Is ketchup safe for cats to eat? Perhaps you’ve thought this when your cat begs for a taste as you’re putting ketchup on a hot dog during a BBQ. Is it okay for cats to consume ketchup if people can?
There is no simple yes or no answer to whether cats can safely consume ketchup, though the answer tends to be no. While a small amount of ketchup may not damage your cat, the condiment contains a few substances that, if consumed in big enough quantities, can have more significant implications.
Always with your usual veterinarian before feeding any human food to your cat, including ketchup. Here’s everything you need to know about cats and ketchup.
When Is Ketchup Okay For Cats To Eat?
Tomatoes are the major ingredient in ketchup, and ripe tomatoes are “non-toxic” to cats, according to the ASPCA. So if you spot your cat sneaking a lick or two of ketchup off your plate, don’t worry; they’ll probably be fine.
Although a small amount of ketchup is unlikely to cause your cat any unfavorable reactions, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your cat for any more significant side effects.
When Is Ketchup Bad For Cats?
Apart from tomatoes, onion powder and garlic powder are two of the most commonly utilized ingredients in ketchup, and both can be harmful to a cat’s health.
If a cat drinks garlic or onion powder, their red blood cells may be harmed. This could cause the cat to develop Heinz body anemia, a kind of anemia. For a cat, this condition can be fatal.
Heinz body anemia is unrelated to the well-known ketchup brand Heinz.
Most commercial ketchups also have a high salt content, which you should avoid giving your cat because too much sodium can induce dehydration.
If you notice that your cat has consumed a large amount of ketchup, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
Inflammation of the stomach
They’ve lost their appetite
Do you have diarrhea?
pupils that are dilated
If you observe any of the aforementioned symptoms in your cat after they’ve eaten ketchup, make an appointment with your normal veterinarian right away.
Have you ever given ketchup to your cat? Were they able to recover their composure afterward? Let us know what happened in the comments area below!
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Why Ketchup is Harmful to Cats
It’s likely that your cat has had a lick of ketchup before and been fine. This does not, however, imply that the behavior is acceptable.
There are several hidden elements in ketchup that are harmful to cats and can cause difficulties in the long run.
To understand why ketchup is not suitable for cats, it is best to look at the key ingredients.
Onions and Garlic
Most ketchups have a lot of onion and garlic powder in them. Garlic and onions are extremely harmful to cats, regardless of their form. These foods are harmful to your cat’s red blood cells.
Cats can acquire a kind of anemia known as “Heinz body anemia” as a result of long-term damage to red blood cells.  The name of this illness, however, has nothing to do with the ketchup brand “Heinz.”
Fever, weariness, loss of appetite, coloured urine, shortness of breath, and paleness in the skin, lips, and gums of cats are all symptoms of Heinz body anemia. Because this ailment can be fatal to cats, any signs or symptoms should be taken seriously.
Onion and garlic powder can have a variety of short-term affects on cats. If your cat ate onion or garlic, it could become lethargic, weak, and have a decreased appetite.
Salt and Acid
Ketchup also contains a lot of salt, which is unhealthy for cats. A cat’s food containing too much salt can quickly dehydrate them. As a result, when cats eat food with a lot of salt, they frequently want to drink a lot of water. Too much water in a short period of time can make your cat sick or cause vomiting.
Hypernatremia, commonly known as salt poisoning, can occur if your cat consumes too much salt.
Vomiting, severe thirst, swelling, low energy, loss of appetite, and loss of motor coordination are all signs of hypernatremia. Hypernatremia can also cause tremors, stumbling, and seizures.
Salt poisoning in cats should be treated by a veterinarian since it can result in death or renal damage.
Other Things in Ketchup That You’re Cat Won’t Like
Aside from the fundamental components, ketchup has gone through a lot of processing and now contains a lot of synthetic compounds. Chemicals like these are not only harmful to cats, but also to humans.
Ketchup commonly contains ingredients such as corn syrup and sugar. While these chemicals are not poisonous to cats, if given frequently, they can cause obesity and other health problems.
Sugar promotes the growth of some diseases in cats, such as cancer. As a result, cats should be kept away from ketchup. Some ketchup is quite acidic, which might cause gastrointestinal issues in your cat.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Ketchup?
Cats are curious creatures, and they frequently taste the stuff that humans eat. There’s no need to fret if your cat licked the ketchup off of something you ate. If your cat only consumes a small bit of ketchup, he will not be harmed.
However, if your cat ate a lot of ketchup for some reason, you’ll need to be on the alert for signs. GI discomfort, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and dilated pupils are among the symptoms.
If a cat has an issue with his stomach or intestines, he will begin to devour green plants or grass. They use this to induce vomiting in order to get rid of toxins and feel better.
Take your cat to the vet right once if you notice any negative side effects!
Given the circumstances, there is no compelling reason to feed ketchup to your cat. At best, it’s a nutritionally devoid junk meal that will just add calories to their diet and raise their chances of being overweight or obese. At worst, it’s a potentially dangerous food that, if ingested in large quantities, can cause hypernatremia and Heinz body anemia.