Do you like eating the same food over and over again? Won’t it be boring? You’ll end up hating the food so much that you won’t even look at it!
What about our feline friends? Will they like to eat the same cat food every day? Of course, cats are not like humans and will prefer a sort of consistency.
However, a healthy snack in between can help alleviate their monotonous diets. How about mashed potatoes? Can cats eat mashed potatoes?
Is it safe to feed mashed potatoes to cats? What about other forms of potatoes? Let’s take a look at cats and mashed potatoes in detail.
- What’s mashed potatoes?
- Can cats eat mashed potatoes?
- Should cats eat mashed potatoes?
- What sort of potatoes should cats avoid?
What’s mashed potatoes ?
Mashed potato is a dish of mashing boiled potatoes with milk, butter, salt and pepper added to it. It is known colloquially as mash and also smashed potatoes when they are roughly mashed.
Generally, mashed potatoes are served as a side dish to meat or vegetables. It can be eaten with gravy. Mashed potatoes are also an ingredient in other dishes such as dumplings. This dish originated in the United Kingdom and is served hot.
Frozen mashed potatoes as well as dehydrated instant mashed potatoes are also available. Potato masher can be used to mash potatoes. To obtain a uniform, lump-free mash, a potato ricer can be used.
Floury potato varieties such as russet, golden wonder and red rascal are recommended to make mashed potatoes. Waxy potatoes are also used at times to obtain different textures.
Various cuisines the world over use mashed potatoes in different ways in their dishes. It can be mixed with different ingredients such as eggs to make a totally different dish such as potato cake.
Can cats eat mashed potatoes ?
I’m sure some of the facts mentioned previously has left your mouth watering, wanting to try some of these dishes immediately. So, can cats also have a taste of these dishes or better still can cats eat mashed potatoes?
Boiled potatoes are not toxic to cats. In fact, a small amount of pure mashed potatoes without salt, seasoning or garlic and onions, is not harmful to cats. They can eat this pure mashed potato in moderation.
However, remember that cats are carnivores whose diet should comprise mainly of meat proteins. Their diet should contain high proteins, moderate fats and low carbohydrates.
Potatoes are high in carbohydrates which cats find difficult to digest. Excess amounts can cause obesity in your cats in the long run. In the short run, they can experience stomach upsets.
Salt and seasoning can be toxic to cats due to sodium ion poisoning due to salt and anemia due from garlic and onions. Remember to give plain mashed potatoes and not the seasoned ones. Certain other spices and herbs, toppings and artificial additives should also be avoided.
Remember to feed mashed potatoes as a treat and it should never replace their regular diet. You can mix it to their canned food or dry cat food to provide a little extra fiber and protein.
Should cats eat mashed potatoes ?
Potato is a root vegetable of the plant Solanum tuberosum. It is a leading, favorite staple food in the human world. There are several varieties of potatoes enjoyed by people in many countries in the world.
Potatoes are high in carbohydrates and contain nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
Some cat foods even contain potato as an ingredient, making it non-toxic to cats. However, this is true only for cooked potatoes. Raw potatoes should be avoided since it contains a toxin, which is toxic to both humans and cats. Cooking destroys this toxin.
Mashing the potato will lower the risk of choking since it is soft and easy to swallow unlike the raw, hard ones. It can also give variety to a cat’s diet and cats will love and enjoy the different texture.
Occasional moderate amounts are recommended as cats find it difficult to handle too much carbohydrates. This small amount can provide them with some vitamins, minerals and fiber.
The effect of potatoes can vary from cat to cat. It is wise to remember that a cat’s digestive system is not designed to digest plant matter and certain cats can react badly to mashed potatoes.
Try feeding a little bit at the beginning and if your cat does not show any adverse reactions, you can give plain mashed potatoes as a snack once in a while.
Observe for any gastrointestinal upsets such as vomiting or diarrhea and consult your vet if such things occur. Avoid giving them mashed potatoes if they are prone to tummy upsets after eating mashed potatoes.
Cats should survive mainly on a meat diet. Mashed potatoes can make good treats occasionally. However, it is not really necessary to feed mashed potatoes to cats. There is nothing in mashed potatoes that cats require.
What sort of potatoes should cats avoid ?
- There are various forms and types of potatoes.
- Some of these are not exactly safe for cats.
- Here’s a list of potato related food items that should be avoided by cats.
- Raw potatoes
- Raw potatoes contain an alkaloid known as glycoalkoloid solanine.
- This is toxic to cats.
- Cats who eat raw potatoes will experience vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and disorientation due to the effect on the nervous system.
- Consult your vet immediately if your cat shows these symptoms.
- Raw potatoes are also hard, making it a choking hazard for cats.
- The tough, hard nature of raw potatoes can also cause stomach and intestinal blockage in cats.
- Avoid feeding raw potatoes to cats.
2. Potato peels
- Potato peels also contain glycoalkaloid solanine that is toxic to cats.
- Dirt, bacteria and pesticides that are harmful to cats can also be found on peels.
- Keep raw potatoes and their peels away from your curious cats to stop them from accidentally harming themselves.
3. Sweet potatoes
- Although sweet potatoes do not contain the chemical solanine, as it belongs to a separate family than potatoes, these can cause certain issues in cats.
- Too much sweet potatoes can cause obesity and digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
- A small amount of mashed sweet potato can actually help a constipated cat due to its high fiber content.
- This does not mean you should feed sweet potatoes to your cat!
4. French fries
- Fried potatoes with plenty of salt, artificial flavors and herbs are not ideal for cats.
- Too much oil can lead to pancreatitis while excess sodium can cause sodium poisoning.
- Stick to a healthy cat diet and avoid human junk food altogether, both you and your cat!
5. Potato chips
- The crunchy, salty, fried human snack can make your cat beg for some when you happen to have them.
- Remember to avoid their beseeching stare and not give them any.
- The salt, oil and other flavorings can be harmful to your cat.
Humans enjoy the mashed, baked potato mixed with milk, butter, salt and pepper. They call it mashed potatoes.
Will cats enjoy this too? Can cats eat mashed potatoes? Plain mashed potatoes without any salt or seasoning can be eaten by cats in moderation as a snack.
However, it should never be a meal replacer. Cats should survive on meat and their digestive systems are capable of digesting meat proteins mainly.
Too much carbohydrates and fats will not be tolerated by a cat’s digestive system. Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates. Thus a very small amount should be given to avoid gastrointestinal upsets.
Potato chips and French fries are high in salt and oil which can lead to sodium ion poisoning and pancreatitis. Avoid giving these to cats.
Stick to a healthy cat diet rich in meat proteins and an occasional healthy treat for your cat. Although mashed potatoes are not poisonous to cats, too much can cause problems to them.
Seek immediate medical assistance if your cat shows any adverse symptoms. Stick to a healthy diet and keep your cat healthy.
Click here to learn about can cats eat cashews.