I have one big vice and that is, I love to snack. Especially when it comes to Tortilla chips. A handful is never enough. I just can’t keep popping them like popcorn.
My cat can be just as big a foodie as I am.
Whenever I have my bag of tortilla chips in front of my TV, my cat will slowly start to approach me once he gets a whiff of my tortilla chips.
He knows I’m not a fan of giving him human food but he tries his luck every single time.
Can’t blame him.
I would too.
But is it safe to feed your cat tortilla chips?
Cats can eat tortilla chips if they are unsalted and not fried. Some tortilla chips contain flavoring and ingredients that can be toxic to cats. Even for tortilla chips that are safe for cats, feed only in small quantities.
Let’s take a closer look at tortilla chips and how bad or good they can be for your cat.
What Are Tortilla Chips?
Tortilla chips are a popular snack that is made mostly from ground cornmeal. There can be different grades of tortilla chips depending on the corn its made from. Some tortilla chips are made with both corn and wheat thus making them non-gluten free.
Most people would eat tortilla chips plain or with a dip or two.
Are Tortilla Chips Safe For Cats?
Not all tortilla chips are made equal and you got to be careful about feeding your cat tortilla chips bought from the store.
Here are some of the ingredients in commercial tortilla chips that are harmful to cats.
I am a big fan of hanging out at the snack aisle at supermarkets and most tortilla chips that I’ve tried contain salt.
The thing about salty snacks is that it is a lot tastier than unsalted ones.
Cats do need some salt or sodium in their diet to be healthy. It is recommended that cats should be eating about 21mg of sodium a day.
But when you feed them human food that is too salty for them, your cat can suffer from salt toxicity. Refrain from feeding your cat snacks like salt and vinegar chips which isn’t healthy for them.
Symptoms would include excessive thirst, drooling, incoordination, vomiting, seizures and even death.
Don’t underestimate the dangers that excessive salt can have on your cat’s body.
Tortilla chips are made from corn and wheat which are both plant matter. Plant matter contains carbohydrates and fiber which cats don’t digest well.
Cats are carnivores which means that, unlike dogs and humans, they get all their nutrients from meat alone.
Sure, you might say that your cat eats wheatgrass at home but it is usually in small quantities and eventually passed out from the body.
Cats do not have the enzyme required to digest carbohydrates thus too much carbs in their diet can cause digestive issues and bloating.
Most tortilla chips are made by frying the chips in vegetable oil and most cooking oils contain saturated fat. The chips might not taste and feel oily but they aren’t very healthy due to the cooking process.
Food that is too rich or fatty can give your cat an upset tummy. If you are already feeding your cat a healthy and balanced diet, it is already getting enough fat intake.
Excessive oily food can make your cat fat and cause a health condition called pancreatitis.
If you wish to give your cat some oil, make it omega-3 fatty acid which has some health benefits for cats.
Even though oil and salt aren’t healthy for cats, the artificial flavoring used in some tortilla chips can be toxic for cats.
Tortilla chips that contain lime, lemon, onion or garlic flavors must not be fed to cats in any amount.
Citrus food as well as garlic and onion are known to be very deadly for cats.
Citrus flavors can burn and irritate your cat’s nose and mouth. Garlic and onion can cause damage to the cat’s red blood cells and make it anemic.
If you suspect that your cat has eaten any of the above, please bring your feline friend immediately to the vet for treatment.
Making Tortilla Chips Safe For Cats
If you have a cat that is part Mexican and really loves the taste and smell of tortilla chips, make your own homemade tortilla chips as a treat.
The recipe is pretty simple. All you need is some cornflour and make it into a dough by adding some water.
You can flavor the dough with some tuna broth and throw in some fresh tuna bits or canned tuna soaked in water.
Most cats go crazy about tuna so use it sparingly to prevent your cat from turning into a tuna head.
Break the dough into little balls and flatten them out to form chips.
You can bake them in the oven or put them in the air fryer. Make sure the pieces are well cooked before feeding your cat.
How Much Tortilla Chips To Feed My Cat?
There are no general guidelines when it comes to feeding cats human food. But for me, less is definitely more.
When cats eat tortilla chips, they might get carried away and eat more than is safe for them. Always make sure to control their portion sizes.
One homemade tortilla chip or a few tortilla chips once or twice a week is safe for cats. Do not feed too many tortilla chips to the point where your cat starts to ignore its proper cat food.
Can Cats Eat Tortillas?
Tortilla chips are actually derived from tortillas. All you have to do is to get a few plain tortilla pieces, cut them up and fry them to make tortilla chips.
Plain and unseasoned tortillas are not toxic to cats but I would not be feeding my cat too much of such flour-based products.
Can Cats Eat Nachos?
If you are not too familiar, nachos are actually tortilla chips that are laden with toppings or served with a few dips.
These toppings usually contain cheese, sour cream, garlic, spices and chilis. None of which are safe and healthy for cats to consume.
If you do wish to make nachos for your cat, baked some healthy homemade tortilla chips and sprinkle some cooked tuna meat on them.
Do not give your cat any of the dips that we usually eat with tortilla chips.
Can Cats Eat Tacos?
Tacos are similar to tortillas. They are both made either from cornflour or a combination of corn and wheat flour.
How tacos differ from tortillas is that they are usually steamed or grilled. Soft-shelled tacos are the more traditional option compared to the hard-shelled version.
The thing with tacos is that sometimes they are seasoned with salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and chili flakes. These ingredients can cause a lot of irritation and harm to your cat when consumed.
It is best to not feed your cat any form of seasoned tacos.
Can Kittens Eat Tortilla Chips?
Kittens can eat tortilla chips but due to their sensitive digestive system, make sure it is homemade tortilla chips.
Truth be told, if your kitten has never eaten a tortilla chip before, it is probably a good idea to not start.
I have made the mistake of feeding my cat some not so healthy cat snacks that I had trouble weaning him off from.
I rather you get your kitten used to eating a healthy diet like a raw meat diet which can give them all the nutrients that they need and require.
As cat owners, I understand that sometimes it can be hard to say no to our cats when they crave what we are eating as well.
But do realize that feeding your cat anything outside of its natural diet isn’t always good for the cat.
Cats are built differently from dogs who have more leeway when it comes to eating human food.
Their bodies can digest carbohydrates which makes things easier when feeding them. Cats have a more specialized diet that we should adhere to.
Nonetheless, the occasional not so healthy treat for your cat is fine but always moderate the amount to prevent any tummy issues.