Can cats eat hash browns? You have some leftovers and you’re thinking: Why not share them with my furball?
Hash browns are delicious, fried potatoes that go well with almost any other food. They’re an amazing side dish that you can combine various flavors with.
We know cats aren’t really crazy about veggies, but maybe this meal will make her think otherwise. And I know that you have the best intentions when it comes to sharing your meals, but be careful.
Oftentimes, human foods can do more harm than good to felines. They’re not wired to digest some of the staples in our households.
Cats are obligate carnivores and require a specific meat-based diet that’s fit for their digestive system. Otherwise, you run the risk of your pet developing various health issues.
Therefore, be wary when it comes to your pet eating scraps off the plate. Some foods don’t look dangerous at all, but looks can be deceiving.
Can cats eat hash browns at all?
A cat’s digestive system isn’t built for breaking down plant matter, so it’s questionable. I know this side dish might be your favorite and you can’t resist offering your kitto some as well.
Still, you have to remember that potatoes aren’t really a carnivore’s main choice of food. A cat’s diet should consist mainly of meat and then you can add a few select veggies and fruits to it.
Other than that, it’s possible your feline will suffer the consequences. Meat provides her with all of the essential nutrients, so it’s safe to say that potatoes are unnecessary on her menu.
So, if you’re still wondering whether cats can eat hash browns, the short answer would be no. She won’t immediately fall sick if she nibbles on it, but try to keep her away from this dish.
You need to consider her nutritional needs when incorporating such foods. Let’s see what the main ingredients are in making this delicious treat.
Can cats eat potatoes?
This is tricky. Your feline may be inquisitive, but you should try and keep her curiosity at bay. Just as is the case with eggplant, potatoes can be poisonous to cats.
It’s due to the chemical compound found in these veggies called solanine, which can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Besides an upset stomach, solanine toxicity can be exhibited in more severe clinical signs, including seizures.
Potatoes are part of the Nightshade family of plants, all parts of which are poisonous. So, if your cat managed to grab a hold of potato leaves or stem, it could be a disaster waiting to happen.
Therefore, if you have potato peels left on your countertop, make sure you dispose of them in the trash so your feline can’t get to them.
Even though it’s unlikely your pet will even be interested in the roots, leaves, and stems of a plant, why risk it? You know how that old saying goes about cats and their curiosity…
We can say that raw potatoes are a major health risk for felines because of the solanine acids found in them. But what about the cooked potatoes? This form of vegetable is tolerable for your pet because the high temperatures kill off potential health hazards.
However, don’t forget what we’ve said about carnivores and their digestive system. There’s not much nutritional value for felines in plant-based foods.
They’re heavy on carbs, which cats cannot process, and don’t do much good for your feline except for small absorbable doses of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.
What about the other ingredients that go into hash browns?
After the potatoes are cooked, they’re deep-fried and seasoned with various spices to your taste.
This is enough to make your mouth water, but we’re not so sure it will appeal to cats. On the contrary, many of the common hash brown ingredients are dangerous to your feline’s health.
Hash browns can be categorized as fast food because they’re deep-fried in oil. Now, we know for a fact that there aren’t many health benefits of these foods for humans, let alone cats.
And we’re not talking only about McDonald’s or other fast-food chains (although, of course, you can find hash browns there too). It’s still considered unhealthy even though you’re making it at home.
Still, the number of calories found in these meals should worry you as a cat owner.
We know that too much oil can have adverse effects on our health. The same goes for our pets too.
Too many greasy foods in their diet aren’t going to help on the weight front. Felines are agile creatures and they need to keep a healthy and balanced diet.
While small amounts aren’t likely to harm her, try to limit or avoid your cat’s oil intake. Although sardines in oil are beneficial to them, it’s another pair of shoes.
On the topic of potatoes and hash browns, Tater Tots are also off-limits for your furry friend. Mashed potatoes for instance don’t have much oil, but it still contains several harmful ingredients.
Obesity is one of the most widespread problems cat parents face all the time. It’s hard to not give in to their pleas for treats, but it’s a must.
This is the problematic part because many herbs and spices aren’t safe for your feline. This includes salt that’s actually poisonous to your cat.
Sodium can cause medical problems in the long run or if your pet eats large quantities of it at once. Sodium toxicity can manifest itself through various symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive thirst and urination. In severe cases, salt poisoning can result in seizures, tremors, and even coma.
Now, it’s not realistic that this will all take place if your pet just had one nibble of your hash brown. But it also doesn’t mean cats can eat hash browns safely.
Speaking of safety, your cat can be in danger because of this delicious meal. Hash browns typically have lots of other spices such as black pepper, garlic, onions, and chives.
Although black pepper can have certain health benefits for felines, it’s not required in their diet. When it comes to garlic, onions, and other members of the Allium family, however, they’re red alarm bells.
Alliums are incredibly toxic to cats because they destroy red blood cells in felines. This process can lead to various serious health conditions and many types of anemia.
Besides these, store-bought hash browns are packed with preservatives and seasonings. They’re meant to increase the shelf life of the product and add more flavor to it. But at sufficient doses, these can be toxic to cats.
Other health concerns regarding hash browns
Apart from various toxic ingredients such as garlic and salt, hash browns come with other health risks to both you and your pet.
Just like potato chips, they’re loaded with carbs and calories. Carbohydrates are unnecessary in a feline’s diet.
Therefore, they can’t really benefit from it and it can eventually cause some problems. An excessive amount of carbs and calories can cause obesity which can impact your cat’s health in many negative ways.
A few extra pounds isn’t the reason for alarm. However, it can set the foundation for diabetes, as well as arthritis.
That sweet pleasure of feasting on these foods simply isn’t worth risking your pet’s health and overall wellness.
The same can be said about French fries that are heavy on carbs and calories. Unfortunately, potatoes in any form should be left out of your cat’s bowl.
Bottom line: Can cats eat hash browns?
Cats can eat hash browns, but it’s not recommended. When I say they can eat it, I don’t imply they should.
This delicious side dish has certain ingredients that are detrimental to your feline’s health, and the high carbs and calories don’t help the case.
Therefore, make sure your pet stays on her natural, balanced diet. Stick to her wet and dry food, and consult your vet if things in the kitchen get out of hand!