Do you own a cat? If so, then chances are you are wondering what food you can give to your beloved puss.
Cats make for wonderful pets, as they are independent, charismatic, and territorial.
However, this does not mean that owning a cat is painless, as you have to be careful of what you feed them.
It’s important to remember that cats are very different from humans, especially when it comes to their digestive system, which means there are certain foods that could be toxic to your pet.
So if you want to know if cats can eat popcorn, then you have come to the right place.
In this article, we have collected some important information concerning cats and popcorn - and whether they are allowed to eat it.
Can Cats Eat Popcorn?
The short and simple answer to this question is yes - cats can eat popcorn.
However, this does not mean that all popcorn is suitable, as cats can only eat plain kernels that have not been seasoned with salt, butter, or caramel.
It is also important to keep certain herbs and spices away from your feline friend, as garlic has been known to cause health issues in cats.
In most cases, buttered popcorn will contain too much fat for your cat to consume, which can result in stomach conditions such as vomiting and diarrhea.
For this reason, you should limit your cat to a few plain pieces. But you will still need to be mindful of how much you have given them.
If you feed your cat popcorn, it is also important to remember that the food has very little nutritional value, which means it will sit in their stomach without sourcing the minerals and vitamins that they need.
CAN CATS EAT CORNMEAL?
If you pay attention to commercial cat food products, then you will notice that most of them contain cornmeal, which can lead to questions about the nutritional value of cornmeal and corn-based foods.
While cats are able to eat cornmeal, they are also born carnivores, which means that they obtain most of their protein and vitamins from meat.
Because of this, foods like cornmeal and bread take longer to break down in the cat’s stomach, which means it will sit there and add little to their diets.
But if cornmeal has no nutritional value, why is it used in cat food? Well, the answer to that question comes down to cost and stock.
Pet food manufacturers use cornmeal because it is a cheap source of fiber, it is also more accessible than meat products and can be grown in large quantities.
While there is nothing toxic in cornmeal, it also comes with little nutritional value, which is another reason to avoid it and other corn-based products.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF POPCORN?
If your feline friend manages to eat a few plain pieces of popcorn, then there’s nothing to be concerned about, as this will have little impact on their diet.
However, once your cat has eaten seasoned popcorn, then you will need to be mindful of their condition.
Sweetcorn that is covered in salt, oil, and spices can be dangerous to cats, as it contains ingredients that their stomachs are unable to process.
For this reason, your cat could become very sick and even demonstrate dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and other forms of intestinal stress.
Beyond this, there is also a choking hazard, as some popcorn kernels could prove too big for your cat to swallow.
It’s important to remember that cats are smaller than dogs and will sometimes need their food to be broken up before they can consume it.
This will make it easier for them to eat the popcorn while also reducing the chances of asphyxiation.
WHAT ARE SOME HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES?
When sharing snacks with your cat, it is important to choose food that they can eat without the concern for their health or well-being.
Fortunately, there are countless human treats that cats can eat, which are non-toxic and beneficial to their diet.
In the list below, we have outlined some of these foods and how they can be fed to your beloved puss:
Bananas are a great treat to give your cat, as the fruit is non-toxic and can be mashed up to avoid potential hazards.
However, this does not mean that bananas should become a main part of your cat’s diet, as the fruit comes with little nutritional value and should be overlooked in favor of more substantial foods.
Like bananas, broccoli should not become a main component in your cat’s diet, as it does not provide the same nutritional benefits as it does to humans.
However, the tree-shaped vegetable is loaded with antioxidants and can help to reduce the number of free radicals present in your feline friend.
Strawberries can make delicious treats for most domestic cats, although it is not advisable to add them to their diet.
The main reason for this is that strawberries do contain a substantial amount of natural sugar, which makes them unsuitable for felines with diabetes and other health conditions.
However, the fruit is still a great source of potassium and can contribute some benefits to your cat's diet.
HOW DO YOU STOP CATS FROM EATING POPCORN?
If your cat has a taste for popcorn, there are certain methods you can use to deter their new addiction.
For example, if your cat tries to steal popcorn from the bowl, you can tell them no and push them away.
It is even possible to cover the bowl whenever you leave the room, which will also make it difficult for your cat to steal some.
Of course, it is also important to remove any pieces that have fallen on the floor, as this will stop your cat from eating them.
Despite being non-toxic to cats, popcorn still comes with its drawbacks, as it provides little nutritional value and has even been classed as a choking hazard.
Because of this, you should avoid the confection or hand it out in moderation.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.