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 Salt & Vinegar Chips? Vet-Reviewed Risks & FAQ

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

doritos chips

Can Cats Eat Salt & Vinegar Chips? Vet-Reviewed Risks & FAQ


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk


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

Learn more »

Does your cat inch towards you when they hear the crinkle of a chip bag? Felines are nosy creatures that are often intrigued by what they can’t have. This may include salt and vinegar potato chips. While eating a couple of salt and vinegar chips will likely not hurt your cat, potato chips are not a healthy snack for them and should not be fed to cats intentionally. Plus, vinegar is commonly used as a natural cat repellent, so they aren’t likely to enjoy the taste anyway. Let’s learn more.

divider 2 cats

Why Salt and Vinegar Chips Are Bad for Cats

Salt and vinegar chips aren’t toxic to cats, so if they accidentally eat one or two occasionally, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. While not toxic, potato chips aren’t healthy for cats because they contain a lot of salt and fat, and the oil they are cooked in can upset their stomach.

corn chips
Image By: Lizz Hintz, Shutterstock


Sodium is a vital component for life. Together with potassium, these electrolytes regulate your cat’s bodily fluid balance. Sodium is a dietary requirement that is often easily met by feeding cat food that meets AAFCO standards. AAFCO-certified cat foods are formulated to meet their basic nutritional requirements.

Since cats get all the sodium they need from their diet, they don’t require extra salt found in salt and vinegar chips. If a cat was to eat a lot of salt, salt toxicity can occur, a condition that can be fatal. Signs of salt toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. Dehydrated pets are at the highest risk of salt toxicity, but it can also happen if they’re eating large amounts of heavily salted human food.


Potato chips are cooked in oil, which gives your cat excess fat that they don’t need in their diet.Eating more than a couple potato chips may lead to signs of digestive upset, including vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain due to the oil content. Most of the time, these signs will go away within a day or two, but be sure to consult your vet if signs become severe or aren’t cleared up within 48 hours.

Consuming excess fat can also lead to weight gain and obesity if fed regularly over time. Obesity can contribute to other issues, such as diabetes and joint problems.

Obese cat looking toward hidden snacks in lawn
Image By: Helle, Shutterstock

divider 2 cats

 Is Vinegar Bad for Cats?

Vinegar isn’t toxic to cats. In fact, many pet parents use it to clean their home because it’s safer to use around felines than most commercial cleaning products and essential oils. However, cats generally dislike the taste and smell of vinegar—so much that it’s actually touted as a natural cat repellent.

Due to its antibacterial properties, you may read that it can be a good idea to add apple cider vinegar to your cat’s diet. However, before doing this, be sure to speak to your veterinarian as it may not be beneficial for every cat and the high acidity can upset their stomach.

Are Potatoes Healthy for Cats?

Plain, cooked potatoes aren’t toxic to cats, and may be found as an ingredient in commercially produced cat food. However, due to their high carbohydrate content, cats shouldn’t eat a lot of potatoes, especially those fried in oil as in potato chips. They also shouldn’t have any potatoes that are raw or served with butter, cream, or extra seasonings, such as garlic and onion, as these extra ingredients can upset their stomach or be potentially toxic in large enough amounts.

man petting a sick siberian cat
Image By: Olesya Alexandrova,Shutterstock

What Are Some Healthy Snacks for Cats?

The healthiest thing you can give your cat is their own food. If you need to provide treats for training purposes, consider using bits of their own kibble or small amounts of a healthy, commercial cat treat.

If your cat is at a healthy weight, you can feed their inner carnivore by giving them a little bit of plain, cooked meat such as chicken or fish. Just make sure to remove the bones and extra fat first to prevent possible digestive issues. Always talk to your veterinarian before adding anything to your cat’s diet.

divider 2 cats


Salt and vinegar potato chips may be what we reach for when hunger (or boredom) strikes, but they’re not a good snack for your cat due to the high amount of salt and fat. However, if your cat happens to sneak a chip or two, they will likely be fine. Eating more than that may lead to an upset stomach complete with vomiting and diarrhea. Be sure to see your vet if your kitty gobbles a large amount of salt and vinegar chips and are experiencing any severe signs.

Featured Image Credit: 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.