Cat Eating

As cat owners, we want our feline companions to live long and healthy lives. In order to do this, we need to consider certain things like how much salt is too much for our cat’s diet.

Cats require less sodium than humans, which makes it important for pet owners to regularly check the sodium content in the food they give their cats.

Here’s what you need to know:

Do Cats Need Salt in Their Diet?

Cats are carnivores and require a high-protein diet. However, there’s significant debate in the pet food industry about whether cats need salt in their diet and how much is healthy.

Salt is an essential part of the human diet. Likewise, cats need a certain amount of sodium in their diet to stay healthy, too.

The amount of sodium required by cats varies, but it’s generally accepted that the daily requirement for adult cats is 200 mg/kg body weight per day.

Some vets recommend adding salt to cat food if your pet has low blood pressure or kidney disease. If your cat has these conditions and isn’t already receiving treatment, speak with your vet about the possibility of adding salt to your cat’s diet.

What Foods Should I Watch Out For?

Salt sources to watch are “people foods” that a cat might consume. Preserved, salted meats, such as jerky, prosciutto, hot dogs, sausage, and salami, are typically too salty to feed your cat. Tuna packed in brine is another.

Fresh, unprocessed chicken, turkey, and water-packed tuna are typically safe, but may not be ideal.

Some commercially available cat foods contain too much salt. It’s a good idea to ask your vet to recommend a cat food that best meets your cat’s needs.

Can Salt Make Cats Sick?

If they consume too much, salt can make cats sick. A cat’s normal body fluid level is between 0.9 percent and 1 percent sodium chloride (salt). If a cat eats large amounts of salt, it may have problems with excessive sodium levels in its bloodstream (hypernatremia). This happens when the kidneys can’t get rid of the excess sodium fast enough. 

What Are the Signs of Hypernatremia in Cats?

Hypernatremia is a condition caused by excessive amounts of salt in the cat’s body. It can be caused by a dietary imbalance or by consuming excessive quantities of salt.

Cats suffering from hyponatremia may exhibit certain symptoms. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Seizures (in severe cases)

How is Hypernatremia Treated?

If your cat has consumed an excessive amount of salt, your vet may induce vomiting to prevent further absorption of salt into the body. Gastric lavage (stomach pumping) may be necessary if this doesn’t work.

Medications may also be administered to balance electrolytes to reduce edema (swelling). Treatment may also involve supportive care for any complications arising from dehydration or stomach lining inflammation due to vomiting and diarrhea.If you have questions about your cat’s sodium intake, don’t hesitate to contact us. The Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital team is here to support your cat’s optimum health.