Can Cats Eat Popcorn? (A Must-Read)

Ever wondered whether Can Cats Eat Popcorn? Well, that’s a good question. Check out this article to know whether can cats eat popcorn or not

Can Cats Eat Popcorn
Can Cats Eat Popcorn


Popcorn is the perfect snack to munch on when you are relaxing or watching your favorite TV show. Popcorn also has multiple health benefits. It can even be a temporary filler to your tummy while you are monitoring your calorie intake. At times when we take a handful of Popcorn, some of the corns may fall on the floor, and your cat may appear from nowhere to gulp it. You may wonder, does your cat suffer a stomach ache? But in reality, your cat has noticed the fallen Popcorn, and it has jumped from nowhere to eat the fallen Popcorn. You may now wonder, is it okay for your cat to eat Popcorn? In this article, let us find the answer to that question.

What are the health benefits of Popcorn?

The crunchy Popcorn contains plenty of nutritional value. Popcorn being a whole-grain food is packed with nutrients that are beneficial for the human body.

It also contains fiber that is required for humans.

It has polyphenol antioxidants that help in blood circulation, reducing the risk of certain cancer like breast and prostate, lessening the digestive issues, etc.

Popcorn is also filled with minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, and also vitamins like B6, B3, B1.

Can cats feed in Popcorn?

To answer the question, is it okay for cats to feed on Popcorn? The answer is both yes and no because plain Popcorn does not cause any harm to the cats. But if it is prepared with butter and salt, it may create choking hazards or some other health issues as the digestive system of the cats cannot digest the whole grains like the way the human body does as they are obligate omnivores. There is no need for cats to feed on carbohydrates. Consuming a small portion of grains is okay for the cats if it is kept to a minimum. The prepacked Popcorn that we get at the stores contains perfluorooctanoic acid that may cause thyroid, ADHD, or other health issues in humans. The microwavable Popcorn contains artificial butter and a chemical known as diacetyl that causes lung cancer in animals.

Even though cats consume certain human foods, some food may cause adverse side effects.
But, it is also okay to feed cats corn in small quantities in the form of whole meat breadcrumbs, cornmeal, oats. When these foods are cooked properly, they are easy to digest for your cats, and they even contain some nutritional benefits. But, make it a practice to feed your cats a balanced cat diet. Never make popcorn or other veggies a meal replacement for your cats, as they require the daily nutrients from cat food since they are carnivorous animals. Even though cats are attracted to the warmth and scent of air-popped Popcorn, remember to feed only a small portion of Popcorn to your cats if necessary.

The digestive system of the cats cannot digest the grains in the way the human body does. As Gary Richter, the veterinary expert, says, “Cats do not need carbohydrates. Feeding them with a small portion of grains does not cause any harm to their body, but they should not be in excess. It should be kept within the limit. As we have seen, even though popcorns are safe in small quantities to feed for cats, it is not the same with kittens and older cats as they can cause them to choke and hence completely avoid feeding kittens and senior cats popcorn. As cats have small mouths, they are not able to feed on the large kernels without being choked.

You may have noticed that corn is used in dried cat food for binding all the ingredients. Corns are also used as filler. The fillers are only added to create fullness, and cats generally do not get much benefit out of it. But it certainly provides the cat with the energy as they contain carbohydrates, and carbohydrates are the sources of energy. Both popcorn and field corn does not provide the needed nutrients required for the cats. When there are no nutritional benefits present in Popcorn that a cat needs, there is no need to feed your cat’s Popcorn as part of their everyday meal.

What can be said about the popcorn toppings?

The toppings used for Popcorn are more dangerous. They certainly give a better taste to the snack, but it does not contain any nutrients benefits. The popcorn seasonings contain sugar, salt, spices, butter, etc., which can lead to digestive problems in cats. Therefore, do not feed your cats Popcorn that has seasonings added to it. Some popcorns contain high concentrations of salt, which are toxic to cats. They can cause health issues like vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, etc. When excess butter is added to Popcorn as a topping, it can lead to obesity and lung disease. Moreover, excess sugar-coated on Popcorn can also lead to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes in humans and also harmful to your pet. It can also lead to digestion problems in cats as grains don’t get digested well in omnivores animals.

When the shell or popcorn husk gets stuck in your teeth, it can be annoying. Imagine a cat trying to clear the husk of the Popcorn from its teeth which can be truly irritating for your cat. Suppose a large popcorn kernel gets stuck on the throat of your cat. You need to take action quickly. You may also need to take the help of a veterinarian. Trying to fix the problem by yourself without the help of a vet can be dangerous. But, if immediate action needs to be taken, try if you can remove the choked kernel by gently opening the mouth and by pulling the cat’s tongue out, and by using your fingers, try to pull out the choked kernel without further pushing it down.

What if your cat enjoys feeding on Popcorn?

Some cats love the flavor of Popcorn. If your cat is a popcorn lover, then give him plain Popcorn as a treat. But remember, only a few as a treat with no added seasonings or toppings on it as you want your cat to be safe. You may have also noticed that some cats love to play with the fallen popcorn kernels before they gulp on the fallen piece of Popcorn. There are also certain treats that your cat will enjoy, which also contain nutritional values like minerals and vitamins.

Even though the cat food contains corn or cornmeal as an ingredient in its label, it does not mean that the Popcorn is beneficial for cats as these crunchy snacks do not contain the nutritional benefits that are needed for your cat. At the same time, Popcorn is beneficial for humans as they contain carbohydrates that give us the energy to work. But cats do not require carbohydrates, or they don’t get any health benefits by feeding on corns. So, if you want to keep your cat healthy, avoid feeding them Popcorn in large quantities. But, you can always give them in small quantities as a treat.

How to stop cats from eating Popcorn?

If your cats love the taste of Popcorn, it can be tempting for you to feed them Popcorn. But, if you want them to stay healthy and avoid the digestive issues that are caused by feeding them Popcorn, then you need to say a firm no even if they demand. You could avoid eating Popcorn in their presence, keep the bowl of Popcorn covered when you are away or ensure to pick the fallen Popcorn before your cat reaches to gulp them. After all, you are doing it to keep your pet safe.

The alternative healthy snacks to feed your cats

A pet owner, you certainly are curious to know about the right kind of food to feed your cats. If you feed your cat a balanced meal, it can be healthy. You could certainly feed some veggies as a part of their meal. Here are some of the alternative veggies to feed your cats as snacks, as they are non-toxic.

  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Green bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin

Remember that treats are not a balanced meal, and hence they should not take a significant portion of the diet intake of cats. Keep in mind that the Popcorn or certain other veggies should not be given as a replacement for their meals. Cats get the nutrients from properly balanced cat food.


If we look at the health benefits of Popcorn, they are crunchy snacks fully packed with nutrients, vitamins, magnesium, zinc, potassium, etc. The polyphenol antioxidants which are present in Popcorn also helps in battling certain cancer, overcoming digestive issues, etc. Most of the foods that humans consume are harmless to cats, and they can feed on them as a part of their regular diet. But it is advisable to avoid feeding your cat’s Popcorn with seasonings, especially if they are coated with salt and butter, as they can cause digestive problems in them. You have finished reading this article “Can Cats Eat Popcorn” I hope now you got the answer to your question whether Can Cats Eat Popcorn or not. If you think this article was helpful to you, feel free to share it with your friends and family.

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