‘Every time I open a bag of Doritos, my cat goes into crazy mode. She runs across the entire apartment, jumps onto my lap, and starts meowing and scratching until I cave in. But can cats eat Doritos!?’
If you’re a proud feline parent you know how exhausting it is to constantly worry about everything that goes into your cat’s mouth. Cats are carnivores, so you’re aware they mostly need animal protein to survive.
But your cat isn’t trying to survive! She’s a self-proclaimed foodie and she’s actively trying to eat everything under her snout. She doesn’t care if it’s healthy or not, if it’s within her reach she’ll eat it and worry about consequences later.
Your precious pet’s no stranger to human foods, so it isn’t a surprise you’re trying to figure out if cats can eat Doritos.
Let’s be honest – tortilla chips, regular chips, and other crunchy snacks aren’t considered healthy for humans either. They’re usually oily, salty, and calorically dense.
Doritos are one of the most popular snacks in the world, which goes to show that being unhealthy doesn’t make them any less desirable. Your furry friend is just trying to get on that hype train.
That brings us to the most important question – can cats eat Doritos? Cats can eat one Dorito with no repercussions, but you should avoid feeding your cat these delicious tortilla chips on a regular basis. Doritos can contain harmful ingredients which can lead to various health issues.
Can cats eat Doritos? All details explained
Let’s start from the beginning. Doritos are an American brand of tortilla chips, first produced in 1964 by Frito-Lay. The original Doritos weren’t flavored (those might have been a better choice for your furry friend), but they gained popularity after they started introducing flavored editions.
Today, Doritos are eaten all over the world. Their top-selling flavors are Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. An ode to their popularity is the fact that their name quickly became a synonym for tortilla chips.
It’s no surprise your cat wants a lick of that success!
So, what does make Doritos so appealing? They’re usually made with ground corn, vegetable oil, and salt. Other ingredients depend on the specific flavor – meaning Nacho Cheese might contain cheddar cheese, romano cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper powder.
On the other hand, Cool Ranch flavor might contain tomato powder, powdered milk, onion powder, and garlic powder. A lot of powders in there – but they’re what makes Doritos so addicting!
Unfortunately, cats and seasoning don’t mix well. Your cat’s digestive system isn’t designed to break down so many different flavors. Doritos might not be toxic to your cat, but they might cause some serious damage if eaten over an extended period of time.
You don’t need to panic if your rebellious rascal steals a few bites of Doritos, or licks the inside of a bag. Such a small amount of Dorito powder won’t do your cat any harm. If you’re still worried, you can keep an eye out for any food poisoning symptoms or consult with your vet.
However, you definitely shouldn’t add Doritos to your cat’s regular diet. If you need more convincing, here are some reasons why your cat shouldn’t eat these irresistible tortilla chips.
Reasons why cats shouldn’t eat Doritos
As a proud cat parent, you should be wary of the dangers that might arise from your cat ingesting too many Dorito chips. Not only do they contain an array of harmful powders, but they are also insanely caloric.
To top it all off, their crunchy texture is the pinnacle of their popularity, but it also might become a potential choking hazard for your cat. Believe it or not, cats aren’t drawn to crunchy things so your feline friend might finish the feast after licking the chip.
Let’s break down the list of reasons why you shouldn’t share a bag of Doritos with your trusty sidekick.
1. Doritos contain a bunch of harmful ingredients
Salt, cheese, onion, and garlic – all of these ingredients can cause various digestive issues to your cat. While one Dorito chip isn’t going to harm your precious purrincess, excessive amounts might lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Salt is poisonous to cats. Your feline friend can only consume about 41 milligrams of salt a day. One serving size of Doritos (Nacho Cheese flavor) contains about 210 milligrams of salt. If your cat eats too many of these tortilla chips, she might experience salt poisoning.
Salt (or sodium) poisoning in cats usually manifests through vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, excessive thirst, or urination. If your cat’s showing any of these symptoms contact your vet immediately.
Remember, a couple of chips won’t lead to sodium poisoning but it’s better to stay on the safe side.
Cheese and milk cultures are detrimental to your lactose-intolerant feline friend. Cats become lactose-intolerant when their bodies stop producing an enzyme called lactase. It is responsible for breaking down sugar in milk and milk products.
So, when you feed your cat Doritos she might experience some digestive issues. Stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea are only some of them. Unfortunately, these delicious tortilla chips don’t carry any nutritional value, and your cat’s belly might take a beating from all that cheese.
Onion and garlic are extremely toxic to cats. Too much onion, or garlic, can break down your cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Not only that, onion and garlic poisoning can have a delayed onset and you might be noticing the first symptoms when it’s already too late.
2. Doritos are calorically dense
I’m sure you’re not surprised to find out that Doritos aren’t the healthiest snack out there. They come in many different flavors (with different seasonings and additives) so their nutritional facts might vary.
Nacho Cheese Doritos, for instance, contain 18 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fat, and 150 calories per serving size. Their other best-seller, Cool Ranch, contains a similar amount of carbs, fat, and calories per serving size.
It’s safe to say that Doritos are very fatty and calorically dense. If your cat is a big fan of this savory snack, she might be susceptible to developing feline obesity and diabetes. Cats’ digestive systems aren’t equipped for breaking down such high levels of carbs.
You definitely want to make sure never to leave your ravenous mischief-maker alone with a bag of Dorito chips. A tiny nibble won’t cause any harm, but your cat might not be able to resist eating more.
3. Doritos are a choking hazard
Choking hazard alert! Doritos are universally loved for their crunchy texture, but your feline friend might have difficulty swallowing all those little pieces.
Cats aren’t big fans of the crunch (hence their contempt for the kibble). If your furry friend does decide to eat a Dorito or two, make sure to be extra careful.
You can top off your cat’s regular bowl of food with a couple of Doritos. You can dust off some of that powder, and leave them in the bowl until they become soggy.
I’ll be first to admit – that doesn’t sound so appealing. However, it might fool your cat into thinking she’s eating your food.
Are there any reasons why cats should eat Doritos?
Honestly, there are no reasons why you should ever willingly feed your cat Doritos. They have no nutritional value, and the only thing they have going on for them is that they’re not completely toxic to cats.
If your cat is a really big fan of Doritos, giving her an occasional crunchy treat won’t cause any harm. You can always dust off some of that excess powder, or look for Dorito flavors that contain less harmful ingredients. Always avoid onion, garlic, and dairy products.
The biggest bonus is seeing your cat’s little face light up when she realizes you’re about to share your favorite snack with her. A little crunch never hurt anybody, but still, make sure to stay on the safe side!
What to do if your cat eats a Dorito?
The only reason why your cat is attracted to Doritos is that she sees you sneakily munching on them every now and then. Cats love eating their human’s food because it makes them feel included. They’re not hungry, they’re just curious.
If your cat eats a couple of Doritos, nibbles on them, or licks the inside of the bag – you have nothing to worry about! Yes, most Dorito flavors contain harmful ingredients but a small amount won’t cause any serious damage.
If your furry monster eats an entire bag of Doritos contact your vet immediately, or take her to the emergency animal clinic. Look out for any food poisoning signs like weakness, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Inform your vet about everything your cat ate before the incident.
Final verdict on Doritos
So, can cats eat Doritos? You can give your feline friend an occasional crunchy treat, but cats shouldn’t eat Doritos regularly. They have no nutritional value, and they can lead to serious health implications if ingested in large amounts.
If your cat is incredibly persistent, you can try not eating your favorite snacks in front of her or tempting her with healthier alternatives. Cats love imitating us, so it’s no surprise they want to eat our food. You can always sneak a couple of bites while she’s busy doing something else.
Otherwise, you might want to keep some healthy treats under your sleeve. You can organize a girls’ night in, eat as many Doritos as you want, and give your feline friend her own special snacks. Whenever you’re eating something your cat shouldn’t eat, you can trick her by giving her healthier options.
If your cat ends up eating a bunch of Doritos, don’t panic. Look for any signs of food poisoning and contact your vet. She’ll probably be ok, just make sure to follow your vet’s advice. Make sure to never introduce new foods to your cat’s diet without previous consultation.
Lastly, let your precious princess have some fun! If she wants to eat a couple of Doritos, let her.
It will satisfy her curiosity, and chances are she won’t even like them. She’ll certainly be over the moon because you shared your favorite snack with her!
Read more: Can Cats Eat Potato Chips? A Snack That Makes You Lick Your Fingertips!