Can Cats Eat Potato Chips? What about Tortilla Chips?

It’s no news to anyone that chips are not healthy. They are too fatty and salty! They do taste good, though, and that’s why a lot of us cannot resist the temptation and often buy a bag of potato or tortilla chips from the supermarket.

Once you are at home, you might feel a bit guilty, and you might not want to eat the whole bag of chips by yourself, so who can you share the chips with? Maybe your feline friend would like a few? Can cats even eat chips?

Can Cats Eat Potato or Tortilla Chips?

The short answer would be no, it’s not recommended to feed your cat neither potato nor tortilla chips. Potato and tortilla chips are not suitable for cats for the same reasons they are unhealthy for us  — they contain too much salt.

Excessive Salt Content

High levels of sodium make both potato and tortilla chips dangerous for your cat.
High levels of sodium make both potato and tortilla chips dangerous for your cat.

For an example, 1 ounce (about 15 chips) of barbecue-flavor Lays potato chips contain 150 milligrams of sodium. An average-size cat needs about 21 milligrams of sodium in a day. The recommended upper limit for cats is 42 milligrams of sodium in a day. Any more than that and your cat might experience light symptoms of sodium ion poisoning (excessive thirst and urination).

If we do the math, we see that after eating a single potato chip, a cat would already reach half of her daily sodium intake need. However, as her stomach would still feel empty, she would also eat her regular amount of cat food and treats, which contain sodium as well. And so, at the end of the day, your cat would have consumed an unhealthy amount of sodium.

Saturated Fat

For us humans, chips contain an unhealthy amount of saturated fat, which is responsible for raising our blood cholesterol levels, and is linked to heart disease and obesity. Cats actually do not have to worry about saturated fat as much as we do. They naturally have more good cholesterol than bad, and as far as the excessive calories are concerned, cats can simply use them as fuel for energy.

However, your cat cannot thrive on saturated fat alone, she needs essential fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3 fats) as well, and she needs them in a proper ratio (10:1 to 5:1), which neither potato nor tortilla chips provide.

Conclusion on Potato & Tortilla Chips for Cats

If your cat ate one or two chips, don’t worry, in small amounts potato and tortilla chips are not toxic to cats. However, because of the high sodium content they are bad for your feline friend, so it’s best if you wouldn’t feed your cat any more chips. Although, if you would make chips at home and wouldn’t use a lot of salt, then giving your feline friend one or two would be okay.

Warning: If your cat has had a good amount of salty chips, then it would be for the best to contact a veterinarian as your cat might have consumed a dangerous amount of sodium.


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