As pet parents, we continuously question whether certain “people foods” are okay to feed our felines. Soy sauce is an ingredient we use in lots of different dishes, so it’s handy to know whether or not we can feed this to our cats.
The short answer is no. Soy sauce is far too high in salt to be healthy for your feline. On the other hand, if there is a small amount of soy sauce on a piece of chicken, for example, it’s unlikely to do any serious harm. The main reason you’ll want to limit sodium intake for your cat is to prevent them from becoming severely dehydrated.
Continue reading to discover why it’s very easy for your cat to become dehydrated and why you should avoid soy sauce.
Table of Contents
- Can My Cat Eat Soy Sauce?
- What Does Soy Sauce Contain?
- Why Is Salt Harmful To Cats?
- Is Soy Harmful To Cats?
- Is Plain Soy Sauce Better Than Flavoured Soy Sauce?
- Are Cats Allergic To Soy?
- How Much Soy Sauce Can Cats Eat?
- Can Soy Sauce Kill Cats?
- What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Soy Sauce?
- Final Thoughts.
Can My Cat Eat Soy Sauce?
You should not allow your cat to eat soy sauce as it is incredibly high in salt, which can be detrimental to your cat’s health. In addition, soy sauce contains phytates which are toxic to cats.
What Does Soy Sauce Contain?
Soy sauce is a Chinese creation mainly composed of soybeans and wheat, alongside fermenting agents. After setting these aside for a couple of days, chefs then add salt and water to the mix and place the sauce in a fermenting tank.
Soybeans are a good source of protein, though many cats can experience soy allergies.
Wheat isn’t harmful to cats but provides very little nutritional value. Still, this food is used as a filler in many cat foods, so cats can consume and process this in reasonable quantities.
Fermenting agents such as yeast can have a particularly detrimental effect on cats, including sickness, lethargy, respiratory problems, seizures, and even death.
Why Is Salt Harmful To Cats?
The first thing you need to understand about cats is that they descend from desert-dwelling relatives who could go for long periods without water. Today, our domesticated cats still carry some of these genes, which means they have a lower thirst drive than many other creatures.
This low thirst drive means your cat may not drink even when their body needs water, so they’re constantly in a delicate balance of hydration vs. dehydration. Think about how thirsty you felt last time you ate a big helping of bacon? In this way, we can see how quickly salt makes us feel thirsty.
In cats, this quick progression of excessive thirst can be highly detrimental to their health.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Salt Poisoning?
There are a number of signs to look out for if you suspect that your cat has consumed too much salt. At first, it will likely present as excessive thirst or urination. After this, you may notice dizziness, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea in your cat.
If untreated, organ failure and coma are both real possibilities.
Is Soy Harmful To Cats?
The “soy” part of soy sauce is one of the big reasons why it’s so harmful to your feline. While this foodstuff may be pretty healthy for humans, the same is not true for your cat. Regardless of its health properties, soy sauce contains phytates.
These compounds don’t cause much of a reaction in humans, but with cats, they can prevent essential enzymes from functioning correctly. And this prevents their digestive systems from processing protein.
Cats are obligate carnivores and consume a diet that is at least 70% protein, so it’s easy to see why this digestive problem would be an issue for them.
Is Plain Soy Sauce Better Than Flavoured Soy Sauce?
No form of soy sauce is suitable for your cat to consume, but flavored varieties do have the potential to cause even more significant harm. This is because they contain added ingredients such as onion or garlic, which are incredibly toxic to cats.
Many soy sauces (whether plain or flavored) contain monosodium glutamate or MSG, which can also cause a range of ailments in cats, including pancreatitis.
Are Cats Allergic To Soy?
Cats are allergic to several foods, including corn, beef, and soy. Look out for any of the following symptoms, which could indicate an allergic reaction in your cat: itching, redness, dermatitis, excessive licking, or scratching.
How Much Soy Sauce Can Cats Eat?
Cats should not eat any soy sauce because of its high salt and additive content. That being said, the occasional lick is unlikely to do any harm unless your cat is extremely sensitive to one or more of the ingredients.
Can Soy Sauce Kill Cats?
No, it is almost impossible to kill your cat with a serving of soy sauce. That being said, the after-effects of consuming this salty condiment can be harsh for your feline. These include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Low appetite
- Lethargy or tiredness
- High heart rate and blood pressure
- Uncoordinated muscles
And these substances can build up over time, causing further complications.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Soy Sauce?
If your cat eats soy sauce, don’t panic. In small quantities, it’s very unlikely to do any significant harm. Just make sure you don’t allow your feline to consume this sauce in large amounts or on a regular basis.
What Should I Do If My Kitten Eats Soy Sauce?
It’s slightly more of a concern if your kitten eats soy sauce because their digestive system is not yet fully developed, so it could be pretty damaging. Still, if it was a quick lick, it’s not likely to do any long-term harm.
A kitten’s stomach is not developed enough to deal with large quantities of salt or additives, so you may notice some symptoms such as vomiting or excessive thirst. In this case, keep your kitten hydrated and monitor their symptoms. If they worsen, take them to your vet for advice.
Soy sauce is definitely a condiment to keep for human consumption. It contains far too much salt and too many additives to be safe for your cat. Still, if your kitty takes the occasional lick of your soy sauce, it’s unlikely to do any serious harm.