What Is Sodium and Why Is It Important?
Sodium is an essential mineral for life. Found in the blood and in the fluid that surrounds cells, sodium maintains the cellular environment and prevents cells from swelling or dehydrating. Sodium is also important for maintaining proper nerve and muscle cell function.
What Are the Sources of Sodium in Cat Foods?
Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are good sources of sodium. It also may be included in commercial cat foods in the form of table salt (sometimes listed on the ingredient panel as salt). Salt is an important palatant for animals, as well as for people.
How Much Sodium Do Cats Need?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that dry cat foods contain at least 0.2% sodium for maintenance and to support normal growth and development. These are the minimum recommended levels.
While high sodium intake may cause increased thirst and water consumption, the extra sodium is excreted in cat urine.
Therefore, the sodium level in commercial pet foods is not a cause for concern in healthy animals.
When Might Sodium Restriction Be Recommended?
A veterinarian may recommend decreasing a cat's sodium intake if the animal has some types of kidney, liver, or heart disease, in order to help decrease high blood pressure or the accumulation of excessive body fluid. Although older cats may be more likely to develop these diseases, healthy older cats do not require a low- or reduced-sodium diet.
The sodium level in our cat foods is appropriate for healthy cats. The sodium content in these foods is balanced in proper proportions with energy, other minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.