Can Cats Eat Salt: How Harmful is Salt to Cats?


by Cindy Smith


Cats have a bad habit of eating things they should not eat, such as human food. Human food consists of very many ingredients that are harmful to cats. For example, garlic and onion are an instant danger to cats.  In this article, we’ll discuss whether cats can eat salt and how harmful it is to cats if taken in large amounts.

Table of Contents

Do Cats Need Salt in Their Diet?

Salt is essential in human and animal bodies since it’s in most body fluid cells. However, adding table salt to cats’ food is wrong.

Most cat foods already have the correct amount of incorporated salt in them. So, as a pet owner, ensure you buy the right food depending on your cat’s age and weight. Also, note that a kitten’s food has more salt incorporated than a fully-grown cat food.

sick cats

(sick cats)

Should Cats Drink Salt Water?

Cats can drink salty water but in small amounts. For example, outdoor cats will not always have access to a freshwater supply. So, most of them will resort to salt water sources when necessary. 

In such a case, the cat’s body can filter out the salt from the water, and the cat will rehydrate as expected. The cat’s kidney filters out the salt from the water to secrete concentrated urine. 

outdoor cat drinking water.

(outdoor cat drinking water.)

Can a Cat Drink Epsom Salt Water?

Veterinarians agree that cats can drink Epsom salt water but not in large amounts. The reason is that Epsom salt contains magnesium. Magnesium can cause magnesium poisoning in cats. 

In addition, cats process magnesium differently. Excess magnesium may lead to increased heart rate and urination, excessive thirst, and diarrhea. 

How Much Salt is Safe for Cats?

Most regular kibble diets have the correct amount of salt that cats need. Usually, the balance of salt and water in a cat’s body is vital. 

Also, scientists say that cats are good at adjusting to moderate changes in the amount of salt in their food. So, you probably don’t need to worry about your cat’s salt level issues if you’re feeding it commercial cat food.

different pet foods

 (different pet foods)

What to do if Your Cat Eats Salt.

If your cat eats too much salt, contact your veterinarian immediately! Your vet will give you further instructions. 

  •    Symptoms of salt poisoning in cats.

Symptoms for salt poisoning can begin to show within a few minutes of ingesting the salt to a few hours. Some of the symptoms include

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle twitching and muscle weakness,
  • Seizures.

In extreme cases, your cat might be in a coma or even die.

  •    Treatment of salt poisoning/Toxicity to cats.

For mild cases of salt poisoning, provide your cat with lots of fresh water at regular intervals.

In severe cases, take your cat to the vet, where he will conduct a blood exam to determine the salt levels. Depending on the salt level in the blood, the treatment might involve hospitalization and IV fluids. 

sick cat at the vet

 (sick cat at the vet)

Salt Sources to Watch out for

The most obvious sources of salt for a cat to eat are “human foods.” One frequent source is preserved meat, such as salami and brine-packed tuna.

Additionally, cats may attempt to consume salty snacks or potato chips. These are particularly problematic because they frequently include other very hazardous cat additives. So, don’t let your cat “clean up” any sauce spills or lick your plate because ingredients like soy sauce are high in salt.

Safe Food for Cats, Low Salt Treats.

It’s crucial to make informed food selections for your cat. 

Even though dry food is less expensive, avoid feeding them to your cats. A diet high in dry food can easily dehydrate cats. 

Additionally, stay away from less expensive kinds of food. The reason is that they sometimes have additives like vegetables and cereal. Cereal components provide extra calories that your cat doesn’t need. 

dry cat foods

(dry cat foods)


Salt is good for cats. However, too much salt can cause complications. Always be keen on how much salt you feed to your cat.