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Can Cats Eat Fritos? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Facts & Risks

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

Fritos

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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When you look at Fritos’ short ingredient list, you may think that they’re safe for cats to eat because they only contain corn, vegetable oil, and salt. Technically, your cat can eat a Frito or two and probably won’t experience any immediate issues. However, Fritos still aren’t the best snacks to feed your cat, and they may experience health complications if they continue to eat them over an extended period of time.

You can easily find plenty of healthier snack options for cats that won’t negatively impact their overall health and well-being. So, it’s better to refrain from feeding your cat Fritos and choose more beneficial alternatives instead.

Are Fritos Safe for Cats to Eat?

Fritos do have a simple ingredient list, and they’re free of artificial flavors and preservatives. They’re also gluten-free and kosher, so they may look like a safe snack option for cats with food allergies. That being said, eating one or two Fritos won’t hurt your cat. However, it’s important to consider if Fritos fit well into a cat’s natural diet to understand why cats shouldn’t eat Fritos regularly.

Fritos
Image By: JumpStory

Low Nutritional Value

Cats eat a more carnivorous diet that typically consists of a significant amount of protein, a moderate amount of fats, and few carbohydrates. The nutritional value of Fritos is nearly the opposite of what cats need. It’s mostly made up of carbohydrates, has a decent amount of fat, and barely contains any proteins.

High Sodium

Along with having low nutritional value, Fritos contain a lot of sodium. Cats can experience salt poisoning if they have high sodium levels in their bodies. It’s worth noting that salt toxicosis in cats rarely occurs through ingesting salty foods. However, consuming too much sodium can still put a cat’s health at risk. Cats with chronic kidney disease are often recommended low-sodium diets to prevent overworking their kidneys. Eating too much salty food can also potentially raise a cat’s blood pressure, so it’s often not safe for cats with cardiomyopathy and other heart diseases to eat them.

a sick or sad looking cat lying on a blanket
Image By: Julia Cherk, Shutterstock

High Calories

Lastly, Fritos are a high-calorie snack. Feeding your cat an excessive number of calories over time will lead to excessive weight gain and ultimately obesity. Obesity can significantly reduce a cat’s quality of life and put them at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

What Should I Do If My Cat Accidentally Eats Fritos?

Since Fritos don’t contain ingredients that are harmful to cats, you don’t have to worry about toxicosis. If your cat’s gotten into a bag of Fritos, it’s best to monitor their condition and be on the lookout for signs of an upset stomach, like vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Make sure to also provide plenty of water to prevent dehydration. You can try using sodium-free bone broth to encourage your cat to drink some liquids.

Contact your veterinarian if your cat shows any changes in behavior after eating Fritos. You should also consult your veterinarian if your cat’s upset stomach persists after 2 days.

old sick gray tabby cat
Image Credit: Mahlebashieva, Shutterstock

Healthy Snacks for Cats

If you really want to share a snack with your cat, try choosing whole foods. Here is some snack options that your cat may safely enjoy eating with you:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Carrots
  • Oatmeal

Your cat may also enjoy small pieces of cheese and lean deli meats as a special snack. However, these foods should only be given occasionally because of their sodium levels. It’s also important to note that cats may also be lactose-intolerant and not able to digest milk and other dairy products easily.

Conclusion

While cats can safely eat many whole foods that humans eat, it’s generally not recommended to feed them processed foods. Processed foods often contain ingredients that are harmful to cats and don’t usually benefit their daily nutritional requirements. Even though Fritos have a limited ingredient list, the ingredients don’t really benefit a cat’s health. Certain whole foods and treats specifically designed for cats are better options, and they’ll help your cat stay healthy and feel happy.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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