Can Cats Eat Pickles? (What You Need to Know)

You must ensure the health of your cat as a pet, as the feline is unable to do so itself. Choosing the right foods is one of the most important measures of ensuring good cat health. Pickles are popular throughout the world because of their delicious taste. However, pickles can contain excessive amounts of sodium and other ingredients that can be bad for the health of cats as well as humans if consumed in an excessive amount.

Therefore, a short answer to the question “Can cats eat pickles” is “No”. However, there are many other aspects of the subject and the topic that you should be aware of to make a good decision regarding your cat’s health.

Can cats eat pickles?

Cats should not be eating pickles (or popcorn, for that matter). Pickles are usually made of cucumber, which is not a poisonous food for cats. However, pickles contain unusually excessive amounts of salt, which is not good for the health of your feline. Pickles may also contain garlic which is not good for the health of your cat.

As stated, cucumbers contained in pickles are not harmful to the health of cats when consumed alone. However, A pickle containing cucumber can be bad for feline health when it contains a high amount of salt and ingredients including garlic.

As stated, pickles are not poisonous to cats. Therefore, a small amount of the food item on the plate or within the food bowl of your cat will not produce the symptoms of a medical condition or a reaction. The cat will eat the pickle that it finds on its plate, and it will certainly affect its health adversely if the kitty is eating pickles every day. Even humans cannot escape from the adverse health effects of enormous amounts of salt that the pickles contain if they consume the food item in greater quantities every day.

Can cats eat pickles
Can cats eat pickles

Cats are much smaller animals when compared to humans. Therefore, their body requires an even lesser amount of sodium. Pickles and their high salt content can increase the content of sodium within the body of the cat dramatically. Long-term exposure to such high sodium content in the blood may cause multiple health conditions in your feline.

Adverse Effects on Health of Excessive Sodium in Blood

None of the animals on earth, including cats, can sustain excessive amounts of sodium in their blood for a long time. Sodium is a part of the electrolytic balance of the body and its cellular environment. Excessive amounts of sodium can damage the electrolyte and water balance within the body of cats and cause cellular damage.

Excessive blood sodium can be characterized by a medical condition called “hypernatremia“. If a cat suffers from this medical condition, it will exhibit symptoms including confusion and excessive thirst. The cat will feel dehydrated due to the sodium and electrolyte imbalance in its body. At later stages, dangerous conditions including seizures and coma may also occur.

While such conditions do not occur easily, they do have a probability to occur if the cat is consuming excessive amounts of pickles every day. Therefore, you need to ensure that the cat does not eat many pickles on any given day, and also stays away from pickle juice.

Seek Vet Help if Symptoms Occur

If your cat is experiencing symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and excessive thirst among others, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian immediately. The expert medical professional and veterinarian will use the fluids for stabilizing the electrolyte balance within the body of the cat. In most conditions, these adverse symptoms are only temporary, and no long-term adverse health effect occurs in your feline if you seek and obtain professional medical help within time.

Other Pickle Ingredients Harmful for Cat Health

Sometimes a pickle may also contain garlic. Garlic can be toxic for your feline and cats. Even 1 gram of garlic for a 5-pound weight can make a cat sick. Garlic is usually added in only lesser amounts in pickles. Therefore, a cat is unlikely to eat copious amounts of garlic when it eats pickles.

However, if the cat is feeding on many pickles there is a possibility that excessive garlic intake and consequently toxicity occurs. The smaller cats with lesser weight can be affected by considerable amounts of salt and garlic easily when compared to the large cats. Kittens weighing below 5 pounds are exposed to the most risk.

Symptoms of Excessive Garlic Intake and Garlic Poisoning in Cats

If the cat has consumed high amounts of pickles that contain garlic, it may start to exhibit symptoms of garlic toxicity. These symptoms usually include diarrhea and vomiting as the body of the cat tries to eliminate the toxins from the body. Other symptoms can include heart palpitations, a high heart rate, an increase in respiratory rate, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and indigestion. Garlic can act as a toxin and affect how the blood of felines works. If the systemic system is affected adversely, the cat may exhibit symptoms including pale gums which occur due to a reduced concentration of red blood corpuscles.

If you fail to get medical help during the initial stages of the symptoms, the condition of a cat may worsen to a comma and collapse. The veterinarian will conduct suitable treatment procedures to ensure that the body of the cat gets rid of the toxins. For instance, if the cat has consumed extreme amounts of pickles and toxins recently, the veterinarian will try to induce vomiting in the feline and the cat to remove the toxins from the body and digestive system of the cat.

Oxygen therapy and the use of intravenous (IV) fluids are also available for therapeutic purposes. These are supportive therapies that aim to reduce the symptoms and help the cat regain health over a period.

Cats want to Eat Pickles
Cats want to Eat Pickles

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to ensure that my cat does not eat pickles?
You can check the ingredient list of the pickles. If there is nothing harmful (for instance garlic or excessive salt), the pickled will not harm the health of the cat. In other cases, you will have to ensure that the pickle bottle is away from the reach of the cat.

What to do if my cat shows symptoms such as indigestion, diarrhea, and vomiting among others?
You should seek medical advice/treatment and reach out to a veterinarian near you to ensure that the symptoms of the cat are treated early and do not aggravate a serious medical condition.


The cucumber contained in pickles is not harmful to the health of cats. However, the entire recipe and composition of pickles may contain a high amount of salt, garlic, and other kinds of ingredients that may impact the health of a cat adversely. Reach out to an expert veterinarian immediately if your cat shows adverse health symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea. You can also talk to your veterinarian to know more about the best food and care procedures available for a pet like a cat.

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