Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

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No, cats cannot eat hot dogs. It is undoubtedly tough to resist the strong urge to feed your cat a small portion of the hot dog you are consuming, especially with their little affectionate eyes looking up at you begging for a bite. But, since human food is not designed for cats, offering the hot dog you are snacking on to your cat can even be deadly for them! It may trigger serious health issues, such as severe vomiting and diarrhea.

This article explores all the potential reasons why hot dogs should not be a part of your cat’s diet.

Can You Feed Hot Dogs to Your Cat?

No, you cannot feed hot dogs to your cat. Though hot dogs are a popular people’s favorite fast-food option, you cannot provide them to your cat. Now, this question might linger on your mind: why is a hot dog unsuitable for cats when they are born carnivores?

Due to their great hunting instincts, many a time, cats hunt rats, small birds, and other small animals. It might make the cat owners think giving them meat-based food is safe. But there’s a huge difference between feeding your cat raw meat and processed meat like hot dogs.

Unlike humans, the digestive system of cats is not developed enough to digest processed meat. Since hot dogs are made from different types of processed meats, providing even a tiny bite to your dear kitty will be highly unsafe, as it may make them severely ill. You can instead switch to the Purina Fancy Feast Grilled Wet Cat Food Seafood Collection. It is one of the best protein-rich meat-based cat foods to keep them energetic and lively and strengthen their teeth and bones.

However, if you want your cat to stay on a raw meat diet, feeding them fresh, lean, and fat-free meat will be a safer choice, as it will not upset their digestive system.

Why is a Hot Dog Bad for Your Cat?

Various potential reasons make hot dogs a completely unfit snack option for cats. Check out this table to learn about each cause and its associated risks.

ReasonsHealth Risks in Cats
High quantity of fat  It is extremely difficult for cats to digest fat, so intake of such high-fat food items can induce heavy vomiting in them. It can also trigger severe obesity due to the saturated fats in the hot dog.
High quantity of sodiumWhen consumed in large quantities, the high percentage of sodium in hot dogs can lead to salt poisoning in cats, fostering symptoms like sudden tremors, shivers, diarrhea, etc. Also, it may cause high blood pressure. But if your kitty consumes a small bite of your hot dog, experiencing mild dehydration is normal, which can be cured with proper water intake.
Presence of onion, garlic, and mustard  Hot dogs mandatorily contain high quantities of onion and garlic as they enhance the taste of the snack multiple times. However, onion and garlic are toxic to cats and can drastically affect their health. The mustard present in the snack is responsible for inducing heavy gastrointestinal issues.
High quantities of preservativesPreservatives such as nitrates and nitrites are added to make hot dogs last longer. Unlike the digestive system of humans, cats do not possess the capacity to process such heavy quantities of preservatives.

What to Do if Your Cat Accidentally Consumes Hot Dogs?

Do you know what to do if your cat accidentally consumes a piece of your hot dog? First, avoid panicking, as it may make the situation even more confusing for you to handle it correctly. Next, if your cat consumes a small portion of the snack, it might not affect them severely. The common issues associated with eating hot dogs in cats are vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal problems, etc.

So, monitor your kitty minutely for the next few days to check for any signs of gastrointestinal complications such as vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Your pet may also exhibit signs of gradual weakness and loss of appetite. Consult your trusted veterinarian immediately if you encounter these problems. In such a situation, strictly follow the guidelines and medications the vet provides for effective results.

On the contrary, if your cat does not show signs of sickness, keep them under your strict supervision for the next couple of days and prohibit them from consuming anything other than their regular diet. Staying adequately hydrated for the entire day will also help your cat stay fit and healthy, so remember to provide them with clean and fresh water throughout the day. Also, make sure that they get an adequate amount of rest for the next few days.

Are Vegan Hot Dogs Good for Cats?

No, even vegan hot dogs are not suitable for cats. With the growing popularity of veganism worldwide, you will easily find replacements for almost all the popular lip-smacking non-vegetarian food items, including hot dogs.

However, even though vegan hot dogs lack processed meats, they comprise plant-based proteins. Now, unlike humans, the intestines of cats are not developed enough to digest plant-based proteins. The smaller intestines prevent them from efficiently breaking down carbohydrates and fibers.

Moreover, the lack or absence of various enzymes makes it difficult for cats to digest vegan hot dogs. So, to keep their body healthy and active, they must fill their diet with unprocessed meat-based food items instead of vegan hot dogs as the amino acid in the unprocessed meat significantly improves the cat’s eye health. It is also beneficial for enhancing the heart’s health considerably.


Summing up, it stands that offering your cat a hot dog can turn out to be dangerous for their health. Even a small bite of a hot dog made of processed meat or plant proteins can trigger symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, etc. Hot dogs of any kind should never be a part of their diet. So, if you are a cat owner concerned about your pet’s health, offer them healthy animal-based proteins appropriate for them that would not interfere with their digestive system.

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