French fries and other deep-fried foods are not healthy even for human beings. However, they have an irresistible taste, especially with ketchup as a side dish. As you enjoy this delicacy, you may be tempted to share some with your feline friend. But are French fries safe for your cat?
Can Cats Eat French Fries? Although French fries may not be necessarily harmful or toxic to cats, we do not recommend them. French fries offer no nutritional value to your cat. Moreover, most of them have additives such as salt, which makes them not ideal for your cat.
French fries also contain high amounts of oil and artificial flavors. These ingredients, especially the oil, can cause your cat pancreatitis.
For these reasons, we do not recommend that you feed your feline friend with French fries. However, a tiny piece may not harm your cat.
- What Do French Fries Contain?
- Why Are French Fries Not Good for Cats?
- What Are The Consequences Of French Fries On My Cat’s Health Condition?
- Related Questions
What Do French Fries Contain?
Mostly, those French fries you buy frozen or from your favorite takeaway contain up to 19 different ingredients. However, those you make at home might be less complicated.
Homemade potatoes will mostly have pilled potatoes, oil, and a little seasoning.
Potatoes are the main ingredients of French fries. They contain:
- Vitamins C and B6
Fiber may be essential to your feline friend. However, your cat’s digestive system is that of a carnivore, which is designed for an all-meat diet. As such, your cat will not need carbohydrates.
Keep away French fries from your cat, especially if it is overweight. Likewise, avoid giving your overweight feline friend French fries, even as a treat.
Why Are French Fries Not Good for Cats?
Naturally, many cats may have no interest in eating French fries. However, a few of them may have a habit of having a bite or two.
If your cat is the type that loves having a bite, here is why you shouldn’t give in:
Cats Do Not Require Carbohydrates in Their Diet
Cats are carnivores by nature, just like their ancestors. Their ancestors lived in deserts and got much of the needed nutrients from small animals such as rats, mice, and birds.
Similarly, domesticated cats get all the nutrients they need from meat.
Carbohydrates play no role in a cat’s diet.
Ideally, a cat’s diet should be high in protein and very low in carbohydrates. Such a diet ensures that your feline friend maintains their muscle mass and remains lean.
Domestication of cats has led to the increase of carbohydrates in a cat’s diet. According to research, this change has also introduced diseases such as obesity and diabetes mellitus to cats.
French fries are packed with carbohydrates, which makes them unsuitable for cats.
French Fries Contain Saturated Fats
Small amounts of Omega 6 fatty acid and Omega 3 are suitable for your cat and should be included in your cat’s diet.
French fries contain the wrong types of fats; saturated fats.
Saturated fats are of no benefit to your cat’s health. On the contrary, your cat will only get more calories from French fries.
Calories in your feline friend are great contributors to weight gain, heart disease, and other related conditions.
Because your cat does not require calories, keep French fries at bay.
French Fries Are Highly Salted
Your feline friend requires only a small amount of salt in the diet. This is crucial for their normal development and growth.
However, too much salt in your cat’s diet is highly dangerous. It has the potential to not only poison your cat but also to kill it.
Salt poisoning in your cat may lead to the following:
- Lack of coordination
- Reduced appetite
- Dehydration and extreme thirst
- Excessive sleepiness
If the level of salt in your cat’s body gets to the extreme, it could cause serious issues such as:
A good example is the French fries from McDonald’s. Here, a small serving contains about 134 milligrams of sodium.
This amount of salt is thrice the recommended level of daily sodium intake for your cat. Such a high intake of sodium can result in urinary complications, among others.
Onions in French Fries are Toxic to Cats
Although French fries do not necessarily contain onions, at times, they are taken with fried onions. Also, tomato ketchup contains onions.
Onions are toxic to cats, and if your feline friend ingests them, they may cause digestive problems. However, small amounts of onions may not any negative impact on your cat.
Onions contain disulfides and thiosulphate compounds that are toxic to cats.
These two compounds, if consumed regularly, have the potential to damage your cat’s red blood cells, causing anemia.
As such, if you like to have fried onions with your French fries, keep them away from your cat.
What Are The Consequences Of French Fries On My Cat’s Health Condition?
A large intake of French fries for your cat will result in stomach upsets.
However, there are other severe effects that French fries can have on your cat. They include:
Obesity is the accumulation of excess body fats in cats. It among the most common cat diseases that make your cat overweight.
Note: 35% of cats in North America and 39-52% of cats in the UK suffer from obesity.
A cat that is 10% or 19% heavier than its normal weight is overweight. According to research, if your cat increases over 20% of its normal weight, it has a high risk of being obese.
Obesity in your feline pal can cause, either directly or indirectly, the following conditions:
- Increase of the anesthetic risk, especially if your cat suffers from diabetes mellitus
- Increased effects on the immune system, especially if your cat suffers from lower urinary tract disease.
- Can cause breathing difficulties to cats that already suffer from skin diseases
- Causes a condition called hepatic lipidosis; a fat deposit in the liver
- Can cause birth complication for your cat
The following are the signs that your cat may be suffering from diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Unstable body weight
- Increased consumption of water
- Loss of appetite
- Urinating more frequently
What If My Cat Loves French Fries?
Denying your feline friend what they love may not be easy at all. However, you will need to be considerate of your cat’s health.
If you want the best for your cat, desist from giving them too many French fries.
As I mentioned earlier, carbohydrates, salt, and other seasonings may have adverse effects on your feline pal.
I know you do not want to lose your cat. But, if that is the case, avoid giving them too many French fries even if they love it.
You may not want to see your cat suffering from obesity, heart disease, or even diabetes. It would also be sad to have your feline friend develop joint and mobility issues.
Some cats may be the kind that can steal a mouthful of French fries the moment you look away. In such a case, you can enjoy your fries behind closed doors. Alternatively, avoid bringing any French fries into the house completely.
Can Cats Eat Ketchup?
If your cat has a liking for French fries, there is a likelihood that they have also tasted ketchup.
French fries and ketchup belong to the same group. As such, if French fries are not safe for your feline pal, so is ketchup.
One of the dangers of ketchup is that it contains too much sodium. This is not safe for your cat.
Moreover, some ketchup types, such as Heinz Ketchup, contain onion powder. Onion is highly toxic to your cat.
Ketchup is also too acidic for your feline friend. This acid is likely to upset your cat’s stomach.
Consequently, just like French fries, keep ketchup away from your cat.