Doritos are a well-known, extremely common snack! They are tortilla chips that come in a variety of flavors, from nacho cheese to wasabi and many other flavors besides.
With them being so common in households, it’s also possible that cats can get into them as well (particularly cheesy ones if you have a cat that enjoys cheese). If your cat raided the snacks, do you have to worry?
Can cats eat Doritos?
Cats can eat Doritos, in that it won’t make them die or require emergency surgery, but they really shouldn’t eat them. And they definitely shouldn’t be eating them often.
Table of Contents
Do Cats Like Doritos?
This is going to depend entirely on the cat and it’s more likely that even if your cat likes Doritos, you’ll find licked chips over eaten ones. Some cats may find the cheesy ones, in particular, to be appealing while others aren’t going to care too much about them.
And cats probably won’t eat the Doritos (since they are too crunchy and sharp-edged), but they may lick them. But do cats like Doritos? Well, that’s going to really depend on the cat. My cats have never shown the slightest interest in my husband’s Doritos.
Do Cats Hate Doritos?
It’s not that cats will hate Doritos so much as they won’t care about them. Many flavors will be too spicy (wasabi or nacho) while others won’t taste like much of anything. Many cats may just turn up their nose at your snacks and wander off to find their own.
If this is your cat, you should probably just be happy that you won’t have to chase it out of the chip bag. To be honest, Doritos are a snack that cats can live just fine (if not better) without.
Can Doritos Kill My Cat?
One of the big concerns that people have when it comes to their cat-eating Doritos is whether they are a choking hazard and thus can be fatal.
However, anecdotes of cats choking on Doritos are nonexistent – most cats are more careful than that when it comes to eating and furthermore, they are more likely to lick the chip than crunch it up.
An easy way to dispel this worry is to make sure to break the chip up into small pieces before letting your cat sample it.
The main danger of Doritos is the ingredients themselves which, if eaten in too high a quantity for a cat, will usually cause a stomachache, digestive issues, and obesity (in the long term).
Doritos are primarily made from corn, vegetable oil, and salt and then whatever the seasonings are, whether that’s dried cheese powder, skim milk powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and other things. It’s these ingredients that cause the problems.
First of all, cats are unable to properly digest plant products. Their systems handle meat and so plants tend to go right through them and don’t do much. The corn in tortillas is so heavily processed anyway that the digestive system of a cat simply cannot handle it and it tends to cause a stomachache.
Doritos are high in carbohydrates which cats don’t need too much of and the rest of the carbs goes straight to weight gain. Obese cats are more likely to develop joint problems, organ problems, and diabetes later in life.
The second main issue is the one that makes (or would make) cats sad: the cheese. Many cats like cheese, but it certainly doesn’t like them since most cats are lactose intolerant! The cheese powder and skim milk powder can easily give your cat a tummy ache, diarrhea, or even vomiting and it will certainly make most cats uncomfortable. This doesn’t stop most cats from going after cheese, but it should give you pause for thought.
The amount of salt in Doritos should give any mammal pause for thought, including humans. A diet too high in salt leads to hypertension, heart problems, and dehydration. For cats, that amount is over 42mg per day. A serving of Doritos (12 chips) has a whopping 210mg! That many chips would cause salt poisoning in cats which can cause seizures, tremors, vomiting, and even coma or death.
Finally, the garlic and onion powder found in most flavors of Doritos are toxic to cats. While the quantity of this in one chip is negligible, if your cat eats too many, they can get quite ill which would require a trip to the vet. Garlic and onion can cause cats to become anemic as the compounds in these plants make it harder for blood cells to carry oxygen. It doesn’t take much garlic or onion to cause problems either, so eating too many Doritos does carry that risk.
Doritos have absolutely nothing of nutritional value for cats either. There is a lot of salt, a lot of seasonings, a lot of corn, and even more salt, none of which a cat needs much of (or at all) in its diet. This makes Doritos purely junk food and that is certainly not something anyone (or any pet) should be living on.
In short, if your cat licked a Dorito or even ate a few corners of it, it will probably be fine. However, the risk of a health problem goes up the more they eat, so it’s usually best to discourage your cat from going anywhere near your snack in the first place. Besides, who wants to share Doritos??
How Many Doritos are Safe For My Cat to Eat?
If you just cannot resist your cat’s mooching (or your cat gets into them anyway), what’s a safe amount?
One or two chips every once in a great while is probably safe. It’s unlikely your cat will do much more than take a few licks or a nibble anyway. And it’s important to mind flavors as well: spicy flavors are far more likely to make your cat ill as are flavors with a lot of seasonings like cool ranch.
And try to make sure that garlic and/or onion powder are either nonexistent or are very far down on the ingredient list to minimize exposure.
Doritos may be a great snack for humans, but they are not really a good one for cats. They won’t kill your cat, though they may make your cat a little ill after, and nibbling or licking them usually doesn’t mean a trip to the vet, but that doesn’t make Doritos a good thing for cats to eat.
They are too high in salt in carbs, have nothing of nutritional value, and the cheese and milk can make your cat have digestive problems later. You, and your cat, are much better off with actual cat treats that won’t have problematic side effects.
But if your cat has a lick or a nibble of a chip once in a while, you probably have nothing to worry about.
Does your cat try to raid the Dorito bag?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.