Can Cats Eat Steak?

Cats aren’t vegetarians, nor are they vegans.

They thrive off meat. In fact, they need meat for essential bodily functions. But can cats eat steak?

Well, it’s a question that’s rare-ly answered. At best, they’re meaty-ocre. So I thought I’d find out what types of steaks are healthy for cats and the ones they should avoid.

Can Cats Eat Steak?

Yes, cats can eat steak. Cats are meat eaters, so they thrive on cooked beef, chicken, and turkey, to name a few. They need meat for protein which promotes a strong heart, healthy reproductive system, and good vision.

If you’re considering switching your cat’s diet, it’s best to speak with a vet beforehand. Just remember to prepare the meat properly to avoid making them sick.

Is Steak Good for Cats?

Yes, steak is excellent for cats, in moderation. Red meat is one of the safest and nutritious meats you can give your cat.

Steak contains high protein concentrations, vitamin B6 and B12, iron, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Your cat needs all these nutrients to perform certain bodily functions.

What’s more, some cuts of steak can be an excellent source of monounsaturated fats. These fats help protect your kitty from certain cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Nutritional Benefits

There are numerous reasons why steak is excellent for cats.

The most important reasons are:

  • High concentrations of protein boost energy and aid the repair and maintenance of tissue and muscles in the body.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
  • Essential B vitamins promote healthy bones and teeth, reduce stress, and improve the immune system.
  • Rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which nourish the skin and improve coat health.
  • Contains high-quality nutrients like niacin, iron, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus, which promote healthy thyroid function, improve metabolism, and other crucial body functions.

That being said, it’s essential to feed steak to a cat in moderation. Some steaks can contain up to 300 calories per serving. And eating calorie-dense foods can quickly cause weight gain, diabetes, and obesity in cats.

Can Kittens Eat Steak?

Yes, kittens can eat steak in moderation. It’ll give your kitten plenty of protein and essential nutrients for their rapid growth. Steak provides your kitten with plenty of protein for energy and strong muscles, B vitamins for strong bones and teeth, and omega fatty acids nourish the skin and coat.

In fact, feel free to offer them bits of chicken, turkey, lamb, venison, and other lean meats.

Is Steak Bad for Cats?

Steaks can have some downsides too. Most of the time, plain, cooked steak is fine for cats. But some steaks are high in fat and calories, which can be bad for your cat. Extra calories can cause weight gain, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and heart or kidney diseases.

All types of red meat are recommended for cats. It’s just the preparation and cooking that make the most significant difference.

Can Cats Eat All Types of Steaks?

Different steaks contain various nutrients that are excellent for cats.

As we previously mentioned, all red meats are a welcomed addition to a cat’s diet. The main factor is how it’s cooked and prepared.

Can Cats Eat Raw Steak?

Yes, cats can eat raw steak. But they should eat it in moderation. 

Raw meat carries several risks, including Salmonella or Listeria. And if your cat’s raw steak has been contaminated, it can quickly cause them to become sick.

Raw steak can cause bacterial infection. When you cook it, it eliminates any potential bacteria. But while cats have a unique digestive system that can handle specific raw meat pathogens, it’s still possible they can become sick. Plus, they can pass it to people too.

Minced beef steaks are more likely than others to cause Salmonella poisoning.

Symptoms of Salmonella Poisoning

Salmonella poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms. It’s a zoonotic infection that’s highly infectious and can be passed on to humans.

Your cat could suffer from:

  • Abnormal stool
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

It’s also worth noting that salmonellosis can cause humans to experience the same symptoms. If it’s left untreated, it can develop into other serious infections.

Can Cats Eat Rare Steak?

Cats can eat rare steak, but this should be in moderation.

Rare steak carries the same risks as raw steak. Most of the time, cats are fine to eat rare steak. But if the meat becomes contaminated, your cat can become quite sick.

Generally, to avoid any risks, it’s better to feed them well-cooked steak to eliminate bacteria or pathogens.

Can Cats Eat Cooked Steak?

Yes, cats can eat cooked steak. A cooked steak doesn’t have any risk of carrying harmful bacteria. Plus, there’s little to no chance your cat can suffer from salmonella poisoning either.

A well-cooked steak can give your cat several benefits, including:

  • Giving them a boost in protein
  • Improving their skin or coat health
  • Adding essential vitamins and minerals to their diet

Be careful not to overcook the steak or burn it; this can be extremely dangerous. Charred meats can be carcinogenic, meaning they can cause cancer. It will increase free radicals in your cat’s body and put their health at risk.

Avoid cooking the steak with any added spices or seasonings. If you let your cat eat steak with certain spices, it can be toxic for them.

Most cooked meats are perfectly safe for cats to eat. But, it’s best to avoid any with high concentrations of fat. While cats can benefit from animal fats, too much can cause them to suffer from obesity, weight gain, or specific heart diseases. 

Finally, salt can be toxic for cats too. So avoid adding any salt to the steak. And under no circumstances should you add any onion or garlic! These are downright dangerous for cats.

Symptoms of Salt Toxicity

Cats that eat too much salt can become very ill. Sometimes, salt toxicity can be fatal for cats.

Salt poisoning can cause the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal body temperature
  • Anxiety
  • Convulsion
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Tremors

If you notice any of these symptoms or your cat experiences tremors, immediately take them to a vet.

Can Cats Eat Steak Fat?

Generally, it’s best to avoid giving your cat steak fat. Some advocates of BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diets say it is nutritional. However, there’s limited scientific research to back this up.

The fat or gristle from steaks can cause cats to suffer from obesity, weight gain, indigestion, and diarrhea. There’s also an increased risk of cats suffering from pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis happens when there’s an inflammation of the pancreas. It’s excruciating for cats, and it can often lead to other serious health problems later on.

What’s more, steak fat is loaded with calories, which can seriously affect your cat’s weight. Cats with cardiovascular diseases or hyperlipidemia should avoid steak fat at all costs.

Can Cats Eat Steak Bones

Technically, yes, cats can eat raw steak bones.  But, cooked steak bones can be dangerous as they can splinter, causing choking or damage to the colon or throat as it’s digested.

That being said, bones can be excellent for good oral hygiene, mental stimulation, and exercise.

In general, it’s best to supervise when giving your cat any kind of bone. If you suspect your cat is choking or shows signs of intestinal blockages, take them to a vet immediately.

Here’s a helpful video explaining what to do if your cat chokes.

Preparing Steak for Your Cat

Can cats eat steak? Yes. But it depends on various factors, including how it’s prepared, cooked, and cut.

Let’s look at how to prepare steak for your furry friend.

How To Cook Steak for Your Cat

While cats can eat steak raw or rare, it’s better to cook it to be safe.

Ensure the steak is dry and add a slight dash of oil to a cooking pan. Once it’s hot, add the steak for approximately 5 minutes, then flip and repeat.

The USDA recommends cooking at a minimum of 160°F for ground beef to eliminate pathogens or bacteria.

Then once it’s done, leave it to the side to cool before serving it to your cat.

How To Cut Steak for Your Cat

You should avoid giving a whole steak to your cat.

This helps prevent any risk of your cat choking while they chew the meat. Plus, it prevents overloading your cat’s digestive system, causing them any potential stomach upset.

Slice the steak into small pieces before serving it to them. You can also try giving it to them as a food topping if you only want to provide them with a small amount.

For a meal, give your cat a well-cooked steak that’s cut into small chunks. Also, remove any excess fat and bones that may be hard to digest. Bones carry the risk of causing choking.

Precautions to Take with Raw or Rare Steaks

The main problem with raw or rare steak is it can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, or E. coli.

Advocates of B.A.R.F diets suggest raw diets are the best, most healthy way to feed cats. What’s more, they advocate how a cat’s digestive system can fend off harmful bacterium like salmonella because they’re carnivores.

However, the FDA suggests that raw diets can be hazardous for pets after several scientific studies.

If you want to feed your cat steak, there are several things you need to do to protect yourself and your furry friend.

Firstly, ensure you wash your hands before touching or handling any raw meat to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Secondly, avoid touching other surfaces, foods, or your mouth while handling any raw food.

Finally, wipe down, clean, and disinfect any surfaces in contact with the raw meat. And wash your cat’s bowl once they’re finished. Don’t allow your cat to lick you after they’re finished, and prevent them from licking any open wounds too.

The Steaks Have Never Been Higher

Can cats eat steak? Yes, absolutely. But in moderation. And they should eat it cooked rather than raw or rare.

When cooking it, remove any excess fat and bones to prevent the risk of choking. Ideally, your cat’s steak should be medium to well-done to kill any potentially harmful bacteria. But avoid charring it!

That being said, steak is still luscious, tender meat that provides cats with plenty of protein, B vitamins, and beneficial nutrients. So what are you waiting for? Go prepare your cat this tasty new treat!


How much steak can I give my cat?

A single serving of a 3 oz steak contains about 178 calories. The average cat weighs approximately 10 lbs (4.5kg) and has a daily calorie allowance of 260 kcal a day. So this nearly makes up half their allowance.

Too many calories can lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other serious health problems in cats. So it’s best to feed steak to your cat in moderation.

Can cats eat steak every day?

Cats can eat steak, especially cooked steak, in moderation. But it’s best to serve it to them occasionally due to the fat and calories some can contain. Do not feed your cat steak every day.

Do cats prefer raw or cooked steak?

Cats are obligate carnivores, so they’re generally not picky when it comes to their meat. Cats can eat raw meat, but it poses certain risks. Cooked meat is usually better as it eliminates harmful bacteria like salmonella or listeria.

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James Fuller and Mollie

James Fuller

Founder & Chief Content Creator

I’ve owned a pet most of my life. In fact, I currently have both a cat, Milo, and a Jack Russel, Mollie! I’m the founder of Honest Whiskers. And my mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information.

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