Potatoes are a fairly common vegetable, and in many households, they are a staple food served as a way of stretching meals. So, if potatoes are a frequent food served in your household, you may find yourself wondering can cats eat potato?
The answer to this question is yes and no. Potatoes are in the Solanaceae plant family. It’s the same family as nightshade plants and tomato plants. Nightshade plants are toxic to cats. For this reason, it’s critical that you don’t allow your cat to eat raw or uncooked potato ever. It’s also never a good idea to let cats eat potato peels or any part of the potato plant.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Potato?
The funny thing is, once you cook potatoes, the toxins within them are destroyed which means that cooked potato is safe for cats to eat. In fact, some types of cat food use potato in them. Because cooking potato destroys the toxins, boiled potato is safe for your cat to eat. In most cases, your cat will also enjoy the taste of cooked potato which is a win-win. Be cautious of feeding any readymade mashed potato to your cat though. Store-bought or leftover restaurant mashed potato could have additives, such as garlic salt or garlic powder or onion, that are harmful to cats.
Can Cats Eat Mashed Potato?
Mashed potato is cooked which means the toxins have been destroyed but you do have to be careful about anything you add to the potato during the mashing. Garlic, for example, is toxic for cats even in small amounts. It can even build up gradually over time and make your cat sick. Symptoms from garlic or even onions may not show up for several days.
So, if you’re planning to feed mashed potato to your cat, set some aside before you add anything to it. You could even add a spoonful of plain mashed potato (nothing added) to your cat’s pet food if you wanted to.
Can Cats Eat Baked Potato?
Once again, the cooking process destroys the harmful toxins within the potato. This includes in the skin as long as the skin was cooked, or in this case baked. So technically, your cat could eat a piece of two of baked potato skin although you may not want to risk it if you aren’t sure the skin was cooked thoroughly.
Can Cats Eat Potato Chips?
When it comes to whether cats can eat potato chips, the answer depends again on any additives. Baked or even fried potato chips that you make yourself are probably safe for your cat. But it’s definitely not something to make a habit of feeding. Set aside a chip or two before you add anything, such as salt or other seasonings, which could be toxic or harmful to cats.
So, the overall opinion on whether cats can eat potato is never feed raw potato, uncooked potato skin, or any part of a potato plant to your cat. If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of a raw potato, consult your veterinarian right away even if your cat shows no symptoms. Cooked potato is okay in moderation as long as there are no additives.