Ranch is not only the most popular salad dressing in America but also something Americans put almost on top of anything. So I wonder, can cats eat ranch, too?
Can cats eat ranch? According to a study in 2017 by Association for Dressings and Sauces, 40% of the Americans named their favorite salad dressing as ranch while the closest competitor was Italian with only 10%. So it is safe to name ranch as by far the most popular salad dressing in America but as we all know it is not just a salad dressing anymore. People put ranch on top of anything and see if it works. So our cats have all kinds of opportunities to have a lick or two from our plates or from the occasional spills or drops on the ground but is it safe for them?
What Is In The Ranch?
In order to understand if ranch is safe for cats, we need to understand what is in it. Although there are many different recipes for ranch, some items are almost always there such as mayo, sour cream, buttermilk or milk, salt, garlics, onions or chives. Some of these items may or may not be used in powder form but this doesn’t change the fact that they are there.
So what does these items mean for cats? Are they OK for cats? Are any of them harmful or is there any health benefits? If there was one ultimate human food to include all the ingredients that are harmful to cats, it would start by using ranch as the base and other foods would be added on it. None of the ingredients in ranch is suitable for feline consumption and I mean none of it! Some of the ingredients are even toxic and can cause serious health issues leading to a painful death.
Among all the ingredients of ranch, garlic is the most toxic substance to cats. Even single clover of garlic can potentially cause health issues for cats. In an event of regularly consuming garlic, cats may face Heinz body anemia which can even be fatal. In severe cases, your cat might be hospitalized for a blood transfusion and may stay there for some time.
Although not as toxic as garlics, onions are another enemy of feline digestion system. Cats can only tolerate 1 gr of onion per pound of their weight. Anything more than that or consuming less onions but doing it regularly can put your cat under a severe risk.
Chives which are genetically close relatives of onions are not any different when we talk about their affects to cats. All these three items have serious affects on cat health and should not be taken lightly. They are so toxic that garlic poisoning and onion poisoning is a very common issue although cats don’t consume them in large quantities due to their small stomachs.
Milk, buttermilk and sour cream can all be studied as one subject because the problem with them is the same; lactose! Cats are generally lactose intolerant after their mother stops breastfeeding them. The number of exceptions in this case is so little that you don’t want to take the chances. The lactose intolerance in cats can give your cat a lot of pain along with diarrhea. Diarrhea is very dangerous for cats and it may lead to vomiting, appetite loss, bloody stools, watery stools or tiredness and if you notice any of these symptoms consult your veterinarian immediately.
Can cats eat ranch?
The answer to this question is short and simple. Cats under no circumstances should eat ranch. The ingredients of ranch include several toxic substances to cats such as garlic or onion and all the other the ingredients such as mayonnaise, milk, buttermilk, salt and sour cream are very unhealthy for them.
My cat ate ranch. What shall I do?
If your cat takes a lick or two from the accidental spill on the ground, there is not need to panic because such an amount is not likely to cause harm however your cat consumes a large amount of ranch, you should start observing your cat for any unusual behaviors and consult your veterinarian without losing time.
How much ranch is too much for cats?
There is no certain amount that can be named as too much ranch because the amount of garlic, onions and other ingredients change from one recipe to the other. The best thing to do is to prevent your cat from eating any amount of ranch however one or two licks of ranch is not likely to hurt your cat.