Mashed potatoes and potatoes, in general, have been a long-time favorite side dish of many people. They contain a lot of vitamins and are a good source of nutrition. You can boil them, and they can even be turned into french fries. Potatoes contain a lot of starch, and starch is essential in the production of many different types of cat food. Although cats get their main nutrition from meat, much of their food also contains vegetable products. So, can cats eat mashed potatoes?
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Can Cats Eat Mashed Potatoes?
Mashed potatoes would fall under the “cooked” potato category, which is completely fine for your cat to eat. This category would also include baked and boiled potatoes. Mashed potatoes are safe for your cat because all of the harmful toxins have been eliminated while the potatoes were cooked.
It is safe to feed your cat mashed potatoes as long as there are no extra seasonings, salts, topping or preservatives. The potatoes must be free of any spices, or any other harmful ingredients to your cat.
Cats have extremely sensitive digestive systems and you wouldn’t want to feed them anything that could disrupt it.
You also shouldn’t feed your cat any chips, french fries, or fried potatoes. Fried potato products secrete oil that can be harmful to your cat. If you take a paper napkin and wrap it around fries or chips, you can see all the extra oil inside of fried potato products.
If you are going to feed your cat any cooked potatoes it must just be the potato itself without any flavor-enhancing additions. The best way to feed your cat mashed potatoes is to mix a little bit of it with their favorite dish, whether it be dry food or wet.
Additionally, they can be a good source of vitamins C and B6, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium.
What About Raw Potatoes?
Raw potatoes contain the glycoalkaloid poison known as solanine. Solanine is a natural defense in potatoes, tomatoes and many other plant-like vegetables that serves as a defense. This defense is to prevent them from being eaten. The process happens when a part of the vegetable is exposed to the sun.
It emits a greenish color. Because of solanine, raw potatoes are harmful to both felines and humans. They should not be consumed raw. You potatoes are cooked, the heat is able to kill all of the unwanted toxins. Symptoms of solanine poisoning include:
Can I Feed My Cat Sweet Potatoes?
According to the ASPCA, the vines of sweet potatoes are considered nontoxic to felines, dogs, and horses. While this superfood can provide helpful minerals and vitamins to your cat, you shouldn’t be a rush to feed it to them. Felines have a far more difficult time digesting complex carbohydrates than people do. You shouldn’t be in a hurry to feed your cat sweet potatoes any time soon.
Which Potato Is Best For My Cat?
If you would like to feed your cat potatoes then cooked, boiled, or mashed would be the way to go. They are the safest and the most edible options for your feline companion. All of the toxins that potatoes contain will be cooked out of them in the process.
Raw potatoes contain really dangerous compounds that can be fatal to your cat, so we would warm against them. Although the sweet potato vine is non-toxic to cats, sweet potatoes themselves can cause problems in your cat’s digestive system.
In short, potatoes can be a great source of dietary fiber for cats but should not be a constant source of nutrition. Potatoes are not a dietary need for cats seeing as how they are carnivores. Meaning, their diets are made mostly, if not solely of meat.