Salty, crunchy and delicious, potato chips are a yummy snack for people. However, what about our furry little cats? Many owners want to know if they can eat chips. Or are they bad or even poisonous for cats?
Will Potato Chips Kill a Cat or Toxic for Them?
First, one or two small potato chips won’t kill a cat. However, they aren’t very good for them and have little to no nutritional value. Really they aren’t too great for us humans either, but that’s another article.
If your cat eats a small regular chip that isn’t one of the fancy chip flavors, chances are they will be fine.
They are just eating empty calories that could make them get fat, which isn’t great but won’t kill them. So don’t be concerned if your feline buddy manages to steal a chip from your bowl.
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Why Shouldn’t a Cat Eat Potato Chips?
We want our pets to live healthy and long lives, so you need to feed them a diet that’s balanced and nutritious. You don’t have to buy super fancy gourmet cat food, but it should have all the necessary nutrients for cats.
Besides, unlike a dog, which is an omnivore (meaning they eat veggies, fruits and meat) cats are what is called an obligate carnivore. That means they must have lots of meat in their diet or they will sicken and die.
A cat’s stomach is meant to digest meat since in the wild they eat small animals, they don’t eat plants. They may consume the plants in their prey’s stomach, but that is about it. A little bit of veggies, fruits and grain won’t hurt them.
They just don’t need them. Besides protein from meat, a cat has to have an amino acid called taurine as well as Vitamins A, and D. These nutrients are in the animal protein they eat in the wild.
Things in Potato Chips Bad for Cats
There are several ingredients in potato chips that aren’t good for your pet. These include:
Salt – Even though salt is considered to be an essential mineral, too much will harm cats and humans. That is because it makes the blood pressure go up and overdoses can cause stomach pains, vomiting or diarrhea.
Potato chips have a lot of salt (sodium) and especially since cats are so much smaller than people, the amount of salt in them will overload their bodies if they eat a lot of them.
One ounce of chips has 150 milligrams of salt, and an average cat only requires 21 milligrams of sodium daily. Even one chip has at least that much! A cat with sodium overdose can show symptoms such as:
- Poor appetite
- Excessive thirst
Processed Fat: – This fat provides empty calories and that is about it. It may give them a little energy, but it isn’t the good kind of fats they should be eating. It can also cause obesity, heart disease, kidney issues and high cholesterol in your pet.
Potatoes: – Potatoes themselves are not poisonous for cats if they are cooked. However, a raw potato is toxic for cats due to a substance called glycoalkaloid solanine. Potato chips are cooked, so as stated earlier, one small chip may be ok as a treat, but don’t make a habit of feeding chips to a cat.
Flavorings: – The flavorings in chips can be quite bad or even toxic to a cat. For instance, cats shouldn’t have onion or garlic because it damages their blood cells. Many other flavors are bad for them too, so if you must feed your cat a chip, make sure it is a plain one, and if possible, an unsalted variety.
What Will Happen if a Cat Eats Some Chips?
As stated before, potato chips aren’t toxic, they merely have zero nutritional value. One bite of a chip is fine, as long as it is a plain chip and isn’t garlic or onion flavored, for example. Still, it is best that they never eat even one chip due to all the sodium content and the saturated fats.
Can cats eat potato chips?
So, in the long run, should your cat eat potato chips? The short answer is NO. Don’t feed your feline buddy potato chips no matter how much they beg for your snack. In truth, you shouldn’t eat that many chips either, but they will harm your cat much faster than they hurt humans due to the salt, fat and other bad ingredients.
Choose better snacks for your cats such as the ones you can buy in your grocery store or get at your vet. If you have any more questions on cats eating potato chips, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.
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