IS LAMB GOOD FOR CATS? Lamb is very often the key ingredient in cat food, so it’s worth being familiar with its properties. It’s one of the more interesting meats around.
Many cats enjoy lamb without any problems at all, but some cats react badly to this meat. If your cat has a history of picky eating or flatulence, you might want to consider feeding him something else.
Lamb is a delicious meal that’s typically more expensive than other meats.
There are, however, some breeds of sheep that produce a cheaper variety of lamb known as hogget. Hogget makes for a perfect substitute if your cat can’t stand the pricier cuts.
What is Lamb?
Lamb is the meat from young domestic sheep under one year old. The meat has a sweeter flavor and less fat than beef or mutton (which comes from mature sheep). It contains high levels of amino acids, zinc, iron, and B vitamins – all things you want to look out for in your pet food.
In addition to its nutritional value, lamb has many properties that make it suitable for use in cat food:
It’s readily available
It’s easy to store because it can be frozen in meal-sized portions
It has little or no odor (especially the hogget variety)
However, in recent years ‘lamb for cats’ has become something of a controversial issue… read on.
Lamb and Food Allergy
Some cat owners believe that their pets might experience an allergic reaction when they eat lamb. The symptoms produced depend upon what your cat is allergic to; some people report that their cat suffered from gas, bloating, or diarrhea when they ate lamb. Others say that their feline friend experienced excessive scratching (most likely due to food irritation). Still, others say their pet began vomiting when he consumed lamb. For one reason or another, these owners switched their cat from a lamb-based to a non-lamb-based food.
Some vets believe that lamb is one of many ingredients in cat food that can cause these symptoms, but there’s no proof that it does. It might simply be the case that some cats are picky eaters or sensitive to certain foods. If your pet ever experiences similar symptoms after a meal, consult your vet before assuming he’s allergic to lamb specifically – if indeed it was an issue at all.
What Cats Should Avoid Lamb?
As is often the case with meat products, there are some breeds of sheep which produce ‘lamb for cats’ free from these side effects. Two such examples are the Dorper and Katahdin breeds; they’re readily available and cost-effective.
On the other hand, you should avoid feeding your cat any of the following:
Lamb brain or bone marrow Lamb lung Sheep stomach or intestine Sheep liver Shoat meat (if not specified)
These meats can contain high levels of histamine and lead to some very unpleasant side effects in cats. Although it’s unlikely that your dog will ever come across them, these foods can also cause similar problems if consumed. If your pet does begin vomiting after a meal, he might be suffering from lamb poisoning (also known as Feline Infectious Enteritis); don’t wait for him to recover on his own – get him some medical attention.