Cats are obligate carnivores, and adding anything other than meat to your cat’s diet is not the best way to keep the cat’s digestive system healthy. Human foods can be given to your feline friend as occasional treats if they have a little nutritional benefit, but that does not mean that their digestive systems are designed to digest such foods.
As cat owners, taking care of our cat’s health and providing them with a balanced diet is our responsibility so they like a healthy life without health issues. So, can cats eat sweet potatoes?
Sweet Potato, Cats, and Health Benefits
The short answer is yes, your furry friend can eat small amounts of sweet potatoes, but that does not mean you leave them in a sweet potato vine to enjoy some raw potatoes, as that can get them an upset stomach. This healthy food has vitamin A, vitamin C, protein, dietary fiber, and large quantities of carbs. This people’s food is good for your cat’s stomach, and the cat’s digestive tract as the high fiber content and essential nutrients keeps your cat healthy.
There are different types of potatoes, most of which are a good source of essential amino acids which helps your feline friend fight off free oxygen radicals. As pet owners, we should also know that giving your feline friend the complex carbohydrates found in sweet potato treats is a good idea to give them the extra energy they need. However, too much sweet potato can result in too many carbs, which are not good for your cat and can cause your cat diarrhea, weight gain, and other digestive issues.
Are Sweet Potatoes Included in Commercial Cat Food?
Yes, now, high-quality cat food companies use sweet potato as an ingredient in their commercial cat foods. Usually, animal protein is the only ingredient added in commercially available cat foods, but a small portion of other filler ingredients is also added to your cat’s diet, which is safe to eat. These additional ingredients help with digestion if given in controlled quantities and sweet potatoes are one of them.
A little amount of sweet potato is included in your cat’s food to give them the additional dietary fiber and essential nutrients that they require. Since this amount is not too extra and is equally balanced with animal protein, it is safe to say that you can give such commercial cat foods to your feline friend without any concerns.
How Much Sweet Potato Can Make a Cat Eat?
The best way to give your feline friend some sweet potatoes is to give them cooked and in small portions. Our cats are obligate carnivores whose stomachs are designed to eat animal protein. Meat is an animal protein that is a good source of vitamins, amino acids, and other essential nutrients for our feline friend. However, here is the good news, sweet potatoes are also a safe treat for our feline friend and a good option if given in tiny amounts.
Moreover, sweet potatoes have good nutritional value, which makes sweet potatoes a good treat for humans. Whenever you introduce new foods to your cat’s diet, make sure your start with small amounts than large amounts, as you have to see how your feline friend reacts to certain foods. The same is the case with regular potatoes and sweet potatoes.
So, you can start with mashed potatoes, cooked plain green beans, cooked carrots, green bean casserole, and other sweet potato baby foods that do not have additional ingredients, such as brown sugar, etc. Also, keep your feline friend away from potato plants and uncooked potatoes, as they can cause choking hazards and digestive issues.
Sweet Potato and Health Issues
Even though sweet potatoes have great nutritional value, overloading on potatoes is not a good idea for cats. It is similar to when we overload ourselves with potato chips, French fries, potato skins, and white potato cutlets, as they can cause obesity in us. The same is the case with sweet potatoes for your feline friend. ASPCA state that the whole sweet potato plant is non-toxic for cats, but you should keep an eye on the growing potato plant because you cannot feed your feline friend some raw sweet potatoes.
The reasons are simple, raw sweet potatoes cause digestive issues, choking hazards, and can cause solanine toxicity, causing a disturbed digestive and nervous system leading to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach aches, headache, etc. The additional ingredients can also harm your feline friend, so it is better to avoid ingredients like salt, onions, garlic, butter, or marshmallows and give them some plain old sweet potatoes in small portions.
Cooked or Raw Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes cooked, prepared without additional ingredients, and given in small amounts are not toxic for our feline friend. However, the main ingredients that make this sweet tasted treat healthy for us cat owners are the same, which leads to your cat’s defense mechanism starting. The reason is that these same nutrients if given in excess and for a long time, can lead to issues like pancreatitis, arthritic limbs, and obesity in your feline friend.
The good options are commercially available cat foods but if you still want to give them some sweet potatoes, then make sure you select the perfect cooking process. Excessive oils, fats, and unhealthy cooking methods are not ideal for your feline friend. So, cooked sweet potatoes in oil, butter, or fats is not a good option; you can always give them baked, boiled, or steamed sweet potatoes. Moreover, dry foods or extremely wet foods are also not an ideal choice for your feline friend, so give them the perfect diet to keep them healthy.
There is no good reason to give your cat some sugary foods, but if they provide your feline friend with some nutritional benefits, then there is no harm in giving them these foods. Cats are small creatures, and you, as their pet parent, should give them a balanced diet that won’t cause them health issues. So, if your feline friend is not obese, diabetic, or does not have other health issues, you can give them small portions of sweet potatoes.
However, if you see any symptoms or health problems in your feline friend after feeding them any food, then immediately stop the diet. Go to your vet as quickly as you can, and remember! Discussing the diet with a feline nutritionist before giving it to your feline friend is always beneficial.
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