Can cats eat ketchup? You may have been wondering if your cat is asking for a taste while adding ketchup to a hot dog while enjoying the barbecue weather. If humans can eat ketchup, can cats eat it safely?
There is no short yes or no answer whether cats can safely eat ketchup; though in general The answer is more in the direction of no. While a small amount of ketchup doesn’t necessarily harm your cat, the seasoning contains some ingredients that can have more serious consequences if taken in large enough quantities.
As always, You need to ask your regular veterinarian before sharing human food with your favorite cat, including ketchup. Here’s what you need to know about ketchup and cats.
When is ketchup okay for cats?
Tomatoes are the main ingredient in making ketchup, and the ASPCA has determined that ripe tomatoes are “non-toxic” to cats. So, if you find that your cat has managed to lick a ketchup or two off your plate, there is a good chance they’ll be fine.
A very small amount of ketchup is unlikely to cause your cat to experience too many negative reactions. However, it is always important to monitor your cat for more serious side effects.
When is ketchup bad for cats?
In addition to tomatoes, onion powder and garlic powder are two of the most common ingredients for making ketchup. Both of these can have serious negative effects on a cat’s health.
If a cat consumes garlic or onion powder, they can damage their red blood cells. This could cause the cat to develop a type of anemia known as Heinz body anemia. This condition can be fatal to a cat.
Note: Heinz body anemia has nothing to do with the popular Heinz ketchup brand.
Most commercial ketchups are also high in sodium. You shouldn’t give this to your cat as too much sodium can cause dehydration.
If you find that your cat has eaten a significant amount of ketchup, watch out for the following common symptoms:
- Stomach irritation
- Lose appetite
- Suffer from diarrhea
- Dilated pupils
If you notice that your cat is showing any of the above symptoms after consuming ketchup, contact your veterinarian right away.
Has your cat ever tried ketchup? Did you feel okay after that? Tell us all about it in the comments below!