Can Cats Eat Pepperoni? What to Do if Your Cat Likes it?

You may have set aside a snack of leftover pizza on the side to be interrupted by a phone call. Your cat is chewing down on the pepperoni when you return.

Is it necessary to be concerned? Is it possible for cats to eat pepperoni?

Let’s see if it’s okay for your cat to have a salami snack now and then, or if this is something you should keep out of reach of your curious feline.

All of your questions will be answered!

Is Pepperoni Poisonous for My Cat?

Can Cats Eat Pepperoni? What to Do if Your Cat Likes it?

Pepperoni looks like it might be appealing to cats, whether on a pizza or in a package. The flavorful soft flesh is bursting at the seams, but where does it all come from?

That’s the issue: while pepperoni may appear to be juicy and appetizing, some of the components are harmful to your cat. Pepperoni is loaded with preservatives and colorings that aren’t meant for cats to consume.

Some of them have the potential to cause your cat to become ill. Let’s take a deeper look at each of those elements individually.

While a modest quantity of pepperoni isn’t harmful to your cat, it’s definitely not something you should feed them.

Interesting Facts About Pepperoni

Epperoni is a pork or beef-based dry salami.

Pepperoni is one of the most popular pizza toppings in the United States, with 50 percent of all pizza orders containing it!

Pepperoni is derived from the Italian word “peperone,” which literally means “bell pepper.” So, if you buy a pepperoni pizza in Italy, you’ll almost certainly get bell pepper slices instead of pepperoni sausage!

What Does Pepperoni Contain?

Varying types of pepperoni have different ratios of each component and employ different flavorings. Let’s look at some of the most common components present in most brands.


Can Cats Eat Pepperoni? What to Do if Your Cat Likes it?

Pepperoni is heavy in sodium, which is one of the reasons we like it so much!

We all know that too much salt is bad for people, but the sodium content of pepperoni is astronomically high when compared to your cat’s daily sodium needs.

On average, one slice of pepperoni (about 2 grams) contains 35.2 mg of sodium. A slice of pepperoni pizza has over 700 mg of salt in it.

Let’s see how much sodium is in one little slice of pepperoni compared to how much salt your cat need on a daily basis.

Your adult cat only requires about 21 milligrams of salt each day. That’s right: one apparently harmless slice of salami has more than 1.5 times your cat’s daily salt intake. Yikes!

Of course, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s in your pepperoni if it’s on a delivered pizza rather than from a packet with the contents specified.

In fact, cats can become poisoned if they eat too much salt. It has a moderate to severe level of toxicity, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of salt poisoning:

Appetite decreases




Extreme thirst and/or urination are signs that something is wrong.



In the worst-case situation, it might result in a coma and death.

If you feel your cat has consumed too much pepperoni and is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact the Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian right once.

While the sodium level of pepperoni is enough to make us avoid giving it to our cats, it also includes additional ingredients that might be harmful to them.


Because pepperonis are cured meat, a preservative known as nitrates is frequently applied to extend their shelf life and prevent bacteria development. Unfortunately, if taken in large enough numbers, nitrates may be harmful to cats.

Another reason to keep your kitten away from that pepperoni pizza!

Flavorings and Spices

Can Cats Eat Pepperoni? What to Do if Your Cat Likes it?

Finally, the flavorings and spices used to give pepperoni its signature spicy kick aren’t good for your cat. Powdered pepper, black pepper, and garlic are likely to be found in pepperoni. The strong flavor will certainly deter your cat from overeating, which is a good thing!

Garlic, out of all the flavorings that may be utilized, is the one that has the most potential to hurt your cat. Garlic is toxic to cats and can cause anemia and digestive problems. The following are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:


Abdominal discomfort



Gums that are pale



Heart rate has increased.

In cats, these symptoms can take a few days to appear, so if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms and you recall them eating something garlicky in the previous week or so, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Risks Of Feeding Cats Pepperoni Sticks

Pepperoni sticks should not be given to pregnant cats; just as human mothers-to-be are advised to avoid raw food sources and store meats, pregnant cats should avoid this specific meat as well.

Septicemia and endotoxemia, which are dangerous illnesses that can spread to multiple organs and cause pneumonia and meningitis in cats—as well as an abnormal birth cycle in pregnant cats—can occur in extreme situations.

Similarly, cats haven’t fully developed their immune system, so any toxins or bacteria that make their way into that piece of pepperoni stick are certain to take off the most vulnerable kitty.

Don’t give your tiny cat pepperoni sticks, and if you do, make sure they’re in little quantities and only served on special occasions.

Another disadvantage of cats eating pepperoni sticks is that it puts them at risk of obesity and other weight-related problems. Its high salt content is not recommended for cats.

To put it in perspective, one slice of pepperoni has roughly 35 mg of sodium, when the recommended sodium consumption for a typical adult cat over the course of a day is just around 42 mg.

While some research suggests that cats may tolerate a little amount of extra sodium, it’s worth noting that an excess of salt puts people at risk for a range of medical issues, ranging from hypertension to renal disease, so it may not be worth the risk.

Your veterinarian would undoubtedly advise a lower-sodium diet and avoiding deals with pepperoni sticks for cats that are currently suffering from kidney or renal illness.

While cats have a different way of measuring fat than people, pepperoni sticks are extremely rich in saturated fat, which may increase their risk of being overweight.

Pepperoni sticks also typically contain tastes such as bean stew peppers and paprika, which might upset their stomachs.

However, while the amount of zest in a piece of pepperoni sticks is unlikely to cause serious medical concerns, it is possible that they will produce acid reflux and a raging stomach.

Different fixings in that piece of pepperoni sticks, such as garlic, can, however, have clearly more serious consequences for your cat—garlic is dangerous to cats since it includes synthetic compounds that can injure or demolish red blood cells.

Step By Step Instructions To Share Pepperoni Sticks With Your Cat

As a general guideline, always double-check with your veterinarian before giving your cat food such as pepperoni sticks, and start with little amounts to see how your cat reacts.

In general, if your cat is requesting something like pepperoni sticks, it’s fine to give the person in question a few of nibbles now and then – but no human food should be given to your pet on a regular basis.

Shouldn’t there also be anything mentioned about sharing the pepperoni pizza’s garnish? Pepperoni is often spicier than pepperoni sticks, and it’s still high in salt, so it’s not the ideal snack for your cat just yet.

When choosing pepperoni sticks for your cat, go for a more traditional variety packed with meat and fat and just mild amounts of added salt (and possibly no poisonous fixings like garlic).


We hope that this article has answered your concern, but to summarize, we strongly advise against feeding pepperoni to your cat.

It’s not a good idea to expose them to too much salt, nitrates, or garlic.

Of course, if they eat some by accident, there are other considerations to consider. What is too much pepperoni for one cat may not be so bad for another. Things like your cat’s size, how much pepperoni they ate, and whether or not they have any allergies will all play a role.

If you’re not sure, it’s always best to be safe than sorry, so consult your veterinarian!

If you stick to a species-appropriate diet, which includes no pepperoni, your beautiful kitten will always be healthier and happier.


Most pepperoni recipes include an additive called nitrates that help prevent the development of certain microbes. These nitrates can be toxic to cats when they eat them in large amounts.
Its high salt content isn’t recommended for cats. 3 To put it into perspective, one piece of pepperoni is packed with about 35 mg of sodium, but the recommended sodium intake for an average-sized cat over the course of an entire day is only about 42 mg
Because pepperonis are cured meat, a preservative called nitrates is often used to increase their shelf-life and stop the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, nitrates can also be poisonous to cats if consumed in high enough quantities. Another good reason to keep that pepperoni pizza away from your kitty!
Unfortunately, salami, a form of cured sausage, is unhealthy for cats due to its fat content—but even worse is its typical preparation involving salt, garlic powder, and other spices that can be toxic to cats in excess. The same goes for its popular pizza topping relative, pepperoni.
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