Can cats eat tomato sauce?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question “Can cats eat tomato sauce?” We will also talk about the ingredients of tomato sauce which are unsafe for cat consumption and what should you do if your cat eats tomato sauce.

Can cats eat tomato sauce?

No, cats cannot eat tomato sauce. Tomato sauce is highly unhealthy for cats because it contains high amounts of salt. High salt consumption can create many health issues in cats starting from dehydration.

Moreover, tomato sauce contains some ingredients such as onion and garlic which are considered toxic for cats. Even a tiny amount of such ingredients can cause considerable damage to your cat’s health. Therefore, you should not feed tomato sauce to cats.

Which ingredients of tomato sauce are unsafe for cats?

Most tomato sauces are made of three essential ingredients including ripe tomatoes, basil and olive oil. While these ingredients are safe for cat consumption, tomato sauce also contains certain ingredients that can harm your cat’s health in many ways.

These ingredients include:


Tomato sauce contains high amounts of salt whether it is homemade or store-bought. Even though salt is an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the cat’s body, excess amounts can lead to serious health concerns. 

Consumption of high amounts of salt can cause dehydration in cats which can lead to further health problems. It can also cause electrolyte imbalances which can greatly affect the normal functioning of the cat’s body. Moreover, high salt consumption can also cause sodium poisoning.

The symptoms of salt poisoning include excessive thirst, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle incoordination, excessive drooling, lethargy, and increased heart and breathing rate. Cats can also experience tremors, seizures and even death in extreme cases.

Onion and garlic

Onion and garlic are almost found in all tomato sauces. These ingredients are safe for human consumption but they can cause serious damage to your cat’s health. Onion and garlic contain a compound called as n-propyl disulfide which is known for causing toxicity in cats.

Consumption of onion and garlic can cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells of cats, resulting in hemolytic anaemia. The development of hemolytic anaemia can create further health problems for cats.

The symptoms of garlic and onion toxicity include vomiting, diarrhoea, pale gums, lethargy, weakness, panting, loss of appetite, and black stool. Cats can also collapse in some cases. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving tomato sauce to cats.


Commercially available tomato sauces also contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate. These preservatives are unsafe for cat health and their frequent consumption can cause many health issues in cats.

What will happen if my cat eats tomato sauce?

If your cat simply licks a spoon covered with tomato sauce, there is not much t worry about. Your cat will most likely experience loose stools or flatulence until the tomato sauce is out of its system.

However, if your cat has eaten something with considerable amounts of tomato sauce, it can exhibit the symptoms of sodium or garlic toxicity such as disorientation, lethargy, vomiting or incoordination. In such cases, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible for a proper examination.

If you can’t get to the veterinarian in time, call a helpline for proper advice and guidance.

What should I do if my cat ate tomato sauce?

If you catch your cat eating tomato sauce, follow the given instructions:

  • Remove the tomato sauce from your cat’s reach and make sure it does not eat it again.
  • Provide plenty of water to your cat to prevent dehydration
  • Observe your cat for the next 24 hours for any signs of sodium toxicity
  • If your cat does anything out of the ordinary, call your vet and make an appointment as soon as possible.

Can tomato sauce kill my cat?

No, it is highly unlikely that tomato sauce will kill your cat. However, it can lead to fatal consequences if not managed properly. 

Therefore, it is important that you seek help as soon as you suspect that your cat ate tomato sauce. Do not forget to provide your cat with plenty of water to prevent dehydration.


We answered the question “Can cats eat tomato sauce?” We also talked about the ingredients of tomato sauce which are unsafe for cat consumption and what should you do if your cat eats tomato sauce.


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