CAN CATS EAT YAM? Are yams poisonous to cats?




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Also known as sweet potato, yam is a tuber vegetable belonging to the genus Dioscorea family. It has a rough and scaly texture with a lovely orange color. They are perennial herbaceous vines that are found in temperate and tropical regions.

CAN CATS EAT YAM? Typically, yam contains high levels of sugar and fats. Hence, it might not be an excellent choice to feed your cat every day. It can increase the risk of obesity, but it can also disturb the digestive tract with gastrointestinal problems.



Unlike humans, yam doesn’t promise any nutritional benefits to cats. Since yams are not toxic for cats, you might feed them to your cat if it isn’t a fussy eater. Adding a minute quantity of yams to your cat’s meal could be a perfect treat for your cat. However, it is ideal that you feed cooked yam to your cat.

Check here can cats eat watercress

Are yams ok for cats?

Yam is not something you would like to see your cat running after due to its high sugar content. However, it can be a tasty and fun treat for your cat. Because this vegetable (raw or cooked) is not toxic for cats, it is safe to consume.

Be mindful that yam is not a suitable vegetable to feed your cat and, thus, should not be included in their regular diet plan. Despite its high fiber content, yam lacks the essential proteins your cat needs. Therefore, relying too much on yams can hinder their growth and development.

However, if you decide to feed yams to your cat, ensure that you follow these simple steps.

  • Thoroughly rinse the yam to remove any dirt and germs from it.
  • Cook the yams properly until it turns soft. Once it’s soft, slice the yam into small pieces before feeding it to your cat. 
  • Monitor the amount of yam your cat is consuming, as too much of it can cause indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Look for better, high-quality alternatives if your cat likes to feed on yam. 

Are yams poisonous to cats?

As mentioned earlier, yams are not at all poisonous to cats. On the contrary, the vines of this vegetable are. They contain a very harmful substance called Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), which is highly toxic for cats. If a cat consumes even a small amount of these vines, it can trigger an allergic reaction in its body. As a result, the cat’s skin and mucosal surfaces like the mouth and throat form painful blisters. 

Moreover, remember that true yams are not toxic to cats, but the immature tubers of white and yellow yams are. They contain polyphenols or tannin-like compounds, adversely affecting your cat’s health. They can impair the cat’s intestinal functions, making them unable to utilize essential vitamins and minerals in their diet. Consequently, it leads to nutritional deficiencies in cats, demanding timely medical treatment.

Check can cat eat turnips

Instead of feeding yams to your cat, you can always switch to alternative and nutritious options. For instance, pumpkins can be a healthy and fun addition to your cat’s diet. However, it would be best to always feed it in moderation like any other vegetable.

Can cats eat purple yams?

Purple yams are no different from conventional yams. And just like the conventional ones, cats can feed on purple yams. Experts suggest that cats consume a small quantity of cooked, unseasoned yams. But because cats rely primarily on a meat-based diet, purple yams are not their preferred food for eating. 

Yams can be fed as an occasional treat for cats in small portions. Although they offer no nutritional benefit to your cat, excessive consumption can disturb their GI function. Therefore, it is ideal for feeding cooked yam to your cat.

Can cats eat cooked yam?

Be mindful that you must cook yam properly before feeding it to your cat. Ideally, you would like to cook yam until it turns soft. The more you cook yam, the easier it becomes for your cat to consume it. Raw yam can be fed, but cooked yam prevents stomach upsets in cats. In addition, it is easier to chew, digest, and absorb for these feline animals.

Unlike full-grown cats, kittens have a more sensitive and underdeveloped digestive system. Hence, feeding yam to a kitten is not a good idea. Even if it is cooked, you should avoid feeding it to a kitten.

Also, keep in mind that yams are high in fiber content. Feeding large amounts of yam can cause diarrhea in kittens, resulting in dehydration and loss of body minerals. In worst cases, it might even result in their death.

Can cats eat canned yams?

Canned yams pose no health threats to adult cats. However, feeding canned yams to cats should not exceed more than twice a month. Typically, canned food contains preservatives and chemicals to ensure they last a while. They can adversely harm your cat’s health when consumed frequently. Although canned yams might not have any temporary side effects, they may result in long-term illnesses.

Can cats eat candied yams?

Candied yams are loaded with brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. Although they are a delightful treat for humans, such high sugar-rich foods are not suitable for your cat’s health. Unlike humans, cats have a sensitive digestive system. Anything with high glucose content can make your cat sick, so it’s best to avoid feeding it to these feline animals.

Be mindful that regardless of many safe-to-eat claims about candied yams, you should never feed them to your cat. Even a small amount of candied yams can cause vomiting in cats. At the same time, it can also lead to your cat being overweight in the long run.

Benefits of Candied Yams

There are no known benefits of feeding candied yams to cats. But because yams are rich in fiber content, they can be considered to relieve constipation in cats.

You can also read can cats eat microgreens


Yams promise a sweet and delightful treat for humans, but not so much for cats. These feline animals heavily rely on a protein-based diet for growth and development. Therefore, feeding your cat with high-carb edibles like yams is not good. Perhaps feeding yams as an occasional treat for your cat is more convincing.

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