Can cats eat potatoes?

Can cats eat potatoes?

Cooked potato is a food that cats can sometimes eat without being toxic, but never regularly, much less daily. It is a tuber rich in carbohydrates, a macronutrient that should not be a majority in the diet of felines as these are strict carnivores and are designed to obtain energy and glucose from sources of meat and animal fat, not from carbohydrates from grains or potatoes and vegetables. Also, keep in mind that you should never give them raw potatoes, as they contain compounds called solanines that cause toxicity in cats.

Continue reading this Best Pets Lover article to find out if cats can eat potatoes or not, how they can do it, and if there are contraindications or dangers with their ingestion.

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Is potato good for cats?

Potatoes or potatoes are tubers that originated in South America, in the Andean region where it has been consumed by the inhabitants for many centuries, reaching the European continent by the Spanish after colonization to stay until today. They are consumed in different ways and can even be given to animals, including our cats, without being toxic in small doses.

It would be incorrect to say that potato is bad for cats, but it is not good to be included in their routine diet either, as it is made up of a large number of carbohydrates, an important macronutrient for many living beings to obtain glucose, but not in the case of the cat, which is a strict carnivore. Being carnivorous, cats are kept on a very low-carbohydrate diet, since the glucose needs in this species are obtained through the protein catabolization process. In addition, they do not digest them very well, which is why in cat diets we usually find corn starch in some cases, which is, of all, the most digestive.

Potatoes can be useful when given cooked in times of diarrhea or loose stools due to their property of hardening them, or as a reward from time to time if the cat likes it, but not routinely.

Discover more details about the health tips of a cat in this other article: ” YOUR CAT’S HEALTH TIPS AND PREVENTIVE CARE“.

Benefits of potatoes for cats

Potatoes not only contain large amounts of carbohydrates in the form of starch, but we can also find other nutrients such as fiber and also micronutrients from the group of vitamins and minerals, which are involved in cell maintenance, obtaining energy, nerve impulse transmission, and other neurological processes. In general, potatoes can provide the following nutritional benefits in cats:

  • Glucose
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Hill
  • Potassium
  • Selenium

Can cats eat raw potatoes?

Although the answer to whether our cats can eat potatoes or not varies depending on the preparation, one thing is certain: a cat can NOT eat raw potatoes. According to Veterinary Doctor Richard Hill, uncooked potatoes are not digestible for cats they are toxic. This is because they contain a substance called solanine which is harmful to both us and our cats.

Solanine works as a fungicide and pesticide to protect some plants and tubers (such as potatoes) to defend against insects and diseases.  For this reason, if our kittens eat raw potatoes, they will not like them and they will most likely present vomiting and other symptoms, which is why the tuber in this presentation is prohibited.

Although this raw food probably won’t catch your Michi’s attention, it’s best to throw away the peel or the remains of the potato in a place where it doesn’t have access and thus avoid problems.

Can cats eat a cooked potato?

Although raw potatoes are very dangerous, when we cook them they lose their toxic properties and thus become a relatively viable option for our cats.  For this reason, the well-cooked potato, without any type of spice or additive, can be used as a snack or prize for our kittens, but with some considerations. First of all, remember that cats are predominantly carnivorous animals, and most of the nutrients they need come from animal protein.

Therefore, foods that are not as nutritious for a feline, such as potatoes, should not exceed 10% of the calories that make up their regular diet.  That said, the cooked potato is not toxic for our machines, although it is not exactly the healthiest snack for them, since there are much better options :

However, if we have a kitten that for some reason wants to eat cooked potato chips, as long as we don’t spice it up, it can be an acceptable treatment from time to time.

How to give a potato to a cat?

We have already stated that cats can eat potatoes, but not in any way. To begin with, the amount of calories that a fried potato has as a boiled potato is not the same, being about 450 Kcal/100g in the first case and only 80 Kcal/100g in the second. Taking this into account, a cat should not eat French fries due to the enormous amount of energy that only a small portion would provide concerning its size and daily energy needs.

Thus, they are contraindicated, especially in those cats that are overweight, since they promote weight gain. In addition, French fries are very rich in fat, which can damage your intestine, leading to diarrhea. It is also important to keep in mind that you should never give them condiments such as salt, pepper, and other spices because they can harm them in the same way.

So how do you feed a cat a potato? The idea is to offer cooked or boiled potatoes since this destroys the toxic alkaloids. Likewise, it must be offered without spices and fats so that it is safe for your little feline. Once cooked, you can mash it up and mix it with other good cat foods, like boiled chicken. In this way, in addition, you can make a soft homemade diet in case your cat suffers from diarrhea or needs it for another reason, always under the approval of the veterinarian who handles your case.

To avoid causing damage to the cat, it is not recommended to give potatoes more than once a week.

Potato contraindications in cats

Potatoes are contraindicated in diabetic cats because they increase blood glucose levels, in cats that need to follow a strict diet due to some other problem, and they are always contraindicated when they are raw. This is because raw potatoes, as well as green tomatoes or raw aubergines, contain solanines, toxic alkaloids that inhibit acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme involved in the hydrolysis of acetylcholine. This causes the latter to increase in the cat, being responsible for the appearance of many cholinergic effects such as:

  1. Increased digestive secretions.
  2. Increased urinary secretions.
  3. Increased respiratory secretions.
  4. Increased brain activity.
  5. Vasodilation.
  6. Reduced heart rate.

These cholinergic effects can produce clinical signs in cats such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach irritation, convulsions, dizziness, dilated pupils, incoordination, hallucinations, and cardiac arrhythmias. For this reason, never give your cat raw potatoes, as they can be very toxic. The best way to give potatoes to a cat is to give them boiled or cooked, where we eliminate these toxic alkaloids without losing their nutritional properties.

Key Points to Remember When Preparing Potatoes for Your Cat

If you want to share your chips with your cat, there are a few important things you need to know to make sure you keep your cat safe.

These include:

  • Cook them: The potatoes should be fully cooked. Raw potatoes contain solanine, which is toxic to both cats and humans.
  • Just Plain Potato – We like a little salt, butter, and chives on our potatoes. However, your cat should only be given plain, unflavored, cooked potatoes.
  • No French Fries: You should also avoid giving your cat potatoes that have been heavily processed or fried in oil, such as potato chips or French fries. Your cat should avoid salt and oil since these can irritate its stomach.
  • Don’t overdo it: Potatoes are acceptable in moderation, just like any other treat you like to offer your cat. Your cat will acquire weight if they consume too many goodies. Cats who are overweight might develop a variety of health issues.

Edible Tubers, Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes

Your cat may show interest in both white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Both are fine as an occasional snack, but there are a few differences to be aware of.

White potatoes

Steamed, boiled, or mashed potatoes can sometimes be safely fed to your cat. They can be a delightful treat and offer healthy vitamins and minerals. Some cats may not have any interest in them, and that’s okay! Your kitty can get the nutrition she needs from other sources.

Sweet potato

Sometimes small amounts of Sweet Potato are okay. They do, however, contain more sugar than white potatoes. Excessive consumption of sugars can cause weight gain in cats. Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes have higher vitamin A. Cats need vitamin A in their diet, but excess vitamin A can also be problematic for them.

Other Veggie Snacks For Cats.

If your cat enjoys potatoes, she may also like to try other vegetables. Keep in mind that they don’t need vegetables in their diet to stay healthy. Most high-quality cat foods will provide the necessary nutrition. However, if your kitty is an adventurous eater, it’s fine to give her an occasional vegetable treat.

Some good options include:

  • Peas or peas
  • Pumpkin (pureed, steamed, without seasoning)
  • Green beans or green beans (cooked)
  • Carrots (steamed only)
  • Spinach
  • Winter squash or Castilla (cooked, steamed)
  • Asparagus (steamed)
  • cucumbers

If you want to read more articles similar to Can cats eat potatoes?, we recommend that you enter our Cats section.

Conclusion

If you have an adventurous eater on your hands, it’s fine to give them an occasional snack of properly prepared vegetables. Your cat can safely consume unseasoned potatoes from time to time. Take caution not to overexert yourself. Unneeded calories will cause weight growth and a sick cat. As in the case of humans, the key is moderation!