Can Cats Eat Sausage? What Every Cat Owner Should Know

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Can cats eat sausage? Yes, almost all cats will wolf down a sausage if given a chance. However, the additives the manufacturer use to season sausages can be toxic to your cat.

Cats survive and thrive on animal-based protein. And sausage is typically minced meat — beef, chicken, or pork — stuffed in a cylindrical tube made from animal intestine.

Technically, your cat can eat sausages, but that doesn’t mean they are suitable. I have two lovely cats (Dom and Kitty). And I frequently see other cat parents debating the safety of feeding their feline sausages.

Continue reading to learn:

Can Cats Eat Sausage: What Are Sausages Made Of?

Sausages are traditional meat from Great Britain and come in many varieties. However, the basic ingredients are similar and include:

  • Meat: Sausages usually contain beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. While most manufacturers won’t disclose the exact composition, the most common sausages are made of pork.
  • Fat: All sausages contain a generous amount of transfat that enhances the taste and cause a bang when the sausage bursts skin during cooking. The common fats are beef fat, pork fat, or back fat from the animal the manufacturer used to make the sausage.
  • Seasoning, species, and herbs: All sausages have seasonings, such as salts, pepper, garlic, onion, paprikas, coriander, nutmeg, and herbs like thyme or sage. The specific seasoning will vary depending on the manufacturer.
  • Grains and fillers: Most manufacturers use cereal flour and starches from potatoes, rice, or corn to bulk up the sausage. The grains and fillers can lower the meat content of the sausage to as low as 32%.

Here is a table to summarize the nutrient composition of cooked sausages.

NutrientAmount in An Average Sausage
Water63.4 grams
Cholesterol53.5 grams
Fat19.2 grams
Meat12.5 grams
Carbohydrates1.2 grams

It’s easy to argue that meat presence makes sausages suitable for your feline. However, a closer look reveals some dangers you shouldn’t overlook.

What’s Dangerous In An Average Sausage For Your Cat?

No question. Your cat won’t have a problem processing the meat in sausage. However, some group foods in the snack can upset your cat’s digestive system and cause severe health problems.

Some of the toxic ingredients include:

  1. High-fat content
  2. Poor meat quality
  3. Use of cereals and fillers
  4. Salt and flavor enhancers
  5. Preservatives and artificial additives

High-Fat Content

Most sausages utilize fatty pork meat and pork fat for enhancement, giving them a high-fat composition. In fact, nearly all sausages have more fat than protein.

While cats can benefit from fat, the percentage is too high for your cat to process. The excess fat can induce complications such as:

  • Obesity
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Heart issues
  • Reduced appetite
  • Digestion problems
  • Cardiovascular problems

The excess fat in sausages can be detrimental since your cat already has high levels of high-density cholesterol and only requires a diet with around 20% fat content. A sausage is about 30% fat.

Poor Meat Quality

It’s challenging to establish the type of meat in a sausage. Even if you know the type of meat, it will contain additives, preservatives, and coloring, which might upset sensitive cats with food intolerance. 

Processed meat poses the risks of:

  • Food allergies
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Pancreatitis
  • Digestive problems such as constipation, irritable bowel, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting

These risks increase if your cat is a kitten or a senior. A kitten’s immune and digestive systems aren’t fully developed to handle ingredients in processed meat. On the other hand, a senior cat’s system might have started to lose functionality to digest processed meat.

Digestion problems in kittens can lead to slow development, rapid weight loss, or death in severe cases.

Use of Cereal and Fillers

Most manufacturers use cereal grain to bulk sausages. The fillers are usually carbohydrates, which your cat can’t process properly.

Carbohydrates indigestion can cause digestive issues such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Lethargy as the body struggle to handle huge sugar influx into the bloodstream

Your cat also converts unused carbs into fat deposits, resulting in weight gain. While weight gain doesn’t happen once, regular sausage snacking will eventually lead to:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver ailment
  • Mobility issues

If your cat has weight issues, starting a diet is the best course of action.

Salt and Flavor Enhancers

Sausages usually contain salt and flavor enhancers to improve taste. While humans will appreciate the salt, your cat can respond badly because of low salt tolerance. 

No question. Sodium in moderation can help your cat in water balance. And when in excess, your cat will excrete it in the urine.

However, sausages have too much salt for your cat to handle and can cause:

  • Dehydration
  • Liver weakness
  • Kidney problems
  • Electrolyte imbalance 
  • Urinary tract infections such as bladder stones and cystitis

Besides, sausage spices and flavor enhancers add no nutritional benefit and might be dangerous to your feline. 

Good examples include garlic, onion, and chive, which destroy your cat’s red blood cells even when taken in small quantities.

Preservatives And Additives

Most sausages have preservatives and additivities to boost their shelf life. The additives may include:

  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Sulfites
  • Artificial colors
  • Chemical stabilizers

A human digestive and immune system can handle all the additives in moderation, but your cat might react badly.

Cats have a simple digestive tract, and artificial additives can be toxic and cause allergic reactions. For instance, excess potassium sulfite, sulfur dioxide, and sodium sulfite in your cat’s diet can induce a deficiency of Vitamin B1.

A Vitamin B1 deficiency can result in neurological issues.

What Are The Potential Benefits of Sausages For Your Cat?

While a typical sausage isn’t great for your cat, you can pick a variety made from pure meat with no seasoning or preservatives. 

When that’s the case, sausage can contain nutrients that can benefit your cat’s diet, such as

  1. Protein
  2. Fats
  3. Micro-nutrients such as B-12


Animal protein tops the list of the most important nutrient if you examine a cat’s dietary needs. Cats’ systems require proteins for:

  • Energy
  • Tissue repair
  • Growth

A high-quality sausage can supply your feline with meat-based protein to support its function. Your cat can get the amino acid taurine, which is essential for your cat.

However, most sausages contain lower-quality or processed meat that counters their benefits, and you must be cautious about the sausage variety you feed your cat.


Besides proteins, your cat needs fats in moderation. Fats are important for your cat because they are:

  • Excellent source of energy
  • Help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • Promote good skin and coat health
  • Reduce inflammation in the body
  • Support proper brain function
  • Support hormone production

The right sausage can offer fats to your kitty. However, sausage fat content is too high and can cause digestion problems.

Vitamin and Mineral

Some sausage varieties contain trace amounts of vitamins and minerals from the meat the manufacturer used. Meat can be an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12)\
  • Zinc
  • Iron

These vitamins and minerals play vital roles in several body processes, such as immune function, metabolism, and red blood cell production. 

Despite the potential benefits, sausages aren’t suitable for your cat’s regular intake. You should consider sausage a treat if it’s free from nitrates, nitrite, sulfites, and other preservatives

Otherwise, you’re better off with alternative treats like chicken, turkey, or tuna fish.

How Should You Feed Your Cat Sausage?

If you can’t resist your cat begging for occasional pieces of sausage, you should:

  • Go for sausage meat with low-fat content, a small amount of salt, and no preservatives.
  • Cook the sausage before serving it to your cat.
  • Remove the casing to eliminate the choking hazard
  • Only feed a small amount of a sausage

Your cat will love sausages, but too much is unhealthy.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Accidentally Eat A Sausage?

It shouldn’t be a huge concern if your cat ate a tiny piece of sausage. You should only monitor your kitty for any discomfort, which should go away after the sausage is out of its system.

Depending on the amount of sausage eaten, your cat may show signs such as:

  • Digestive upset
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Appetite loss

You can give your kitty water to help flush out the irritants and toxins from its system.

If the symptoms are severe, contact your vet for specific guidance based on your cat’s situation and determine if medical attention is necessary.

What Are Healthy Alternative To Sausage

Sausages are generally not a healthy food for your cat. If you’re considering other homemade treats, some of the best options include:

  • Fish
  • Liver 
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Tuna bites

Regardless of the treat you choose, you should:

  • Cook it well
  • Avoid sweaters
  • Avoid seasoning

Can Cats Eat Sausage: In a Nutshell

Sausages are tasty treats, but they are best left for humans. Your cat will have difficulty processing its ingredients, with some being toxic.

 If you must give sausages to your cat, only consider a cooked bite-sized piece that’s low on salt and fats and is preservative-free. 

Otherwise, consider other available safe alternatives.


What meat should cats not eat?

While cats are obligate carnivores, not all meats are suitable for feline consumption. Some of the meat you shouldn’t feed your cat include:
Processed meats are high in fat, sodium, and additive that your cat’s digestive system have problems processing
Bones — especially cooked bones — because they can splinter and lead to choking, internal injuries, or blockage of the digestive tract
Processed fish may have high salt levels, seasonings, and preservatives that might upset your cat’s digestive system
Fatty meat can be challenging to digest
Fish with bones can cause choking or internal injuries

Are sausages toxic to cats?

Sausages aren’t toxic to cats in small amounts. However, they aren’t healthy or appropriate food for your feline friend. Regular consumption can lead to serious health issues.

About Laura Martin

I'm Laura Martin. I get excited about all things cat related. I love my two cats - Dom and Kitty. When I'm not playing with my two feline friends, you can probably find me hiking. And yes, I have a 9 to 5 job. Although if you asked me I'd rather spend my time blogging and educating other cat moms and dads about what it takes to raise a healthy cat.

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