Can Cats Eat Potatoes? Are Potatoes Safe For Cats?

Russell Cargill

Cooked potato in any form is not only delicious but is also a great source of nutrition for humans. But what about cats?

Can cats eat potatoes? What about sweet potato?

Let’s find out more about cats and potatoes below shall we. 

Can Cats Eat Potatoes?

If you didn’t know already, cats are obligate carnivores. This means they can get all their nutrients needed from a strictly meat-based diet without the need to eat vegetables or fruits. 

That doesn’t mean they can’t eat certain vegetables or fruit in small quantities, they just don’t need to.  

Cats are able to eat small amounts of cooked potato without any worries. While they won’t get any nutritional benefit from them, it may satisfy their curiosity. 

But, there are some instances where it can be dangerous for them. 

Potatoes could contain an alkaloid called solanine. Solanine is both dangerous for us and our pets, felines included.

If you notice your potato skin changing color to green or green sprouts forming on the skin, that is where the chemical can be found.

Green sprouts or green skin are the big concerns when it comes to cats and humans eating potatoes.

Are There Any Health Benefits

A freshly cooked potato that doesn’t contain any green skin or sprouts is going to be fine for your cat to eat. But do cats get the same health benefits from potatoes that we do? 

Not really!

Because cats are obligate carnivores their digestive system is highly adapted to eating animal proteins and fats. Feeding your cat raw chicken is much better than giving them vegetables.

While a cooked potato can offer some source of fiber for your cat a good quality cat food would already be doing that job. 

So there should be no need to try and supplement your cats diet with vegetables humans would eat. 

French fries and potato chips contain high amounts of salt and vegetable fat which are both terrible for your cat. 

The high carbohydrate levels of potatoes could lead to excessive weight if eaten regularly. 

On top of all that, some cats have sensitive stomachs that can be affected by other foods. If your cat has a sensitive stomach it’s best to stick to sensitive stomach cat food.

Bottom line is, your cat or kitten has no need to eat potatoes although they technically can. Give your cat a good quality cat that provides them with all the nutrients they need. 

Cooked Potatoes

If you’re wondering, can cats eat cooked potatoes, the simple answer is yes. But they don’t have to.

A baked, boiled or mashed potato is going to be safe for your cat to eat so long as you haven’t used any additives such as salts and vegetable fat. 

Cooking a potato will eliminate the risk of toxins such as solanine mentioned previously. Again, if the potato has any green sprouts or skin, do not let your cat eat it. 

Some cat owners will add a tiny bit of mashed potato to their cats dry food. It can be a good way to mix it up for your cat, just don’t let it become a habit or substitute for a good diet. 

If you’re going to serve up some potato to your cat make sure you don’t add anything to it. Leave out the salt, vegetable oil, and herbs.

Some toppings can actually be deadly for cats if they ingest enough of it. 

Raw Potatoes

Feeding your cat raw potatoes is an absolute no go! 

Raw potatoes can poison your cat just like they can humans. In its raw state a potato can contain solanine.

It’s a toxic chemical found naturally in potato plants. Cooking the potato correctly is what makes it edible for both us and pets. 

It’s recommended to keep raw potatoes out of reach of cats or children in your home. We all know how curious both can be and you don’t want them chewing on any of the green sprouts that can occur. 

How Much Solanine Is Toxic For Cats?

So how much solanine is toxic to cats? 

While there are no official stats on the exact amount, we know that a toxic dose for a human would be one whole raw potato. 

With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that a cat would need a much smaller amount before they ingest a toxic dose. 

Solanine Poisoning In Cats

Below are some symptoms your cat could be suffering from solanine poisoning.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain

Solanine poisoning poses a real threat to your cat and in extreme cases can cause death. 

If you suspect your cat has ingested any green part of a potato (the green part is the toxic part) you should take your cat to your local vet. 

If you can’t get them to a vet call your local poison control centre immediately. 

Can Cats Eat Sweet Potatoes

Surprisingly sweet potatoes even the green sprouts don’t contain any solanine chemical. In fact the ASPCA labeled the sweet potato vine as non-toxic to felines. 

That still doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to feed your cat sweet potato. It can still lead to some health issues and cats will still find it difficult to digest in bulk. 

Your cats won’t get the same nutritional value from sweet potatoes that we do so there really is no need to feed them any. 

Again, the best thing for your cat is a high quality cat food that includes animal proteins. A high quality cat food offers all the nutrients your cat needs so you don’t need to worry about adding anything further. 

Serving your cats carbohydrate treats often will lead to obesity, digestive issues and affect your cat’s overall health. 

Potato Chips, Fried Potatoes, & Potato Salad

No, no and no! 

Potato chips are loaded with additives and toppings that are toxic and dangerous to cats. Avoid feeding your cat any potato chips at all times. 

As for fried potato, well it’s going to be covered in vegetable oil that will cause your cat to have digestive issues as well as other health issues. Again, avoid it. 

Potato salads are meant for humans not cats. It’s that simple. 

Large amounts of oils and salts can be life threatening for our cats for example:

A large handful of chips can contain 100 plus milligrams of sodium or salt. 

A cat only needs 21 milligrams of sodium per day, that’s equivalent to only one potato chip. 

So while a single chip is not going to kill your cat it will completely put their balanced diet out. 

With no gained benefits and cats not having taste buds like humans, there really is no reason your cat should be eating chips. 

What About Potato Peels?

Cooked potato peels are not toxic to cats as long as they don’t have any green sprouts or skin. 

Uncooked or raw potato peel can contain solanine which as you know is toxic to cats.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Solanine Is Toxic For Our Cats?

While there are no official stats on the exact amount, we know that a toxic dose for a human would be one whole raw potato. 

Can Cats Eat Hash Browns?

Avoid feeding your cat processed foods such as hash browns. They often contain ingredients that can cause your cat health issues. 

Can Cats Eat French Fries?

Although french fries aren’t toxic to cats, they shouldn’t consume french fries as they contain high levels of sodium and fats. 

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