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Can Cats Eat Chips? What You Need to Know!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

tortilla chips

People love potato chips. They’re a common snack all over the world, with a wide variety of flavors available made largely from potatoes or corn. Does your cat show interest in eating potato chips? The good news is that your cat is not likely to get sick from eating a few potato chips; however, it is certainly not advisable to feed your cat chips, even occasionally. Potato chips aren’t really a healthy choice for humans, although that doesn’t stop us from enjoying them. You may be wondering if it’s ok to sneak just one or two to your feline friend?

Do Cats Like Chips?

Potato chips aren’t the sort of thing that most cats go for. If your cat is showing interest in chips, they may be craving salt. Cats, like all mammals, require a certain amount of salt in their diet to stay healthy. Most of the time, they aren’t as concerned with the chip as they are with the salt, and more likely to lick the chip than actually eat it. However, chips are not a good source of dietary salt for cats, as they provide far too much sodium with zero nutritional benefits. There are much healthier ways for your cat to get the salt it needs.

Potato chips Jumpstory
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Can I Feed My Cat Potato Chips Occasionally as a Treat?

Occasionally, a bite of potato chips won’t be fatal to your cat. However, anything more than that is not recommended. You can find a wide variety of healthy, delicious cat snacks on the market. To avoid problems, avoid giving potato chips as a treat.

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Can Eating Chips Make My Cat Sick?

Chips have far too much salt in them for cats to eat safely. If your cat exhibits symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, restlessness, or a distended stomach after consuming these foods, you should rush it to the vet as soon as possible. However, if your cat has eaten a potato chip or two, or licked at the crumbs on a chip bag, it is probably safe. Just make sure it has adequate water to ensure it has balanced electrolytes.

sad lonely cat
Image Credit: medveda, Shutterstock

Can Chips Kill My Cat?

If you catch your cat munching on your chips, should you rush it to the vet immediately? Most likely not, but it depends on how many chips your cat ate. Excessive sodium is the primary concern. Excessive salt from snacks such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn, can increase body temperature, cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even lead to death. So yes, it’s possible that eating potato chips could kill your cat, if they eat enough of them.

Why Is Salt Dangerous For Cats?

salt on a wooden spoon and all over the black clothe
Image Credit: mkupiec7, Pixabay

Cats get enough sodium each day from their regular diet. Just one potato chip has about half of the salt your pet needs each day. If eating just one or two chips becomes a regular habit, your cat may suffer long term ill effects, such as arteriosclerosis. If your cat eats more than one chip, they can easily end up consuming a dangerous amount of salt. Usually, this causes us humans to feel thirsty and, over time, can cause hypertension, kidney disease, and heart problems. Cats, however, can quickly become extremely thirsty and develop sodium poisoning.

What Are the Symptoms of Sodium Poisoning in Cats?

Excessive salt can cause your pet to become dehydrated and urinate excessively. It could be an indication that your cat has eaten too much salt if it displays signs like weakness, excessive thirst, poor appetite, puking, diarrhea, seizures, trembling, fever, or coma. If any of these symptoms occur, take your cat to the vet immediately. Cats can also develop heart problems if they consume too much sodium in the long run, just like humans.

different types pf chips
Image Credit: Didgeman, Pixabay

What Should My Cat Eat?

As obligate carnivores, cats must eat meat. As a result, they need daily meat to survive and thrive, but actually need very few carbs. Along with protein, cats also need taurine (an amino acid), Vitamin A, and Vitamin D, all of which are naturally and abundantly sourced in meat. On the other hand, a cat’s stomach has a hard time breaking down carbohydrates, so avoid grains and starchy foods.

Conclusion – Can Cats Eat Chips?

Humans love potato chips, but cats shouldn’t eat them. Carnivores can’t digest high levels of carbohydrates, and since chips are high in carbs, salt, and fat, this is a compelling reason not to share your salty snacks with them. In addition, chips are a potentially dangerous choking hazard. You probably don’t need to worry too much if your cat chews around the edges of a single chip, just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t suffer any ill effects. And remember, always speak to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns regarding your feline’s wellbeing.


Featured Image Credit: Michael Moriarty, Pixabay

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