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28.02.2022

Can cats eat potatoes? Learn the answer with Untamed

Cooked, baked, or fried potatoes are super popular among humans. This easy-to-prepare ingredient also brings some health benefits to people, but our feline friends have different nutritional needs, so potatoes might not be good for them.

Can cats eat potatoes? Let’s delve into the matter and find out whether your kitty can enjoy them and in what form. We’ll also explain what the optimal diet for your furry companion is.

Potatoes aren’t nutritionally valuable for your kitty, and they might even be difficult to digest.

Source: all.cats.are.little.potatoes

What can be found in potatoes, and should cats eat them?

Potatoes are healthy for humans because they contain vitamins C and B12 as well as iron, potassium, magnesium, and various antioxidants. If served with their skin, they are an excellent source of fibre. Potatoes contain starch, which helps cat parents feel full for longer. 

Consult the table below for the nutritional value of 100 grams of potatoes:

Nutrients

Amount per 100 grams

Protein

2.2 grams

Fat

0.1 grams

Carbohydrates

15.4 grams

Sugar

0.3 grams

Dietary fibre

1.7 grams

As for energy, 100 grams of potatoes contains 313 calories.

Unfortunately, potatoes are not good for cats. Felines are obligate carnivores, and their bodies are designed to get all essential nutrients from meat. Cats can eat potatoes but won’t get the necessary nutrients from them. As their digestive system is designed to process meat, eating potatoes might result in gastrointestinal distress, such as:

Never feed your kitty raw potatoes because they can be severely toxic to them!

Source: cat_cheese_me.if.you.can

Does the preparation method affect safety?

The preparation method dictates how safe the actual potato dish is. Let’s go over the pros and cons of specific preparation techniques:

  1. Raw potatoes
  2. Cooked potatoes
  3. Mashed potatoes
  4. Potato salad
  5. Fried potatoes

Raw potatoes

Under no circumstances should a cat eat raw potatoes. They are highly toxic because of solanine, which is poisonous for cats and cat parents.

Solanine can be found in the green skin of ripening potatoes, so dispose of them properly, especially if your kitty likes to go through the garbage bin.

If your kitty eats even the tiniest amount of raw potatoes, take them to the vet immediately.

Cooked potatoes

Cooked potatoes are safe for your furry friend but only without seasoning. Peeled and boiled potatoes can be an occasional treat. In most cases, cats won’t be interested in this particular vegetable unless it’s dipped in soup or a broth.

As potatoes are high in carbs, they can lead to obesity if fed regularly. Some manufacturers use cooked potatoes as fillers in wet or semi-moist cat food, so adding them to your furball’s diet will increase the carbohydrates intake. Check the cat food label to determine whether potatoes are already in it. If not, tiny amounts of cooked potatoes can be a risk-free snack.

Can cats eat mashed potatoes?

Since mashed potatoes are prepared with salt, milk, butter and other spices, they aren’t safe for feline consumption. High sodium levels can lead to increased blood pressure and poisoning in some instances. Most cats are lactose intolerant, so meals with dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and butter, can cause digestive problems.

Potato salad

Potato salad is another no-no for cats because it usually contains ingredients poisonous for felines. Allium vegetables, including onions, garlic, and shallots, often used in a potato salad, are highly toxic to cats.

Fried potatoes

Fried food contains unhealthy oils, acids, and fats that can harm your feline friend. The same goes for fried potatoes or chips. Cats also tend not to chew crunchy food thoroughly, which can cause further gastrointestinal upsets. Greasy food can make your feline gain weight and develop weight-related health conditions, such as joint problems and diabetes.

These chips are perfectly crispy. You are a good hooman for sharing your food with me!

Source: Pixzolo Photography

What about sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes contain crucial vitamins and nutrients for omnivores, like dogs and cat parens, but can cats eat sweet potatoes? As they don’t contain solanine, they are not toxic to cats even when they’re raw.

As obligate carnivores, cats require meat diets, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy an occasional vegetable. If sweet potatoes are unseasoned and properly cooked, they can be a snack for your furry companion. Be careful not to go overboard with sweet potatoes as too much of it can cause gastrointestinal issues. 

Another matter to keep in mind is that obligate carnivores cannot absorb essential micronutrients from anything else but meat. If you want to add healthy treats to your kitty’s diet, it’s better to go with meat snacks, such as ham or bacon in small quantities.

I don’t want potatoes, I want chicken, hooman!

Image (c) Untamed

What should your kitty’s diet consist of?

Cats need meat to thrive, and they digest proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins from it effortlessly. Your kitty's food should contain:

  1. Animal protein
  2. Animal fat
  3. Necessary vitamins and minerals
  4. Moisture

An optimal meal plan for your furry friend should have the following nutrient ratio:

Nutrients

Recommended amount

Protein

More than 50% (of the dry matter)

Fat

Up to 20% (of the dry matter)

Carbs

Less than 3% (of the dry matter)

Moisture

About 70%

Protein

Your adult kitty needs a high-protein diet to live a long and healthy life. Protein in fish, chicken, beef, and pork contain the necessary amino acids like taurine and arginine, crucial for maintaining the health of the eyes, heart, reproductive organs, and central nervous system. As cats cannot synthesise these micronutrients, they need to get them from their meals.

Check out the protein bioavailability in popular cat food ingredients:

Protein source

Biological value

98%

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Prawns

94%

  • Liver
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Ham

92%

  • Vegetables
  • Meat derivatives

Less than 65%

Many manufacturers use grains and vegetables as fillers to compensate for the lack of whole meat, so inspect the label in detail to get appropriate food for your feline.

Fat

Fat is a natural taste enhancer and another viable source of energy. It contains fatty acids, such as:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Omega-3 and omega-6

You’ll find healthy fats in chicken, salmon, liver, and beef. Keep in mind that cats don’t need too much fat. Anything above 20% creates a calorie surplus and may lead to obesity.

Vitamins and minerals

Your kitty’s diet must contain necessary vitamins A, D, E, K, and minerals, such as zinc, niacin, calcium, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. You’ll find most of them in meat and fish. If you suspect your feline friend might need vitamin supplements, talk to your vet before including them in your cat's diet because these products must be used with caution.

Moisture

To get the necessary moisture and prevent dehydration, your cat needs a minimum of 100 millilitres of water per two kilograms of their weight. Most cats don’t like to drink water from their bowl because they like it fresh and running. They also prefer to hydrate through meals, so it's best to choose high-quality wet food, which provides enough moisture to keep your furry friend healthy.

Raw potatoes are off the table, but can my cat eat raw meat?

Wild cats eat their prey raw, so many cat parents believe that a biologically appropriate raw food (B.A.R.F.) diet is the best option for their indoor kitty. This isn’t entirely true.

As raw meat comes from the human supply chain, it is often frozen and defrosted, therefore exposed to harmful bacteria. 

If your cat eats raw chicken, bones, or eggs, they are at risk of contracting listeriosis and salmonellosis. Your feline friend isn’t the only one in danger since there’s a high risk of cross-contamination.

If you’re preparing a homemade meal for your furball, you should cook raw food to avoid bacterial infections.

Dry and wet food—is there a difference?

In most pet shops, you’ll find two types of commercial cat food:

  1. Dry food
  2. Wet food

Let’s examine both to determine which one is the best for your feline friend.

Dry cat food

Cat kibble is the most affordable option, so many cat parents swear by it. The product is unfortunately far from ideal. Dry food usually contains low-quality ingredients like meat derivatives and grain, so your cat won’t get the essential nutrients they need to thrive. Kitty biscuits lack moisture and overflow with sugar, so feeding them regularly can lead to dehydration and obesity.

Some vets claim that dry food can help your cat maintain dental health and gain weight in case of malnourishment.

If you want to include kibble in your feline’s meal plan, combine wet and dry food. The mix can also help if your kitty doesn’t want to eat wet food. Cats are creatures of habit, so they might reject wet meals if they get used to biscuits as kittens. The combo diet can help them transition to a healthier meal plan without too much fuss.

Wet cat food

Wet cat food, usually in the form of gravy or jelly, should have an optimal moisture content (about 78%) and appropriate protein, fat, and carb ratio. It is excellent for:

  • Constipation 
  • Urinary health
  • Weight management

Vets recommend feeding your furry friend twice a day, with servings sized according to your kitty’s weight and lifestyle.

This smells nice, I want to try some!

Image (c) Untamed

Untamed has it all

If you want to support your cat’s health and keep the fussy diva happy, Untamed is the perfect solution. Our dishes are made from premium cuts of human-grade meat, and we don’t use sugar, grains, vegetables, and animal derivatives because they are bad for cats. All Untamed products are:

  • High in protein—Untamed food has two times more protein per single serving than the industry standard
  • Gently cooked—We steam our dishes gently to preserve the essential nutrients and keep the aroma intact
  • Irresistible—Untamed dishes are impossible to resist because we use only the finest cuts of meat and a dash of ham 
  • Ethically sourced—We source our ingredients from sustainable and dolphin-safe suppliers and use 100% recyclable packaging. Untamed leaves a neutral carbon footprint

Our products have a shelf life of three years, and they don’t need additional heating or freezing. We don’t use any common allergens in our food and have single-protein-source meals for kitties with highly sensitive tummies.

To get your starter pack, take our TRY NOW quiz and make a feast for your furry friend at the best rate.

Untamed products cater to your kitty’s needs

Untamed agrees with felines of all ages

Our dishes are a perfect fit for all breeds, including Persians, Siamese, Bengals, Ragdolls, Maine Coons, and British Shorthairs.

Because of its soft texture, our food is convenient for toothless furballs. Untamed food is rich in moisture, so it can help in preventing cystitis, struvite crystals, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Here’s how our happy clients describe the Untamed effect:

Timetable

Health benefits

One week

  • Regular bowel movement
  • Seamless digestion
  • Tidy litter tray

Three months

  • Improved coat and fur
  • Less shedding
  • Fewer hairballs

Six months and beyond

  • Stronger immune response
  • Excellent weight control
  • Happy disposition

Check out our delicious recipes

Untamed delicacies are made from the finest cuts of whole meat, such as:

  • Chicken breast and liver
  • Duck breast
  • Tuna steak
  • Salmon, sardine, and mackerel fillets

We created the most delicious recipes that will satisfy the sensitive palate of your furry friend. Check out some of our popular dishes:

  1. Chocka Chicken in Gravy—Moist chicken breast simmered in its natural gravy to seal the perfect aroma. This recipe is especially appropriate for kitties with sensitive tummies
  2. Chocka Chicken with Ham in Gravy—Grain-free, delicious dish containing premium cuts of chicken breast, cooked in gravy with a dash of ham for the taste
  3. Full-on Fishy in Gravy—Tuna steak with sardine and mackerel fillets simmered in their fish broth. The fish comes from cruelty-free and dolphin-safe sources
  4. Chocka Chicken with Duck in Jelly—A tantalising mix of chicken and duck breast served in jelly for all poultry-loving divas
  5. Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly—The perfect tuna steak acquired from cruelty-free suppliers, gently cooked in fish broth

I want to try Untamed—how can I order my first pack?

Would like to treat your feline to a delicious Untamed feast? Follow these steps to order our cat food online:

  1. Complete a brief questionnaire to tell us about your kitty’s life stage, allergies, and tastes
  2. Review a meal plan
  3. Place your order

We’ll send your tailor-made taster pack within a day with free delivery. If your kitty likes our food, we will continue to replenish your supplies every month.

With Untamed, you can alter your cat food subscription box anytime. In case you need to modify, pause, postpone, or cancel your order, you can do so from your account.

Can cats eat other vegetables?

Some vegetables are safe for feline consumption, but they are unnecessary in your kitty’s diet because cats cannot properly absorb nutrients from plants and grains (rice, corn, barley, etc.) Kitties may sometimes eat grass as it helps with digestion, but a vegan diet is not appropriate for felines.

Many veggies should be off-limits to cats because they're toxic. Check out the table below for more details:

Safe vegetables

Toxic vegetables

  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Green bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Chives
  • Scallions
  • Shallots

Can cats eat fruit?

Your feline friend probably won’t show interest in fruit, but if they do, you can safely feed them:

Fruit is packed with sugar, and overconsumption can lead to diabetes. Oranges, lemons, tangerines, and other citrus fruits are toxic to cats, so keep them out of paw’s reach.

Other human food toxic to cats

The following items from the human supply chain are poisonous to felines:

  1. Alcohol—Consumption of alcohol can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, disorientation, depression, coma, breathing difficulties, and death. Keep in mind that even the tiniest amount can cause severe harm
  2. Chocolate—Cocoa is toxic to cats because it contains caffeine and theobromine, substances highly poisonous for kitties. Consumption can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, hyperactivity, restlessness, appetite loss, fever, tremors, and seizures
  3. Coffee—As coffee contains caffeine, its effects on cats are similar to chocolate. It leads to vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, tremors, restlessness, and increased thirst
  4. Grapes and raisins—Grapes and raisins can cause severe digestive issues and kidney failure

Check out our other guides to what cats can or cannot eat:

Sausage

Ice cream

Moths

Frogs

Peppermint oil

Cake

Beans

Mayo

Baby food

Broccoli

Almond milk

Sugar

Cucumber

Sweet potato

Honey

Peanuts

Porridge

Coconut

Raw chicken

Eggs

Bananas

Nuts

Blueberries

Crisps

Rice

Peanut butter

Pasta

Bones

Garlic

Liver

Carrots

Vegetables

Raspberries

Pineapple

Onions

Oranges

Chicken

Pork

Raw meat

Apples

Soy milk

Mushrooms

Pumpkin

Slugs

Turkey

Mango

Birds

Peas

Chocolate

Cheese

Bacon

Grapes

Bread

Lactose-free milk

Adult cat food

Sweetcorn

Avocado

Tomatoes

Strawberries

Catnip

Ham

Popcorn

Olive oil