I know that salt lamps are made of salt rock, and I know that most animals are evolved to crave for salt, because of its rarity in nature. For example, hamsters like to lick human fingers for the salt in the sweat. So, there is a good chance that my cat might come and lick it from time to time.

So, if I get a salt lamp and if I make sure that my cat won't lick it (I plan to take it into my cupboard when I leave home), is there any reason to think that there might be other side effects for my cat? Also, if my cat becomes a salt junky, how can I recognise the symptoms of salt poisoning in a cat?

PS: I learnt about the concept of salt lamps today. Apparently, they are literally hollowed out salt rocks with a lamp inside. While Internet is full of its miraculous benefits, I believe the only benefit it gives is a pleasant light which might improve your mood a little. Still, I have a chance to get one for free and I think I like the light.

  • this is one of the cat questions that has the most hits when you google it,close to 7 million hits.here is the #1 hit when searching for salt lamps and cats vecc24.com/salt-lamps-bad-cats-super-careful-one-home Sep 17, 2021 at 4:18
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    @trondhansen I have seen similar posts on google, why I decided to go for a question here in a more trusted and regulated environment :)
    – ck1987pd
    Sep 17, 2021 at 13:32
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    thank you for your trust in our comunity :) my comment was only ment as information about where you can find additional information about this potential problem. Sep 17, 2021 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


It could be a genuine rocksalt lamp made of a chunk of pure halite (rocksalt). In that case it would have a slightly salty flavor, but not as salty as sticking your tongue into a jar of table salt. It would also draw moisture from the air and "sweat" salty condensation when it's not hot from the encased light bulb. Your cat might lick this salty water as well as the lamp. (This condensation might also damage the surface the lamp stands on.)

It could also be a counterfeit object, often made from acryllics or other polymers. Some manufacrurers even add salt to the mix to fool customers who taste test their lamp. There are reports that these counterfeits may include toxic chemicals.

To check the lamp, run a damp cloth over the lamp. There should be mineral residue on the cloth. It should also have a dull surface and a muted glow. A counterfeit usually has a shiny surface and a bright glow, doesn't sweat and doesn't leave a residue on a damp cloth. Source: Healthline

Salt poisoning

The symptoms of acute salt poisening are (source: Pet Poison Helpline):

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Incoordination
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

In addition to that, regular salt consumption increases the risk for kidney stones and kidney failure, which cats are prone to anyways.

Ways to protect your cat

  • Firstly and most obviously, store the lamp in a closed cupboard the cat cannot reach.
  • You could also put a plastic bag over the cooled lamp, if you don't want to store it every time.
  • There are decorative "cages" you could put your lamp in. Just make sure the cage is an inch bigger than the lamp on all sides and that the bars are dense enough that your cat cannot stick its head through.

Example of a grid-like lamp shade (source):
enter image description here

Example of decorative cage (source):
enter image description here

  • I'll check if it is genuine or not, but considering the fact that I got it free from a graduated student returning back to her homeland, I still think it was a bargain :)
    – ck1987pd
    Sep 17, 2021 at 13:44

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