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Can Cats Eat French Fries? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

Can Cats Eat french-fries

Vet approved

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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There’s nothing quite as delicious or comforting as a plate full of French fries. But is this a food you can safely share with your cat if they seem to be interested in what’s on your plate?

While cooked French fries aren’t toxic for cats, they’re not healthy. If your curious feline is sniffing around your plate of fries, we highly recommend redirecting their attention to something more species-appropriate, as they will gain no nutritional benefits from sharing your fries with you.

Here, we dive into why you should keep this deep-fried snack on your plate and your plate only.

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Why Shouldn’t Cats Have Fries?

If fries aren’t toxic for cats, you’re probably wondering why you can’t give them any. Let’s take a closer look at why fries shouldn’t be a dish you share with your cat.

Not Species Appropriate

One important reason to avoid offering fries to your cat is that fries are not a part of a cat’s natural diet. Felines are obligate carnivores that need animal protein to thrive, so their digestive systems are set up to most efficiently digest meat products.1 Since potatoes are decidedly not composed of animal tissue, fries aren’t something your pet’s digestive system is built to digest, so they can cause gastrointestinal upset and issues like vomiting or diarrhea if they eat more than a bite or two.

french fries served on a wooden table
Image By: Ande_Hazel, Pixabay

High Fat and Calorie Content

French fries are traditionally deep-fried in oil, making them high in fat. Cats do require fat, as it is the most energy-rich nutrient in their diet; however, diets containing too much fat can be awful for kitties. High-fat foods like fries also have higher numbers of calories. An increase in caloric intake can quickly lead to weight gain, obesity, and related conditions, such as diabetes and joint issues.

Inappropriate Ingredients

French fries aren’t typically made with potatoes as the sole ingredient. The ones you’ll get when you order from a restaurant and even those you buy in the frozen food section at your grocery store will have other ingredients added to them to make them tastier. They may be tossed in salt and seasonings like garlic or onion powder, which are toxic for cats. Heavily salted fries are high in sodium. Consuming a lot of salt can lead to dehydration in felines and other serious issues.

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Can Cats Eat Cooked or Raw Potatoes?

Potatoes are not really a species-appropriate food, so there is no reason you should offer your cat potatoes—even if they are boiled in unsalted water. Potatoes are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for people, but they don’t provide much nutrition for cats.

Raw potatoes are toxic to cats. They contain solanine and lectins, two compounds that can lead to gastrointestinal issues and neurological signs. If your cat has eaten any part of a raw potato, including the peelings or plant material, contact your vet immediately.

vet holding a sick tabby cat
Image By: megaflopp, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

French fries are a yummy treat for us, but it’s definitely not something you should share with your kitty. While a bite of a cooked fry now and then is unlikely to cause any long-lasting effects, it is not a food your cat will derive any nutritional benefits from, so it shouldn’t be intentionally fed to them.

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Featured Image Credit: ha11ok, Pixabay

Chantelle Fowler

Authored by

Chantelle is passionate about two things in her life – writing and animals. She grew up on the prairies in Canada surrounded by animals. As an adult, she chooses to share her home with five cats, two guinea pigs, and a bearded dragon. Chantelle, her husband, and their child take great pride in being THOSE kind of animal parents - the ones who spend a thousand dollars on wall-mounted cat shelves so that their cats can ha...Read more

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