Can Cats Eat Chips

High levels of sodium make both potato and tortilla chips dangerous for your cat
(Last Updated On: June 23, 2020)

It’s never been easy to deny a tasty treat to our feline friends. Sometimes, you already know when something’s okay as a treat or not. Other times, it can be questionable. Chips are always a favorite snack for people, but what about cats? Whether you’re wondering because your cat snuck a few crisps, or you want to share, we’ve got the answers you need.

Is it safe for cats to eat chips?

One question that comes up a lot is whether or not it is even safe for cats to eat chips. If your cat managed to snag a couple, you might be worried. There are plenty of cats foods that absolutely are not safe for felines to eat, like garlic or raw potatoes. When it comes to chips though, the answer is a little more complicated. 

Don’t worry. If your cat only managed to eat a small chip or two, chances are they’re just fine. 

Potato chips aren’t toxic to cats, and the rare chip here or there won’t have you rushing to the vet. That said, they really aren’t ideal for cats to eat. Just try to keep an eye on open bags and limit what your cat has access to. 

However, you might need to make a trip to the vet if your cat really goes wild on the chips. Too much sodium is a major health risk for cats. If your cat somehow eats a handful of chips, it is a bigger issue than if they eat one or two. Should it happen, try to determine (if possible) how much your cat’s eaten, and call your vet ASAP. 

Lettuce for cats

Is it okay to give my cat chips as a treat?

As we mentioned, a chip or two won’t poison your cat. However, chips have a ton of other things added that really aren’t healthy for cats to eat. Chips have oil, plenty of salt, seasonings, and other additives. While you won’t impact your daily calorie, salt, or fat intake much by eating only one or two, it is different for your cat. 

Cats are a lot smaller, and their bodies work differently from ours. Even one chip would give a cat more than half of the sodium recommended for one day. Keep in mind that all the other things your cat eats in a day also contain sodium. Their regular food and treats are designed to provide the exact amount of every nutrient they need, sodium and fat included. The same logic applies with other human foods and diet.

The saturated fat would not be any good for your cat either. But it is not as big of a deal as the high sodium levels are. In short, skip giving your cat chips as a treat. There are plenty of other yummy treats they would enjoy, and they would also be healthier for it. 

Watch out for additives

Whether you realize it or not, chips have a lot more added than just fat and sodium. Flavored chips actually can be fairly dangerous to cats, depending on what seasonings are used. Common favorites for people are often some of the worst things for your cat. Garlic, onion, and most of the top selling flavors can be harmful, or even toxic to cats. 

If you really can’t help yourself from sharing snacks with your kitty, at least stay away from flavored chips. 

Are tortilla chips better for cats?

Tortilla chips aren’t a good snack for cats, much like potato chips. There’s also too much starch, grains, carbohydrates, salt, fat, and more. Not only that, there really isn’t any upside nutritionally for feeding chips to your cats. No matter what kind they are, chips aren’t a good cat treat. 

Tortilla chips rank about the same with potato chips when it comes to cats eating them. While people may think tortilla chips are healthier for them (and depending on what kind you get, it might be), it is still no better for your cat. 

These chips are still fried in fatty oils, coated in salt, and often have some seasoning on them. Just because one type of chips is made with potatoes, and others are made with corn or flour, doesn’t negate the negative impacts of so much salt and fat.

In short, no. Tortilla chips really aren’t any better for cats than potato chips, and they carry the same health risks. 

Is it okay to give cats homemade chips?

The answer to this really depends on how you make your chips, and what you add to them. If you make chips at home, you can also avoid a lot of the salt that comes with store bought chips. However, if you still fry them in oil (rather than baking them), it is still a lot of extra fat to give your cat. 

If, for instance, you’re baking potato chips at home, and leave salt out, it’s not so bad. Baked chips have significantly less fat, and if you leave some aside to bake without salt, it’s even better. Now, potatoes still don’t provide a lot of nutritional value to cats. Everything they need is more or less in their cat food or special supplements. You’re still giving them extra carbs and starch, but it’s not nearly as bad as store bought chips. 

Keep in mind that you need to take special care around your cat if you make potato chips at home. Cooked potatoes won’t hurt cats, but raw potatoes are a real problem. If your cat gets into raw potatoes (or peels) make sure to call your vet right away.

Can Cats Eat Mcdonald’s Fries?

Fries aren’t exactly healthy as human food either. They contain a lot of salt and high calorie content. Potatoes in general aren’t good for cats.

Marshmallows and cats?


Now that you have the facts, you can decide what’s right for your cat. So, can cats eat chips? If you do decide to feed them chips, only let them have a very small amount. Of course, you always need to be careful of any added seasonings that could hurt your cat. 

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