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Can Cats Eat French Fries? Vet Approved Facts & FAQs

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat french fries

Can Cats Eat French Fries? Vet Approved Facts & FAQs


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Does your cat love sneaking the occasional French fry from your plate when you’ve finished a meal? Perhaps you’ve seen a street cat gobbling up leftovers and wondered if it’s safe for them to do so. Most of us with cats know that they love to explore our kitchens and sometimes even sneak onto the counter to see if what we’re preparing might be for them!

However, should we be worried if our cats take a bite of a French fry? The occasional French fry isn’t going to do your healthy cat much harm, but it depends on many factors. Keep reading, and we’ll answer all your questions on the face divider 2

Are French Fries Poisonous for My Cat?

The answer to this question depends on whether the French fries have been cooked. If you’ve got a supply of raw potatoes ready to make French fries, then these can be dangerous for your cat to eat. Raw potatoes contain alkaloids that can be toxic to cats.

The alkaloids are found in all parts of the potato plant, including the tubers, stems, and leaves. Usually, greater quantities are present in green potatoes; however, they can occur in any uncooked potato. They are a defense mechanism of the plant against fungi and pests.

While it’s not a problem if your cat eats a few cooked French fries, they won’t gain any nutritional benefit from them either.

Image Credit: Ande_Hazel, Pixabay

Interesting Facts About French Fries

The exact origin of French Fries is a bit of a mystery, with Spain and Belgium staking a claim on the invention, as well as France. Whoever invented them, we’re thankful! Thomas Jefferson first brought them to the U.S.A. after working in France.

If you really love French fries, you can visit a museum dedicated to them! The Frietmuseum in Bruges, Belgium, is the place to visit on your next vacation.

What Do French Fries Contain?

French fries from your favorite takeout or those bought frozen and ready to cook can contain up to 19 ingredients. Those made at home can be less complicated. Most homemade French fries can be created using potatoes, your choice of oil, and a little seasoning.

Potatoes, the main ingredient of French fries, contain carbohydrates and fiber. They also contain potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and B6. While fiber is important in your cat’s diet, as obligate carnivores, they don’t need carbohydrates. Your cat’s digestive system is designed to work best on an all-meat diet.

If your cat is overweight, allowing them to eat calorie-rich and carb-heavy French fries isn’t a good idea, even if it is just for the occasional treat. While it’s true that many commercially available cat foods also contain carbohydrates, it’s worth noting that your cat’s digestive system doesn’t have the enzymes to process them properly. They’re usually just added as a filler, and you certainly don’t need to add more to your cat’s diet in the form of French fries!

Can Cats Eat French Fries
Image By: hansbenn, Pixabay

Can Cats Eat Uncooked French Fries?

Cats should not eat uncooked French fries made with raw potatoes. As mentioned, raw potatoes contain alkaloids—specifically solanine—that can harm your cat. Solanine is the same chemical found in deadly nightshade, and we all know to avoid eating that!

The Pet Poison Helpline and APSCA both list green potatoes as toxic to cats. If you grow your potatoes and see your cat eating the green sprouts or green skin, make sure you get them checked out by a veterinarian.

If your cat tries to eat a piece of store-bought frozen French fry before it’s cooked, that’s not likely to be as bad. They’re normally pre-cooked before being packaged, and you only have to heat them again.

Can Cats Eat Cooked French Fries?

The good news is that once potatoes are cooked, they’re no longer toxic to cats. Frying is one of the cooking methods that reduces the solanine content of potatoes the most due to the high heat of the oil.

Unfortunately (for your cat anyway), French fries will likely be covered in sauces and seasonings that might be an additional risk to your furry friend.

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Extra Flavorings

Most of us enjoy sauce with our fries to make them taste even better, but it’s best to keep it away from your cat. Most sauces are acidic, and as a result, they can irritate your cat’s digestive system. They might even vomit after trying a bit of sauce.

Some flavorings also contain ingredients that can be toxic to cats. Onion powder is a good example, as is the garlic used in aioli. Both garlic and onions are listed on the Pet Poison Helpline’s website as being toxic to pets. It’s worth noting that garlic is roughly five times as strong as onions in terms of toxicity.

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We hope you’ve found the answers to your questions by reading this article. The occasional French fry isn’t going to do your healthy cat much harm as long as it isn’t covered in salt and sauce! Your cat also won’t get a nutritional benefit from it either. Raw potatoes waiting to be made into French fries are another issue and shouldn’t be fed to your cat.

If you’re unsure, remember that while your cat might like to sniff and nibble the occasional strange piece of food, they will always be much happier and healthier when fed a correct diet specifically designed for cats, not humans!

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