Can Cats Eat Capers? 9 Useful Things For You

Our cats have a habit of trying to steal our food. They can sneak up on us at any time and take a bite out of our food, even when we’re not looking.

Cats are naturally inquisitive and may want to try everything on the menu, but it’s important to know which items are safe and which could be harmful.

Capers do not poison felines in any way. However, you shouldn’t give them to your cat in large quantities either.

No harm will come to your cat even if it has already consumed a caper. Let’s delve into the nature of capers and how they influence your cat.

Can Cats Eat Capers?

Capers are not good for cats, and in fact, too much of them can be harmful. You shouldn’t give your cat capers because they aren’t toxic or poisonous like tulips or lilies, but you should still keep your cat away from them. Because of the high sodium content of capers, they should not be fed to your feline companion.

What Are Capers?

The unopened flower buds of the caper bush are known as capers. They will eventually mature into caperberries if the bush is allowed to continue growing.

Italy, Morocco, Spain, and Asia are all home to these bushes. They are typically eaten either brined or dried and have become synonymous with Mediterranean cuisine. Capers lose their appeal when eaten raw due to their extreme bitterness.

When preserved in a vinegar or salt brine, they become a flavorful addition to a variety of dishes. Caperberries have a size and seed count similar to that of grapes.

Capers are used in a variety of culinary applications, but caperberries are most commonly found in cocktails where they stand in for olives.

You can recognize a caper by its pea-sized, green oval shape. They taste very different when pickled than when they are raw or dried, taking on a tangy, lemon flavor.

They have a salty taste that’s reminiscent of green olives. Capers’ acidity complements the rich flavor of salmon and other fatty fish. They go particularly well atop smoked salmon spread with cream cheese.

Capers are not just for fish anymore; they can be found in pasta, stews, and sauces. Some medicines have also been developed with their use as an ingredient.

Your cat may accidentally ingest a caper or some of the brine while trying to steal your smoked salmon.

Can Cats Eat Capers? Is It Healthy for Them? - Excited Cats

Caper Brine

Capers stored in brine need to be rehydrated for at least 5 minutes before being eaten. In any other case, the capers’ flavor would be overpowered by the brine’s saltiness or acidity.

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Here’s where it becomes even more crucial for cats that humans drain the capers from the brine. Our feline friends don’t need very much of the forbidden food to make themselves unwell because their bodies are so much smaller than ours.

Cats should not ingest salt. A caper stuffed with salt can make them ill. Unfortunately, the cats may be even more enticed by the capers due to their salty flavor.

A cat can die from eating as little as a half a teaspoon of salt. It’s not a big deal if your cat sneaks some capers from your plate or the trash.

However, if you feed your cat capers without first rinsing them, or caper brine, it can lead to salt poisoning.

Capers can be toxic to cats, so store them safely and make sure the lids stay on the jars after use.

Capers in a Jar

Nutritional Value of Capers

Capers, when measured in a tablespoon, have:

  • Energy: 2
  • Low-Protein Diet: 2 Grams
  • Four carbohydrates
  • 3.0 g of dietary fiber
  • 9 percent of the recommended sodium intake for adults

Despite their diminutive stature, these snacks are high in sodium. About 238 milligrams (mg) of sodium can be found in a tablespoon of capers.

Adult cats need 40 milligrams of sodium per day to maintain good health. Cats that are expecting or nursing have a higher percentage. However, the average cat can’t handle the salt content of a tablespoon of capers.

Signs of Salt Poisoning

Keep an eye out for these symptoms of salt poisoning if you suspect your cat has eaten too many capers or was caught drinking the brine:

symptoms of salt poisoning

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Absence of hunger
  • Lethargy
  • Chronic dry mouth or excessive urination
  • Feelings of disorientation
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

You should take your cat to the emergency vet if you see any of these symptoms.

brown kitten eating wet cat food

What To Do If Your Cat Eats a Large Sum of Capers By Accident?

Diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst, vomiting, and dry heaving are all signs of salt poisoning in cats, and it’s important to get your pet to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms.

Your veterinarian will likely administer intravenous fluids to your cat to help excrete the sodium.

After that, the vet might keep an eye on the feline for a few hours to check its vitals and observe its behavior.

Keep in mind that time is of the essence when dealing with salt poisoning (or any other kind of poisoning).

If you take your cat in quickly, the veterinarian may be able to reverse some of the damage (such as kidney failure) caused by the high salt intake.

cat examined by Vets

What To Feed Your Cat for Proper Nutrition

Think about your cat’s age before making any purchases of cat food. Changes in dietary needs and physical demands often accompany the transition between developmental stages.

Kittens need a higher caloric intake than adult cats because of their increased activity and rate of growth. Find cat food that is appropriate for its age and stage of life.

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Siamese cat eating dry food from a bowl

Cats eat meat. Therefore, your cat will require a higher protein diet than humans. Cats need taurine and other specific amino acids, so it’s important to feed them cat food.

Foods for cats that include cooked chicken, beef, fish, or turkey are good sources of the protein they need every day.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are beneficial for humans and can be given to cats as well. Grains like rice, wheat, corn, and barley are common in cat food. When these are prepared in cat food, they become a highly absorbable form of nutrition.

You can also use couscous or millet, which are smaller grains.


cat eating boiled eggs

Eggs are another excellent protein source. But please be sure to cook them thoroughly. Cats can get sick from eating raw fish or meat, and the same is true for raw eggs. Avidin, found in raw egg whites, has been shown to block nutrient absorption.


Just like some people don’t like vegetables, some cats don’t either. Because of their high fiber and vitamin content, they may also aid digestion.

If you’re looking for a low-calorie snack, try some fresh cucumbers, cantaloupe, cucumbers, or steamed broccoli.

There are many different types of vegetables and legumes found in cat food.

Other Salty Foods

A cat that has been exposed to too much salt will become very thirsty. Other common foods and household items that are high in sodium and should be avoided when feeding your cat:

Cats shouldn’t eat foods with too much salt:

  • Deli meat
  • Jerky
  • Pickled tuna
  • Salty snacks like potato chips
  • Seasoning salt
  • Seawater
  • Cooking salt water
  • Rock salt
  • Play-Doh
  • Paintballs

Many felines don’t get the hydration they need. They get all the water they need from the food they eat.

Many cats are already slightly dehydrated, so even a small amount of salt can make things worse. Maintain a constant supply of clean water for your cat.

What About Restricted or Special Cat Diets?

Cats have varying nutritional needs throughout their lives and at various stages of health. If your cat has health issues, you may need to feed it a special diet, such as one designed for kittens, seniors, indoor cats, or cats that need to lose weight.

If your cat has a medical condition that necessitates a special diet, such as severe obesity, kidney disease, or joint disease, your veterinarian may suggest it. Always check with your vet before switching your cat over to a new diet.

And if you notice that your cat is having an adverse reaction to certain foods, it’s probably best to stay away from those foods. However, you should keep in mind that not every cat will enjoy this.

Is Chocolate Poisonous to Cats?

persian cat eating dry food

Cats should never consume chocolate because it contains theobromine, which is toxic in even small amounts. Theobromine is a stimulant that speeds up the heart and triggers diuresis (the increased excretion of urine).

Cats take a long time to clear theobromine from their systems because of how slowly it is metabolized. Even 2 grams of chocolate, due to its high theobromine content, can be extremely harmful to your cat’s digestive system.

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Don’t risk your cat’s health by sharing this tasty treat with it. Take it to the vet immediately if it eats chocolate by accident.

Alcoholic Beverages

Many people may already know this. Surprisingly, though, this isn’t something that many cat owners notice right away. No alcoholic beverage is appropriate for cats. Beer, wine, saki, and all other spirits fall under this category. Toxic effects, including coma and death, may result.

Even just one or two grams of alcohol can be fatal and brain damaging for your cat. Even one teaspoon of whisky is enough to put a five-pound cat into a coma. If consumed in large quantities, it can be fatal.

The rapid rate at which alcohol is absorbed by the cat’s body means that it can start causing problems right away. Get your cat to the vet immediately if you think it may have ingested any kind of alcoholic beverage, even mouthwash, that contains alcohol.

Onions and Garlic

a red long-haired tabby cat is being checked up by a vet

Cats shouldn’t eat raw onions or garlic. Not all of them, by any means! Cats shouldn’t eat any kind of onion or garlic, including those that have been cooked, powdered, or dehydrated.

Because of the sulfoxides and disulfides they contain, onions and garlic can poison your cat’s red blood cells. This can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, and other gastrointestinal issues.


veterinarian checks teeth of the maine coon cat

Cats have a bad habit of swallowing hard candies whole, which can cause them to become stuck in the back of the throat and make it impossible for the cat to breathe.

The cat may dry heave, cough, and paw at its mouth. If you are unable to remove the object, you should take your cat to the vet immediately.

The veterinarian may be able to physically remove the object. However, surgery may be required in extreme cases.

Also, if your toddler occasionally enjoys a sweet treat, keep an eye on both your cat and your kid as they indulge.


The caper bush produces tiny, undeveloped flower buds known as capers. Many dishes would be lacking without their use in the kitchen.

Typically, capers will come in a very salty brine when purchased. Most people use them after giving them a quick rinse. Approximately 9% of a person’s daily sodium needs can be met by eating just one tablespoon of capers.

Capers are safe for cats to consume in moderation. The occasional caper won’t hurt your cat, but they shouldn’t be a staple in their diet.

They risk dehydration and other health issues if they consume too much sodium.

Small amounts of capers are safe for cats, but eating too many can cause salt poisoning. Keep your cats away from the brine, as it contains the majority of the salt.

Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times, and limit its intake of salty foods like capers.

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