People often feed their dogs sweet potatoes because they are nutritious and filling.
They’re included in commercial dog food because they help provide essential nutrients and satisfy the nutritional needs of dogs.
What about feline subjects? Is it safe to feed sweet potatoes to cats, or should they be avoided?
Cats are not at risk from eating cooked sweet potatoes because they are not poisonous. It’s fine for cats to eat these things, but they might not be good for them nutritionally and could cause problems down the road.
Can Cats Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Although cats can safely eat sweet potatoes and other root tubers, you shouldn’t feed them to your cat on a regular basis. Approximately 86 calories and the following nutrient ratio can be found in a medium-sized sweet potato:
- 77% water
- Only 1.6 g of protein
- Total Carbohydrate Content: 20.1%
- 4.2% sugar content
- 3 g of dietary fiber
While the high sugar and carbohydrate intake may be problematic, the water content is adequate. Cats are unable to utilize carbohydrates for energy and can only digest low levels (3%).
In cats, the enzyme activity that controls glucose levels is extremely low. Cats are more likely to develop the following health problems if they regularly overindulge in sugary foods like sweet potatoes, cereals, rice, bread, and other starches:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Liver failure
Sweet Potato Nutritional Stats
Here is a quick rundown of the essential nutrients found in sweet potatoes. These numbers apply to 180 g of raw sweet potato (about one large potato), so cooked or canned sweet potatoes may have different nutritional profiles.
|Measurement of Protein in Grams||3.6|
|mcg of vitamin A||1730|
Sweet Potato Nutritional Facts
Sweet potatoes are a great food choice because they contain a lot of beneficial nutrients. Should I feed them to my cat?
As obligate carnivores, cats must consume meat to meet their nutritional needs. Starchy foods like potatoes are probably not beneficial to a cat’s health because their digestive system is not built to process them.
Sweet Potato Benefits
Sweet potatoes are an unusually common ingredient in commercial cat food, with Purina being just one brand that frequently includes them.
The high levels of antioxidants and fiber are said to be healthy for the cat in these cases.
However, most feline nutritionists argue that obligate carnivores like cats receive little to no benefit from eating sweet potatoes.
The Risks Of Eating Sweet Potato For Cats
The ASPCA states that the sweet potato, including the vines, shoots, and stems, is non-toxic to cats. But there are a few pitfalls to avoid.
Just like eating too many potato chips or French fries would cause weight gain and obesity, eating too much sweet potato can cause an upset stomach.
Raw Sweet Potatoes
Raw potatoes are a common source of stomach upset and other digestive problems. If you want to give your cat potatoes, it’s best to cook them first.
While sweet potatoes themselves are harmless, some common seasonings should be avoided at all costs.
- Due to the high sugar content, cats should not eat marshmallows.
- Garlic and onions are toxic to cats, so don’t give them any.
- Too much salt in the diet is associated with increased urination, as well as an imbalance in sodium and potassium that can damage the kidneys. Cats shouldn’t be fed canned sweet potatoes because of the high salt content.
- Butter is a staple in potato snacks, but its high fat content makes it a poor choice for those looking to avoid putting on weight. Dairy is another common allergen for many cats.
If given in moderation and kept unseasoned, this tasty vegetable is safe for cats to eat. The best preparations for sweet potatoes are steamed, baked, or mashed.
Do Cats Like The Taste Of Sweet Potato?
As carnivores, cats gravitate toward savory and fishy aromas and flavors. While a small amount of potato probably wouldn’t do much for a cat’s health, many cats are naturally inquisitive and enjoy exploring new flavors and textures.
Not Species Appropriate for Obligate Carnivores
While canines may benefit from eating sweet potatoes, cats are not the same as canines. Cats are obligate carnivores while dogs are omnivores (they eat both plants and meat).
True carnivores only eat meat, with the exception of whatever might be in the stomach of their prey.
Although protein can be found in vegetables, it is not considered a healthy source of nutrition for cats and should instead be obtained from meat. If you give your cat a vegetarian diet, it will eat less meat, which is a major source of protein.
Wild animals typically thrive on diets tailored to their specific species. It satisfies the species’ dietary needs and aids in preventing them from overindulging in foods they shouldn’t.
Cats, being carnivores, should primarily consume rodents and other small animals. Mice, rabbits, and possibly young chickens would make up the bulk of their diet. They would eat fruit, vegetables, and grass only as a small fraction of their diet (less than 1%).
Sweet Potato Pitfalls
While sweet potatoes are not immediately dangerous for a cat’s health, they can have negative consequences down the road.
- Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, which can help soothe digestive issues. If your cat is constipated, try giving it a teaspoon of this food. This also means that eating too many sweet potatoes at once, or eating them raw, can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- The high level of carbohydrates in sweet potatoes is another cause of vomiting and diarrhea associated with obesity. Carbohydrates are unnecessary for cats, and including them in your feline friend’s diet can cause weight gain. Cats that are too fat have a lower life expectancy and a higher risk of getting sick.
How Do You Prepare Sweet Potatoes for Cats?
There is no poison in sweet potatoes. Small amounts can be given to your cat as a treat, but they will provide no nutritional value and may even upset its stomach.
These foods should be cooked before being given to your cats. While raw sweet potatoes won’t kill your cat outright, they will likely cause some gastrointestinal distress.
To prepare the sweet potato, boil it. Do not fry it, and never give your cat processed foods meant for humans, as they may contain additives that are harmful to felines.
Are Potatoes Toxic for Cats?
Raw regular potatoes are extremely poisonous to cats, so get emergency veterinary care if your cat ever eats one. This is also the case if your feline friend consumes green potatoes in any form, raw or cooked.
Again, potatoes are safe for cats to eat once they have been cooked. Although they are harmless, they provide no nourishment.
How Much Sweet Potato Can A Cat Eat?
Obligate carnivores, cats are poorly adapted to a plant-based diet. Therefore, they should be administered sparingly.
Small amounts of cooked sweet potatoes, without any additional seasonings, can be given to cats by their owners. These can be served steamed, mashed, or baked. An upset stomach may result from eating too much sweet potato. Never feed a pet a raw sweet potato because it will cause stomach problems.
How Often Can A Cat Eat Sweet Potato?
Are Sweet Potatoes Used In Commercial Cat Food?
The answer is yes, sweet potato is included in some commercial diets. Most commercial cat foods contain animal protein because that is what cats’ digestive systems are adapted to, but they also contain safe fillers like vegetables, potatoes, and legumes. As well as being a filler, sweet potatoes can help the digestive system.
You shouldn’t make starchy foods like sweet potato a regular part of your cat’s diet, and you should limit their exposure to vegetables as well. Because of their high carbohydrate content, sweet potatoes are not a good treat option for our feline friends, as they can lead to weight gain.
Can Cats Have Cheese?
Cheese is both delicious and nutritious. As a result, a lot of people think it’s a good idea to feed it to their cats.
Cheese, however, is made from milk, and the vast majority of cats have an intolerance to lactose. As a result, giving your cat cheese can make gas more likely. In addition, it can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea. Cats shouldn’t be given cheese, period.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter by itself is not technically toxic to cats. Although there is no need for it, peanuts are safe for cats to eat. However, peanut butter is not a recommended food for cats.
Not only do most brands of peanut butter contain extra ingredients that cats don’t need, but peanut butter itself is nutritionally deficient. Too much of the common additive sodium (salt) can lead to dehydration in your cat. You should stay far away from peanut butter.
Conclusion?: Can Cats Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes, in and of themselves, are not toxic to cats in either their raw or cooked forms. Even though they are a good source of protein and fiber, they are not good for cats. Due to the fact that cats are obligate carnivores and therefore require a diet high in meat and meat byproducts, this product does not meet the nutritional requirements of cat food.
Although raw sweet potatoes are not toxic to cats, they are more likely to cause diarrhea if fed in large quantities. If you must feed your cats sweet potatoes, it is best to boil them first and then give them only a small amount.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if a cat eats sweet potatoes?
Cats can safely consume small amounts of cooked sweet potatoes. If only a small dose is administered, stomach upset is unlikely. You shouldn’t eat raw sweet potatoes or potatoes with any kind of seasoning on them.
Are sweet potatoes good for cats and dogs?
They are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and the fiber they contain can help with digestive issues like constipation. Dogs, as omnivores, could benefit more from them than cats, which are carnivores.
Is raw sweet potato good for cats?
Cats shouldn’t eat raw potatoes because it can make them sick.