Can Cats Eat Tortilla Chips? (It’s Not That Simple)

Cats can eat tortilla chips, yes. But they really shouldn’t – at least not in large quantities. The reason isn’t the corn content, but the seasoning, especially the salt. Because you may or may not be aware, but an excessive amount of salt can be toxic for cats.

When other people say to me that their cats like tortilla chips, I’m not surprised.

As for me, my pet would automatically approach when I have a bag of Tostitos in my lap. It dawned on me that most felines would like to eat tortilla chips, especially if they see and eat one frequently.

However, when it comes to the matter of safety, no. Tortilla chips aren’t safe, especially in large servings.

Related – What about pesto? Can cats eat Pringles?

What is in tortilla chips (ingredients)

Corn is the core ingredient of every tortilla chip. My favorite bag of these chips, which a piece go to my cat, is the Tostitos, which contains:

  • Corn
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt (A big NO!)

At the same time, if you’re not a fan of ready to eat commercial tortilla chips, you probably know how to make it.

Homemade tortilla chips are easy to make, and the ingredients are also quite simple. A particular recipe only requires:

  • Corn tortilla
  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher or other coarse salts (Still a NO!)

The corn, which makes up the entire chip, isn’t harmful.

What makes the tortilla chips harmful to felines is the salt that comes with it. A particular NCBI study states that too much salt intake can harm cardiovascular functions on a long term basis.

Salt poisoning can happen in felines. Such occurrence results in signs of vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, and other digestive issues.

If you’re having a movie time with a bag of tortilla chips resting on your lap, it’s okay to spare a piece or two.

However, be mindful that most tortilla chips contain large amounts of salt. Thus, going overboard by feeding more than a couple of pieces can cause harm.

If you want to share more, then go for the unsalted ones. Still, even unsalted chips contain a little seasoning.

As a general rule of thumb, treat tortilla chips as a treat for your cat and not a part of their diet.

tortilla chips

Is corn bad for cats?

As I said earlier, corn is not bad for cats. In fact, many kitties like corn (even mine does).

Although they are carnivores, letting them eat grains now and then should be okay. It can even be beneficial.

Corn is among the list of healthy whole grains, providing felines with the energy they need. By feeding with such grains, it won’t have to break down body proteins for energy.

What makes corn ideal is that your pet won’t find it hard to digest, especially the ground and cooked ones.

In tortilla chips, the corn comes in a mashed and processed form, like a flour.

For this reason, you won’t have to worry about your feline having a hard time digesting it.

You need to mind too much tortilla chip consumption, which can lead to high salt intake.

A couple of pieces shouldn’t cause any issues. Don’t feed your cat too much tortilla chip to avoid any problems from occurring.

RelatedCan cats eat salt and vinegar chips?

Are tortilla chips safe for cats?

In a nutshell, tortilla chips are safe for cats. If you caught your cat munching on crumbs and on free tortilla packs, it’s not really alarming.

Compared to other human food, which can be toxic for cats even in just a bite, a tortilla chip should be alright in its tummy.

Still, you should keep in mind that tortilla chips are designed for humans.

Tortilla chips are never intended to be shared with our feline pets, although a few pieces won’t harm them.

If you wish to continue sparing some tortilla chips, do it in moderation or as a treat.

The crunch of every piece of the tortilla will be pleasurable. At the same time, your feline pet will enjoy the benefits of the corn.

However, going overboard can lead your cat to suffer from the salt and be lethal if it took large amounts.

Keep every tortilla chip treat in moderation, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

Do you want to know if cats eat Hot Cheetos, Takis, or spicy chips overall? Check it out!


Indeed, you can spare some of the tortilla chips you enjoy to your cat. Still, you need to be careful not to give too much.

I know, once your pet comes in front of you, it’s quite challenging to stop yourself from giving more. A cute begging look and rub on your legs can let your cat win over you.

However, don’t give in. Encourage it to eat only safe food for them. Give it its own treat while you have yours.

After a couple of tortilla chips, give your cat a toy or something to play to drive its attention away from food.


NCBI study about cardiovascular effects of salt on healthy cats

Image credits – Photos by Jae Park and Roberto Carlos Roman on Unsplash

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