Himalayan Salt Lamps and Cats Don’t Mix

A veterinary practice has issued a warning about the dangers of Himalayan salt lamps after a cat almost died after licking the lamp. Himalayan salt lamps are decorative lights that have become popular in the home.

Maddie Smith from New Zealand posted on Wednesday that she had noticed her cat Ruby was walking strangely with a head tilt, which was put down to the cold winter weather, Ruby was settled in, and her owners left for work. When partner Clayton returned home, Ruby’s condition had deteriorated, she could no longer see or hear, and was unable to walk. Ruby was rushed to the First Vets in Whanganui, New Zealand where initial bloodwork came back normal; further testing revealed Ruby had extremely high levels of sodium in her blood, a condition known as hypernatremia.

High blood sodium levels cause a shift of water out of the cells and can lead to fluid building up around the brain.

Image credit, Maddie Smith, Facebook

Hypernatremia symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Slow capillary refill time
  • Seizures
  • Coma

The treating veterinary practice, First Vets posted their own warning and a follow-up that Ruby was treated with supportive care, fluids and potassium and has made a full recovery but issued a warning about the potential dangers of Himalayan salt lamps and other products such as playdough which can contain high levels of salt.

Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time. Full author bio Contact Julia