up, can cats eat hot dogs? Yes, they can, but it isn’t safe for them at all. Instead of providing nutrition, the contents in hot dogs will deteriorate your cat’s health. So, avoid feeding her hot dogs at all costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cats Eat Cooked Hot Dogs?

Even though cooked meat makes digestion easier for cats, their body is developed so that they can eat uncooked meat without any issue.

Don’t give your feline hot dogs – whether cooked or uncooked. Hot dogs still have a high concentration of fats, salt, preservatives, toppings, and flavorings, which are harmful to your feline. You cooking it is irrelevant. So, don’t give her hot dogs in any form.

My Cat Has Eaten My Hot Dog. What Should I Do?

If your cat has eaten a small amount of hot dog, don’t panic, she’ll be fine. The most that’ll happen is your cat will be bloated, experience slight discomfort, or be nauseous. Give her plenty of water to avoid any risk of dehydration.

Keep a lookout for any symptoms of sodium ion poisoning. If you notice any, take her to the vet immediately.

Which Human Food Is Safe for Cats?

Cats can eat lean and unprocessed meat, oatmeal, cooked eggs, and canned or cooked fish.

Serina Russow
Serina Russow
Hey there, I'm Serina, your friendly feline fanatic! As the proud founder of "Smart cat lovers," I'm on a mission to share my passion for all things cat-related. With years of experience in cat behavior and health, I'm here to provide expert advice on nurturing happy, healthy kitties. When I'm not tapping away on my keyboard, you'll find me curled up with my four adorable furballs: Whiskers, Luna, Billy, and Charlie.

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