Having a pet is one way you can ward off loneliness, but they come with some form of care. Just like how you would take care of yourself, pets also require some attention. They need to be groomed, walked, fed, and taken to the vet for regular checks. Though cats are low maintenance animals, the cat breed you own will determine how much attention it needs and how much time you should be willing to sacrifice. However, feeding is a must for all pets since they need it to survive. What kind of food you give to your cat will depend on factors like breed, health, and dietary requirements. Sometimes you might be tempted to give your cat a taste of the food you love. It is not always that the food you like will be good for your pet. Popcorn is one of those snacks that taste so good, and so you may have been tempted to share some with you feline friend. If you’ve ever found yourself asking questions like ‘Can cats eat popcorn? Is popcorn bad for cats?’ Then this article is for you as it will provide you with the information you need to know about giving popcorn to your cat.

Cat trying to eat popcorn

What Is a Cat’s Diet Made Of?

Cats have kibble in their diet, which has yellow corn as an ingredient. That strain of corn is grown in a way that is safe for cats to consume. It is ubiquitous for cat food and serves as a cohesive for the other ingredients as well as a filler. It is field corn rich in moisture, protein, sugars, and carbs. It does not contribute any substantial nutrition to your cat’s diet since cats’ main diet requirement consists of meats. The protein in meats gives cats energy for their day to day activities. It strengthens their heart, improves their vision, and promotes a healthy reproductive system. Cooked chicken, turkey, or beef and excellent examples of meat to feed your cat. Raw flesh can make your cat sick, so be sure to cook the food thoroughly. The corn used for popcorn is less beneficial as compared to field corn. It is sweet corn that humans have manipulated for their consuming pleasure. It contains fiber that is good for the human body but not so great for cats. The issue is that the cat’s diet is not vegetarian and so feeding them popcorn is not such a good idea. Cooked corn might not be so bad since the cat can easily chew and swallow, and digest it.

When Is Popcorn Not Good for Your Furball?

Does your cat keep looking at you to feed it some of the delicious smelling popcorn you’re having? At that moment, the main question running through your mind would be if it is safe enough for the animal to have some. Popcorn may not always contain any poisonous for your cat, and it just does not contribute to its nutrition and growth. However, it can be harmful to them in that they can be choking hazards for kittens and even adult cats if not chewed properly. Also, cats have a very sensitive digestive system that cannot stand spices like salt and sugar.

Popcorn sometimes has onion, butter, and garlic that make it a no-go edible for the cats. Others that are candied or coated in chocolate and caramel are also not acceptable. Popcorn also contains additives that make it ready to eat food. These additives will not sit well in your cat’s body. Sodium levels can also tamper with the balance of your cat’s body, including increasing its blood pressure. Plain popcorn might be safe for your cat to eat, but it still remains that it has no nutritional value for the animal. Unpopped kernels are unsafe for cats since they are too hard to chew. They might not go down the digestive tract smoothly for the animal and can cause some damage.

Tips When It Comes to Your Cat and Popcorn

  • Do not give your cat too much

Popcorn can be safe for cats when it is in minimal quantities. As mentioned, it has no nutritional value, so just like how you do not eat popcorn as a meal, your cat should not either. You should reduce the amount it takes by a lot so that there are no complications. Always remember that’s cats are carnivores, and their diet should consist of a lot of protein.

  • Make sure it is fresh

Because of the fragile nature of the cats’ digestive system, it is better if the popcorn is fresh. It is even better if there are no spices or coatings on it to reduce the chances of digestive problems.

  • Popcorn is forbidden for kittens and very old cats

These age groups of cats cannot chew the popcorn properly and so there is a high chance of choking. They might also have digestive problems if you do not take the necessary precautions.

  • Always supervise

Consider your cat to be a child; curious and mischievous. They might try to sneak in a few grains, and before you know it, they will get sock. You must keep an eye on the animal whenever you have popcorn around because the smell and warmth of it might be attractive to them.

Cat on the sofa

To Summarize

Cats are not vegetarian and thus should be fed appropriately. A protein-rich diet is likely to do more for your cat’s health than a fiber-rich one like popcorn. Popcorn does not do any significant damage to your cat’s health but does not add anything, either. Concerning the question at hand, there is no straightforward answer. Your cat can eat popcorn, but it should be under supervision. Generally, popcorn itself is not harmful, but it is the additives and coating that make it unsafe. You must make sure that popcorn is not the main component of the cat’s diet, too, as this is not advisable. The same way popcorn can get messy for humans, it might be worse for cats. Husks of corn getting stuck in the teeth, chocking on unpopped kernels, and other inconveniences are avoidable f you do not feed the cat popcorn. Save yourself unnecessary trips to the vet and keep the cat away.


  1. Cat Treats – VCA Animal Hospital

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Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!


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