Potatoes are one of the most beloved foods in the world. They can be found in dozens of countries in different forms whether it is fried, mashed, or baked. There is no doubt that they have become one of the staples of the human diet.
But that raises the question of whether your pets are able to safely eat it. Pets such as cats are naturally curious and inquisitive creatures. They love to try new things, especially food, and will inevitably eat anything that might roll off the table onto the floor which may include potatoes.
Questions like these are definitely worth looking into as we are the ones responsible for buying food for them. If they can eat potatoes, not only can introduce new nutrients to them but also serve as a treat if they like.
Can Cats Eat Potatoes?
The answer to this question is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. This is because cats have very different reactions to different kinds of potatoes and how they are prepared. Some of it can be completely harmless while others are incredibly dangerous.
Can cats eat sweet potatoes
Yes, cats are able to eat sweet potatoes and are not among those foods listed as toxic to cats by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.) This means that there is nothing in them that will pose a threat to them.
However, they may not be able to enjoy these foods as much as humans as while there is nothing dangerous to them, there is also nothing really beneficial from them either. This is because cats have a weaker digestive system compared to humans and therefore cannot digest sweet potatoes as efficiently as we do.
On top of this, any health benefits that cats might get from them eating them are negligible and in fact, feeding them to your cat on a regular basis might lead to obesity for the little guys.
Can cats eat mashed potatoes
Yes, it is perfectly fine for your cat to eat mashed potatoes. They can be given to your cats safely provided they are only given in small amounts and have been properly cleaned and prepared.
Mashed potatoes make a good treat to serve your little kitty every one in a while, especially if you are looking to give their protein and fiber levels a little boost. However, when feeding your cat mashed potatoes, avoid adding any unnecessary herbs and additives because these might be toxic for your cat.
Can cats eat raw potatoes
No. Raw potatoes are probably the worst way to feed it to your cats. It is in this state when it is actually dangerous to your cat. This is because they contain a chemical called solanine which is very poisonous to them. Consumption of it by your cat can cause things like diarrhea, stomach pains, and vomiting.
This can also be found in the green skin of potatoes and you can get rid of solanine only by cooking it. Aside from that though, there is also the issue of things like dirt and other chemicals clinging to the uncooked potatoes.
Can cats eat cooked potatoes
In fact, this is one of the safer ways to feed your cat potatoes because any harmful chemicals from the raw potatoes have now been destroyed. It is also an improvement over sweet potatoes due to having more nutrients in them.
Cooked potatoes can be served to your cat either baked, mashed, or boiled. Like with mashed potatoes, it is best to serve these plain as not to put your cat at risk from any addons. In fact, some cat foods actually use potatoes as one of their ingredients.
Can Cats Eat Potato Chips
When compared to other ways to serve potatoes such as baking or mashing them, it is probably best to avoid potato chips. While they can get rid of some of the harmful chemicals from raw potatoes, they also now bring their own set of issues if you serve them to your cat.
Unlike mashed potatoes, potato chips need to be fried to make. This alone has the problem of having large amounts of oil, cholesterol, and harmful fats which can be very unhealthy to your cats.
But aside from that, they also have the problems of the other addons they come with. Fried chips normally are served with things such as artificial flavoring, salt, and other herbs which are no good for your cat. It is probably best to avoid these as treats for your cats.
Can Cats Eat French Fries
Much like with potato chips, french fries are something that should be avoided by you when giving treats for your cat. French fries are already very unhealthy for humans and are even worse for cats.
They contain many unhealthy fats that your cat doesn’t need along with large amounts of salt which can upset their stomachs and cause obesity. The average serving of Mcdonalds fries contains 134.2 milligrams of sodium, three times more than what your cat needs.
Are Potatoes Good for Cats?
While we have discussed many issues with potatoes, it is not all bad for them either. As we discussed earlier, potatoes can contain some helpful nutrients for your cat that should not be disregarded. If prepared properly, they can be quite beneficial for our feline friends by adding additional nutrients.
Benefits of Potatoes for Cats
Once you have managed to cook your potatoes and removed the harmful chemicals from it, you can now look at some of the benefits that come from feeding potatoes to your cats. I prepare the potatoes properly and give it in the right amounts, it can be a great treat for your cat.
When cooked, many of the harmful chemicals are eliminated, though the nutrients remain. A cooked potato can have things like vitamin B and C, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. The latter of which can be important when your cat is suffering from constipation as it can help your cat with their digestion.
Is Potatoes Bad For Cats?
Potatoes come with their own share of problems and pitfalls when giving them to your cat, putting them at risk with things like obesity and sickness. While they do get nutrients, there are other sources that they can get it from.
Overall, potatoes are not really a necessary item in a cat’s menu. At the end of the day, it is not really a natural part of the cat’s diet so we should be wary when feeding our cats any potatoes.
Concerns about Cats Eating Potatoes
Some of the biggest concerns that come from feeding your cat potatoes are those surrounding his health.
-Sweet Potatoes: The risk here is that sweet potatoes cannot be easily digested by cats due to not being used to eating them. This means they have a hard time eating them and cannot really get the nutrients from them.
-Raw Potatoes: With raw potatoes, there are harmful chemicals found in them that can be poisonous to cats. The chemicals outside of it though that cling to the potato can be just as dangerous and can make your cat sick.
-Addons: In many potato dishes, other addons like oil, artificial flavors, and salt. These can negatively affect your cat’s health by putting them at risk of sickness and obesity since they require far small amounts of these substances. Too much of this can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
How can I feed my cat potatoes?
When feeding your cat potatoes, it is best to do so cooked without too much oil. This can be done by baking, boiling, or mashing them. This removes the harmful chemicals in the plants without using too much oil which can also be unhealthy for your cat.
Once they are ready, you chop them into small pieces to prevent them from choking on it. These small pieces can be either sprinkled on top of their regular food to add flavor or handing them out to your cat directly as a treat.
How many potatoes Can a cat Eat Daily?
The key thing to remember is that they have to be given in small amounts. When doing so, normally about two or three pieces should be enough at any given time. Too many of these potatoes can cause things like obesity, diabetes, and joint problems.
Can potatoes kill cats?
Yes, as we have seen there are many risks to your cat from eating potatoes. This can be if they are not properly prepared so the dangerous chemicals in them can remain or if they are made with many harmful substances.
Can kittens have potatoes?
Yes, it is fine to give your kittens a small number of potatoes. Though if you choose to do so, keep in mind many of the risks attributed to giving full-grown cats potatoes are even more prevalent because kittens are not yet fully developed and may have a harder time eating them.
In the end, the answer to the question of whether potatoes make a good snack for your cat is a bit more complicated than we expect. There is a lot to consider from how you prepare it to what kind of potatoes. All of that is important in order to prevent them from getting sick.
Still, at the end of the day, this is something that is not a natural part of their diet therefore potatoes are best kept as an occasional treat for your little feline friends.