French fries are absolutely my favorite snack. It is not a healthy choice but we all have our devils. Is it also unhealthy for cats? Can cats eat French fries?
French fries are greasy, salty, tasty and full of carbs and calories. This sentence alone tells how unhealthy they are but if I was given the option to choose only one unhealthy food, it would be French fries. We know that the food we consume has different effects on cats. So, can cats eat French fries?
Are French fries toxic to cats?
French fries are not toxic to cats but uncooked potatoes are toxic so if your French fries are not completely cooked, they may still hurt your kitty. Another issue with cats and fries is the seasonings and sauces we use with fries. Depending on the seasoning or the sauce, even cooked French fries can become toxic. The same applies to potato chips, as well.
Raw potatoes include alkaloids which can be toxic to cats which is why both ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) and Pet Poison Helpline warns about the toxicity of raw potatoes and advises to be careful not to leave raw potatoes unattended in case your kitty develops a curiosity for them.
Alkaloids are basically one of the defense mechanisms of the potato plant against pests and fungus and can be found in all parts of the plant from tuber to stems and leaves. As a French fries fan and someone who grows potatoes, I can tell you that you need to be very careful if your cat wonders around your potatoes.
When cooked, alkaloids disappear and potatoes turn into safe vegetables for cats but there might be an exception here. Most store bought frozen French fries are pre-cooked and which means they already lose their alkaloid content before packaging process.
But this doesn’t mean that they are completely safe for feline consumption because a lot of these products include high amounts of additives or seasonings such as salt which are not healthy for kitties.
Seasonings, condiments and sauces on French fries
Maybe the most dangerous thing about cats eating French fries is the condiments and sauces we use on them. The most common condiment used on French fries is ketchup which is potentially lethal for cats. Most ketchup brands use onion powder in their products and onion is a very toxic substance for cats.
Even if there is no onion in the ketchup you use, this beloved condiment is too acidic for feline digestion system and has a lot of sodium. The combination of substances ketchup includes can cause havoc in a cat’s stomach and intestines so you should avoid it completely.
The question “can cats eat French fries” comes with another essential question: is French fries too salty for cats? Cats need a small amount of sodium in their diets to lead a healthy life however the amount of salt they need is already in the cat food they eat everyday so any additional salt they consume shall be watched carefully.
Salt in feline diet is becoming more and more controversial with each new study because while the results of older studies state that high sodium levels are very dangerous for cats, most recent studies tell us even 3 times the recommended amount of salt does not harm healthy cats in any way.
So, I suppose the verdict is still out and the safest thing to do is limiting the amount of salt cats consume until further studies are made.
Most sauces and condiments are not suitable for cats so if you are unsure, please consult your veterinarian before giving any to your cat.
Are French fries bad for cats?
French fries are basically carbohydrates which are not really needed in a cat’s diet because cats are obligate carnivores and they get almost all nutrition they need by consuming other animals’ flesh. Also French fries are high calorie foods that can contribute to gaining weight and obesity which are dangerous for cats.
From this perspective, can cats eat fries? Yes, they can but they really shouldn’t.
Can cats eat French fries?
Short answer is, yes cats can eat French fries as long as there is no seasonings, condiments or sauces on the fries. Cooked potatoes are safe for cats to consume but they are also just unnecessary because cats gain little to no nutritional benefits from potatoes. They are even unhealthy due to the amount of saturated fats and carbohydrates they contain.
Can cats eat French fries – Conclusion
Let’s ask one last time. Can cats have French fries? Yes, they can but French fries are really unhealthy for cats and they shouldn’t eat any. However, if your cat snatches a French fry there is nothing you should worry about as long there is not other health issue that prevents it eating potatoes.
On the other hand, condiments and sauces that accompany French fries are generally toxic and you should keep your little friend away from them.