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Can Cats Eat Mayo? What You Need to Know!

If you wonder if it is safe to give your cat mayonnaise, the short answer is yes. However, there are a few things to consider before making it a regular part of your pet’s diet. It’s very common in many households, and many salads and other foods use it as a main ingredient. Your cat will likely come into contact with it at some point.

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Is Mayo Bad for My Cat?

Soybean Oil

One of mayo’s main ingredients is oil, which can upset your cat’s stomach, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. It’s also quite high in calories and can quickly cause your cat to become obese. Obesity is on the rise in America and leads to several significant health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, and liver disease.  It also puts additional strain on the cat’s joints and makes it harder to breathe and stay cool. Overweight cats may also have difficulty cleaning themselves, so it’s best to avoid foods that needlessly cause weight gain.

Eggs

Another main ingredient in mayo is eggs. While cats can eat eggs in small amounts, the yolks are very high in fat. They also contain a lot of cholesterol, which can also lead to obesity in cats as well as pancreatitis, heart disease, and a condition called hyperlipidemia, which can cause seizures, rough skin, and problems with the nervous system.

Mayonnaise Olive Oil and Lemon
Image Credit By: MariaPolna, pxhere

Vinegar and Lemon Juice

Mayonnaise also contains vinegar and lemon juice. While it will only contain a small amount, vinegar is a natural cat repellant, and your cat is unlikely to eat it if it detects it. Lemon juice, along with any other citrus fruit, is dangerous to your cat. It contains a compound called limonene that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, depression, liver failure, tremors, low blood pressure, and sudden death, so it’s a good idea to avoid lemon juice even in small amounts.

Salt

Another ingredient that you can find in many commercial brands is salt. While cats can tolerate salt better than humans, too much sodium can cause dehydration and heart problems in some cats and may also lead to water retention. Salt may also cause your cat to drink more, which will make them use the litter box more often.

Sugar

Many commercial mayonnaise brands also contain sugar. Sugar is not toxic to cats, but it can easily lead to weight gain as it is nothing but empty calories. It can also lead to hyperglycemia in older cats, and it may increase the risk of dental disease, which is already a major concern for cats. Cats with diabetes will have an especially hard time with the sugar in mayonnaise and should avoid it entirely. Another interesting fact is that cats cannot taste sweets, so there is no reason to provide it.

Mustard

Many mayo brands contain mustard, and while mustard is not toxic to cats, it often has many preservatives and other ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction in cats.

Is Mayo Good for My Cat?

Fresh mayonnaise
Image Credit By: Jason Terk, commons wikimedia

Soybean Oil

The soybean oil found in many commercial brands is a great source of omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are an essential nutrient for cats, and it helps with their skin, coat, and joints. Another benefit to your cat from eating a small amount of the oil found in mayo is that it can help ease constipation and may also help your cat pass hairballs.

Eggs

Egg whites have plenty of animal protein that contains essential amino acids like taurine that cats require in their diet. Taurine helps prevent vision loss, heart disease, dental disease, and many chemical reactions within the body. Another benefit to eating the eggs in mayo is that they contain probiotics, good bacteria that can help balance the digestive system to reduce problems like diarrhea and constipation.

How Can I Feed My Cat Mayo?

We recommend only giving mayo to your cat in very small amounts, and only if it’s something it enjoys and wants. A teaspoon every few days should be more than enough, and you should choose a brand without added salt or sugar. The best choice is to make your own using the following recipe brought to us by verywellfit.com but modified slightly for cats.

Ingredients
  • 1 egg yolk (whole egg if just for cats)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. powdered mustard (any kind, but leave out if just for cats)
  • 2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (vinegar if just for cats)
  • 1 tsp. Water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Steps
  • Put the oil aside and whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  • Slowly add a few drops of oil at a time while mixing vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken and takes on a lighter color.
  • Increase the speed you add oil slightly until you add it all.
  • Continue mixing until you have a thick mayonnaise.
  • Let sit for an hour or two before refrigerating in an airtight container.
  • It lasts approximately one week.

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Summary

If your cat ate some mayo while you weren’t looking, it should be fine. It can also help to give your cat a small amount if it’s constipated or has frequent hairballs, be we recommend avoiding it and using the proper medications instead. If your cat insists on eating it, we recommend making it instead of purchasing it and using the recipe we provided.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this guide and found the answers you were seeking. If you learned something new, please share this guide to the safety concerns of feeding your cat mayo on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit By: jules, commons wikimedia