Our role as fur parents require us to find the right kind of food for our feline friends. Some pet owners even exert more effort to find the best food for their cats than for themselves! After all, our choice can make or break our cats’ health.
Now, the most common choice for cat owners is formulated cat food. These come in wet and dry variants. Now, these brands have worked together with cat doctors and nutritionists to find the right blend of taste and nutrition for their products. So, you can rest assured that these foods are safe and beneficial for your furry friend.
What most people don’t know, however, is that cats are more than happy to occasionally indulge in real meat like steak or beef. Can cats eat steak or beef? They definitely can! Let’s find out why cats would like to eat meat, and what benefits they can get out of that kind of food.
Why Do Cats Prefer Meat?
Most people would shy away from eating too much red meat, like steak. There’s a good reason for that, of course. Red meat can cause many illnesses for human beings. Doctors warn that people could develop heart diseases from eating too much meat, for instance. These concerns, however, do not apply at all to the felines you’ve taken under your care.
Unlike humans, cats have remained carnivorous for as long as they existed on Earth. Their bodies are more efficient at processing protein. In fact, cats thrive more on a protein-rich diet on than one based on carbohydrates or vegetables. You’ll find numerous benefits to your cat’s health from this diet.
What Are the Nutrients Found in Meat Like Steak?
The main benefit of meat is the amount of nutrients your cat can receive from them. Let’s take a look at those nutrients in the next section.
One of the nutrients found in steak is Vitamin B12, or cobalamin. This vitamin helps maintain the health of its nervous system. It also aids in keeping the cat’s digestive system healthy. Last but not least, cobalamin also helps to boost the cat’s immune system.
Unfortunately, your cat is unable to synthesize this vitamin on their own. Hence, cobalamin needs to be introduced through meats like steak, which has lots of vitamin B12. Otherwise, If a cat lacks vitamin B12, it can suffer diarrhea and nausea. Your feline could also lose weight, and be susceptible to potentially fatal diseases.
Protein is the building block of life for both felines and humans. This nutrient will help the cat build muscle mass. It also strengthens its internal organs, which are also made of fiber and muscle. Finally, protein helps the cat become stronger and less prone to injuries from their active lifestyles.
Protein also helps in suppressing your pet’s hunger pangs. Otherwise, your pet will keep eating food many times throughout the day. Without a protein-rich diet, cats might gain too much weight. This poses a problem for you since it can lead to many health conditions.
There are other vitamins and nutrients in steak that can also benefit your cats. These include:
- Vitamin B6
In other words, steak and beef give your cat’s overall health a significant boost! It’s time for you to start thinking about adding these to your cat’s daily diet. To fully take advantage of their nutritional value, however, the meat must be properly prepared and served.
The Best Way to Serve Steak for Cats who Eats Steak or Beef
Cats have retained much of their wild instincts even when domesticated. Their bodies still function the same as their bigger cousins, like the lions and the tigers. As apex predators, cats are perfectly fine eating raw meat in the wild. This is due to the higher acid levels in their guts compared to human beings. The raw meat does not stay in the stomach and intestines long enough to rot and spread pathogens, for example.
However, there is also some risk to feeding your cats raw steak. One danger is possible contamination by bacteria e.coli and salmonella from bad handling of the meat. Getting infected by these microorganisms can cause a myriad of stomach problems for the kitty. These gut problems can also extremely dehydrate your cat.
For some people, cooking the steak is the way to go. After all, heat can kill any bacteria that contaminated the meat. However, this has disadvantages as well. The process will dissolve some of the nutrients in the meat. Thus, it loses much of its nutritional value. This becomes counterproductive to your goal of providing a healthy diet for your cat.
The best way, then, is to prepare your meat to be medium-rare. Medium-rare steak has the ideal tenderness while keeping much of the nutrients intact. Rare is as near to raw as you can come without risking the bacterial infection. It has the best of both worlds, so to speak!
Things to Remember When Feeding Steak to Cats
To wrap this article up, let’s discuss some concerns you should bear in mind when serving raw or cooked steak to cats.
First, remember that not all cats can thrive on a raw diet. Younger cats can benefit the most from a raw or medium-rare steak diet. However, some older cats may not tolerate steak or beef as much. Those with compromised immune systems, for example, will need their meat cooked a little bit more.
Next, practice cleanliness when preparing your food, not just your cat’s. Wash hands thoroughly before handling raw meat to avoid contamination. You should also do the same after to be sure. If there’s this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that it never hurts to be too careful.
Third – make sure to feed only amounts that the cat can eat. As mentioned earlier, meat has plenty of calories that can last your kitty for the rest of the day. Avoid making your cat overweight by being conservative with your food servings.
So, the next time someone asks you if cats can eat steak or beef, tell them that it’s beneficial for the felines to do so. They’ll even benefit more from a balanced diet. That’s why their diet should include not only red meat like steak and pork, but fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well.
Here’s to your cat’s health, and a long life!
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