Can Cats Eat French Fries? (Are They Safe?)

Posted in: Cat Health - Last Updated: August 18, 2022 - Author: Mayurii Rajvanshi
Posted in Cat Health 
Last Updated: August 18, 2022  
Author:  Mayurii Rajvanshi

Can cats eat French fries? Good question! I cannot imagine ordering a burger without a helping of French fries on the side. Whether it’s a takeaway or dining in, French fries are mandatory. 

They’re so delicious you would likely have them as a snack in between meals too! Of all the different forms potatoes take, it’s very likely that French fries are the most popular around the world. 

can cats eat french fries

Even though French fries are very delicious, you would also know that eating too much would end up giving your health-related issues. All the oil, sodium, and excess carbohydrates in French fries will end up causing, weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart disease and can even clog your arteries. 

Considering that they are not so healthy for humans themselves, it should be of no surprise to find that cats should also not have French fries. But what if your cat sneaks one out of your plate and gobbles it up?

It really comes down to how much French fries your cat has eaten. If they’ve stolen just the one and are nibbling at it, as a treat it should be fine. 

But this definitely does not mean they should be given French fries regularly or even at a semi-regular frequency.

What’s in French Fries?

When you make French fries at home, it would typically just have the potato, the cooking oil, and any seasoning you add to make it tastier. But that’s not the case with store-bought French fries. 

They’re typically made using around 20 different ingredients and artificial flavors.

can cats eat fries

Potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates for humans, but they don’t do much for cats. 

They are rich in potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and B vitamins.  

But Can Cats Eat Fries?

Felines are obligate carnivores, which means around 70% of their cat diet should be meat-based food. They don’t need vegetables in their diet, and certainly not carbohydrate-high potatoes. 

Cats don’t need the high amount of carbohydrates that potatoes have. Potatoes are also packed with fiber, which cats do need. 

But once again, potatoes come with so much fiber and unnecessary calories that it’s too much to add to a cat’s diet. 

Cats also need fat in their diet but should ideally come from omega-3-rich sources such as fatty fish, fish oil, and other such foods. But the fat the potatoes offer would only end up causing your cats to gain weight and have to deal with obesity.

can cats have fries

Can Cats Have Uncooked French Fries?

French fries are usually made using white potatoes, which have a glycoalkaloid substance in them called solanine. 

This particular substance can be toxic to your cat. If your cat steals potato slices even before they are cooked and eats them, then it can be very toxic. 

Frozen French fries are pre-cooked and will not lead to potato toxicity. 

Potato Toxicity Potato toxicity will cause vomiting, upset stomach, seizures, stomach pain, diarrhea, and possible neurological side effects such as depression, disorientation, lethargy, 

If you have green potatoes in your garden and you see your cat eat the sprouts from the vegetable, then you need to take them to the vet immediately. Eating the sprouts or the skin of green potatoes can be toxic for cats. 

In case your cat eats store-bought before you cook them, it’s not as serious. Store-bought fries are usually pre-cooked. 

They only usually require reheating before being consumed.

Can Cats Eat French Fries with Salt?

Typically, French fries have a good amount of salt, and sodium is not good for your cat. Even a modest amount of French fries can have a good amount of salt in them. If your cat eats all the French fries in the portion, then it could end up with salt poisoning. 

Salt in cat food can cause other issues such as harm to the kidneys. Also, when cats eat salted foods, it causes an imbalance in their electrolyte levels. 

When this happens, the body cells in your cat won’t function properly. 

can cats eat french fries with salt

There are various signs your cat will show in case it is dealing with salt toxicity. Signs include a wobbly walk, excessive thirst, and vomiting. They might also suffer diarrhea and excessive urination. 

If you see any of these signs, then you should take your cat to the vet, who will administer IV fluids and bring a balance to the electrolytes.

Although it is rare, too much salt can also result in your cat getting a condition called hypernatremia. This condition occurs when there is too much salt content in your cat’s blood. Hypernatremia can cause the cats to go into a coma and even result in death.

Can Cats Eat Potato Chips?

Potato chips are also not recommended for your cats. While the chips themselves are not harmful, they usually come with preservatives and a good amount of salt. 

Processed potato chips are also usually dry and have quite a few chemicals in them. 

So, it would not be a good idea to give even potato chips to your feline friends. A small piece may not hurt them but giving more can be toxic. Even one full chip is usually bigger than a fry, which means your cat would end up eating more carbohydrates. The only advantage chips have over French fries is their lower fat content, irrespective of whether they have been fried or baked in the oven.

At the end of the day, however, you should make sure your cat doesn’t have either fries or chips. 

As with French fries, potato chips include saturated fat. This will lead to weight gain in cats. 

Yes they need fatty acid substances but even small amounts of saturated fat in a feline’s diet can cause significant weight gain, leading to heart difficulties, joint problems, and other health issues.

What To do if my Cat Eats French Fries?

While eating one fry won’t be harmful to your cat, you should look out for signs of distress.

You might not even know that your cat has stolen more fries than the one you did catch them with. If your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea, you need to take it to the vet. 

They’ll examine the cat and figure out the issue to give the appropriate pet medical treatment.

Can Cats Eat French Fries: The Verdict

Cats are very curious by nature and would be interested in the foods that you’re eating. They may try to take a swipe at your food and run away with the spoils. 

You’ll need to make sure French fries are one of those foods. If you’re suspicious your cat has got one from under your eyes, look out for symptoms that show it might be in distress. 

In case you’re worried that your cat has eaten too many fries, take them to the veterinarian and get a full check-up done.

About the author

Mayurii Rajvanshi takes pride in being a content ninja, who is an avid animal lover. She has fostered numerous cats and developed in-depth knowledge of feline facts so she can write about cat health and cat care to help dispel myths with authentic information. Her aim is to encourage responsible pet parenting and cat adoption.