Can Cats Eat Hamburger Helper? (Solved & Explained!)

If you’re a cat owner, you may have wondered if it’s okay to give your cat some of your Hamburger Helper. After all, it’s essentially just ground beef and pasta. But is it safe for cats to eat? And, more importantly, is it healthy for them?

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in Hamburger Helper and see what the experts have to say about it.

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Can Cats Eat Hamburger Helper?

Yes, it’s safe for cats to eat Hamburger Helper as long as you use very lean beef. However, it’s not recommended that they eat it often because it’s high in sodium and most hamburger helper packages recommend adding milk, which cats can’t digest.

Also, some flavors of hamburger helper can contain onion or garlic powder which can be toxic to cats.

Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Beef Pasta, Twin Pack, 12 oz

Is Ground Beef Toxic to Cats?

No, ground beef isn’t toxic for cats. Lean beef is healthy for them. It’s a good source of protein, iron, and zinc. The problem is that many people feed their cats cheap high-fat beef which can be bad for them.

Too much fatty meat can lead to weight gain and liver problems in cats. So it’s important to only give your cat lean ground beef or other lean ground meats like chicken or turkey.

Penne pasta and cooked ground beef

Can Cats Eat the Pasta in Hamburger Helper?

The pasta in Hamburger helper is not toxic to cats, but it is not something that you should be feeding them regularly. The reason being is that the pasta is typically made with wheat flour, which is something that you should limit in your cat’s diet as it can often lead to obesity.

So while your cat may enjoy the occasional nibble of pasta from your plate, it’s best to refrain from giving them large quantities regularly.

macaroni raw in bowl

Can Cats Eat Hamburger Helper Spices?

Onion and garlic powder are often used as spices in Hamburger Helper. However, they can be toxic to cats if consumed in large quantities. So it’s important to check the ingredient list on the package before feeding your cat any Hamburger Helper to make sure that these spices are not included.

cats eating pasta graphic

Can Cats Have the Milk Recommended in Hamburger Helper Recipes?

Most Hamburger Helper recipes recommend adding milk to the dish. However, this is not something that you should do if you’re feeding it to your cat. The reason being is that cats are lactose intolerant and unable to properly digest milk.

So if you do decide to give your cat some Hamburger Helper, make sure to skip the milk or just give them a very small amount and watch them after for any issues.

What About Other Ingredients in Hamburger Helper?

In addition to the ground beef, pasta, and spices, Hamburger Helper also contains some other ingredients that you may be wondering about. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

Tomato Sauce – This is generally safe for cats to eat in small quantities. However, some brands of tomato sauce can contain onion or garlic powder, so it’s best to check the ingredient list before feeding it to your cat.

Cheese – Cheese is another ingredient that is often added to Hamburger Helper. However, like milk, cats are unable to properly digest cheese due to their lactose intolerance. So it’s best to avoid giving your cat any cheese from your Hamburger Helper.

beef pasta with tomatoes and cheese for cat in bowl

How Can You Make Hamburger Helper for Cats?

If you want to make Hamburger Helper for your cat, the best way to do it is by using very lean ground beef and leaving out any spices that may be harmful to them. Plus skip the milk or any added fats or oils.

Conclusion

While Hamburger Helper is safe for cats to eat, it’s not something that you should be feeding them regularly. The reason being is that it’s high in sodium and most packages recommend adding milk, which cats can’t digest.

So if you do decide to give your cat some Hamburger Helper, make sure to skip the milk and spice package or just give them a very small amount and watch them after for any issues.