Can Cats Safely Enjoy Pastrami? Here’s What You Need to Know


Cats have earned a well-deserved reputation for being picky eaters. As responsible pet owners, it’s essential to understand what human foods are safe for our feline friends. One such food that often raises questions is pastrami. Pastrami is a popular deli meat made from seasoned beef. While it may seem tempting to share this tasty treat with your kitty, it’s crucial to know whether pastrami is safe for cats to consume.

The Potential Risks

While small amounts of pastrami may not cause immediate harm to cats, it is generally not recommended to include it in their diet. There are a few reasons why pastrami may pose risks to your furry companion:

1. High Sodium Content

Pastrami is heavily seasoned, usually containing high levels of sodium. Cats have different dietary needs than humans, and their bodies are not equipped to handle excessive sodium intake. Consuming too much salt can lead to dehydration, kidney issues, and heart problems in cats.

2. Spices and Seasonings

Pastrami is often prepared with various spices and seasonings such as garlic, onion, and pepper. While these ingredients may enhance the flavor for humans, they can be toxic to cats. Garlic and onion, in particular, contain compounds that can damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to a condition called Heinz body anemia.

The Best Diet for Cats

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies require a meat-based diet. While small amounts of lean, unseasoned cooked meat can be beneficial as a treat, it should not replace your cat’s regular diet. The best diet for cats consists of nutritionally balanced and complete cat food, formulated to meet their specific dietary needs.

Safe Treats for Cats

If you’re looking to treat your feline friend to something special, there are several safe options available:

1. Cooked Chicken or Turkey

Plain, lean, cooked chicken or turkey can be a healthy and tasty treat for cats. Make sure it is unseasoned, as added spices or seasonings can cause digestive issues.

2. Cat-Approved Treats

There are countless cat treats available in pet stores, specifically formulated for feline consumption. These treats are designed to provide both nutrition and enjoyment, ensuring they are safe for your cat to enjoy.

3. Catnip

For most cats, catnip is a safe and enjoyable treat. It can be given in the form of fresh catnip leaves, dried catnip, or catnip-infused toys.


While it may be tempting to share a bite of your pastrami sandwich with your furry companion, it’s best to avoid feeding them this deli meat. Cats have unique dietary requirements, and their bodies are sensitive to certain ingredients found in human food. It’s important to provide them with a nutritionally balanced diet consisting of commercial cat food. If you want to treat your cat, stick to cat-approved treats or plain, unseasoned cooked chicken or turkey.

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