For people, potatoes are a brilliant source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They’re inexpensive, and we can keep them in the pantry for some time without them going bad.
You may have wondered can cats eat mashed potatoes, or is it better to forgo them entirely?
Can Cats Eat Potatoes?
Yes, cats can eat potatoes! However, you need to make sure you’re using the right type of potato and prepare them in a way that won’t affect your cat’s digestion.
Raw potatoes can actually be poisonous to a cat because they contain a chemical called solanine. Green potatoes contain higher amounts of solanine which can potentially be deadly for our cats.
Other potato products like french fries, hash browns, and chips should also be avoided because they can harm your cat’s digestion due to the oils, acids, salt, and fats used to prepare them.
Can Cats Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Luckily, sweet potatoes are not toxic like raw potatoes because they do not contain solanine. However, they should only be fed to your cat in a limited quantity and on a irregular basis because they can cause various health issues for cats because they are more difficult for them to digest.
Can Cats Eat Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, cats can eat plain mashed potatoes. Any toxins in the potatoes are destroyed by the boiling and cooking process so they are safe for felines, unlike raw potatoes which are toxic.
In fact, it’s said that 39.2% of companies who make cat food use potatoes as a major ingredient when preparing cat food.
Benefits of Mashed Potatoes for Cats
Cooked Potatoes Contain a Ton of Vitamins and Minerals
There are a ton of vitamins and minerals that can be found in potatoes. This includes protein, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Because of this, mashed potatoes can serve as an extra protein and fiber boost when topped with your cat’s meal or canned food.
Potatoes are a Source of Energy
Although cats shouldn’t have a lot of carbs and don’t get much nutritionally from carbs, the carbs in potatoes can provide a quick source a energy for cats when given as a little treat or as a topping on their food.
Mashed Potatoes Can Be Easily Digested
When compared to the other forms of potatoes, mashed potatoes are more easily digested by cats. The boiling, cooking, and mashing process breaks down the tougher fibers so mashed potatoes are less likely to get your cat digestive issues.
How to Feed Mashed Potatoes to Cats
When preparing mashed potatoes for your cat, you’ll have to remember not to add any other artificial ingredients. Even salt and pepper are a no-go.
Here are some other ingredients to avoid when serving mashed potatoes to your cat:
- Any type of spice or herb
In the same light, avoid feeding your cat french fries, tater tots, hash browns, and potato chips as they contain an unhealthy amount of artificial preservatives.
If you’d like to feed mashed potatoes to your cat, there’s only one rule to follow: absolutely no toppings whatsoever. Keep it plain!
If you want to make the mashed potatoes more interesting, you can mix in some vegetables that are safe for cats to consume, like carrots, green beans, and asparagus. You can also mix a hard-boiled egg in with the mashed potatoes to make it less plain.
Lastly, in buying potatoes make sure to check their skin. If you find any greenish discoloration to them, discard that potato as it might be toxic as stated above.
Potential Hazards of Feeding Mashed Potatoes to Cats
As stated above, mashed potatoes are generally safe for a cat to eat. Despite that, there are a few potential hazards of feeding mashed potatoes to cats to be aware of:
- It might cause digestive issues such as pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset if it isn’t served plain.
- There may be a potential choking hazard if cats eat an unusually large, unmashed piece of potato.
- As potatoes contain starch and calories, it may cause obesity and diarrhea when served to a cat daily.
- Don’t use mashed potatoes as a total replacement for cat food or your cat won’t receive a healthy balance of vitamins and nutrients and that poses a long-term health risk.
Can cats eat mashed potatoes, and are they safe and healthy? The answer to all these questions is normally yes. As long as you give mashed potatoes in small quantities, and without any toppings, you can eat this food without a problem as an occasional treat.
Of course, as with any new food that you are introducing into your cat’s diet, keep an eye on them afterward to see if they have any reaction to the food.