Can Cats Eat Potatoes? Are Potatoes Safe For Cats?

Adorable cat sleeping in a basket of fresh new potatoes

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Can cats eat potatoes? You might have had this thought while you’re hanging out in the kitchen and cooking up a batch of roasted potatoes for a Sunday dinner, or maybe your kitty is begging for a bite of your mashed potatoes. If humans can eat potatoes, can cats safely eat them too?

There is no short yes or no answer as to whether cats can eat potatoes. Technically, when potatoes are cooked appropriately, they are not toxic to cats and can be enjoyed safely.

But as cats are obligate carnivores, you really want to avoid feeding your cat too many potatoes and instead keep to a protein-focused feline diet.

As always, you must ask your regular veterinarian before going sharing any human food with your beloved feline, including potatoes. Here’s what you need to know about potatoes and cats.

When Are Potatoes Okay For Cats To Eat?

First of all, avoid feeding raw potatoes to cats, as they can be poisonous, just like for humans. If you want to feed your feline some potatoes, you’ll need to cook them in a safe and appropriate fashion.

There are two main ways to safely cook potatoes for your cat. Boiled potatoes cooked in plain water and, left unseasoned, can be peeled and cut up into small pieces to feed to your cat. Just be sure to make sure the potatoes have cooled properly.

If you want to go an extra step, you can also turn the boiled potatoes into mashed potatoes. Again, make sure you don’t add any extra seasonings to the mashed potatoes, and avoid adding dairy like butter, milk, or cheese to the mashed potatoes.

When Are Potatoes Bad For Cats?

Ginger and white cat on tray of harvested potatoes.

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Cats are obligate carnivores, so basing a kitty’s diet around potatoes is not a nutritionally-appropriate decision. Cats need lean protein, not masses of potatoes.

Additionally, there are many ways of cooking potatoes that can make them unsuitable for cats to consume, including deep frying and roasting with extra herbs and spices.

As mentioned above, raw potatoes can also become poisonous to cats due to the levels of solanine they contain.

The big issue with feeding potatoes to cats is simply that they do not offer enough in the way of beneficial nutrition for the feline’s diet. So while it’s okay if your kitty very occasionally snacks on an unseasoned, cooked potato, in general you should avoid the idea of feeding potatoes to cats.

Has your cat ever taken a bite of your potatoes? What healthier human foods do you let your kitty try? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!