We can’t ever be one hundred percent sure of all the things that cats crave. For instance, can cats eat mashed potatoes? Is it something that makes their whiskers dance?
This might be a weird question, but it suits our furry companions because, let’s face it, they’re weird too. What should you do if your pet shows interest in this dish?
I know I love it and I’m quite sure my cat would too. But she’s a bit picky at times and I can never truly predict whether she’s going to love something or turn her nose up in disgust.
Nevertheless, I’m sure you’re here because you want to know if cats can and should eat mashed potatoes simply because she’s already done so. Am I right?
She got hold of your bowl of mash before you could even blink, hasn’t she? Yes, it does sound like a familiar situation to me. Don’t worry, we’ll delve deeper into this matter.
Can cats eat mashed potatoes safely?
It’s nothing like hash browns, but I know you’re dying to know this, so I’ll cut you some slack. Your pet has already given you a mini heart attack today.
The short answer would be yes. But it’s never as simple as that, right? Actually, there’s more to that bowl of potatoes than meets the eye.
Some foods might look completely harmless and turn out to be extremely dangerous to felines, and vice versa. But are mashed potatoes really something you should worry about?
Sure, they seem pretty innocuous. But something just doesn’t feel right about it. Your kitty-parent mode has kicked in and so you’re looking to ease this stress you’re feeling.
I think I just might have the solution to your problems and worries. Let’s break it down for you and explain how this dish could possibly affect your pet.
Cats can eat mashed potatoes, but…
It depends on a lot of things. For instance, your pet should never eat raw potatoes as they’re highly toxic due to the chemical compound called solanine. Solanine poisoning results in vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors, and many other symptoms.
But it makes a huge difference when you boil the potatoes. By boiling them, the toxicity diminishes. High temperatures turn a toxic meal into something delicious. Therefore, cats can safely eat mashed potatoes when they’re boiled, as is, without any added ingredients.
But I’m not really sure that your pet is going to be thrilled with a plain bowl of mashed potatoes. Felines are obligate carnivores, which means they love meat.
It’s hard to entice the senses of these spoiled and picky munchers! Thankfully, potatoes aren’t a necessity in a feline’s diet.
Can cats eat instant mashed potatoes?
Unlike sweet potatoes, this probably isn’t a great idea. You see, instant mashed potatoes aren’t toxic to cats. But it can still pose a certain risk to your pet because of some ingredients.
Instant mashed potatoes differ from the regular mash you make at home. The difference lies in all the extra ingredients and additives that can be found in this package.
The seasonings are of particular concern for your cat because the most popular herbs and spices are in fact poisonous to felines. For example, garlic, onions, and salt are all causes for concern.
Your cat is at risk of sodium poisoning if she eats large quantities of salt. And while this is unlikely to happen after only one bite of instant mashed potatoes, you should still be aware of the risks. It can cause her a lot of trouble, including but not limited to stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Garlic, onions, chives, and other Alliums are extremely dangerous as well. Your cat doesn’t need to ingest large amounts of these in order to make her sick. Even small quantities are enough to wreak havoc.
All members of the Allium plant family have a negative impact on your cat’s health. And when I mean negative, you better believe it. These destroy your feline’s red blood cells, consequently leading to anemia. This condition can be fatal for your pet if left untreated.
There aren’t many symptoms that could indicate the exact physical state of your cat. Therefore, if I had to choose between instant mashed potatoes and regular to give to my cat, I’d definitely go for plain homemade mash. That way, I know what’s in it (and not in it!)
1) Various additives
Just think about it. What good could food that’s highly processed bring to your feline companion? I get it – we all get days where we’re too lazy to make mashed potatoes from scratch.
But if you’re questioning whether cats can eat mashed potatoes, you’re probably thinking of the type you make on your own. This implies that they’re free of any additional flavors and artificial ingredients.
And we all know that instant mashed potato is nothing like proper homemade mash. It’s a highly processed food, so it’s to be expected. But just how bad can this be for your cat?
To be honest, she won’t fall ill immediately after stealing a nibble, but in the long run, your pet won’t benefit from these in any way.
2) Other ingredients used in making mashed potatoes
I really don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but this is important. Cats can eat mashed potatoes, but it’s really not a fantastic treat for your pet.
Apart from potatoes, seasonings, and possible additives, this dish often contains milk, as well as margarine or butter. Milk is the enemy of your furchild because – surprise, surprise – felines are lactose intolerant.
They don’t have the enzymes needed for breaking down the sugar found in milk. As a result, if your cat has ingested lactose, she will experience symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain.
Moreover, margarine and butter are not recommended for your cat at all. It’s packed with fat, carbs, calories, and salt. All of these spell trouble for your pet’s health.