Considering 50% of all the pizzas sold in the U.S. include pepperoni, it is obviously accessible to cats as well as humans. But can cats eat pepperoni?
Cats are obligate carnivores and pepperoni is meat so it should be safe, right? Not quite. It is true that cats need meat to survive but pepperoni includes some substances that are not really healthy for cats. Although it is unhealthy, can we say that it is safe? Let’s find it out by answering the obvious question first: “Can cats eat pepperoni?”
Can cats eat pepperoni?
While pepperoni itself is not toxic to cats, there are several ingredients in pepperoni that are harmful to cats. There are even some ingredients that are toxic for feline consumption. So CATS SHOULD NOT EAT PEPPERONI because it is just not safe for them.
Here, we should say that different brands have different recipes and not all of them include these toxic substances however the chances are they are included. The ingredients in pepperoni you want your cat to stay away from are salt, nitrates, garlic, flavorings and spices.
According to some studies an average adult house cat needs only 21 mg of sodium per day and some other studies set this amount to 45 mg of sodium per day however only a thin slice of pepperoni that is 2 grams contains 35.2 mg of sodium which is a lot more than what your cat needs considering this thin slice will not be the only thing your cat will eat.
Of course these are just average numbers and the values change from brand to brand but no matter what brand you are consuming, the salt level will almost surely be above your cat’s nutritional needs because what is too much for cats is normal for us humans.
You may think that it is not a big deal but sodium ion poisoning is a real thing for cats. Pet Poison Helpline lists salt with moderate to severe level of toxicity. If your kitty consumes large amounts of salt or salty foods and you see below symptoms, please consult your veterinarian without losing any time.
- Decreased appetite
- Extreme thirst and/or urination
Nitrates are a kind of preservative that are used to prolong the shelf-life of many foods including pepperonis. These additives can be toxic to cats if consumed in large amounts. Even if they are not consumed in large amounts, they are very unhealthy for kitties.
Actually, keep any food that include substances that make them last longer away from your little friends because many of these substances are unhealthy for them.
Spices and Flavorings
What makes pepperoni taste great is not the meat itself alone but the spices and flavorings used inside it. Although the spices and flavorings used in pepperoni may change from brand to brand, some flavorings and spices are almost always there such as garlic which is toxic to cats, black pepper and powdered pepper.
Among these, garlic is the one you should keep an eye on because garlic is truly dangerous to cats. Garlic can cause anemia and gastrointestinal issues in long term consumption but if eaten in excess it may even cause poisoning. The symptoms you should be aware of are:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Increased heart rate
- Pale gums
These symptoms may take a few days to appear but if you see any of them please consult your veterinarian witout losing any time.
Is pepperoni pizza safe for cats?
Cats should not eat pepperoni or pizza and naturally the combination of these two is a big no-no for our little friends. Actually, the answer to the question can cats eat pepperoni or anything that includes pepperoni is a big NO just like bologna.
Conclusion – Can Cats Eat Pepperoni
There are many reasons why your cat should not eat pepperoni or anything that includes pepperoni. The preservatives and additives, spices and flavorings, the amount of salt used in pepperoni are only the most obvious ones that are almost always existing in all pepperonis but some brands may even have other ingredients that are not safe for cats.