We all love to settle in our couches, munching a big bag of chips while watching our favorite TV show. Have you ever thought about those cutie pets roaming around your house?
Can cats eat potato chips or not? If yes, then how much? And if not, then Why? Let’s explore.
Why Potato Chips are considered Unhealthy Snacks for Cats?
There are several reasons for it, some of which are mentioned as below:
- Potato chips are considered to be unhealthy and dangerous due to their high salt content which results in an increase in blood pressure and different chronic kidney diseases.
- Similarly, Potato chips are full of saturated fats, which leads to obesity and different cardiovascular diseases.
Now you know the adverse effects of Potato chips, but before digging into it more; let’s check if this case same for all kinds of Potato chips.
Can cats eat Potato chips? – The normal ones!
It’s a fact that a single potato chip won’t do any harm and you wouldn’t have to visit any vet in an emergency. But obviously, Potatoes don’t have any nutritional value specified for cats although it’s not toxic. It would only be an addition to some of the cat’s calories.
One of the main reasons is that cat’s digestion system is different. And to digest junk food gets much complicated at times. So, in short, occasional one or two bites of chips won’t do much harm but just don’t make it a constant habit in your pet’s diet.
Can cats eat Potato chips? – French fries
We can divide its answer into two portions; whether the French fries are cooked or not. But before going into its details, first, see why French fries are not good for cats.
Why French fries are not good for cats?
French Fries comprise simple potatoes, any oil, and a little seasoning. So, potatoes are mainly based on carbs and fiber. Moreover, it has potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.
Now, if we see it from the cat’s digestion perspective; fiber is highly important for cat’s gut health but high-carbs are quite dangerous. Carbs are not meant for it as it only prefers all-meat diet meals. Naturally, it doesn’t have such enzymes in its body which can process these carbs.
Similarly, the discussion goes for oil. Cat’s body doesn’t need it in this additional amount, then why should we force it over the poor creature.
Is Cooked French Fries OK for Cats?
You will be surprised to know that cats lose most of their toxins after being cooked. It is because frying (continuous heat exposure) helps in eliminating most of the Glycoalkaloids present in the potatoes.
But that doesn’t mean it is preferred or recommended at all. Although it’s a better option to have rather than having mashed/ boiled potatoes.
There’s one thing more to it, French Fries come covered in ranch and tasty sauces. It can lead to severe dangerous consequences too, we will discuss it later.
What about the Uncooked French Fries for Cats?
If you take raw potatoes, remember it contains alkaloids in abundance which is quite harmful to the cat. It is mostly present in the Green potatoes, so you must avoid that as well. If the cat accidentally eats it then go and get it checked through the veterinarian.
Are Extra Sauces/ Flavorings on French Fries dangerous too?
Sauces are delicious but does taking it in the meal is a good thing to have?
It’s quite acidic in taste and can cause an extreme sensation in a cat’s stomach which results in continuous vomiting. Moreover, some flavors can lead to toxicity as well such as onion powder, or garlic seasoning. You may check on this website (PetPoisonHelpine) as it’s mentioned under the toxins list for cats. A small amount of onion or garlic won’t do anything but it’s not worth taking the risk.
Wrapping It Up!
Now we know all the pros and cons associated with the French Fries. In short, taking it occasionally won’t be much problem but won’t be of nutritional value either.
What should be our take on Potato chips, then?
Do you know vets have always shared a certain list with the cat owners comprising the dangerous food items for their cats to eat? Surprisingly, it includes chocolates, dairy items, but what we see in contrast. We observe all these food items with the cats in daily life, TV shows, advertisements, etc. So, all these items can be given but within a limit to prevent the cat from sickness.
A similar case is with Potato chips too. You may not find it in any prohibited item’s list devised by vets but not any of the vets would recommend it to feed chips to your cat. Hoping now you get my point.
The root cause is that Potato chips have a lot more than Potatoes themselves i.e., oils, flavors, seasonings, sugar, salt, etc. And all of these won’t do any good to your cat at all.
Let’s check them one by one.
Potato isn’t harmful itself but by the time if you keep it in the diet, it leads to obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and chronic kidney problems, etc. And as discussed before, the cat’s digestion system is not designed to deal with carbs well.
Salt is an essential part of every diet but an excessive amount leads to an improper blood pressure rate and cardiac issues. Generally, a cat faces instant vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, etc. with this kind of issue.
As per research (EatingWell), it is found that there is 170 mg of sodium in a single bag of potato chips. It’s equal to 7% of the daily recommended portion. Isn’t that alarming, because a single potato chip fulfills half of the cat’s recommended daily requirement for sodium intake.
All cats need fat for energy and essential vitamins. But it should be healthy fats, not Potato chips. It’s only an empty set of calories with zero nutritional value.
If you really love your cat and are genuinely concerned about it, don’t give it Potato chips to eat. There’s no such question left that can cats eat potato chips or not, after reading several adverse effects of it.
You can allow it to have a meager amount of potato chips once in a while, but don’t make it a habit. As it’s not a healthy snack plus, high in carbohydrates, salt, and fat content, and has zero nutritional value which won’t benefit your cat in the long run.
Remember, a similar case goes with the French fries as well as its having a high amount of salt, indigestible oils, artificial flavors & preservatives, etc. It is not an ideal food to give your cats.
One more reason for taking precautions is because we as adults know its consequences but cats don’t. It can eat an entire packet full of chips without knowing its side effects. So, it’s our responsibility to take care of them and making a healthy environment for them