Vegemite is a yeasty, dark brown spread enjoyed worldwide that comes from Australia. The taste may be unusual to some, but that may not stop your cat from trying to steal a bite. However, cats shouldn’t eat vegemite regularly because of its high salt content.
In this article, we’ll discuss why cats should avoid salty foods like vegemite, even though it has some health benefits. If you want to share some snacks with your kitty, keep reading for healthier alternatives to vegemite!
What Is Vegemite & Is It Healthy?
Vegemite is made from brewer’s yeast left over after beer production, with added flavorings. It can be used as flavoring for soups or as a spread on bread and crackers. As we mentioned, vegemite was first made in Australia and is commonly associated with that country.
Although vegemite is high in salt, it provides some health benefits in B vitamins. Humans who need increased levels of B vitamins often eat vegemite as a supplement. B vitamins are also important to your kitty’s health, and some health conditions do require supplements for them as well.1 However, vegemite isn’t the best choice for your cat because it contains so much salt.
The Dangers of Salt for Your Cat
Salt is a necessary nutrient for cats, just like it is for humans. Food and treats formulated for cats include a balanced amount of salt. Some cats may need to eat less salt for health reasons, while others may need slightly more salt in their diet to encourage them to drink more water.
However, ingesting too much salt can also poison your cat (and dogs too.) As a nutrient, sodium needs to stay carefully balanced to keep your cat healthy and functioning. Both too much and too little sodium in your cat’s body can be dangerous.
To avoid the risk of salt poisoning, don’t feed your cat salty human foods, including vegemite. If your cat does ingest vegemite or other high-salt foods, contact your veterinarian for instructions. Signs of salt poisoning in cats include the following:
Treating salt poisoning is tricky and requires veterinary management. Have your cat seen by a veterinarian if you suspect they are suffering from this condition.
Safe Human Food Treats for Cats
Most of your kitty’s daily calories should come from nutritionally balanced cat food. Commercially formulated diets contain the correct balance of nutrients and essential amino acids your cat needs to stay healthy. Cats can easily become overweight if they get too many extra calories in the form of treats.
Your vet can help you calculate how many calories your cat needs each day based on their breed, size, age, and activity level. Based on that number, you can check the cat food label to determine how much your cat should eat each day.
If you offer your cat treats, be sure to include them in the daily calorie count. Instead of high-sodium vegemite, consider offering small portions of these safe human foods to your kitty:
Avoid offering your cat fatty or sugary foods, along with toxic foods like onion, garlic, or chocolate. Don’t offer raw meat, fish, or eggs because of the risk of dangerous bacteria making you or your cat sick. Some cats may tolerate cheese or other dairy products as a snack, but many do not.
Vegemite might be packed with healthy B vitamins, but it’s also loaded with salt. The occasional taste may not harm your cat, but you shouldn’t feed them vegemite regularly because of the risks of ingesting too much salt. Stick with feeding your cat a balanced diet supplemented by the occasional healthy treat. Before making any kind of changes to what you feed your cat, check with your veterinarian for guidance.
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