Can Cats Have Hot Dogs? Can a Cat Die from Eating a Hot Dog?

Can cats eat hot dogs? Cats are carnivores, which means they can live on meat. They have all their teeth for meat-eating, which is quite different from humans. However, when talking about hot dogs, the case is different.

Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?
Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

Although hot dogs are yummy and delicious to us, humans and may also attract cats, they are not the best option to feed them to your cats, even as a treat.

Are Hot Dogs Bad for Cats?

Hot dogs can be bad for cats because they are made with processed meat and other things. It is very important not to feed your cats hot dogs. Hot dogs have extra ingredients that make them unhealthy for cats to eat and hard for them to digest. A lot of salt, spices, starch, sugar, and corn syrup can be bad for cats if they eat hot dogs.

Can a Cat Die from Eating a Hot Dog?

Yes – Cats can die from eating hot dogs.
Keep in mind that it only takes about 1/3 pound (150 g) of hot dog to kill a 10-pound (5 kg) cat. The cat may not be able to digest the food, and it may vomit. This can cause pancreatitis and a swollen intestine, which can be very bad for the cat. There are a lot of things you need to know about your cat’s reaction to hot dogs so that if they eat one by accident, you can take them to the vet right away. 

Why Hot Dogs Are Bad for Cats?

Many factors collectively add up to the fact that hot dogs are dangerous for cats.

Cooked/Processed Meat

A cat is an “obligatory” eater of meat. The meat that cats eat in the wild is very different from the meat that is used to make hot dogs. Hot dogs may look like normal meat from the outside, but they aren’t real meat at all. There is no real meat in hot dogs. It tastes good to humans but is not safe for cats to eat because it has a lot of different chemicals in it. These chemicals include nitrates and nitrites, salts, preservatives, and so on.


The fat content in hot dogs is way too high for cats to break down easily, though. According to the US Department of Agriculture, one hundred grams of a typical hot dog and bun without any condiments has 18.6 grams of fat and only 11.4 grams of protein. This means that it has fewer proteins than fats. It is noted that cats also need protein.

Having too much fat in your cat’s food can cause them to be ill, have heart problems, and be overweight. Hence, another reason why hot dogs can be bad for your cat.

Worried about fat content in your cats diet? Then also read Whether or not your cat can eat cheese: Can a Cat Eat Cheese? Different Types of Cheese a Cat Can Eat or click the image below

Can Cats Have Hot Dogs? Can a Cat Die from Eating a Hot Dog? 1

Too Much Salt

Hot dogs also have too much sodium in them. Too much salt in the food is bad for cats. Hot dogs can have a lot of salt, which can be bad for cats. If they eat small amounts, it will make them dehydrated, but they’ll get better after they drink some water. It can, however, lead to salt poisoning in cats if they eat too much of it. This is called hypernatremia in cats. 

Flavoring and Additives

Hot dogs also have a lot of different flavorings in them, as well as a lot of processed meat. The most common ones are garlic, salt, and paprika. All of these ingredients are toxic for cats, but sodium and garlic are the worst for them.

Most hot dogs also have sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrates, and sodium nitrites as preservatives to keep them fresh. The World Health Organization has said that these compounds contain chemicals that are classed as Group 1 Carcinogens.

There are even more problems with the fact that hot dogs are already cooked and ready to eat.
If you give your cat the food, you don’t even bother to try to make the poisonous preservatives less harmful. 

What Happens if Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

What Happens When Cats Eat Hot Dogs?
What Happens When Cats Eat Hot Dogs?

If your cat eats a lot of hot dogs, he or she could go through these symptoms (which are also signs of salt-poisoning):

  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration.
  • Nausea
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion and a lack of coordination
  • Urination
  • tremors and seizures

Can Cats Eat Hot Dog Buns?

Yes – hot dog buns can be given but only in moderation. Keep in mind, some types of wheat bun are to be avoided. For example, the white ones have too many carbohydrates and sugar for cats, so you should stay away from them. Make sure you remove all the toppings from the food before giving them to your cat. This could be onion or garlic powder or even cheese! The bun could be soaked in water or milk before you give it to them. Then, if they like it, give it to them only under strict moderation because too many carbs can make them fat and gain weight.

Are you facing the same problem that your cat is not using a litter box? Then we got a fix for you. Read Cat Not Using Litter Boxes – reasons and solutions or click the image below:

Can Cats Have Hot Dogs? Can a Cat Die from Eating a Hot Dog? 2

Conclusion: Can Cats Have Hot Dogs?

Because of the processed meat it contains, it is safer not to feed your kitty with a hot dog. To keep your cat healthy and happy, observe its eating process and make sure it is not coming from outside begging for food.

A cat can eat a hot dog, but you have to make sure it is not cooked in any way. If it is cooked, then the onions and other ingredients inside could be bad for your pet. Make sure that you never feed your cat a hot dog with onions or garlic on it, because neither of these is good for the health of your cat.

And Always Ask Your Vet

Read What Other Food Can Your Cat Eat
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