All cats are obligate animals, which means that meat is one of the essential food items for them to stay healthy. Ground beef is one of those meats.
A cat’s diet consists of eighty percent proteins and 20 percent fat. In my quest for the best foods for my cat, I discovered that cats easily absorb nutrients from animal proteins. They mainly eat meat and rarely want vegetables.
When it comes to carbs, cats can digest a small amount, but they don’t need them. I wondered what would be the best meat option for my feline friend.
Can my cat consume ground beef? Is ground beef safe for my cat?
Do Cats Like Ground Beef?
Any source of cooked or raw beef is accepted by most cats. Cats can consume small amounts of ground beef. It is an excellent source of protein. Ground beef does not contain all the nutrients that cats need to survive and stay healthy. Neither raw meat nor cooked ground beef can supply all the essential vitamins and nutrients required.
Although beef is an excellent source of proteins, it is much fattier than what cats eat. I made sure to get the leanest cut that was available and drained the fat.
Cats, in some way, are just like humans. If they consume excess fat, they experience indigestion, diarrhea, heartburn, and even obesity.
Other than proteins and fats, ground beef is also a good source of vitamin B, E, K, and D. It also contains various minerals such as selenium, zinc, and iron.
After plenty of research, I had my answer. But there were many more facts I wanted to know about feeding my cat ground beef.
If you intend to give your cat ground beef, you have it in the right place. This article will take you through everything you need to know about feeding your cat ground beef.
I will take you through a couple of things you need to consider. Let us take a look at what you need to know.
Can Cats Eat Hamburgers?
Cats can consume hamburgers but in small quantities. A cat’s diet mostly comes from turkey, fish, or chicken in commercially made dry and wet food.
A hamburger is generally safe for cats as long as you follow a specific guideline. First, the ground beef should be well cooked and prepared only for your cat. Giving your cat leftovers could be harmful to them.
A hamburger can be given occasionally but not as a substitute for regular meals.
Just like humans, cats can get food-borne illnesses. When cooking a hamburger for my cat, I ensure that it is well cooked.
Usually, I check the meat’s internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer to ensure it is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature below 41 to 140 degrees can lead to an undercooked burger and make your cat sick.
To increase nutrient content in the hamburger, I add small amounts of veggies such as carrots or peas, vegetable or fish oil, and a supplement such as taurine.
This helps keep my adorable pet in health. Additionally, it is essential to add cooked grains such as brown rice or oatmeal to help with digestion because cats have short intestines.
Which Meat Is Best For Cats?
There are so many options to choose from when shopping for cat food.
When you look at a wild cat’s natural diet, it is safe to assume that a pet cat can’t eat something double its size. Also, it is essential to note that cats are not good at catching animals in the water.
So, the best meats for cats are usually turkey, quail, chicken, rabbit, and duct. Additionally, cats can also eat eggs since they are good sources of protein.
As for beef and lamb, a cat can only eat not more than 40% of its diet.
The best quality of meat to get for your cat would be meat from farmers. To ensure I don’t run out of beef often, I purchase a nicely cut one-half side of meat then store it in the freezer.
I also buy my turkey and chicken this way. If you can’t access meat from farmers, you can buy meat from the supermarket.
It is essential to make sure that the meat is fresh. You should also choose leaner ground beef.
Can Cats Have Raw Ground Beef?
No. Ground beef needs to be fully cooked. One serving of raw beef with E.coli or Salmonella can infect your cat. If a cat is infected or simply carrying the disease, it can infect the whole family. It is essential to cook the meat you are serving.
Serving raw meat comes with several health risks for the cat.
There is no guarantee that even the meat sold at the grocery store is parasite or pathogen-free. You will always notice the disclaimer on products that are sold raw or partially cooked.
Restaurants and shops are aware that there is a small risk of parasites or pathogens in the food that only die when the food is cooked.
For a human, it’s easy to tell when you have food poisoning. For cats, you will notice that they are acting differently but won’t know why.
You can easily miss warning signs which could lead to something more serious. It is also hard to maintain the right balance of nutrients, minerals, proteins, and fats if you give your cat raw meat.
Can Kittens Eat Raw Ground Beef?
Kittens cannot eat raw ground beef. Raw ground beef is not safe for kittens.
Would you eat raw ground beef?
Definitely not! So why give your kitten or cat raw ground beef. First raw meats are calcium deficient and do not have other nutrients.
This is very dangerous for kitten because they need a variety of nutrients as they grow. If not given sufficient nutrients, it could lead to fractured bones.
Additionally, cats are just like humans and can have parasitic infections. Your kitten can suffer from parasitic infections, which could result in profound implications, even death.
Even if you buy meat from the best stores, it does not qualify to be fed to your kitten. It can still contain harmful bacteria such as Clostridium, Campylobacter, Salmonella, or other types found in raw meat.
You should also avoid giving your kitten cooked or raw bones as they could fracture the kitten’s teeth. Tiny bones could also lead to blockage in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine.
How To Cook Ground Beef?
When preparing my cats beef, I usually follow the following method;
- Secure quality beef in supermarkets or from farmers.
- Cook the beef until it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (You will need a thermometer)
- Once done, think of the right portion for your cat (A 4.5 kilo(10pound) cat needs 300 calories daily, and an ounce of beef provides 60 calories). Ensure that the ground beef does not exceed 40% of their total calories required.
If this is the first time you give your cat ground beef, you can introduce small quantities first. You can start by putting a small amount of ground beef on your hand and extend it to your hand.
If your cat sniffs and walks away at first, you can put it on a surface and see the results later. There is a high chance that their curiosity will make them eat the ground beef eventually.
However, if your cat sniffs and eats the meat, you can put ground beef on their menu.
Should You Feed Your Cat A Raw Diet?
As addressed before, a raw diet has many implications for the health of a cat. This time we will take a look if feeding your cat raw food is proper for you.
First, we will look at why you may want to feed your cat raw food diets:
- You want your cat to consume a natural diet.
- Your furry pet has more energy after eating a raw diet.
- Your cat is very picky and is refusing other types of food.
- It is hard finding pre-made food for your cat because they have dietary restrictions.
However, there are many reasons for you not to feed raw as well;
- There is a possibility of giving your cat meat harmful parasites or pathogens.
- It takes a lot of time to prepare a raw meal for your cat.
- There is no room to store frozen or refrigerated foods safely.
- Your cat likes to be free-fed instead of having set meal times.
Should You Feed Your Cat factory-produced Food Exclusively?
Cats can eat other types of food, not just commercial cat food. However, making your cat food can be very exhausting and time-consuming.
Also, you have to make sure that you prepare the right proportions of nutrients. There is no harm in preparing ground beef or other types of foods once in a while.
The only thing to keep in mind is ensuring you give the right quantities and adding nutrients to the meal.
There are many types of commercially prepared cat food, including dry cat food, semi-moist food, and canned foods. Before purchasing any of the foods, look at the labels to see if they meet basic nutrition requirements.
Reading the label can help you determine which is the best food for your cat. You should also purchase food according to the cat’s stage of life.
A cat’s nutritional requirement is different in different stages such as kittenhood, pregnancy, adulthood, and lactation.