is it okay for cats to have bbq chips?

Can cats eat chips?

As cat owners, we often find ourselves faced with the dilemma of whether it's safe to share our favorite snacks with our feline friends. One such snack that often crosses our minds is BBQ chips. While it may be tempting to give in to those pleading eyes, it's essential to consider the potential impact these chips can have on our furry companions. In this article, we will explore the topic of whether it's okay for cats to have BBQ chips and provide some guidelines on what human foods are safe for our feline friends.

Best snacks for cats

is it okay for cats to have bbq chips

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their bodies are designed to thrive on a diet primarily consisting of meat. While it's always best to stick to a balanced and appropriate cat food, there are some snacks that you can occasionally treat your cat with.

These include:

  1. Cooked, plain meat like chicken or turkey.
  2. Small pieces of fish, such as tuna or salmon.
  3. Cooked, plain eggs.
  4. Plain, unsalted canned or cooked pumpkin.

Safe human foods for cats

When it comes to sharing human food with cats, it's important to keep in mind that their digestive systems are different from ours. While some human foods can be safe for cats in moderation, others can be harmful or even toxic.

Here are some human foods that are generally considered safe for cats:

  • Small amounts of cooked chicken, turkey, or lean deli meats.
  • Plain, unsalted cooked fish like salmon or tuna.
  • Small pieces of plain, cooked eggs.
  • Plain, unsalted cooked vegetables like carrots or peas.
  • Plain, unsalted cooked rice or pasta.

It's important to note that any human food should only be given to cats as an occasional treat and should not exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake.

Cats and human food

Cats have specific dietary needs that are crucial for their overall health and well-being. While some human foods can be beneficial in small quantities, it's essential to prioritize their balanced cat food to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients. Human food should never replace a cat's regular diet, as it can lead to nutritional deficiencies or imbalances.

Additionally, some human foods can be toxic to cats and should be avoided completely.

These include:

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Onions and garlic
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Avocado
  • Dairy products
  • Nuts, especially macadamia nuts
  • Raw meat, fish, and eggs

Feeding guidelines for cats

When it comes to feeding cats, it's crucial to follow some basic guidelines to ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Here are some feeding tips for cat owners:

  • Choose a high-quality cat food that is appropriate for your cat's age and health condition.
  • Follow the recommended feeding guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
  • Provide fresh water at all times.
  • Avoid overfeeding and monitor your cat's weight to prevent obesity.
  • Do not feed your cat dog food or rely solely on human food.
  • Avoid sudden diet changes, as they can upset your cat's stomach.
  • If you have any concerns about your cat's diet or weight, consult with your veterinarian.

What human foods are dangerous for cats?

While we discussed some human foods that are safe for cats in moderation, it's essential to be aware of the foods that can be dangerous or toxic to them.

Let's take a closer look:

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to cats and lead to symptoms like increased heart rate, restlessness, tremors, and in severe cases, seizures or death.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is also toxic to cats and can cause similar symptoms as chocolate poisoning.
  • Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage a cat's red blood cells, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia. It's best to avoid giving any foods that contain these ingredients.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol, even in small amounts, can be extremely dangerous for cats and may lead to alcohol poisoning.
  • Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats, so it's best to keep them out of reach.
  • Avocado: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which is toxic to cats and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Dairy products: While many cats love the taste of dairy products, they can be difficult for them to digest and may cause digestive upset like diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Nuts: Some nuts, particularly macadamia nuts, can be toxic to cats and cause symptoms like weakness, tremors, or difficulty walking.
  • Raw meat, fish, and eggs: Raw meat, fish, and eggs may contain bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, which can be harmful to cats. It's always best to cook these foods before feeding them to your cat.

Feline diet and BBQ chips

Now that we have explored safe and dangerous human foods for cats, let's address the question of whether BBQ chips are appropriate for our feline friends. While BBQ chips may be a tempting treat, they are not nutritionally beneficial for cats. In fact, they can be harmful due to their high fat, salt, and artificial flavoring content.

Cats have a low tolerance for high-fat diets, and consuming excessive fat can lead to digestive upset, pancreatitis, and obesity. Additionally, the high salt content in BBQ chips can contribute to dehydration and kidney problems in cats.

Furthermore, the artificial flavorings, preservatives, and other additives present in BBQ chips can be detrimental to a cat's health. Cats are more sensitive to certain artificial ingredients, and these can lead to allergic reactions or digestive disturbances.

Impact of BBQ chips on cat digestion

BBQ chips can have a negative impact on your cat's digestion due to their high-fat content. Cats have a unique digestive system that is designed to process animal meat efficiently. Foods high in fat, such as BBQ chips, can overload their digestive system and lead to issues like diarrhea, vomiting, or even pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas and can be extremely painful and life-threatening for cats. The high-fat content in BBQ chips can trigger an episode of pancreatitis and should be avoided.

Given the potential risks and lack of any nutritional benefits, it is not recommended to feed BBQ chips or any other similar junk food to cats. It's always better to stick to a balanced and appropriate cat food that meets their specific dietary requirements.


While it may be tempting to share our favorite snacks with our beloved cats, it's crucial to prioritize their health and well-being. While cats can enjoy some human foods in moderation, it's best to stick to safe options like cooked meat and fish and avoid foods that are toxic or nutritionally inadequate for them.

When in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian for appropriate feeding guidelines and recommendations tailored to your cat's specific needs. Remember, a well-balanced and appropriate cat food should always be the foundation of your cat's diet, ensuring they receive all the necessary nutrients for a long and healthy life.