If you have a cat, you may want to share your human food with them occasionally. The problem, however, is that some foods we love are unhealthy, or even toxic, for cats. If you’re wondering whether your cat can eat tomato soup, the answer is no. There are several reasons why this popular soup is unhealthy for cats and should be avoided. We’ll discuss why cats shouldn’t eat tomato soup and more below.
Why Can’t Cats Eat Tomato Soup?
The biggest issue with cats eating tomato soup is that almost all store-bought tomato soup has several ingredients that are either unhealthy or toxic to cats. They include:
- Other spices
Another issue with tomato soup is that tomatoes are highly acidic fruits and that acidity can be problematic for your cat’s digestive system, causing gastrointestinal (GI) distress and pain. As carnivores, cats rarely, if ever, eat anything highly acidic, so their digestive system is unable to process it correctly.
Tomatoes also have two natural compounds, tomatine, and solanine, which are toxic to cats. Both can cause gastric distress, vomiting, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, even potentially death. The tomato plant is also toxic to cats, including the stem, leaves, and flowers. That’s a problem as, during manufacturing and processing, it’s inevitable that some tomato plant parts get mixed in with store-bought tomato soup,
Is Home-Made Tomato Soup OK to Feed to Your Cat?
If you make your tomato soup, you can give a small amount of it to your cat if you like, but with a few caveats. First, your tomato soup should be made with 100% fully ripe tomatoes, never unripe or green tomatoes.
Furthermore, the tomato soup you make should have no salt, onions, garlic, leeks, sugar, or any other ingredients that are either toxic or unhealthy to cats, like pepper, cream, or milk. Yes, the result will be some of the blandest tomato soup you’ve ever made, but it will be safe for your cat to consume.
What Are the Signs Your Cat Is Having a Negative Reaction to Tomato Soup?
Although the likelihood of your cat accidentally eating tomato soup is small, it can still happen. Someone, for example, might leave a can of opened tomato soup where your cat can get to it or leave an unfinished bowl of soup on the table or counter in your kitchen. If your cat eats some and has a negative reaction, the signs you’ll see include the following:
- A rapid heartbeat
When Should You Visit a Vet if Your Cat Has Eaten Store-Bought Tomato Soup (or Unripe Tomatoes)?
If your cat exhibits any abnormal health signs, including those described above, you should take them to your veterinarian immediately. Most cats will only show signs of tomatine or solanine poisoning if they’ve eaten a large amount of tomato soup. In other words, if they are showing signs, you must get them veterinary help as fast as you can.
Can Cats Eat Tomatoes?
After reading that tomatoes contain tomatine and solanine, which are toxic for cats, you might now believe that feeding cats tomatoes isn’t a good idea. That, however, is only partially correct.
Unripe tomatoes have the highest concentration of the two compounds, and processed, store-bought tomato soup can contain unripe tomatoes. However, ripe tomatoes have far less of both and are generally considered by veterinarians to be OK as an occasional snack for cats.
Even better, ripe tomatoes have high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, potassium, and lots of fiber, to keep your cat’s digestive system healthy. So, yes, cats can eat tomatoes occasionally. Speak to your vet, however, before introducing any new foods into a cat’s diet.
Do Veterinarians Recommend Serving Tomatoes or Tomato Soup to Your Cat?
Most veterinarians are against giving cats tomatoes and tomato soup due to the risk of negative reactions and poisoning from tomatine and solanine. If you want to try other less hazardous fruits, they might recommend including blueberries, strawberries, apples, and mango. Just remember, you may be far more excited about offering these to your cat, than they are eating them!
Can Cats Eat Ketchup, Tomato Paste, or Tomato Juice?
Like tomato soup, any store-bought products with tomatoes as the main ingredient are highly likely to have unhealthy ingredients. The usual suspects include onions, garlic, salt, and sugar.
Most veterinary professional will recommend against giving your cat any highly processed food with tomatoes, which covers almost every store-bought tomato product. If you make a tomato dish at home using red, ripe tomatoes and no toxic or harmful (at least to cats) ingredients, it should be OK to give your cat in moderation.
Cats and Tomato Soup FAQ
Can Cats Eat Tomato Soup?
Homemade tomato soup with no toxic or harmful ingredients is potentially OK to give to a cat. Check with your veterinarian first, however.
Should Cats Eat Store-bought Tomato Soup?
You shouldn’t feed your cat store-bought tomato soup. Most are loaded with toxic and unhealthy ingredients that can make your cat ill.
Are Tomatoes Safe for Cats?
Red, ripe tomatoes are safe in moderation. Green, unripe tomatoes and all parts of the tomato plant are toxic to cats.
What Is the Compound in Green Tomatoes that’s Toxic to Cats?
Tomatine and, in smaller parts, solanine are the two compounds in tomatoes that are highly toxic to cats.
Can Cats Eat Other Products Made with Tomatoes?
It’s best to avoid anything with tomatoes manufactured and sold in stores due to the risk of tomatine toxicity.
Because almost all tomato soup bought in a store contains ingredients that will make your cat sick (or worse), veterinarians recommend against giving your cat tomato soup. Tomatine, found in unripe tomatoes, is the main culprit, along with the garlic, onion, salt, sugar, and dairy in most commercial tomato soup products.
Yes, homemade tomato soup made with red, ripe tomatoes and no other ingredients like salt, onions, or garlic is safe for cats to eat in moderation. However, there are better, safer snacks you can feed your pet. Most veterinarians recommend keeping tomatoes and tomato soup out of your cat’s diet.