Food and pets, they go well together, don’t they? Agreed. Whatever we eat, they eat. We love French fries but we love our cats more and we say that with conviction. It’s probably safe to say that a lot of our beloved feline pals will eat almost whatever you allow them to but is feeding them French fries a good idea? Probably, not.
Cats should NOT be eating French fries. The straight answer why not is that A) French fries are just not healthy in general and B) French fries or potatoes are not advisable food for cats. To break that reasoning down further, fries contain a lot of salt, hard to digest for your kitty pals, and will push your cat’s carbohydrate intake a tad above the recommended limit.
It’s in our nature to share whatever food we indulge in with our pets. And, why not because we love them and we only want them to enjoy the things we do. But that’s exactly why you should be mindful of what they digest. Treats are fun, but what’s even better are healthy ones. Create a balance in your cat’s diet, it’s important. Let’s find out how.
No fries for a long and healthy life
While humans can handle the “not so healthy” content of French fries even in larger amounts of consumption, cats cannot. And that should already be a red flag if we want to keep our cats in tiptop shape for a long time.
Too much salt
Salt is essential for a lot of things. It’s not just used to improve the taste of the food we digest but it’s got a lot of health benefits to its name. Salt is utilized by our body to balance fluids and even maintain our blood pressure. It’s also quite essential for our nerve and muscle functions.
But the keyword to remember here is balance. Out salt intake must be controlled and that’s also true for our feline pals. It’s pretty logical really, our cats are smaller so it’s only natural that they can only handle a fraction compared to our salt intake and even small amounts of French fries will already have a lot and that will be detrimental for their health.
Did you know that even only 4 grams of salt is already considered lethal for them? So it’s just better if we keep them away from French fries or some other salty foods in general.
The CARBO limit
In case you didn’t know, veterinarians cautions everyone to limit the carbohydrate intake of pets. They say that carbohydrates should only be about 2 percent at most of your cat’s overall daily diet.
So given that they already eat meals regularly in a day that would then contain carbohydrates, giving them extra fries or any starchy snacks, in general, would be bad for them. Bad how? You may ask.
Too much carbohydrates much like humans might lead to cat diabetes or obesity. We like our cats fluffy and they look cute and all but we need to keep them healthy at all cost.
So, what is to blame for this low carbohydrate intake limit?
Well, remember that our cats are part of a long line of carnivorous feline species. And it is this primal instinct or should we say DNA that’s the reason why they can’t tolerate much carbohydrates like we humans do. So, easy on the carbs!
Other considerations and ketchup
Please also consider that French fries and the process of preparing the potatoes for this snack is just not healthy for anyone in general. So ease up on it too hoomans!
It contains high amounts of saturated fat and oil. So that’s really bad news for our kitties. And also, French fries can be a choking hazard for our pet cats.
And please, do not in any way feed your cat ketchup. Ketchup contains onion powder and that’s just not good for them. It’s toxic for them and the combination of salt and acid is just lethal that may lead to serious illnesses for your cats.
Remember that everything we discussed here also applies to potato chips!
So what about potatoes in general?
Better yet, what happens if my cat induced some amount of French fries? Is that bad? Well, not really. Again, as long as it’s not a lot then you’re fine. But don’t tolerate nor continue with that habit any longer.
But BEWARE your cat can only handle potato that has been processed or cooked as in that way, it will no longer be toxic for them. Potatoes that are boiled, baked, or even mashed, they can digest, but when the potato is raw and most especially with peelings then that’s the red flag.
Potato toxicity for your cat may be fatal. If your cat ingested potato or you suspect that they did, don’t think twice and call or take them to your veterinarian right away!
Most of the time, inducing vomiting is the best initial remedy you can perform for your cat.
The last thing that we would like to point out why cats cannot eat French fries is that they just don’t have the more sophisticated digestive system that we do.
This may not directly apply to potatoes and cats but have you ever noticed your kitty coughing, vomiting, or just have problems pooping from time to time? We have and it’s not the best sight to behold.
Cats, if their diet isn’t regulated properly tend to have digestive problems. They may clear up after a few days or they need long-term management but helping them watch their diet by staying away from unnecessary and unhealthy snacks like French fries will go a long way.
So what does a healthy diet for my cat looks like?
So what’s considered an overall good diet for our cats? Don’t be fooled by those cute cat eyes or purrs now. Feed them the right way.
As humans, we always hear the phrase balance-diet. But does that really apply to our cats or pets in general? Maybe not. For cats, they need a more protein or even fat-oriented diet because as mentioned above, it’s in their nature. And their DNA makeup requires such a diet.
So a balanced-diet for your cat may actually have a lot of protein and fat but low on carbs. Fish is of course, on top of the list if you’re going to think about what to feed your kitty. Oily fish like tuna as well as mackerel are always going to be good choices.
Meat, beef, and poultry too are top choices. But what about raw meat? You’d think that since we mentioned that cats are part of a carnivorous breed that feeding them raw meat is also ideal right? Well, not quite.
Take note that our cats are not in the wild. They are domesticated cats and somehow that has slightly changed how their food should be prepared. And, their food should be processed. Raw meat may cause certain illnesses even for your cats for they may contain harmful bacteria.
Also, stay away from vegetarian options. While that may be good for you, that’s never going to satisfy the optimum nutritional requirement your cat needs. So continue with your vegetable-based diet hoomans, but don’t you dare do the same thing for me!
Additional pointers for fur parents
You also have to think about whether to feed your pet cats dry, wet, or semi-dry food. The important thing to remember here is that dry kibble should be kept to a minimum and wet cat food is always the best option nutritional value wise.
Dry kibble can be less expensive, less messy, and more convenient to prepare but they won’t meet what your cats need. Wet canned food, on the other hand, will have all the protein (as well as other) needs of your cat but please do clean its bowl at all times to prevent incorporating bacteria into their diet.
Also, please do take note that your cat’s dietary needs change as they grow. Please be mindful that a kitten will have different food requirements from a fully-grown adult cat.
Alternative snacks for cats
So if my cat can’t indulge in French fries or any other “unhealthy” snacks, what else can be good for them?
Well, there are actually fruits or casual human foods that they can eat safely. First that comes to mind would be bananas and apples. They can also eat cheese and bread. They can share your pumpkin or oatmeal or even eggs as well as cantaloupe.
They may also go for some spinach, peas, or even blueberry. And please, like dogs, do not in any way feed your cats chocolates. That’s a complete NO-NO!
So better keep your cat(s) away from unhealthy chow like French fries and keep our advice in mind. A healthy diet as clichéd as it may sound can go a long way. CHEERS to our friendship with our pets!