Can Cats Eat Pepperoni? What to Do if Your Cat Likes it?

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Busy cat owners may forget to stock up on cat food like yogurt once in a while. What if you forget to buy cat food for your feline friend, and pepperoni is the only food you have in your fridge. Can cats eat pepperoni? Would she even like it?

Pepperoni, the American salami variety which is the most popular topping of pizza, may seem like a good food to feed your cat.

It’s soft and flavorful, which should make it interesting to a picky eater like a cat. The bright red color may even add up to its visual appeal.

But make no mistake about it. Pepperoni isn’t a good food to feed your cat, by any means. It has high sodium content that can prove to be hazardous. Cats’ digestive systems may not also be able to tolerate the spiciness of pepperoni.

And we are not even talking about the presence preservatives in pepperoni that can pose health risks to cats.

Sure, you may give pepperoni to your cat as an occasional treat—if she likes it. But to incorporate it as a part of her daily diet is a big no-no.

Pepperoni is too salty for cats

The high sodium content of pepperoni is one reason why it adds that distinct flavor to pizza. But that trait makes it all the more dangerous for cats to eat.

Simply put it, pepperoni is too salty for our feline pals. A slice of pepperoni contains 98 milligrams of sodium. There’s around 683 mg of sodium in a slice of pepperoni pizza.

That’s just too much for the bellies of cats! In fact, adult cats need no more than 21 milligrams of sodium daily.

There’s also the risk that a cat may suffer from salt poisoning if you give her pepperoni. Salt poisoning in cats is characterized by symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and inappetance.

Cats who consume too much salt may also exhibit clinical signs of salt poisoning such as walking drunk, seizures, tremors, and excessive urination. Worse, salt poisoning can lead to death when left untreated.

If you fed your cat with pepperoni and you suspect that she has diarrhea due to salt poisoning, don’t fret. You can help soothe the upset stomach by giving her a bland diet, like plain boiled chicken.

The high salt content of pepperoni and its potential to cause salt poisoning is just one compelling reason why you should not give this pizza topping to your cat. As you read on this article, you’ll realize there are more reasons not to give pepperoni to your cat.

Pepperoni contains preservatives that are dangerous for cats

Cured meat like pepperoni contains nitrates, which preserve food by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria. It can also add flavor to the meat.

However, nitrates can be poisonous to cats. Nitrate poisoning is, in fact, common in other animals like dogs and horses. Symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, and lack of appetite.

Read more:

A Feline-Friendly Guide To “People Foods”: What Human Food Can Cats Eat?

Pepperoni is too spicy for cats

Pepperoni isn’t just salty but also too hot for cats. Pepperoni, with spices like red pepper, black pepper, and garlic, may just be too spicy for your cat’s belly.

Garlic, in particular, can be very dangerous to cats as it can lead to gastrointestinal irritation or inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This can cause stomach pain and worse, red blood cell damage.

Garlic exposure has symptoms of weakness, lack of appetite, and dark red urine. If you notice any of these symptoms then you should bring your cat to the vet right away.

And remember—our feline friends don’t have a good sense of taste. They only have 500 taste buds on their tongues. In comparison, humans have close to 9,000. So don’t be surprised why some cats taste spicy foods without realizing what they’re getting into.

But let’s say that you once fed your cat with pepperoni, and she seemed to have grown a fondness for it. What should you do?

First, you should not give in to her demands. It may be hard to do so especially if you see your cat give you that cute stare. But think of how dangerous pepperoni can be to her, and you should be able to resist her begging.

You might also want to increase the frequency of her meals. You might have grown accustomed to feeding her twice a day. Yet if she continues to look for the pepperoni you once gave her, it may simply mean that she’s hungry and needs to be fed.


In short, letting cats eat pepperoni can be a risky move. It can lead to health problems such as salt and nitrate poisoning. Cats who eat pepperoni may also suffer from stomach pain because of the presence of garlic in this popular pizza topping.

In fact, it can be said that letting your feline friend eat spider is a lot safer than having her eat pepperoni.

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