Can Your Kitty Share Your Side of French Fries With You? Here's What Vets Recommend

Consuming salt and other unsafe seasonings could have a fatal impact on your cat.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

Apr. 25 2024, Published 1:43 p.m. ET

Two stray kittens consume discarded French fries on the street.
Source: iStock

It's Saturday night, and you've got your vegan bacon cheeseburger and French fries from your favorite plant-based spot. You're ready to curl up on the couch with your cat. As your kitty begs for a taste of your meal, you wonder if your cat can eat French fries.

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Before you dunk humankind's greatest invention for the potato in some vegan honey mustard and share a bite lovingly with your cat, keep reading to learn more about how French fries could impact the health of your companion cat.

A young boy eats a French fry while a cat begs for food beside him, with another cat laying on a chair in the background.
Source: iStock
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Can cats eat french fries?

While a small, cooked French fry given as an extremely rare treat likely won't immediately cause significant harm to an otherwise healthy cat, cats should avoid French fries altogether.

According to Joanna Woodnutt, a veterinarian who writes about cat behavior and nutrition, the high amount of fat, salt, and carbs in French fries and the fact that they offer little nutritional value that can more healthily be sourced elsewhere, means cats should not eat French fries, per

French fries may also contain other seasonings or sauces, as Catster points out, which can be toxic to your cat. Per Purina, garlic, onion, and other members of the allium family are toxic to cats, so if your French fries have those seasonings, do not let your cat have even the tiniest lick.

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Can cats eat potatoes or sweet potatoes?

Like French fries, potatoes shouldn't be part of a cat's diet, even as a rare treat. As Petco explains, potatoes are listed among some cat food ingredients, but they are inessential by themselves to a cat's diet.

Still, the potential to inadequately prepare a safe potato for a cat to eat means it is best left off your kitty's plate.

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As Catster further explains, uncooked, raw potatoes contain organic compounds called alkaloids that can be toxic to your cat. Be sure to avoid uncooked potatoes and French fries altogether.

While frying raw potatoes reduces the presence of this toxic compound, this opens up a new set of potential hazards for your cat. Giving a companion animal anything fried is bad, especially if your cat is overweight or has other medical needs.

Additionally, as Petco explains, cooked or fried foods are usually prepared with oils, butter, and seasonings that may be toxic to cats.

According to Purina, sweet potatoes do not contain the toxic ingredient solanine. If you'd like to add a tiny bit of mashed sweet potato to your cat's food occasionally, keep it as bland as possible without the seasoning and vegan butter we humans enjoy.

So, although potatoes contain carbs, Vitamins C and B6, fiber, and other nutrients, all of a cat's nutritional requirements are met via commercially sold cans of cat food.

As always, before you consider adding any form of potato or other treat to your cat's feeding regimen, consult a veterinarian to ensure the food will not trigger any allergic reactions or worsen any medical conditions your kitty may have.

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