French fries are a delicious, salty, and crispy snack that most of us find irresistible.
In fact, they can be so irresistible even our cats can’t help but steal a couple from our plate.
Sometimes we might even be willing to share the odd one with our furry friend.
However, have you ever stopped to wonder whether cats can actually eat french fries?
The fact you’re here suggests you are now and want to know the answer. Today we will provide you with the answer to that question.
We’ll take a look at why cats can and can’t eat fries, and how to ensure they eat them safely.
We’ll even take a closer look at the ingredients in french fries that affect how your cat will feel after they’ve finished your fries.
Let’s get straight to it, shall we!
Can Your Cat Eat French Fries?
The answer to this question is yes and no, with the answer depending on whether the french fry is cooked.
If you have your supply of raw potatoes ready to be fried, you should not let your cat anywhere near them.
Raw potatoes are toxic to cats because of the alkaloids they contain.
These alkaloids are actually a defense mechanism the potato plant uses to protect itself against pests and fungus, so it’s not surprising that it also negatively affects your cat.
When your french fries are cooked, the story changes slightly.
Cats can eat cooked french fries, so you don’t need to worry if they steal a couple from the kitchen.
However, we recommend against willingly giving your cat more than a couple of french fries.
Firstly, fries offer your cat absolutely no nutritional benefits.
Secondly, they aren’t too good for your cat in large amounts, even more so if they have sauce on them.
We will take a look at why french fries are bad in large amounts further down this article.
Eating Uncooked French Fries
As we mentioned above, raw potatoes contain alkaloids, more specifically solanine.
This can be extremely harmful to your cat, so you need to make sure he/she stays away from the kitchen during your preparation.
Solanine contains the same chemical found in deadly nightshade.
We all know how dangerous nightshade can be to our pets, so this gives us even more reason to ensure our cats avoid raw french fries.
The ASPCA and Pet Poison Helpline both consider green or raw potatoes to be toxic to cats.
If you notice your cat eating raw or green potatoes, you should take them to a veterinarian immediately as it should be considered a matter of emergency.
It is worth noting that if your cat eats a frozen, store-bought french fry, they should be fine. Usually, this type of fry has already been pre-cooked.
Eating Cooked French Fries
Frying your french fries reduces the solanine content in the potatoes dramatically, making them no longer toxic to our little friends.
As a result of this, your cat can easily eat a couple of fries without you needing to worry.
However, aside from your cat being super happy they got some fries, there are no other benefits that make it worthwhile to feed your cat fries.
In fact, there is more chance of them being negatively affected.
Can Cats Eat Sauces?
Most of us eat our french fries with a generous dollop of ketchup or mayonnaise.
As a result of this, it is more than likely that any fry your cat eats will have some sauce on it.
This isn’t good for your cat because most sauces pose an additional risk to their health.
Putting it simply, your cat shouldn’t eat any french fries that have sauce on them. Typically, sauces are quite acidic.
This can easily upset your cat’s digestive system, making them feel uncomfortable. They may even begin to vomit.
Some sauces even contain flavorings or ingredients that are on the toxic to cats list.
An example of two toxic ingredients sauces contain are onion powder and garlic.
Garlic and onion powder can be found in many sauces such as aioli or curry sauce.
Garlic is so toxic to cats that it is actually five times more toxic than onion.
Why Are Too Many French Fries Bad For Your Cat?
Too many french fries are bad for your cat because of what they contain.
Below you will find some of the things that make french fries bad for cats and what can happen if your cat eats too many.
This should put you off the idea of ever willingly letting your cat eat french fries.
We are regularly advised to limit the levels of salt we consume because of how the chemical can lead to high blood pressure.
Cats are no different.
Bearing in mind how much smaller cats are than us, foods that are excessively salted can cause effects in our cats ten times worse than us.
Unbelievably, a deadly amount of salt for cats is approximately just four grams.
It is a better idea to keep them well away from your fries, especially if you’ve added your own salt too.
If you’re anything like us, you love a good french fry with the skin still on. It adds an exciting element to an already delicious snack.
However, this excitement should NEVER be shared with your cat. The skin on the french fry contains a high level of sodium.
This high level of sodium might be hard for your cat to digest, potentially causing a choking threat.
Cats require plenty of fat in their diets, but it should only ever come from Omega 3 and Omega 6 fish oils, fatty acids, and cat food additives.
How much the fats from french fries will affect your cat depends on the oil they have been fried in.
Having said that, no matter which oil you use, it will contain some levels of saturated fat.
This type of fat will have the same impact on your cat as it does on us. That is gaining weight.
The last thing you want is to cause your cat to put on extreme amounts of weight.
A cat’s diet only allows for a very small amount of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates should only make up roughly two percent of any cat’s diet.
This small amount of carbohydrates doesn’t leave enough room for our cat to indulge in our carbohydrate foods.
Anything with high levels of carbohydrates like the potato can be dangerous to your pet.
French fries are even more dangerous because they are pure starch.
Now you’ve been through this blog post, we hope you’ve found the answer you came looking for.
While the occasional french fry here and there isn’t going to affect your cat’s health or cause much harm, as long as the fry is well cooked and has no sauce, we advise you to never deliberately feed your cat fries.
If they happen to steal one off your plate, there’s no need to worry though.
Raw potatoes and french fries can cause our cats big problems if we aren’t careful, so it’s always a good idea to keep them well clear.
Your cat will always want the occasional nibble of your food, but it is always good to remember that your cat will be much happier and healthier when fed food specifically for cats, not our human food!