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

Occasionally, busy cat owners may neglect to stock up on cat food such as yogurt. What if you forget to buy cat food for your feline companion and all you have in the fridge is pepperoni? Is it possible for cats to eat pepperoni? Is there a chance she’ll like it?

Pepperoni, an American salami kind that is the most popular pizza topping, may appear to be a healthy food for your cat.

It’s soft and tasty, which should keep a picky eater like a cat interested. Its brilliant red color may perhaps add to its attractiveness.

But make no mistake about it: this is a serious situation. By no means is pepperoni a good food to feed your cat. It has a high salt level, which might be dangerous. The spiciness of pepperoni may not be tolerated by cats’ digestive systems.

We’re not even talking about the preservatives in pepperoni, which can be harmful to cats’ health.

Yes, you can offer your cat pepperoni as a treat on occasion if she enjoys it. However, incorporating it into her everyday diet is a big no-no.

Is Pepperoni Poisonous for My Cat?

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

Pepperoni, whether on a pizza or in a sachet, appears like it should appeal to cats. The flavorful soft meat 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

Pepperoni 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?

Different types of pepperoni have different ratios of each ingredient and employ different flavorings. Let’s look at some of the most common ingredients found in most brands.


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 small slice of pepperoni compared to how much salt your cat need on a daily basis.

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

Of course, it’s impossible to tell exactly what’s in your pepperoni if it’s on a delivered pizza rather than from a packet with the ingredients 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 could 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 content of pepperoni is enough to make us avoid giving it to our cats, it also contains other ingredients that can 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 growth. Unfortunately, if taken in large enough numbers, nitrates can be harmful to cats.

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 last week or so, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Pepperoni is too salty for cats

Pepperoni’s high salt level is one of the reasons it has such a distinct flavor on pizza. However, this characteristic makes eating even more harmful for cats.

Pepperoni is simply too salty for our feline companions. A slice of pepperoni has a sodium content of 98 milligrams. A slice of pepperoni pizza has about 683 mg of salt.

That’s just too much for a cat’s stomach! Adult cats require no more than 21 mg of sodium per day.

If you feed pepperoni to your cat, she could get salt poisoning. Diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and inappetance are common symptoms of salt toxicity un cats.

Cats who eat too much salt may show signs of salt poisoning such as walking drunk, convulsions, tremors, and frequent urinating. Even worse, if left untreated, salt poisoning can result in death.

Don’t worry if you accidentally fed your cat pepperoni and now she has diarrhea from salt poisoning. Give her a bland meal, such as simple boiled chicken, to help settle her stomach.

Pepperoni’s high sodium content and possibility for salt poisoning are just two strong reasons why you should not feed it to your cat as a pizza topping. You’ll discover additional reasons not to feed pepperoni to your cat as you read this article.

Pepperoni contains preservatives that are dangerous for cats

Nitrates, which are found in cured meats like pepperoni, help to preserve food by preventing hazardous bacteria from growing. It can also give the meat a taste boost.

Cats, on the other hand, are susceptible to nitrate poisoning. Other animals, such as dogs and horses, are prone to nitrate poisoning as well. Weight loss, tiredness, and a loss of appetite are some of the signs and symptoms.

Pepperoni is too spicy for cats

Pepperoni is not only salty, but it is also quite hot for cats. Pepperoni, which contains spices such as red pepper, black pepper, and garlic, can be too hot for your cat’s stomach.

Garlic, in particular, is toxic to cats because it causes gastrointestinal irritation or inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This can result in stomach pain and, in the worst-case scenario, red blood cell destruction.

Garlic poisoning causes weakness, a loss of appetite, and dark red urine. If you detect any of these signs, you should take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Also, keep in mind that our feline companions have a poor sense of taste. On their tongues, they only have 500 taste buds. Humans, on the other hand, have around 9,000. As a result, it’s not surprising that some cats eat spicy meals without recognizing what they’re doing.

But let’s say you gave your cat pepperoni once, and she seemed to enjoy it. So, what are your options?

First and foremost, you should refuse to give in to her demands. It may be difficult to do so, especially if your cat gives you that adorable look. You should be able to resist her pleas if you consider how deadly pepperoni can be to her.

You could also want to increase her meal frequency. You may have gotten into the habit of feeding her twice a day. However, if she keeps looking for the pepperoni you gave her, it’s possible that she’s hungry and needs to be fed.

Is Pepperoni Stick Safe For Cats?

One of the potential drawbacks of pepperoni sticks is that they aren’t made from cooked meat like pig or beef.

Pepperoni sticks, on the other hand, are ready to eat after maturation and air-drying.

As a result, it’s always at risk of being contaminated by microscopic organisms like Salmonella or Trichinellosis, a lesser-known parasitic disease.

Offering pepperoni sticks to your cat will always represent a tiny risk, even though Salmonella does not appear to affect cats in the same way that it affects people.

However, if your cat has been infected with salmonella, you should be on the lookout for symptoms such as retching, running, and stomach pain, as well as a lack of appetite, drying out, and a high temperature.

Risks Of Feeding Cats Pepperoni Sticks

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

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 poisons or bacteria that make their way into that piece of pepperoni stick are certain to take out the most vulnerable kitty.

Don’t give your little 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 contains roughly 35 mg of sodium, when the recommended sodium consumption for a typical adult cat over the course of a day is only around 42 mg.

While some research suggests that cats may tolerate a small amount of extra sodium, it’s worth noting that an excess of salt puts people at risk for a range of medical problems, ranging from hypertension to kidney 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 infection.

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

Pepperoni sticks also typically contain flavors 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 problems, 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 snacks now and then – but no human food should be given to your pet on a regular basis.

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

When choosing pepperoni sticks for your cat, look for a more traditional variety packed with meat and fat and only 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.

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