Fries are undoubtedly a beloved food worldwide, but are you a cat owner wondering if it's safe to share your fries with your furry friend? Fries may make a delicious treat for cats, but there are much better and healthier options for your feline friend. Here we'll look at the risks of feeding your cat French fries and what healthier alternatives you can give them instead.
Can cats eat fries?
While cats are curious creatures and would happily steal French fries off your plate if given a chance, it's not a recommended or healthy food for felines. Here are some reasons why:
- The high salt levels in fries can cause dehydration in cats. An excessive intake of salt can cause salt toxicity in cats causing vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and, in extreme cases, even death
- Fries are high in calories and fat which can cause weight gain, even obesity, diabetes and heart disease in cats. As cats are obligate carnivores, they require a diet primarily made up of meat – high in protein and low in fats and carbohydrates
- There's little to no nutritional value in fries for cats, and they lack the essential vitamins and minerals cats need for optimal health
- The greasy nature of fries can upset cats' digestive systems and cause vomiting and diarrhoea
- Some cats may be allergic to corn, wheat or potatoes found in fries which can cause digestive issues, or skin irritation
- The typically crunchy texture of fries can create dental issues in cats, such as gum disease or chipped teeth
- Giving human food to your cat, including fries, can encourage them to beg or try to steal your food at mealtimes
Can cats eat fries without salt?
While fries without salt are less harmful to cats they are still not ideal feline food. There are much healthier, more nutritious (and probably tastier) alternatives to give your cat, such as cat-specific treats or freeze-dried meats.
Can I let my cat play and lick frozen French fries?
Letting your cat play with or lick frozen French fries is not a good idea. Frozen French fries can pose a potential choking hazard to your cat, especially if the fries are small. If you want to give your cat a treat or a toy to play with, there are much safer and healthier options specifically designed for cats.
Are raw potatoes harmful to cats?
Raw potatoes contain solanine, that's toxic to cats and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal upset if a cat eats a large amount. However, small amounts of cooked potatoes are usually fine for a cat to eat if they aren't seasoned with anything harmful such as salt, onions or garlic.
Can French fries kill cats?
It's not likely that eating French fries will kill your cat, but it can cause various health problems, and therefore, it's best to avoid giving it to your feline friend. French fries are high in fat, carbohydrates and salt, which can lead to health problems in cats and consuming too much salt can lead to salt toxicity, which can be life-threatening if left untreated. However, it's unlikely that a cat would eat enough to cause this.
What should I do if my cat eats some French fries?
If you discover that your cat has eaten some French fries, you should monitor them closely for a loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhoea. While a small amount of unseasoned French fries is unlikely to cause serious harm to your at, consuming excessive seasoning or salt can be harmful and cause serious gastrointestinal distress. Contact your vet immediately if you think your cat has eaten many French fries. They may recommend treatment to manage dehydration or vomiting.
What human foods can cats eat?
While cats have specific dietary needs, there are some human foods that cats can have as a treat in small amounts, for example:
- Cooked turkey or chicken: But avoid adding any seasoning and be sure to remove any skin and bones from the meat
- Cooked fish: Many cats enjoy small amounts of cooked fish such as tuna or salmon
- Cooked eggs: Boiled or scrambled eggs that are cooked thoroughly without any salt or butter create a tasty cat treat
- Cheese: Cats can have a small amount of cheese, but avoid giving them large quantities as it has a high-fat content
- Plain yoghurt: Cats can eat a small amount of plain, unsweetened yoghurt, providing them with a good source of probiotics
While you don't need to worry as much about giving these foods to your cat, it's important to slowly introduce new foods to your cat in small amounts to avoid upsetting its digestive system. It's also important to remember that human foods shouldn't make up a large part of a cat's diet. It should instead contain quality commercial cat food that meets their nutritional needs.
While your cat may love to eat human food, not all of it is safe for them. Speak to your vet if you’re unsure about what’s safe for your cat to eat and if unsure, stick to giving them food that's specifically designed for felines.