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Can Cats Eat Veggie Straws? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Annaliese Morgan

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

close up of veggie straws

Can Cats Eat Veggie Straws? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ


Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo


Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

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

Learn more »

Human treats are not known for being “healthy”. The average potato chip is mostly fat, oil, and salt, with artificial additives and flavorings and zero nutritional value. Enter: Veggie Straws, a crispy vegetable snack (shaped like a short straw) that sounds like a healthy alternative to our beloved Ruffles and Pringles. Pet parents might wonder if Veggie Straws are okay for me, what about my cat?

With their incredible sense of smell, cats can easily sniff out something tasty they wish to eat, but sadly, and often to their disappointment, cats should not eat Veggie Straws or any other processed human treat.

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What Are Veggie Straws?

Veggie Straws are a type of potato-based “vegetable chip” widely marketed and pushed as a healthy snack or treat for humans; a fun and tasty way to add healthy vegetables into our diets, with lower fat content than the average potato chip. When we look at the actual contents of these products, however, these claims are a little far-fetched.

Ingredients of “Sea Salt” Veggie Straws
  • Potato flour
  • Potato starch
  • Corn starch
  • Tomato paste
  • Spinach powder
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Beetroot powder
  • Turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Oil (canola, sunflower, and/or safflower oil)

None of those ingredients have any use in the diet of an obligate carnivore.

In terms of nutritional values for humans, a single serving of Veggie Straws (68 straws/50 g) has 250 calories, 14 grams of fat (22% RDA), 430 mg of salt (18% RDA), and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. They might be “healthier” than the average snack, but a far cry from a ‘great way to get more vegetables into your diet.’

veggie straws in a wooden bowl
Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock

Can My Cat Eat Veggie Straws?

No, your cat can’t eat Veggie Straws, and that should be the end of the conversation, but let’s dive deeper.

The Sea Salt and the Cinnamon Apple flavors contain no toxic ingredients, but all the other recipes contain toxic ingredients, so regardless of how much your furry friend persists, they must not be offered to your cat. Many of these other flavors contain onion and garlic powder, both of which are toxic to cats. The milk and cheese contained in many of the flavors may cause gastro-intestinal upset as many adult cats are dairy intolerant.

These products are high in sodium (salt), starches, sugar, and oils. They also tend to be higher in fat and calories than many other feline-safe treats. Importantly, they contain less than 1 g of protein per 28 g serving, and cats require a protein-rich diet. All in all, the balance of nutrition in Veggie Straws is far from ideal for a cat and can cause problems for your cat’s weight and mobility if fed regularly over a long period of time.

If your cat has eaten a Veggie Straw or two, check the package carefully to ensure there is no onion or garlic in the ingredients. If either of these ingredients are listed, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.


What Treats Can I Feed Instead of Veggie Straws?

You have many options to give your cat as a treat, as well as plenty of human food that is both safe and healthy. Try a selection from the list below, although not all at once! Avoid those that may cause allergies or intolerance. Remember that treats for your cat should only make up around 10% of their daily calorie intake.

Always check with your veterinarian that the food you wish to offer is safe for your cat and their individual health status.

Safe Cat Treats
  • Treats bought from stores, marketed for cats
  • Plain grilled or cooked chicken
  • Plain cooked turkey
  • Cooked fish, especially salmon or oily fish
  • Canned tuna in water
  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries

What Is a Healthy Diet for Cats?

Image Credit: TarasBeletskiy, Shutterstock

Cats are known as obligate carnivores. This means they must get their protein from animal meat, rather than plant sources. They have a few extra nutritional requirements when compared to dogs, humans, and other species, which are:

  • Taurine: A particular type of essential amino acid found only in protein from animal meat.
  • Arachidonic Acid: An essential fatty acid derived from animal origin.
  • Arginine: An essential amino acid derived from animal meat.
  • Vitamins A, D and Niacin: Cats can’t sufficiently synthesize these vitamins so they must get them from animal tissues.

For this reason, cats must eat animal meat and cannot be fed a vegetarian or vegan diet. Nor can these extra necessary nutrients be added as a supplement. Failure to provide your cat with taurine, arginine and arachidonic acid results in serious health issues, potentially leading to their death.

Cats also require a much lower level of carbohydrates than humans and dogs and derive most of their energy from proteins and fats.

Their specific dietary requirements mean cats should be fed high-quality, age appropriate complete cat food to ensure they get all the nutrition they need to live long, healthy lives.

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There are plenty of safe foods that cats can eat as an extra snack or treat on top of their daily diet. While the number of snacks offered needs to be limited, many tasty foods can still be enjoyed by your cat while still providing quality, safe and healthy options to them. Veggie Straws are not a safe or nutritious treat choice, so should be avoided.

If you have already been feeding your cat Veggie Straws and are concerned about the effects on their health, then have a chat with your veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist who can best advise on the next steps.

Featured Image Credit: Le Do, Shutterstock

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