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Can Cats Eat Instant Mashed Potatoes? (Upset Tummy?)

If you have some instant mashed potatoes you may be wondering if it is acceptable for your cat…

Can Cats Eat Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Your cat should not eat instant mashed potatoes. This is because they often contain dairy. And, even if they don’t they offer no nutritional value to them. However, natural potatoes can be offered in moderation, but need to be simply boiled or mashed with nothing added.

So, now you know. But, what about plain boiled potatoes? Are there any health benefits of it? Is it OK for kittens? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

What Are Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Can cats eat instant mashed potatoes?

Mashed potato in a clear dish.

Instant mashed potatoes are basically your simple mashed potatoes that have gone through industrial processes that involve cooking, mashing, and even dehydrating.

Once they are processed, they are packaged into a convenience food. You can consume them after adding either water or milk.

Nutritional Content of instant mashed potatoes

Source: USDA (per 100g) *

Name Amount Unit
Calories 364 Kcal
Protein 9.09 g
Carbs 81.82 g
Fat 0.00 g
Fiber 9.1 g

* See the source for the full list

Are Plain Boiled Potatoes Ok for Cats?

Plain boiled potatoes are okay for your cat as long as you’re not making potatoes as their staple food and only giving them in moderation.

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Top 10 Cat Breeds

As you may already know, cats are carnivorous animals. Hence, a plant-based diet isn’t the best option for them due to the lack of nutrition and in some cases, digestion problems too.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Instant Mashed Potatoes?

There are a few health benefits of instant mashed potatoes that include:

01. Provides Carbohydrates

Potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates. Hence, if you go for instant mashed potatoes too, it can offer a quick and a good amount of carbohydrates to the consumer.

02. Rich In Vitamin-C

This may come as a bit of a surprise but instant mashed potatoes also provide a good amount of Vitamin-C. In fact, many ultrarunners go for instant mashed potatoes to get enough strength and muscle development.

03. Good Source For Potassium

Potassium is important for various purposes in the body, mainly muscular, be it a human or a cat.  So, instant mashed potatoes offer potassium in a decent amount as well that can facilitate muscle health too.

Overall, instant mashed potatoes may not have a lot of nutritional benefits but they do offer a decent amount of nutrients at an inexpensive price and fast rate.

Are There Any Health Risks of Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potato in white dish.

Mashed potato in a white dish.

Instant mashed potatoes may have poor nutritional content but no known studies are proving them as a major health risk.

Moreover, potatoes are known to have an impression of being unhealthy because they may cause obesity or even Type-2 Diabetes. But, the truth is that as long as one consumes it without any other fatty or high-calorie products, like butter or sour cream, it won’t be that harmful.

However, still, there are some issues involved with instant mashed potatoes like:

01. Poor Nutritional Content

Even if instant mashed potatoes contain a good amount of carbohydrates, Vitamin-C, and potassium, they still don’t offer a balanced diet.

So, continuous consumption of them can lead to a nutrient deficiency which can cause other issues in the long run.

02. Not a Good Staple Food

A staple food should have the required amount of nutrients. But, as mentioned above, instant mashed potatoes are lacking in that.

Hence, one can consume instant mashed potatoes as a snack but definitely not as a staple. Consuming it as a staple or eating it daily may lead to problems like obesity in the long run.

So, instant mashed potatoes may not be the best food option out there.

What Is Potato Toxicity?

Potato toxicity may take place if your cat has eaten raw potato or even raw potato parts, including peelings. This is because uncooked potatoes consist of solanine which can get toxic for your cat’s digestion system and cause digestive problems, like vomiting. Hence, if you suspect that your cat has eaten uncooked potatoes, you should consult a vet immediately.

You can also lookout for signs that show potato toxicity in cats such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, or lethargy.

However, note that only green or uncooked potatoes can cause potato toxicity. Cooked potatoes aren’t toxic and can be consumed by your cat in minimal amounts.

Should You Feed Your Cat Instant Mashed Potatoes?

You should avoid giving your cat instant mashed potatoes regardless if they have dairy or not. This is because they offer no real nutritional value even if they have no dairy.

If the instant mash has dairy it is a bigger problem. It is because even if cats love milk, it can lead to digestion problems due to the presence of lactose. These digestion problems may result in stomach ache, diarrhea, and vomiting too.

Finally, making instant mashed potatoes a regular meal for your cat can also cause a nutrient deficiency in them as they are just not cut out for a cat’s dietary habits.

Is Instant Mashed Potatoes Ok for Kittens?

Instant mashed potatoes is not OK for kittens. It is mainly because kittens have a more sensitive digestion system compared to adult cats. Hence, instant mashed potatoes may cause some problems in them as cats don’t have a plant-based diet.

Additionally, kittens also require proper nutrition in their body to grow both physically and mentally. Instant mashed potatoes cannot offer that amount of nutrition to your kitten and so, it can even hamper the development process of your kitten.

So, always stick with kitten food to ensure your kitten’s good health and development rather than going for inexpensive but unhealthy mashed potatoes.

Are There Better Food Alternatives Than Instant Mashed Potatoes for Cats?

There are much better alternatives than instant mashed potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes are probably not the best food for your cat as they are plant-based. Instead, you should go for cat food that is rich in meat and can provide an adequate amount of protein and other nutrients to your cat.

For instance, you can go for chicken, cooked eggs, cooked beef, or turkey. But, keep in mind that you never give raw or spoiled items to your cat as it can cause digestion problems in your cat.

Can Instant Mashed Potatoes Cause Cats Diarrhea?

Unfortunately, many instant mashed potatoes may cause diarrhea in cats. If they contain dairy products, like milk.

Your cat may seem to love milk and other dairy items but these items contain lactose. So, as they contain lactose, it can affect the digestion system of your cat as most of the cats grow lactose intolerant over time.

Due to this lactose intolerance, they might have digestion issues, like diarrhea, after eating instant mashed potatoes.

So, if you are planning to feed instant mashed potatoes to your cat, make sure it doesn’t contain dairy products.

Does Instant Mashed Potatoes Go Bad?

Like any other packaged food, instant mashed potatoes can also go bad after a certain amount of time. For example, many instant mashed potatoes can last only for a period of 12 to 18 months. This also is only possible if you store them in good conditions. Moreover, eating them beyond their expiry period may cause health issues.

Lindsey Browlingdon