If sweet potato is one of your family’s favorite side dishes, you may have found yourself wondering can cats eat sweet potato? The short answer is sweet potato is safe for cats, however cats don’t digest sweet potatoes well which can lead to problems. Read on to find out what to watch out for when feeding sweet potato to cats.
Can Cats Eat Sweet Potato Raw?
Cats are by nature carnivorous. This means that most of their diet consists of meat or by products of meat. Some commercial cat foods may contain other vegetable based ingredients. Do not feed cats raw sweet potatoes or any kind of raw potatoes. Just like with people, raw potatoes are highly toxic and will wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive system.
Can Cats Eat Sweet Potato Cooked?
Cats are typically intolerant of sweet potatoes in any form, including cooked. One bite or two of mashed sweet potatoes won’t kill your cat but if cats eat sweet potatoes regularly, it can lead to digestive issues, obesity and other problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. Cats can eat regular Idaho or russet potatoes if they are mashed, boiled, or baked. Some pet owners even choose to add a spoonful of mashed potatoes mixed in with their cat’s dry food on occasion as a boost of fiber and protein.
Can Sweet Potato Make Cats Sick?
As we said one or two bites of cooked sweet potato on special occasions isn’t harmful to your cat by itself. But keep in mind that cooked sweet potatoes are frequently combined with added ingredients like brown sugar, butter, nutmeg. Some of these added ingredients can be problematic for a cat’s digestive system. If you notice your cat exhibiting symptoms of toxicity including vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, or erratic behavior seek assistance from a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Can Cats Eat Sweet Potato Vines?
If you’re garden includes potatoes or sweet potatoes, you’ll want to make sure your kitten or cat steers clear of the vines. Potato vines and their leaves are highly toxic for cats. I found mixed advice concerning the toxicity of sweet potato vines for cats and other animals. Symptoms of potato vine poisoning include hallucinations and diarrhea. In my opinion, it’s just not worth taking the chance so keep your cat away from any kind of potato vines.
Overall Verdict for Whether Cats Can Eat Sweet Potatoes
The best advice is to never let your cat eat raw potatoes of any kind and to think twice before you decide to share your sweet potatoes with your cat. Although you may enjoy the gratitude they show you when they get a taste of delicious sweet potato, it could be short-lived if they later experience problems. Share regular potatoes sparingly with your cat and only if you’re sure they weren’t mixed with other ingredients.
Watch them carefully for any signs of distress after eating potatoes and seek assistance of a veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your cat has eaten potato vines.