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Can Cats Have Pickles? Understanding The Risks

As you enjoy the tangy, sour pickles, a cute meowing catches your attention. But pause here before you share a slice to verify whether pickles are safe for cats.

Can Cats Have Pickles

As you enjoy the tangy, sour pickles, a cute meowing catches your attention. But pause here before you share a slice to verify whether pickles are safe for cats.

You enjoy pickles. Don’t you? It’s common among pet owners to share something from their meals with their pets either way. However, vets are sounding the alarm to discontinue this norm or you may hurt your fur babies. After learning this, it’s crucial to find out: Can cats have pickles?

No, cats can’t eat pickles because they contain almost everything toxic to cats, including onion, garlic, and excessive salt. If your cat seems to enjoy the taste, offer it pickled cucumbers occasionally without onion and garlic seasoning. The best you can do is provide them with healthy, cat-friendly snacks to nibble on as alternatives.

There are many other human foods that cats can enjoy but with restrictions. Likewise, there’s a list of human foods cats shouldn’t eat. To your surprise, the latter also includes the ingredients of pickles.

Are Pickles Safe For Cats? 

As each variety of pickles contains excessive salt, they aren’t safe for cats. However, those made with little to no added salt are generally safe to consume by felines. Pickles from the second category contain ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, herbs, and spices. So, you can give them to your pet as a rare treat.

Toxic Ingredients In Pickles For Cats

You might think a slice or two from your regular snack won’t harm your kitty, but the truth is different. Don’t let the term ‘homemade pickles’ fool you. Nearly all of them used similar ingredients including:

  • Fresh fruit or vegetable
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Spice (cinnamon, mustard)
  • Herbs (ginger, garlic, onion, dill)
  • Vinegar

While these primary ingredients are essential to prepare a delicious pickle recipe, most of them are harmful to cats. According to ASPCA, onion and garlic are known as toxic herbs for both cats and dogs. 

What Happens If A Cat Eats A Pickle?

Your cat may exhibit a combination of symptoms if consumes pickles in large amounts. The ingredients from pickles that raise a concern for cat’s safety are salt, onion, and garlic. Each element affects the feline’s health in different ways as stated below:


The concentration of salt used in most recipes is too high to process for cats. Accidental consumption, as common in domestic cats, may cause dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Onions are rich in disulfides which put oxidative stress on a cat’s red blood cells. It results in damaging the cells and causes hemolytic anemia combined with symptoms of anorexia, lethargy, and gums discoloration.


Cats are five times more sensitive to garlic toxicity than onions. Symptoms of garlic toxicity in cats include weakness, depression, pale mucous membrane, rapid breathing, and in extreme cases, seizures.

Can Cats Have Dill Pickles?

Cats shouldn’t be given dill pickles or any type of pickles. While dill pickles might not be as harmful as some other varieties, they still contain high levels of sodium and vinegar, which can upset a cat’s stomach and lead to dehydration. 

It’s best to avoid feeding pickles of any kind to cats and stick to a diet specifically formulated for their nutritional needs.

The Bottom Line

Pickles can definitely be a good snack for a change, but not for cats. Nevertheless, even when they appear tempted, you must take control of what goes down their throat. Remember that offering your food scraps to your feline friends can be a recipe for disaster. Seek immediate help from a vet when you notice any signs of toxicity.


Can Cats Have Pickle Juice?

No, cats shouldn’t drink pickle juice as it’s high in both sodium and vinegar which are unhealthy for cats when taken frequently.

Can Cats Eat Dill?

Yes, cats can eat dill as it’s 100% safe for them. While consuming the herb doesn’t pose any harm to your kitty, it shouldn’t be given in case of any liver disease.

Rico Alanan

Rico Alanan

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