Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
Potatoes seem to be one of the most harmless vegetables you can think of and we love them for their versatility, making many recipes more interesting, as well as for their taste. The fact that we eat them so often might make us think that they are a good choice for our pets as well but can cats eat potatoes? Let us find out all about this subject here!
Potatoes have several vitamins, proteins and fiber that make them a useful source of nutrition for us but cats, being carnivores, need many things that we don’t. The first thing you have to know is that there is quite a difference between the typical potatoes and the sweet potatoes. The ASPCA labeled sweet potato to be poisonous for cats and thus you should never feed those to your cat.
The regular potatoes, when they are properly cooked, can be a source of proteins, potassium, vitamins B and C as well as carbohydrates and fiber. The problem is that cats won’t absorb almost any of those elements because they lack the enzymes required to digest plants the way that we do.
So giving them plant-based carbohydrates on a daily basis will only lead to them becoming overweight and later on having problems like diabetes.
One safe version is to have the potatoes mashed since the toxins are destroyed through the cooking process and they could provide a boost of fiber and proteins. Boiled potatoes are also fine but as a general rule keep in mind that they are mostly useless for cats and you have a lot of other, much better options on the market.
The way we cook potatoes most often is by frying them and the oils that remain on the surface will not be digested by cats so that is a bad choice. An occasional chip won’t do them too much harm but it won’t do any good either.
We also season the potatoes with butter, cheese or other ingredients most of the time so check if each of those ingredients can cause additional problems. Salt on potatoes can poison your cat if it is excessive and the skins of baked potatoes or potato chips bring even more digestive dangers for a cat.
Raw potatoes are poisonous for us humans since they contain solanine. This substance acts as a defense mechanism for the plant to discourage animals from eating it and it is toxic for us as well as for our pets. The green skin of raw potatoes is even more dangerous so it is never a good idea to give your cat a bite of these. The problems that can result can be extremely serious so if they ever manage to ingest some raw potato then rush to the vet as soon as possible!
Yes and no, they are generally not good for cats, but if cooked properly they don’t do harm either in small quantities.