Can Cats Eat Chorizo? (The Chorizo Conundrum)

I love my Spanish food and will always have a large serving of chorizo along with it. There’s something about chorizos that makes me enjoy them more than other types of sausages.

You might also be tempted to give your cat some as a treat. Not many cats can resist the smell and flavor of such meat products.

But can cats eat chorizo?

As cat owners, we need to know what our cats can or cannot eat.

So let’s find out.

What Can Cats Eat?

Truth be told, many cat owners out there aren’t giving the best diet possible for their cats. Cats are not built like dogs and need a more specialized diet.

Cats are pure carnivores, which means they need to eat meat and lots of it. Protein is the most important nutrient for cats compared to fats and carbohydrates.

In fact, there is no need to feed your cats any carbs for that matter as they do not have the required enzymes to break it down.

The most natural cat’s diet is the raw food diet. This can be easily prepared at home using different types of raw meat, raw organs and bones.

The next best alternative is good quality canned food but stay away from dry cat food and kibbles. Dry food for cats lack the proper nutrients and can even harm your cat’s health in the long run.

So Can Cats Eat Chorizo?

Cats should not be eating chorizos at all. Even though chorizos is a meat product, it is considered a cured and processed meat which by itself isn’t healthy. It contains salt, spices and other ingredients that can be toxic to your cat. Chorizos are also very fatty and cats do better with leaner meats.

What Is A Chorizo?

In case you’re still wondering what on earth is a chorizo, which sounds like a distant cousin of churros, it is a highly seasoned meat sausage that is widely used in Spanish cuisines. There are also many variations of the chorizo which largely depends on the region where it is made.

The meat is smoked and left to cure and dry. Chorizos also contain spices, paprika and garlic.

Here are reasons why you should not be feeding your cat any chorizo as cat food.

Chorizo Is High In Salt

Chorizo is very high in sodium content as do most cured meats. The curing process requires the use of a lot of salt to remove moisture and dry out the meat.

A 100g serving of chorizo contains 1,235mg of salt. That is a lot of sodium for humans let alone for a cat.

Salt isn’t harmful to cats and some amount of sodium in your cat’s diet is needed for normal bodily functions.

The problem arises when your cat eats too much salt from food like chorizos.

Cats should have no more than 41mg of sodium daily.

Any more than this can result in salt poisoning and cause problems like:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrrhea
  • Excess thirst and urination
  • loss of coordination

If you are giving your cat a good quality and balanced diet, it is already getting all the required sodium from its food.

Chorizo Contains Paprika

There is a lot of paprika that goes into the making of chorizos which explains its deep orangey-red color.

Paprika is a ground spice that is made from peppers and there are many varieties of it depending on the types of pepper used. It can range from non-spicey to really ‘burn your mouth’ level of spiciness.

Cats should not eat eating anything that is spicey. They have a sense of smell that is way more sensitive than humans and will avoid anything with spice in it. This is why some gardeners sprinkle ground pepper over their yard and home gardens to prevent stray and feral cats from destroying their plants.

It acts as a good deterrent.

Food that is spicy to cats can cause irritation and damage to the scent receptors in their noses and upset their digestive system. Do not feed your spicy snacks like Takis as well.

In short, please do not feed your cat anything that is spicy.

Chorizo Contains Garlic And Onions

Garlic and onion are some of the ingredients found in chorizos and they are very toxic to cats. Any plant from the Allium family is toxic to cats and dogs.

Garlic is found to be five times more toxic than onions for cats and dogs. Garlic and onion toxicity in cats can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort and facial irritation.

If the amount consumed is large or if your cat has an onion or garlic allergy, it can cause damage to the cat’s red blood cells.

Red blood cells help to transport oxygen throughout the body. Lesser red blood cells in your cat’s body can lead to anemia, tiredness and in some cases death.

Garlic and onion poisoning might not show up right away and can take a few days for the symptoms to materialize. If you suspect that your cat has eaten any garlic or onion, please get your cat to the vet right away.

Is Salami Ok For Cats?

Cats should not eat salami as it is high in fat, sodium and contains ingredients and preservatives that are unsafe for cats.

A Salami is very similar to a chorizo in terms of ingredients used and the manufacturing process. It is a cured sausage that originates from Italy. It is widely used in making pizza, sandwiches and pasta.

There is no reason for cat owners to let their cats eat salami or other deli meats as it has no nutritional value at all.

Is Prosciutto OK For Cats?

Prosciutto is a deli meat that is made from the hind leg of a pig. The leg is heavily salted and left to dry for 60 to 90 days. After most of the water in the meat has been removed by the salt, the salt is washed off and the meat is allowed to dry for up to three years before it can be eaten.

The high salt content in the meat is already a bad thing for cats. Furthermore, there are some variations of prosciutto that can contain onion and garlic for extra flavoring.

What Is Toxic For Cats To Eat?

Besides the above-mentioned ingredients that can be toxic to cats, here are other foods that can also be poisonous to cats.

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Fluoride
  • Raw Eggs
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Raw Fish

Even though cats are fussier about what they put in their mouths, you’ll never know when your cat decides to be too adventurous with its food tasting.

Food toxicity in cats is a serious condition so don’t wait to seek medical treatment for your cat.

Final Thoughts

Humans foods aren’t always the best thing to be feeding your cat even as a treat. Even something like chorizos or any deli meats might seem safe enough for cats to eat but it is the unknown ingredients that can cause bad side effects.

Foods that are has high salt content, high-fat content, preservatives, spices should not be given to your cat at all, even in small quantities.

You can never know how your cat will react when eating such foods.

Save your processed meats for human consumption instead.