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Can Cats Eat Soup? Is It Healthy for Them?

Soup is a great meal to have for lunch or dinner. It is filling and comforting to eat on chilly days, and there are so many ways to prepare soup. It really can be the perfect meal. However, you may be wondering if you can pour a bit of soup into a bowl for your cat to enjoy. Is it safe for them to have? Is it beneficial or dangerous?

Sadly, none of these questions have a simple solution. In general, cats should not be eating human food. Many soups are harmful to cats because of the ingredients. On the other hand, certain soups or broths can be beneficial for them.

This article explains why most soups are harmful and what are the exceptions.

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What Can Cause Soup to Be Harmful to Cats?

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It’s not so easy as just naming brands or packaging to demonstrate which are safe and which are not. It all comes down to the ingredients. Here are some main ingredients commonly found in soups that are not safe for your cat:

Ingredients toxic to cats:
  • Sodium: The first one on the list is sodium. This is because soup can have a monstrous amount, especially the canned variety. This is because they use high preservatives to keep the soup fresh, and these preservatives are salt-based. Although they need sodium to thrive, cats cannot consume high amounts of sodium. Too much sodium can be lethal for them, which is also why your cat should never eat table salt.
  • Garlic and onions: Both garlic and onions are part of the same family called the allium family. Anything in this family is harmful to cats. While very small amounts will cause a tummy ache at most, frequent intake or descent servings can cause digestive upset or even anemia.
  • Mushrooms: As cats are obligate carnivores, fruits and vegetables are not on the top of the most-wanted lists for cats. Although rare in cats, especially when compared to dogs, mushrooms can cause mycotoxicosis. This is caused by eating mushrooms, mold, or anything organic that is decomposing. The symptoms will depend on how much was ingested.
  • Milk and cream: While dairy is not considered lethal for cats, it can often cause digestive upset. This is because cats are lactose intolerant. This happens naturally not long after the kitten is weaned from the mother. As their bodies adjust to solid food, it no longer needs to sustain themselves from milk, and as such, their ability to digest it disintegrates.
  • Various vegetables and herbs: Some other common ingredients to watch out for when looking at soups for your cat are leeks, eggplants, scallions, and chives.

If your cat digests any of these and you have any concerns, it is always better to see a vet.

When Can Soup Be Good for Cats?

As cats get older, they are more prone to health issues. They also require fewer calories than younger cats and need a diet to cater for this. Soup is low in calories and can help aging cats retain water and get vitamins and protein without excessive calories, but it should not be the only thing they eat.

Cats suffering from dental issues or mouth sores would definitely appreciate the change. Being a liquid, it also helps cats feeling unwell as it is easier to digest than solid food. Soup also helps cats who don’t intake enough water throughout the day and can be used as a great supplement to their water levels.

Cat-safe soups can also aid digestion and joints. Soups made with beef bones have high amounts of collagen. Collagen protects joints and helps to soothe the intestinal lining of your cat’s digestive tract, preventing undigested food from entering the bloodstream. This is why it is great for older cats, especially those suffering from arthritis. Bone broths can also help detoxify the liver.

There are cat brands that now offer a soup as the soup trend has hit the cat industry, but there are options available if you wish to make your own at home. A homemade cat-safe bone broth is a healthy choice for your furry friend. However, it is always good to check with your vet about homemade bone broth recipes and safe serving sizes.

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Final Thoughts

We love sharing our food with our cats. It is a fun bonding activity; plus, we love spoiling them! However, you want to ensure that the food we give them is safe and healthy. Most soups we eat are not good for cats because of sodium and other ingredients. It is best to stick with cat-friendly treats!

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Featured Image Credit: PJjaruwan, Shutterstock

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