It is fine for cats to have French fries provided that it is in very small quantities. Large quantities of French fries can be harmful to your cat.
It is common for cat owners to always wonder what human food their pet can or cannot have. Cats on the other hand can be very curious and would want to try whatever it is their owner is eating. If you want to share your fries with your cat as a treat, you’re probably wondering if it is safe for them. In this article, I have shared everything you need to be aware of before you leave your fries unattended around your cat. Continue reading to learn more.
The amount of french fries your cat is allowed to eat
Although it is fine for your cat to eat French fries, it is extremely fatal if they consume the fries in large quantities. Your pet can only consume two to three French fries on a given day. Cats’ stomachs aren’t as big as human stomachs and therefore cats cannot digest and eliminate food like humans. The high amounts of saturated fats, salt and carbohydrates in French fries can be damaging to the overall well-being of your pet.
What happens to a cat if they eat French fries
French fries are usually made from potatoes and they contain solanine which is toxic to cats. Always protect your cat from ingesting raw potato slices. Solanine is also found in the green parts of the potato. Raw French fries may cause potato toxicity to your pet, leading to vomiting, diarrhea and neurological aftereffects like disorientation and depression. Most cats become very ill from potato toxicities and require hospitalization immediately.
Cooked French fries, on the other hand, are not as toxic as raw fries but can still affect the health of your cat. If your cat consumes cooked fries, they may experience stomach upset, dehydration and reduced appetite.
Reasons why your cat shouldn’t eat French fries
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t feed your cat French fries. Cats require high protein levels therefore feeding them fries is unnecessary and the contents of French fries could be harmful to them.
French fries typically have high amounts of sodium. Excess sodium can be lethal to your pet. In the most extreme cases, unrestricted salt consumption can cause seizures, coma or even death. Scientists state that a cat should have only 0.4g of sodium per pound of weight. This shows that the amount of salt in French fries is enough to cause sodium toxicity to your cat. Although, it is important to note that it is rare for a cat to get sodium poisoning if it doesn’t have underlying issues already.
French fries have excess carbohydrates. Cats are predators and this means that more than 70% of their diet should be meat therefore they don’t need carbohydrates. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates may lead to obesity. A cat’s diet must be high in proteins and low in carbohydrates, for it to maintain its muscle mass and remain lean. Vets recommend that a cat’s diet be comprised of just 1-2% of carbohydrates because high levels of carbs are hazardous to your pet.
French fries contain high amounts of saturated fats from the cooking oil used to fry the fries, which can be detrimental to your pet. Cats need small amounts of Omega 3 and 6 from foods like fish, in their diet but saturated fats are harmful to your pet. Saturated fats promote heart disease, joint problems and weight gain, no matter how small the amounts are.
French fries are typically seasoned with spices that may be irritating and harmful to your cat. The onion and garlic flavoring in the French fries seasoning is especially toxic to these pets. When consumed, garlic and onion may cause anemia in your cat. Other seasoning ingredients like vinegar, salt, ketchup, pepper and mustard can upset your cat’s stomach.
The table below summarizes all the ingredients in the French fries and the harmful effects they may have on cats;
Effect on the cats
Excess sodium (salt)
Kidney damage, convulsions, reduced appetite, urinary issues, diarrhea, vomiting, sodium toxicity, dehydration and excessive sleepiness.
Stomach upset, irritation of the mouth and anaemia.
Obesity, heart disease, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, weight gain and joint problems.
Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.
What to do if your cat eats French fries
Confirm the number of French fries your cat has consumed. If it has eaten a lot or has consumed raw French fries, it is advisable to immediately contact your vet for instructions or rush the cat to the hospital. Large amounts of fries can be fatal to your pet.
If the amount consumed is small and cooked, there’s no need of panicking. But be on the lookout for vomiting and stomach upsets. You can give your cat plenty of water in case they are dehydrated from the high sodium levels in fries.
Cats can have French fries but in very small amounts. French fries typically have very high amounts of carbohydrates, salt and saturated fats which have adverse effects on the pets. Try to distract your pet with a healthy treat as you’re having your fries. In case of any doubts, always consult your vet.
Why do cats like French fries?
It is normal for cats to be attracted to French fries because of the delicious smell. Although they may like them, be sure not to feed your cat French fries.
Can my cat pass away from eating French fries?
French fries alone are not enough to kill your cat. Excess consumption of French fries for a prolonged time may be lethal to your pet.
How is my cat treated after eating French fries?
In the case that your cat has eaten a lot of fries, a vet will perform a physical exam and draw blood for blood work. Treatment involves decontamination, intravenous fluids and medication to prevent nausea.