Who doesn’t love a delicious portion of piping hot French fries? This cooking method turns the humble potato into something truly delectable, which we just can’t seem to get enough of. Have you ever wondered if your cat might enjoy a couple of French fries too? Can cats eat French fries, or are they toxic to cats? Let’s find out!
Can cats eat French fries?
Potatoes and cats are a complicated issue – cats can eat potatoes when they are prepared in a certain way, but French fries are not suitable for cats to eat.
When raw, potatoes contain a substance called solanine. This is toxic to humans and most mammals, including cats. In fact, cats are much more sensitive to solanine than many people realize.
Cooking potatoes reduces the levels of solanine, but to make them safe for cats they must be roasted in a hot oven, not fried. The cooking temperature of French fries is not sufficient to reduce solanine to safe enough levels for cats to eat.
The other issue with French fries is that they are cooked in oil and normally tossed in salt, both of which are bad for your cat.
What are the signs of toxicity?
The symptoms of solanine toxicity in cats include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Sore gums and excessive salivation
- Neurological symptoms, such as different-sized pupils and muscle tremors
If left untreated, solanine poisoning in cats can result in seizures, coma, and eventually death.
What to do if my cat ate French fries?
If your cat ate one or two cooked French fries, the risk of side effects is very minimal. Monitor your cat for any signs of digestive problems, and make sure plenty of drinking water is available at all times.
The risk is higher if the French fries were raw or undercooked, or if they had not been peeled. Solanine levels are much higher in raw potatoes and are particularly concentrated in the skin of the potato.
If your cat starts to display any of the symptoms listed above after eating French fries, it is vital to seek veterinary advice immediately. Your cat may need to be hospitalized for emergency treatment such as intravenous fluids, anti-sickness drugs, and intensive nursing care.
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