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Can Cats Eat Mayo? What You Need to Know!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Mayonnaise

As pet parents, we want our pets to have only the best. However, when your cat tries to eat the same food you do, is there a line you should draw? Is it okay for cats to eat the food you do? The answer to some foods is yes. Can your cat eat mayo? There’s not a short yes or no answer to this question.

While mayo isn’t toxic to cats, there are some ingredients in it that might give them a tummy ache. In this blog, we’ll talk about cats, mayo, and whether they can safely eat it or not.

What Is Mayo?

Mayo is a smooth, white sauce used by many people to put on their sandwiches or even to dip spring rolls in. It’s also used in salads and in many seafood dishes such as shrimp and shellfish.

Sold in supermarkets everywhere, you can get mayo manufactured as far away as Russia or sometimes maybe in your own home state. It’s kept in the fridge and is delicious with many food items, too many people, some of whom even dip their French fries in it. But, while it may be a great-tasting condiment to some people, it may not be the best choice for your feline friends.

mayonnaise with lemons
Image credit: MariaPolna, PxHere

What Are the Ingredients in Mayo?

You must first know the ingredients in mayo before you can tell if it’s really bad for your feline companion. Some mayo contains soybean oil, though not all, according to how you make it. The oil in the mayo can upset a cat’s stomach and cause diarrhea, especially if he eats too much of it.

Mayo also contains eggs. The yolks of the eggs are extremely high in fat, and eggs themselves can make your cat sick if eaten in more than small amounts. You already know that eggs have a high cholesterol content, which means you’re increasing your pet’s risk of developing pancreatitis, heart disease and also increasing their risk of becoming obese.

Another possible ingredient found in mayo is mustard. While mustard isn’t known to be toxic to felines, it does contain a bunch of preservatives and other ingredients that might cause an allergic reaction in your cat, so you need to watch for that.

There are many brands of mayo that feature sugar as an ingredient. While you don’t have to worry about sugar poisoning your cat, it can cause obesity and even hyperglycemia in cats that are older. Sugar also puts your cat at greater risk for dental disease, which is something you must watch for in cats, to begin with.

Lemon juice and vinegar are prime ingredients in mayo. Cats don’t like vinegar, so if your cat smells the substance in the mayo, he might avoid it on his own. Lemon juice, on the other hand, is dangerous to cats, as is all citrus, and can cause a variety of problems. It’s best to avoid giving anything that has lemon in it to your cat for this very reason.

Salt, of course, is one of the ingredients you’ll find in any mayo brand. However, salt can cause dehydration in your cat, so you need to be careful how much salt your cat ingests.

Is there Any Nutritional Value in Mayo for Cats?

It’s safe to say that there is no nutritional value to feeding your cat mayonnaise. However, feeding it to them, or too much of it anyway, can lead to obesity. Your best bet if you’re considering sharing your sandwich with mayo with your cat is to consult your local vet on whether it’s safe to give it to your feline pal.

cat eating food
Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

When Is It Okay to Feed Your Cat Mayo?

If your cat licks up some mayonnaise, there’s very little chance that it’ll be toxic to him. In fact, a bit of mayo could add some probiotic culture to your cat’s diet, which aids in digestion.

In some cases, a cat that suffers from constipation has been fed a dollop of mayo to help him move his bowels because mayo has probiotics in it. However, it’s best to talk to your vet before deciding on this course of action for your cat’s digestion. If your vet recommends the mayo, then that’s fine; if not, it’s best to not feed it to your cat at all.

When Is Mayo Bad for Cats?

Mayonnaise isn’t good for humans if you think about it, so why would you add it to your cat’s diet? Since cats are mostly carnivores, they need mostly meat in their diet, to begin with. Also, mayonnaise has a ton of calories that your cat doesn’t need. It’s best to keep the mayo away from your feline friend. Especially if he already has a problem with being overweight. Too much mayo could lead to obesity and a ton of health issues you don’t want your cat to have to deal with.

sad lonely cat
Image Credit: medveda, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

So, the answer to the question of whether cats can eat mayo varies. While you can feed it to your cat in small doses, it’s really not good for them and has no nutritional value, so why would you take the chance. There are plenty of other foods out there that aren’t toxic to your cat.

If your cat does eat a tiny bit of mayo, he probably won’t get sick. However, if you feel he ate too much or he shows symptoms of being ill, it’s best to get him to a vet right away for diagnosis and possible treatment.


Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Further reading

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