Potato chips are everyone’s favorite, but what about our cats? Can cats eat potato chips? What to do if your cat likes eating potato chips?
Cats cannot eat potato chips, and they shouldn’t be fed these either. Potato chips is junk food and don’t have any nutritional value for cats. Eating potato chips is not healthy even for humans, but it doesn’t affect us directly when we eat a bag of chips.
But it is different when a cat eats chips. They are loaded with salt and artificial flavors, resulting in obesity and an increased heart rate in cats. Since it is a salt-heavy snack, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) discourages feeding potato chips to your pets.
So, the short answer to this question is—no, a cat should not eat potato chips.
What Do We Know About Potato Chips?
Potato chips are a popular snack, and many people enjoy eating them. But their popularity certainly doesn’t make them good for our health. Potato—the main ingredient in potato chips—is a starchy vegetable that is high in carbohydrates and fiber. These carbs and fibers are good for us, but they are not the only ingredients.
What may make potato chips harmful is the high quantity of salt in them. Consuming too much salt is linked to a number of health issues, such as increased heart rate, obesity, and even blood sugar.
These thin slices of potatoes are deep-fried or baked till they become crispy. To achieve the flavor, these potato slices are then seasoned with salt, artificial flavors, herbs, and spices. All these ingredients are used to enhance their taste. These chips are then packaged in plastic bags by using nitrogen gas in the packet to lengthen their shelf life.
Apart from the high quantity of salts and artificial flavors in chips, one ingredient which is considered injurious to health is Acrylamide. It is produced when chips are being baked or fried at higher temperatures. Acrylamide is being linked to causing cancer in some laboratory animals. However, this is still being researched, and there is not much data available about this.
How Can Potato Chips Harm a Cat?
As we know, potatoes contain fats and carbs, and too much of these two compounds can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart-related problems. These ingredients in potato chips can affect a cat’s health just as they affect ours.
Another item that may harm a cat or any other pet is the high quantity of salt in potato chips. A cat’s body doesn’t need salt in huge quantities. These furry fellows are carnivores—they eat meat and can get all the essential vitamins and minerals from this. They don’t even require fruits and vegetables. By that extension, potato chips have a lot of things that may not be entirely harmful to your feline fellow but are not needed by their bodies.
This includes potatoes, oils, salt, spices, sugars, and artificial flavors. Therefore, feeding potato chips to your furry friends is not something they will benefit from. Foods like potato chips are not entirely toxic or injurious for a feline, but they are loaded with ingredients that are not needed by a cat’s body. For the same reasons, cats cannot eat French fries either.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Potato Chips?
Now that we know an answer to the question ‘can cats eat potato chips?’ we would now focus on what needs to be done if a cat accidentally consumes potato chips.
We have already mentioned it is not the kind of food that is toxic to your feline fellows, so you need not worry a lot when you find out your cat has eaten some slices. But then, you should also try to figure out how much has been consumed?
The thing to worry about here is the sodium and fats present in potato chips. Too much sodium can become dangerous and even life-threatening for a cat. On average, the daily recommended limit of sodium for cats is 40 milligrams. A single potato chip, on the other hand, contains almost 20 milligrams of sodium. So if you find your cat nibbling on crumbs of these chips, it is fine. But if she has emptied a full bag of chips, you have a problem there. Your feline pal may be at risk of getting sodium poisoning which is lethal for her.
Thus, before you decide to take any action, you need to make sure how much quantity has been consumed by your feline friend.
What Signs to Look for in a Cat if She Eats Potato Chips?
A cat will exhibit signs and symptoms if she has eaten more than 3 or 4 chips. It will be obvious from her condition if she is getting sick or isn’t doing well. Below are the signs or symptoms you need to watch out for after you find your cat has eaten potato chips.
- Diarrhea or Stomach upset
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy and Sluggishness
- Vomiting or Foaming at Mouth
- Excessive Thirst
- Internal Bleeding
- Changes in Behavior
If you find any of these symptoms or find other unusual signs of sickness, you should consult a vet straight away. Although some of these signs may not indicate something very serious, others may need prompt medical attention.
Therefore, after you find out your feline pal has entertained herself with a treat of potato chips, keep her under close observation till you get medical help.
What Should I Do If My Cat Becomes Sick After Eating Potato Chips?
As suggested earlier, it is best to keep an eye on your cat if you think she has eaten something harmful. Also, watch out for the symptoms mentioned above. If you find something unusual in her behavior or feel lethargic or is acting weird, take her to a vet right away. It is also advisable to have the numbers of nearest emergency pet clinics or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control center with you.
By contacting them, you can seek expert medical help from their vets and communicate the signs your feline pal may be showing. This way, you can keep your cat from becoming too sick and get her treated before her condition worsens or deteriorates.
Things We Should NOT Do If a Cat Eats Potato Chips
- First, you need not panic. It is possible your cat may have eaten just a small quantity of potato chips, and it may not have had any bad reaction on your cat. You cannot do much good to her by panicking. So, it is always better to stay calm and collected in such scenarios.
- Secondly, do not try to treat your cat without consulting an expert—a vet. Without the proper knowledge, you may harm your cat more than the potato chips themselves. Therefore, avoid self-medication or over-the-counter medicines on your cat.
- Do not give your cat anything to eat before it is being checked by a vet. Some people may give water or other harmless foods to their pet in an effort to make her feel better, but it may not be the best thing to do. It is always better to get your pet checked by a vet before giving it anything else to eat or drink.
Our cats depend upon us for their food and care, so it is our responsibility to look after our pets and give them the food that is the best for their health. Though they seem to be harmless, tasty snacks, Potato chips have ingredients that are harmful to our feline pals.
So, can cats eat potato chips? No, they cannot and don’t need to eat potato chips. These chips are loaded with ingredients such as sodium, which can make a cat sick if eaten in huge quantities. It also contains spices, oils, and excessive salts, which can harm a cat’s digestive system. Thus, it is not recommended to feed your feline pal with potato chips. If you desperately want to make your furry fellow happy, buy her treats specifically made for cats. Other than that, there is no need to feed her human snacks or other foods that may be toxic for her.