Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Cats Eat Sweet Potato? Facts & Feline Nutrition Tips

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat sweet-potato

Can Cats Eat Sweet Potato? Facts & Feline Nutrition Tips

Sweet potatoes seem to be gaining traction in the pet food world. You may have seen dog foods advertised with sweet potato as a main ingredient. That’s great for dogs, but it may make you wonder, can cats eat sweet potatoes?

The short answer is—of course! Sweet potatoes are non-toxic to cats. However, your cat doesn’t need sweet potatoes in their diet, and they should only be an occasional treat. Sure, we have all heard about the benefits of this orange potato, but they do not pertain to your cat. We’ll explain why below.

yarn ball divider

Are Sweet Potatoes Nutritional for Cats?

Cat with Sweet Potatoes_shutterstock_MNkmal
Image Credit By: MNkmal, shutterstock

It’s important to understand that cats only need meat and water to survive. Unlike dogs, who are omnivores, cats are strict carnivores. Some ingredients found in cat food aren’t necessarily required, and your cat doesn’t really need plant-based protein to help them along.

But, if your cat is a sweet potato connoisseur, it’s okay for them to eat a small portion occasionally. Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber and full of vitamins and minerals.

Of course, your cat can get those nutrients from their daily diet, and there’s no need to add sweet potato for nutritional benefits.

Is Any Part of a Sweet Potato Dangerous for Cats?

Unlike some other plants, the vines, shoots, and stems of sweet potatoes are non-toxic to cats, according to the ASPCA. At most, it may cause an upset belly or diarrhea.

Raw vs Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Halved
Image Credit By: Suanpa, pixabay

Cooked sweet potatoes can cause digestive issues if your cat overeats in one sitting. However, small portions can relieve constipation and keep your cat regular since they’re so high in fiber.

Cats should never eat raw sweet potatoes or any raw potato. Raw sweet potatoes can be hard to digest and can wreak havoc on your cat’s gut. If you catch them munching on a raw sweet potato, watch for signs of an upset stomach.

Seasoned Sweet Potatoes

Seasoned sweet potatoes are unnecessary and dangerous for your feline. If you give your cat a piece of sweet potato, serve it plain without any spices or oils. These are common ingredients used to enhance the flavor of sweet potatoes:

  • Marshmallows — high in sugar content
  • Garlic or onion highly toxic to your cats in all forms
  • Table salt — causes dehydration
  • Walnuts — can cause gastrointestinal distress
  • Butter — high in fat

It’s best to keep seasonings out of your cat’s food bowl.

Do Cats Like the Taste of Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet Potatoes on Plate

We all know cats can be weird, especially about what they eat. They might be picky about expensive food or different types of treats. The same sentiment extends to sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are essentially a non-food item for cats since they aren’t in their natural diet.

So, your cat can decide for themselves if they even want anything to do with them in the first place. Most felines will pass at the chance to eat a sweet potato without hesitation.

But, if you find your cat stealing a sweet potato fry from or licking a piece fo baked sweet potato off of your fork, they might just enjoy the taste. It’s not a big deal, especially if there are no seasonings added to it.

Are Sweet Potatoes Used in Traditional Cat Food?

Some companies use sweet potatoes as an ingredient in their cat food recipes. A few of these formulas include:

  • Purina Beyond Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Pate Recipe
  • Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe
  • I and Love and You Lovingly Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon & Sweet Potato
  • Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Solid Gold Touch of Heaven Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe

As you can see, several brands with nutritional options include sweet potatoes. Mainly, they’re used to smooth digestion.

When in Doubt, Call the Vet

If your cat ate a sweet potato and you still aren’t convinced about their safety, you can contact your veterinarian for medical guidance.

cat face divider 2

Final Thoughts

So, now we know that cats can have small amounts of cooked sweet potatoes. Is it the healthiest choice for cats? No, cats only benefit from animal proteins in their diets. However, that doesn’t mean the occasional bite or two of a sweet potato will do any harm.

It can also help with pesky issues like constipation or sluggish digestion. That’s only if you can convince your cat to eat it in the first place.

Related Reads:

Featured Image Credit: ivabalk, Pixabay

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.