Is it safe for my cats to eat raw beef?

Holly in Tavares, FL
April 23, 2017

While mixing meatloaf for dinner, some of the beef dropped on the floor. My cats always help me cook, and one of them ate the meat before I could pick it up. Is the raw meat safe or should we see the vet?

Answers
User in Knoxville, TN
July 21, 2016

Although it's not good for a cat to eat raw meat as it's not for us either, I recommend watching the cat for any unusual signs such as vomiting, lethargy, etc. You could call the vet's office and ask if there is a chance the cat could have contracted worms and also see if they suggest bringing him in.

Kaz in Atlanta, GA
April 11, 2019

What are you talking about, not good for us either? Not only is raw meat absolutely fine for humans, as with steak tartare and sashimi, but what is good or bad for cat does not automatically sync with what's good or bad for humans. This is like all the silly people who try to give their cats people food, and the bad pet food companies that therefore make nonsense like "beef vegetable stew" for cats, mainly so they can fool silly "pet parents" who tell themselves "look, Fluffy is eating what WE eat!" It's not actually good for the cat, it's pandering to silly humans. Cats are different. But, getting back to the point, there is absolutely nothing wrong with either a cat or a human eating some raw beef, and no need to even go so far as too "watch for unusual signs" any more than at any other time in the cat's life. Lethargy from eating raw beef? Oh come on.

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User in Stockton, CA
Oct. 28, 2016

So, it's really interesting that you ask this. Some pet parents actually feed their pets a raw diet under the premise that the animals couldn't actually cook the food themselves. However, you have to remember you don't have a wild pet anymore that's out fending for itself and finding it's own food. 

The small amount that your cat ingested should be absolutely ok. If your cat starts to act strangely or vomit, you can call or consult your vet to see if you need to go in. 

Check out this information about raw diets for pets as well:

A link Pros and Cons of Feeding Your Cat a Raw Diet
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User in Merrimack, NH
April 23, 2017

No raw diets are not good for any pet. No matter what people who feed them to their pets say.  You run the risk of a potentially fatal Ecoli infection for both you, your family and your pets. On the other end of the spectrum, cats must never be fed a vegetarian diet. The lack of taurine from the missing meat can cause a fatal yet very preventable heart condition (when developed this way) called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which causes the heart to not be able to contract properly. This damage is irreversible and needs medication to help slow the progression. 

Kaz in Atlanta, GA
April 11, 2019

No, the cat runs no risk of e coli infection, that's just silly. Cats are obligate carnivores with a highly acidic digestive system that makes them immune to the vast majority of pathogens. There are exceptions, but not e coli, in fact none of the ones that can make omnivores like homo sapiens get normal food poisoning.

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User in Wayne, NJ
Aug. 18, 2016

I would not worry about a small amount of raw beef, the problem would more

likely be from the spices you put in it. If you go on the SPCA website they have

lists of plants, spices etc. to avoid if you have a cat or dog.

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