Can Cats Eat Spaghetti Sauce?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

A quick guide on what you can and cannot feed your cat.

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It’s safe to say that the majority of cat owners have, at one point or another, been faced with the late-night question of whether or not their feline friend can share in their spaghetti dinner. After all, cats are often attracted to the rich smell and taste of tomato sauce, and a small taste probably won’t hurt them, right?

Unfortunately, the answer is a little more complicated than that. While there are some brands of spaghetti sauce that are safe for cats to eat, there are also many that are not. In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving your cat any spaghetti sauce at all.

What is in Spaghetti Sauce?

Spaghetti sauce is a sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs. It is commonly used on pasta, but can also be used on other dishes like pizza or as a dipping sauce. While it is generally safe for cats to eat spaghetti sauce, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce is a little more complex, as it usually contains garlic, onion, and herbs like basil and oregano. If your cat ate a small amount of pasta with tomato sauce, they most likely will be fine. However, if they consume too much tomato sauce, it could give them an upset stomach or diarrhea.


While the jury is still out on whether or not garlic is actually harmful to cats, most experts agree that it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding garlic to your feline friend. This is because garlic belongs to the Allium family of plants, which also includes onions, leeks, and chives. These plants contain compounds that can be toxic to cats and can cause anemia by damaging their red blood cells.


Onion is a common ingredient in spaghetti sauce. It is safe for cats to eat small amounts of onion, but it is best to avoid feeding them too much. Onion can cause an upset stomach in cats, so it is best to feed them a small amount as a treat rather than adding it to their regular diet. If you are feeding your cat spaghetti sauce, make sure that it does not contain any other ingredients that are harmful to cats, such as garlic or tomatoes.

Other common ingredients

Spaghetti sauce typically contains some combination of vegetables and spices in addition to the tomato base. Pepper, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, parsley, and oregano are some of the most common spices used. Many spaghetti sauces also contain red wine or meat such as beef, pork, sausage, or anchovies.

Is Spaghetti Sauce Toxic to Cats?

While a lot of people think that spaghetti sauce is safe for cats to eat, the truth is that it can actually be quite harmful. The acidity in the sauce can cause stomach problems and the tomatoes can be toxic. If you’re going to feed your cat spaghetti sauce, be sure to dilute it with water first.

Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce is not toxic to cats, but it can potentially cause digestive upset. If your cat ingests tomato sauce, they may vomit or have diarrhea. In most cases, this is not serious and will resolve itself within a day or two. However, if your cat is vomiting frequently or has severe diarrhea, they may become dehydrated. Dehydration can be serious, so it’s important to monitor your cat closely and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.


The jury is still out on whether or not garlic is toxic to cats. Some experts say that it is, while others claim that it is not. The truth is, the answer probably depends on the amount of garlic that your cat ingests. A small amount is probably not going to hurt them, but a large amount could potentially be harmful. If you’re concerned about your cat eating spaghetti sauce, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep them away from it.


Onions are found in a lot of foods, including spaghetti sauce. They are perfectly safe for humans to eat, but they can be toxic to cats. Onions, garlic, leeks, and chives all belong to the Allium family of vegetables. These vegetables contain a compound called thiosulfate, which is toxic to cats.

When cats eat onions, thiosulfate damages their red blood cells. This can lead to anemia, which is a condition where there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Anemia can make cats feel tired and weak and can even be fatal if not treated promptly.

If your cat has eaten onions, watch for signs of anemia such as lethargy, pale gums, and trouble breathing. If you see any of these signs, take your cat to the vet right away.

Other common ingredients

Onions and garlic are two other common ingredients found in many spaghetti sauces. Both of these can be toxic to cats if consumed in large enough quantities. The level of toxicity will depend on the amount of onion or garlic consumed, as well as the size of your cat. If your cat ingests a large enough quantity of either onion or garlic, it could lead to anemia. Depending on the severity, anemia can be fatal. If you think your cat has consumed a large enough quantity of either onion or garlic to be harmful, it is important to seek professional medical help immediately.


So, can cats eat spaghetti sauce? No, cats should not eat spaghetti sauce due to the high acidity level and spices. If your cat ingests a small amount of sauce, they may experience an upset stomach or diarrhea. If your cat ingests a large amount of sauce, they may experience more serious problems such as an obstruction in their digestive system.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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