Can Cats Eat French Fries?

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We all enjoy an indulgent junk food treat now and again, whether it’s pizza, hamburgers, tacos, or French fries. Fast food is tasty, quick, and popular. It can even give our mood a little lift while we’re eating.

So, it might be obvious that cats can’t eat spicy junk food, like Mexican, Chinese, or Indian foods. But what about something bland like French fries? Can cats eat French fries?

And what if you offered your cat just half a French fry? Surely that couldn’t harm them? Well, the answer is that cats shouldn’t eat French fries. While they’re non-toxic, even a small amount could give your feline friend an upset stomach or give them painful pancreatitis.

Quick Overview: Can Cats Eat French Fries

toxic Toxic: No
allergenic Commonly Allergenic: No
specie Species Appropriate: No
clock-2 How Often to Feed: Never
bowl How Much to Feed: None

Summary of Content

It might seem like common sense not to feed your cat fatty foods like French fries. But, it's easy to feel tempted when you're tucking into something tasty, and your cat is begging around your feet. Stay strong, though! Feeding your cat French fries isn't good for their health, so you're doing the best thing in the long run.

French Fries – Nutritional Stats

The following table illustrates the nutritional content of one French fry (approximately 10 grams).

Calories (kcal) 20
Protein (g) 0.2
Fat (g) 1.3
Carbohydrate (g) 1.9
Fiber (g) 0.2
Sugar (g) 0.1
Sodium (mg) 21
Calcium (mg) 1.8
Phosphorous (mg) 12.9
Potassium (mg) 57.9

French Fries – Nutritional Facts

French fries are high in calories, fat, and sodium while containing very little protein. They’re also high in starchy carbohydrates rather than sugar because they are made from potatoes.

The cooking process and seasoning can often further increase their fat and salt content. It’s also worth remembering that skin-on fries are more nutritious because potato skins contain more fiber, potassium, and vitamin B. Potatoes are high in vitamins B6, C, and K and contain antioxidants like carotenoids and anthocyanins.

Benefits Of French Fries For Cats

Large numbers of French fries could cause salt poisoning, especially if they are heavily seasoned.

It’s important to remember that, while there are theoretical nutritional benefits to French fries, these are mostly outweighed by the high fat, high calories, and high sodium levels.

So, when you read this list of nutrients and their benefits, don’t go running to get some French fries for your feline friend! Remember that all of the nutrients in potatoes and French fries can be sourced in a healthier way in other foods.

The so-called healthy carbohydrates (or resistant starch) in potatoes are hard for your cat’s body to break down. This means that they could keep your famished feline feeling fuller for longer! In humans, they are also shown to protect against weight gain.

However, it’s not certain whether this would also be the case for cats – especially when the potato has been fried in fat. The fat isn’t all bad, though. Fatty acids like omega 3 are important for your cat’s skin, fur, claws, and joints.

The antioxidants within potatoes can help reduce organ and tissue damage and aid in repair. However, many fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of antioxidants than potatoes, so they may be a better choice.

Vitamin C and B6 are needed for healthy tissues, wound repair, good brain function, and a strong immune system. But again, there are far better sources of these vitamins in other fruits and vegetables that aren’t deep fried!

Also Read: The 7 Best Cat Vitamins And Supplements

How Many French Fries Can A Cat Eat?

With their high sodium (salt) and high-fat content, there are much better things you can offer your cat as a treat. Therefore, it’s best not to give your cat French fries ever.

However, a small number of French fries are non-toxic, so if your cat accidentally steals one, you don’t need to panic. You should monitor them for vomiting or diarrhea and take them to a veterinarian if you think they are unwell.

Large numbers of French fries could cause salt poisoning, especially if they are heavily seasoned. However, it’s unlikely that your cat would eat enough for this to be an issue.

How Often Can A Cat Eat French Fries?

You should never feed your cat French fries. They are not a healthy choice and could make your cat feel unwell. While you don’t need to worry too much about your cat eating a French fry as a one-off mishap, it shouldn’t become a habit, and you should do your best to keep them out of your curious cat’s reach.

Are French Fries Used In Commercial Cat Food?

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that French fries aren’t used in commercial cat food. Cats are obligate carnivores, so a cat’s diet should be mostly animal protein.

Therefore, most cat kibble contains mostly meat protein. Although cat food will contain some fruits and vegetables to provide the vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed for your cat’s health, it won’t have French fries.

Potatoes are sometimes used in pet foods as a source of carbohydrates and other nutrients. However, these will usually be boiled rather than fried to keep the fat levels in your cat’s diet low.

The Risks Of Eating French Fries For Cats

Potatoes are high in vitamins B6, C, and K and contain antioxidants like carotenoids and anthocyanins.

The high-fat content in French fries could cause your cat a painful bout of pancreatitis. This is a condition where the pancreas gland becomes inflamed and can lead to reduced appetite, belly pain, and vomiting.

Pancreatitis has been linked to rich or fatty food, so these are best avoided. Even if your cat doesn’t develop pancreatitis from eating French fries, the fat could still upset their digestive tract and give them an upset stomach.

Also Read: Cat Obesity Chart: Find Out if Your Cat is Obese

So, what if your cat pinches French fries all the time, and they seem fine? Even if your cat is lucky enough not to get a stomach upset from French fries, the high numbers of calories, fat, and carbs mean they’re likely to gain weight. Podgy pets might seem cute, but obesity can lead to health problems like diabetes and heart disease and could make stiff joints more painful.

The high salt levels in French fries could cause salt poisoning if large numbers are consumed. However, high sodium can also lead to heart disease and high blood pressure. Aside from salt, other seasonings, toppings, and sauces like crispy onions or onion powder, ketchup, mayonnaise, and barbecue sauce could upset your cat’s digestive system or even cause toxicity.

It’s unlikely that underripe potatoes would be used for French fries accidentally, but it’s important to remember that green or unripe potatoes contain solanine, which is toxic to cats. Raw potatoes can also be a choking hazard for your furry friend.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Potatoes?

Do Cats Like The Taste Of French Fries?

Cats are curious creatures and are usually pretty interested in whatever food their cat owners have. So, if they see you chowing down on a portion of French fries, they might well have a taste if given the opportunity. However, it’s important to remember the nutritional drawbacks of French fries and try to find them something healthier instead.

Summary

It might seem like common sense not to feed your cat fatty foods like French fries. But, it’s easy to feel tempted when you’re tucking into something tasty, and your cat is begging around your feet. Stay strong, though! Feeding your cat French fries isn’t good for their health, so you’re doing the best thing in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to feed my cat French fries?

French fries aren't toxic to cats, so it shouldn't be life-threatening if your cat accidentally eats one. Monitor them closely for signs of being unwell, and speak to your veterinarian if you are concerned. However, you shouldn't knowingly feed your cat French fries since they are a very unhealthy snack that could upset their gut or cause more serious problems.

Can pets eat French fries?

Pets shouldn’t eat French fries because they’re high in fat and salt. It's not just the risks of gastrointestinal symptoms. Your pet could also put on weight, and obesity can cause serious health risks.

Can cats eat Mcdonald’s?

Cats shouldn’t eat Mcdonald’s, or any other type of junk food. These foods tend to be unhealthy and high in fat and salt. Therefore, if you’re looking for some tasty human food for your purrfect pal, why not choose some grilled chicken, turkey, or white fish.

About Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS

Dr. Joanna Woodnutt (MRCVS) is a small animal veterinarian and writer who is passionate about helping owners to learn more about their pets in order to improve animal welfare. She loves to write and wants to empower owners to make the best decisions for their pets by giving them all the information they need. In her spare time, she takes consultations on the small island of Guernsey.

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