Can Cats Eat Salt? 10 Facts You May Not Know

Table salt is a common item in most kitchens, but it shouldn’t be shared with the family’s furry friends.

While a little salt on your food probably won’t hurt you, you should never sprinkle any on your cat’s food because it has been expertly formulated with the ideal amount of salt already included.

However, your cat may consume too much salt if it discovers unexpected sources of the substance (looking at you, Play-doh!).

In this article, we discuss how much salt cats need and what to do if you suspect toxicity based on conversations with veterinarians.

Can Cats Eat Salt?

No, to put it briefly. Cats can become fatally ill from as little as 41 milligrams of salt per day.

She may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, drowsiness, unsteadiness, and excessive thirst or urination if she consumes too much salt.

Cat Nutrition Made Easy

Hypercarnivores, also called obligate carnivores, are a group that includes cats.

That means at least 70% of their diet in the wild consists of animal proteins. Cats are carnivores in the wild, meaning they eat meat.

The nutrients necessary for development, reproduction, and upkeep are obtained from the animals they hunt or scavenge.

In comparison to an omnivore or herbivore, the digestive system of an obligate carnivore is not well suited to processing and digesting large quantities of plant matter.

Unlike humans, cats have unique dietary requirements. Sodium is essential for all animals, including cats. However, increasing their sodium intake is unlikely to improve their health.

Can Cats Eat Salt? Vet-Reviewed Health & Safety Guide | Hepper

Do Cats Need Salt in Their Diet?

To begin, salt itself is not inherently evil. In fact, blood and the surrounding fluid cells contain salt, which is an essential mineral for life, as explained by Brian C. Hurley, DVM, national medical director of AmeriVet.

“Normal nerve and muscle cell function, maintaining a healthy cellular environment, and preventing cell destruction all depend on proper electrolyte balance,” he says. Salt also improves the taste of food for both humans and animals.

Salt and other minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins are all accounted for in the diets we make for our feline family members. ”

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That is to say, you won’t have to second-guess whether or not the ingredients in your cat’s food provide enough salt.

A minimum of 0.2% sodium of the total dry matter that your cat eats, or 0.5 grams of sodium per 1,000 calories, is recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials for maintenance and to support normal growth and development.

How Much Salt Is Safe for Cats?

Most cats will get the required amount of salt (.5 grams per 1,000 kcal) from their regular kibble diet. Adam Currier, DVM of, explains that while salt is necessary, it is also crucial to maintain a healthy salt-to-water ratio in your cat’s body.

It has been shown that cats can successfully adjust to moderate dietary salt reductions. He assures us that those who feed their felines commercial cat food have nothing to worry about in terms of their felines’ salt intake.

According to Michelle Dulake, DVM, CEO of Fera Pet Organics, healthy cats do not need a low or reduced-sodium diet and can excrete any excess sodium in their urine.

If your cat has high blood pressure or kidney, liver, or heart disease, your vet may recommend reducing its sodium intake, she says.

What Contains Sodium?

Do Cats Need Salt Licks (Or Is It Toxic)? -

Most human foods contain salt, a common preservative. Foods like bread, pizza, soup, meat seasonings, smoked or cured meats, canned goods, and salted nuts are naturally high in sodium and should be avoided by humans.

High levels of salt are commonly added to canned goods and other long-term storage foods to ensure that they remain edible for as long as possible after being packaged. You should probably keep your cats away from these foods.

Cats deserve special treats made just for them every once in a while. Keep in mind that not everything we eat as humans is appropriate or safe for our pets.

Some people even bring their feline friends with them to the shore. If you notice your cat drinking saltwater, you should try to dissuade him or her from the habit. While cats can tolerate some saltwater, long-term exposure can be harmful to their health.

Similarly, your cat can safely drink from the pool or fish tank on occasion, as these water sources typically contain only trace amounts of sodium. However, you should prevent your cats from doing this.

Should I Use Salt to Induce Vomiting?

When dealing with poisons and toxins, inducing vomiting is a crucial first aid technique. In the past, it was common practice to use salt to induce vomiting in cats that had accidentally consumed poisonous or poisonous-tasting substances.

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However, modern veterinary science advises against intentionally making your cat vomit, as there is no known safe home remedy for this purpose.

If vomiting must be induced, it is best to have a veterinarian perform the procedure. They have the knowledge and resources to determine if your cat needs to be made to vomit and, if so, to administer the necessary medications and emergency care measures.

Inducing vomiting in a cat that has ingested something it shouldn’t have could be harmful. Your vet will know when it’s safe to induce vomiting, as was previously mentioned.

Salt Lamps and Cats

Many people consider Himalayan salt lamps to be an attractive and useful addition to their homes.

Some people also believe they can help with stress relief and energy production, in addition to simply looking nice around the house. These lamps are still extremely harmful to cats, but they are not made of table salt.

Salt Lamp

Cats have a high degree of agility and a natural curiosity. A cat’s natural inclination is to jump up on whatever surface they can find and to investigate every nook and cranny of the house.

Similar to how they are attracted to drinking fountains, they can easily gain access to a salt lamp by jumping onto an elevated surface.

When cats lick the salt from a lamp, they absorb a lot of sodium. Repeated exposure to salt lamps can be harmful because it upsets the body’s electrolyte balance and interferes with other vital processes.

The first symptoms that your cat is licking a salt lamp could be unexplained vomiting and diarrhea. Your cat may be licking your salt lamp if it is having strange behavior you can’t explain.

If you have any reason to believe this is the case, remove the salt lamp from your cat’s reach and have your pet examined by a vet right away.

Seizures and other serious problems can result from unsupervised salt lamp licking. As a result, if you have a salt lamp in your home, you should always err on the side of caution and keep it somewhere your cat can’t get to.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Salt

Consider the sensation of licking salt off your finger. Imagine yourself eating a spoonful right now. Those are two very different scenarios, and they provide a clear illustration of how much salt is too much for your cat.

Currier says it’s probably safe to lick a little salt or have a little sprinkled on your food.

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Extreme caution should be exercised when consuming high-salt foods like potato chips or pickles, or when exposed to large quantities of salt all at once. A salt intake of more than one gram per two pounds of body weight per day is unhealthy, he says.

This is equivalent to most cats consuming four or more grams of salt at once, or about three-quarters of a teaspoon.

Your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435) should be contacted if your cat has consumed a large amount of salty or brined food, as recommended by Currier. “Be sure to have the package available so that the amount of salt eaten can be calculated,” he adds.

Symptoms of Salt Toxicity in Cats

It can be tough to know how much salt your cat ate if they got into something salty without your knowledge. Keep an eye out for the symptoms of salt poisoning.

Vomiting, diarrhea, drinking large amounts of water, weakness, twitching of the muscles, a rapid heart rate, seizures, confusion, altered behavior, coma, and even death are all symptoms listed by Currier.

He also notes that the onset of symptoms can be delayed by anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after taking in the salt.

Treatment of Salt Poisoning/Toxicity in Cats

Your veterinarian can devise a treatment strategy for your cat if it is showing symptoms of salt toxicity. Hurley recommends giving your pet small amounts of fresh water at regular intervals if the illness is mild and there is no vomiting.

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Your veterinarian will want to run bloodwork to check salt levels and perform a full physical exam if they suspect an overdose.

Hospitalization, intravenous fluids, treatment for nausea and vomiting, and electrolyte monitoring to ensure normal electrolyte balances are restored are all part of the treatment plan, he says. Anti-seizure medication may be necessary if seizures are occurring. ”

Final Thoughts

We shouldn’t feed our cats too much human food, and one reason is the high sodium content of the average human meal.

Since we are responsible for our pets, we need to be careful about what we give them to eat. It is important to keep cats away from salt at all times.

If you’re worried about your cat’s health, it’s best to get professional help. If you think your cat has been poisoned by sodium, the sooner you get them treatment, the better their chances of making it through the ordeal with only mild permanent effects.

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