We love to eat delicious crispy fries. We often go on a drive, with our cat sitting just beside us, and grab a bucket of fries. We might be tempted to share a couple of fries with our feline fellow. But is it okay for our cat to eat French fries?
Can Cats Eat French fries?
Well, the short answer is, no, cats cannot eat French fries. Let alone cats, fries are not even healthy for human beings.
French fries are not listed as toxic and unhealthy for cats by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But due to their high content of sodium, fats, and carbohydrates, fries can cause digestive problems in our little pets. The digestive system of a cat is not capable of digesting food that is rich in carbohydrates and fats. This can result in some serious issues.
Cats also have curious nature like human beings. Due to their curious nature, they also want to try the food that we are eating. But not all foods are, this goes without saying, suitable for our fur balls.
We know that cats are obligate carnivores. Cats need a diet rich in protein. While there is a variation in the exact protein recommendations, as per PetMD, their diet must contain 26% protein. The rest can be other nutrients.
Reasons Why Cats Shouldn’t Eat French Fries
There are numbers of reasons due to which you cannot feed your cats French fries. Some are listed below.
1. High in Carbohydrates
Cats belong to the carnivores group, and they get everything from meat that they need in their diet. The majority portion of their diet should consist of protein. Cats need only 2% of carbohydrates in their diet. It can be hazardous and cause digestive disorders if anything high in carbohydrates is included in their diet. French fries contain a sizable amount of carbohydrates, and thus, are not suitable for cats to consume.
2. Saturated Fats
Cats, like humans, also need fats in their diet in small proportions. But not all fats are healthy for their consumption. Fats like Omega-3 and Omega-6 are healthy for them. Fries contain 2.3 g saturated fats per 100g, while the amount of these essential fats is very little. As per the National Animal Support Council, “saturated fats contain high levels of the ‘bad cholesterol’ that can lead to plaque built up in the arteries and cause heart disease.”
Consumption of ‘bad’ fats is also one of the leading causes of obesity in pets—as well as humans.
3. A Large Amount of Salt
Humans are advised to keep their salt consumption limited. Salt can lead to the problems like high blood pressure that can be lethal for us. The same is true for cats; a large amount of salt can be deadly for them. As cats are much smaller than human beings so the amount needed by their body is also very minimal.
According to the National Research Council, cats should not consume more than 42mg of salt per day. Fries contain a large salt content; a 100g of fries contain 210mg of salt, much greater than the amount needed for their body. If a cat consumes fries regularly, she could experience vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, incoordination, excessive thirst or urination. In certain but severe cases, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death are possible.
A newly discovered chemical, acrylamide, is usually present in all foods containing carbs and is cooked. Studies are still underway to understand its impact on humans, but as far as animals are concerned, food scientists have concluded that acrylamide is harmful to animals. According to the European Food Safety Authority, “studies on laboratory animals [including rats, mice, monkeys, cats, and dogs] have shown that exposure to acrylamide through the diet greatly increased the likelihood of developing gene mutations and tumors in various organs.”
What to do if Cat Eats Fries?
If you come to know a cat your cat has eaten fries, don’t panic as a small amount of fries won’t harm your cat. But if she shows some serious symptoms, do consult a veterinarian.
But never feed her fries deliberately. It can significantly affect cats’ health if it becomes a regular habit. If a cat consumes it on a regular basis, it can cause, besides gastrointestinal issues, some serious problems to our pets. Some of them are listed below.
Obesity is on the rise among pets these days—and partly, we have ourselves to blame. In 2017, the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention found 60% of cats (26.5% overweight /33.5% obese) and 56% of dogs (36.4%/19.6%) were overweight or obese. This is an alarming percentage.
This occurs primarily due to the accumulation of fats in the body. If your cat’s weight is 10 – 15% greater than her ideal weight, she is said to be overweight, but if it exceeds 20% of her ideal weight, she will be at risk of obesity. Obesity is itself a disease and can cause several diseases like diabetes mellitus, hepatitis lipoids (fat deposit in the liver), dystocia (complications and problems of giving birth), and osteoarthritis. It can also weaken the immune system if a cat is suffering from urinary tract infection.
Although obesity won’t kill a cat, it can cause life-threatening diseases, thereby shortening a cat’s lifespan. We can only stop these conditions by not giving them an unhealthy diet and always consulting with a vet before adding any new food to their diet.
Diabetes is also one of the life-threatening diseases. Research has shown that 2% of cats suffer from diabetes. Fries contain a large amount of carbs and fats that can cause diabetes in pets. If a cat is suffering from diabetes, she may show several symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, urinating more frequently, increased thirst, etc.
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your cat, consult a vet as soon as possible.
Also, if you plan to go for a drive with your cat and want to have something for her, how about TEMPTATIONS Classic Crunchy and Soft Cat Treats? It is 100% nutritionally complete and balances. Plus, it is scrumptious and something your cat would love to lay her paws on.
Can cats eat French fries? It is a big no. From all discussion, we have seen that deep-frying potatoes may be delicious but not healthy for cats to eat and can even prove fatal. A small amount of fries may not be harmful to cats, but it can cause gastrointestinal problems in some cases.
If you want to treat your cat, let us give you some exciting—and healthy—ideas.