Yes! But the potatoes need to be cooked. Raw potatoes contain glycoalkaloid solanine, a compound that is poisonous to cats as well as humans. If your cat eats cooked mashed potato or sweet potatoes from your plate, there should be no cause for alarm. However, visit a vet immediately if your cat feasts on raw potatoes.
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- Are raw potatoes safe to eat?
- Are sweet potatoes safe for cats?
- Is it safe for cats to eat cooked or mashed potatoes?
- Is it safe for cats to eat potato chips or fried potatoes?
- Can potatoes kill your cat?
- Which type are best for your cat?
Cats shouldn't eat raw potatoes. The solanine found in raw potatoes is actually a defense mechanism by growing potato plants to stop animals and humans from consuming growing potatoes. Besides being present inside raw potatoes, solanine is also present in the skin of ripening potatoes making both raw potatoes and raw potato peelings poisonous. If you have a kitten or a cat that eats "everything", keep raw potatoes, and raw potato peels out of reach.
Can cats eat sweet potatoes? Yes! Raw sweet potatoes don't contain solanine. This makes them safe for cats and humans as well. In fact, sweet potatoes have been labeled as non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses by the ASPCA. However, they can cause several health-related problems when consumed raw by cats. In fact, sweet potatoes are more beneficial to humans than cats.
Although these types of potatoes are nutritious, a cat’s digestive system favors a carnivorous diet. Cats tend to have problems digesting potatoes. Cat food is better suited to offer your cat all the nutrients they need. However, a few bites of cooked sweet potatoes won’t do any harm as an occasional treat. Cats can gain weight very fast when fed cooked potatoes excessively. They can also vomit, diarrhea, or have other digestive problems.
Yes. Cooked potatoes don't expose your cat to any health issues. Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, or boiled potatoes are all safe since the cooking process gets rid of solanine. It's safe to add some cooked potato in your cat's diet for some added energy and fiber boost. However, potatoes should be used to substitute any essential nutrients that are supposed to be in a cat's diet.
Moreover, cooked potatoes should be mixed with any herbs, spices, topping, or artificial additives that are capable of harming your cat. Such ingredients and additives which may be safe for humans can be lethal to cats.
While fried potatoes or French fries may be safe for humans, they can contain unhealthy fats, acids, and oils that will harm your cat. The same applies to potato chips. The excess fat, artificial flavors, salt, herbs, and other additives are lethal to cats.
Unless your cat consumes a large number of raw potatoes, the chances of death are very slim. What's more, most cats won't eat large quantities of raw potatoes. However, they may eat large quantities of cooked potatoes, which isn't harmful. Here's a summary of the risks potatoes pose to cats.
1. Potatoes Can Cause Digestive System Problems
Solanine causes lethargy and disorientation: In the unlikely event that your cat eats raw potatoes, solanine is known to cause side effects like lethargy, disorientation, diarrhea, and vomiting. Potatoes that are cooked using seasoning and oil or butter are likely to cause gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis. Fat, oil, and seasoning are linked to pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset in dogs. The same is likely in cats.
2. Gastrointestinal Blockage
Although rare, potatoes, especially peels, can block your cat's digestive system. Cats can't digest potato peels and leaves. When eaten in large amounts, they can cause gastrointestinal upset or blockage.
Large pieces of potato can choke your cat. This risk is common in kittens. Adult cats have distinct eating habits and rarely bite more than they can chew and swallow. They are also selective with what they eat and would probably overlook raw potatoes for other treats.
In a nutshell, potatoes won’t pose any serious risk to your cat. While cats like to snack on what pet owners are eating, they will hardly eat large quantities of raw potatoes or peels which pose the most lethal risk – death.
Cats will want a bit of anything you are eating. If you love potato chips and snack on them regularly in the presence of your cat, they will want a bite. In fact, cats love potato chips. However, the fat, salt and seasoning in most potato chips will harm your cat.
While your cat may seem like they are enjoying mashed potatoes, among other types of cooked potatoes, control the portions. Cats can have weight problems like humans when they feed on too many carbs.
Yes. But, there’s no good reason why you should feed your cat potatoes. While potatoes have nutrients like magnesium, potassium, Vitamins C and B6 as well as fiber, they are heavier on carbohydrates. What’s more, there are better cat foods offering higher quantities of nutrients than those found in potatoes minus the high amounts of carbs.
If you must give your cat a potato, make sure it’s cooked. Plain boiled or mashed potatoes are a better alternative to fried potatoes or potato chips. You should also make potatoes an occasional treat in very small quantities as opposed to a weekly meal. The high carb content in potatoes can make your feline friend overweight.
It's also recommendable to resist the urge to give cats everything you eat. Unless you have prepared potato chips at home and you're sure they are free of herbs and other additives harmful to cats, consider typical cat snacks like milk. What’s more, you shouldn’t give your cat any snack you feel will harm them. While it may be difficult for any cat owner to eat while their cat looks on in anticipation for a bite, it is the right thing to do if you don’t have a healthier alternative.
The information on this page is not a substitute for veterinary help. Please contact a vet for help with any concerns that you have.