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Can Cats Eat Doritos? Nutritional Facts & Safety Guide

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

Can Cats Eat doritos

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

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Doritos have become an incredibly popular snack food. Their cheesy, crunchy goodness is delicious but also tempts a few cats to want to take a bite for themselves. Before giving your cat one of these chips, you need to consider whether they’re actually safe for pets to eat.

While Doritos are not toxic and technically fine for your cat to eat, you definitely don’t want to make it a habit. Most of the ingredients in Doritos could give your kitty an upset stomach and can contribute to a range of other health issues.

Do Cats Enjoy Doritos?

Whether or not cats enjoy eating Doritos really depends on the individual cat. It’s more common to find that your cat has licked off the flavor dusting on the chips rather than devouring the entire thing. Some felines find the cheesy smell and flavor enticing, while others couldn’t care less. However, there are many different flavors of Doritos besides the traditional nacho cheese that they could get into when you’re not looking.

Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Doritos?

One of the biggest concerns with cats eating Doritos is that they pose a potential choking hazard. If you’ve ever broken one of these chips in half, you know how sharp the edges can be. Even small pieces could scratch your cat’s throat or be deadly if they get caught in their esophagus. Most cats are cautious when it comes to eating their food, and the risk of choking is low, but you never know what could happen when your back is turned. Aside from choking, there are several other hazards associated with feeding cats Doritos.

Image Credit: TonelsonProductions, Shutterstock

Dangerous Ingredients in Doritos

The main ingredients in a Doritos chip include vegetable oil, salt, maize, dry cheese powder, skim milk powder, and other additional spices. These components could cause a variety of health issues that contribute to obesity, digestion problems, and stomachaches.

  • Maize – Cats are carnivorous animals, and their bodies are not able to digest plant matters effectively. They should only be eating meat. The corn from these chips goes through an extensive process until they reach their final form, and your pet might not be able to digest them properly.
  • Carbohydrates – Carbs are another concern when feeding your cat Doritos. Too many carbs mean that your cat could easily start to pack on the pounds. Obese cats are more likely to suffer from diabetes, organ and joint issues.
  • Dairy – Cheese and milk are two big ingredients found in Doritos chips. Believe it or not, most cats are actually lactose intolerant. Again, eating dairy products like cheese and milk could cause a lot of discomfort, as well as diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Salt – All mammals, humans included, should be conscientious about their salt intake. Doritos are loaded with sodium. Dehydration, hypertension, and cardiac issues are only some of the risks associated with a high-sodium diet in humans.  Cats have a low tolerance for salt in their diets and need a fraction of that which humans require daily.  Excess salt can lead to salt poisoning.

How Many Doritos Can You Safely Feed a Cat?

Doritos might not be deadly for cats, but they still aren’t something that they should be eating on a regular basis. Giving your furry friend a single chip every now and again is probably fine. Your cat might not even be interested in more than a few licks or nibbles. If they are interested in eating them, then make sure to break the chip into very small pieces so that they don’t choke.

Cats Eatting Chips
Image Credit: AlexDonin, Shutterstock

What is the Safest Dorito Flavor for Cats?

If you insist on treating your cat with some Doritos, it’s usually best to stick to the traditional nacho cheese flavor. It is also vital to avoid spicy flavors. Cool Ranch should be avoided altogether because of the amount of onion and garlic powder on them.

Better Snack Alternatives for Cats

At the end of the day, there are so many better snack options that you could feed your fur baby. Here are only some of the possible foods that they might enjoy:

  • Cooked chicken
  • Cooked carrots
  • Cooked beef
  • Cooked turkey
  • Cooked white rice
  • Spinach
  • Oatmeal
  • Boiled eggs
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Honeydew
  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe

Now that you know what you can safely feed your cat, it’s just as important to find a bowl that supports their health and well-being. With whisker-friendly bowls and a wide tray to catch any spills, our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite option.

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Final Thoughts

We don’t blame you for chowing down on some cheesy Doritos when you’re hungry. It’s common for cats to be curious about the foods we eat. While Doritos aren’t toxic to cats, you should always be cautious when feeding them any human food. Some cats have allergies to the ingredients in Doritos, and the last thing anyone wants is for their pets to become sick from something we gave them. If your cat snuck a few bites or took a few licks, you probably don’t need to worry too much; just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t have any negative reactions. If your cat happens to love the taste, try to keep their exposure to them limited and only use them as a rare treat.

Featured Image Credit: go_see, Pixabay

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