Can Cats Eat Pickles?


Some people often love eating pickles served on the side of dishes like sandwiches and hamburgers, but can your share that pickle with your cat? Well, pickles are not safe for cats and thus should not be fed to them. While most cucumbers that pickles are made from are not toxic for cats on their own, they usually contain excessive amounts of salt that are harmful to cats.

The pickling liquid may also contain garlic, which should not be included in your feline’s diet. That said, it is often advisable to consult with your veterinarian before feeding any human food to your cat. However, according to Excitedcats, you can feed your purr friend with some fresh cucumber in addition to their normal diet. They also claim that cats marginally benefit from the essential vitamins found in vegetables and other vegetables. In this post, we will provide answers to whether cats can eat pickles.

Why Are Pickles Bad For Cats?

As mentioned earlier, cucumbers are not poisonous to cats and contain some beneficial vitamins and a good amount of water. However, pickles have excessive amounts of salt that are normally added to the pickling liquid. This large amount of salt is not healthy for cats. One research has estimated that an average pickle contains about eight times the amount of a cat’s daily sodium, which is harmful to them. Your cat can suffer from high blood pressure and salt poisoning if it consumes a lot of sodium. Below are some of the harmful components found in pickles that make them toxic for cats:


The main issue with pickles is their excessive amounts of salt. Cucumbers are often pickled using salt, vinegar, spices, and herbs. While humans are not affected by these large amounts of salt, the high sugar content in pickles can harm your cat’s health. Salt poisoning, medically known as hyponatremia, can easily occur to your feline friends after consuming too much salt.

Some common symptoms of salt poisoning include; extreme thirst, loss of appetite, seizures, excessive urination, bloat/fluid accumulation, behavioral changes, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of coordination (poor body balance, stumbling, etc.) If left unchecked, it can lead to permanent kidney damage, coma, and even death. To avoid such scary illnesses, it is advisable to keep any foods with high salts, including pickles, far from the feline’s reach.


A study has proven that most vegetables used for seasonings like onion and garlic are harmful to your cat’s health. While there are different types of pickles on the market, many are added with garlic for flavor, each with varying amounts of garlic. Additionally, most pickles get preserved in juices containing high amounts of garlic, which can affect your cat’s health. Although the amount of garlic juice found on the skin of a few couple slices may not be enough to cause any issues with your cat, it would be best if you minimized exposing your cat to garlic whenever possible. According to Petconsider, it has also been proven that feeding your cat with small amounts of garlic over an extended period can increase the risk of fatal anemia.

What To Do If A Cat Eats Pickles?

In most cases, your cat may not be interested in pickles. Thus, pickles might not pose much of a threat to your cat’s health in the first place. However, if you happen to spot your feline friend sneaking to take a bite of your pickles, pay close attention to them and see if there are any immediate side effects such as; vomiting and lack of body balance, which could be symptoms of salt poisoning. It is also advisable to contact your local vet straight away, and they will provide you with the needed guidance on whether your feline requires immediate medical attention or not.

Do Cats Need Vegetables?

Since pickles are simply pickled cucumbers, most people consider them a healthy treat for cats. However, you may be surprised that your cats do not need vegetables or other essential nutrients than proteins in their diet. According to Cattime, all the nutrients your cat needs to properly function and improve their health are either obtained from natural meat sources or are internally synthesized. Unlike humans, who often find it difficult to get the right number of fruits and vegetables into their diets, cats can do without them and still thrive well.

Are Homemade Pickles good for cats?

Most cat owners often have a difficult time determining whether to get pickles that have too much salt or are made with garlic. As a result, they decide to opt for homemade pickles, which may also not adversely affect your cat’s health. Provided no garlic, onion, or salt is added to the pickling liquid of your homemade pickles, they are completely safe for your cat’s health. If you plan on making your homemade pickles with vinegar, salt, and cucumbers, it would be best if you moderate the rate you feed them to your feline friends.

Is it Okay For Cats To Eat Pickles?

Generally, not all pickles are toxic to cats, but there are some reasons why feeding them to your cat is not advisable. For instance, pickles contain excessive sodium content, whereas a single pickle contains about 345 milligrams of sodium. This amount is very high compared to the required 42 milligrams of sodium that should be in your cat’s daily diet. The pickling juice often has garlic, which can be toxic to cats. That said, it would be best if you leave pickles out of your cat’s diet or opt to feed them with a few slices of fresh cucumber.

What are some of the suitable alternatives to pickles?

Apart from the basic cucumber, there are many healthier recipes for pickles, and some of them contain the essential nutrients your cat needs. Ingredients such as fresh sliced dill can be beneficial for your cat since they can help solve their digestive problems while serving as a rich source of magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamin B6. However, completely keep away from pickled vegetables like tomatoes or beetroot that are very toxic for your feline friend.

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