Can Cats Eat Salt?

Salt comes in many forms with a variety of uses. There is table salt to flavor food and rock salt as a deicer in winter. Salt is common in human diets, why shouldn’t the same amount be in feline diets? Excessive salt should not be in a cat’s diet because it can cause a wide range of symptoms. Their digestive system is not designed to handle large amounts of salt. 

Why is Salt Harmful?

Like humans, salt is necessary for cats and their internal body functions. It helps regulate hydration and electrolyte levels. Serious health complications arise when cats eat too much salt. Excessive salt removes moisture from the body and can cause dehydration. More complicated symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney failure can arise. Organ damage can occur with both too much and too little salt. Prevent these complicated symptoms by preventing your cat from eating too much salt. 

Salt Toxicity Symptoms

If your cat has consumed an excessive amount of salt, they may experience poisoning. Clinical signs of salt toxicity include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive urination
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

In severe cases, death can occur. With prompt medical attention, your cat has a better chance of surviving this poisoning episode. 

Salt Poisoning Treatment

If you suspect that your cat may be experiencing salt poisoning, you must act immediately. Call Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian so your cat can receive treatment right away.   The primary treatment for salt poisoning in cats is to quickly reduce the amount of salt in the body. Your veterinarian will administer IV fluids to help dilute the sodium in the blood and balance electrolyte levels. Other treatments may include antacids and antibiotics to reduce gastrointestinal distress. It is essential to keep your cat hydrated to help expel the excess sodium. If the salt poisoning is severe, your veterinarian may also recommend hospitalization with intensive care. The goal of these treatments is to reduce the amount of salt in the body, restore electrolyte balance, and rehydrate your feline friend.