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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Potatoes? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Potatoes? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Potatoes are a fantastic staple ingredient in many of our favorite meals. So, you might be wondering if you can share them with your cat. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Because potatoes are so wonderfully versatile, they can be shared in some forms and not in others. Here’s what you need to know about potatoes and how to serve them to your cat safely.

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Which Potatoes Can Cats Eat?

Unless recommended by your veterinarian cats do not need potatoes in their diet. If your cat took some potato off your plate then you may need to monitor for an upset stomach. Your cat can eat potatoes occasionally, as long as they are prepared a certain way. Peeled and roasted potatoes that are prepared without any spices, fats, or salt are less likely to cause problems. You might find your cat isn’t too interested in potatoes because they won’t smell particularly interesting.

Cats are obligate carnivores and need meat to survive. Giving them a potato treat won’t benefit their diet, and if they eat too many, they could experience digestive discomfort. Also, if they fill up on potato treats, they won’t leave enough room for their cat food, which is more beneficial to their health.

mashed potatoes countertop
Image Credit: Rachel Loughman, Unsplash

Can Cats Eat Other Potato Products?

As we mentioned earlier, potatoes are a versatile food, so let’s look at other ways potatoes can be cooked and whether or not your cat can eat them.

Fries or Chips?

No, your cat shouldn’t ever have fries or chips because they’re too fatty and salty for feline digestion. Even in small amounts, they can cause health problems, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

BBQ flavored chips on the table
Image Credit: JumpStory

Raw Potatoes?

No, cats shouldn’t eat raw potatoes because they are difficult to digest and contain a substance called solanine, which is toxic to cats. If you think your cat has eaten potato peels or raw potatoes, contact your vet straight away and look for signs of solanine intoxication, which includes diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy.

Sweet Potatoes?

Yes, cats can eat sweet potatoes, but in moderation. Sweet potatoes aren’t toxic because they don’t contain solanine, which makes them a better option for a cat treat. Sweet potatoes are sometimes used in commercial cat food, but serving sweet potato treats might not bring much of a nutritional benefit to your cat. However, if your cat insists on trying them, mashed sweet potatoes without added salt, fat, or spices are safe.

sweet potato chips
Image Credit: Yulia Khlebnikova, Unsplash

Boiled Potatoes?

No, it’s best to avoid boiled potatoes; like with raw potatoes, boiled spuds can also contain solanine, which is poisonous.

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How to Prepare Potatoes for Your Cat?

There are much healthier and tastier options for a treat that your cat will appreciate. However, if your feline friend has its heart set on potatoes or needs them as part of veterinary prescribed home cooked diet, here is how you can serve them safely:

  • Wash potatoes and remove the peel
  • Cut off any roots or discolored/green spots
  • Chop potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces (mashed potatoes would also work)
  • Roast them without any additional ingredients
  • Offer small amounts to your cat and watch your cat’s reaction to them
  • Watch out for signs of an upset stomach, like diarrhea or vomiting, and call your vet if you notice anything unusual

It’s vital to keep your cat’s potatoes plain. Gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis can occur in cats that aren’t used to human food or if they eat potatoes cooked with butter,  seasoning, or oil.

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Final Thoughts

Cooked potatoes are relatively safe for cats to eat, but only in some of its many forms and they are not usually recommended for cats. Deep-fried and heavily seasoned potatoes are unhealthy for your cat and can lead to digestive problems. Raw potatoes should never be fed to your feline because they contain toxins that can make your pet sick. Although they don’t provide many benefits to your cat’s health, you can serve small, plain pieces of cooked potato as occasional treats.


Featured Image Credit: Pixel1, Pixabay

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