Sodium in feline nutrition
Sodium levels in cat food have been and still are a controversial issue in veterinary science. Some commercial diets modify sodium contents for the therapeutic management of some pathologies [especially urolithiasis (higher sodium content), kidney failure and cardiac problems (lower sodium levels)]; however, the relationship between sodium intake and health problems in human medicine has led to doubts and concerns about the high sodium levels in cat food. Until recently, the role of sodium in feline nutrition (especially high dietary levels) and the associated implications for cat health and disease were unclear, the main reason for the controversy. Recent scientific reports have shed new light on the debate. The primary aim of this work is to review current evidence regarding dietary sodium levels and their potential benefits, risks and safety in feline nutrition. Its secondary aim is to report a possible safe upper limit (SUL) for sodium intake, based on current knowledge.