Can Cats Eat Popcorn?
For humans, popcorn pairs perfectly with enjoying a film. But, what about cats—can they enjoy this salty snack? The short answer is no, cats shouldn't eat popcorn. While plain popcorn isn't toxic to cats, it's simply a treat that should be saved for people.
Popcorn for Cats
In conventional cat food, like kibble, you may notice corn listed as an ingredient. But can cats eat the airy, popped version of the plant? Corn itself isn't toxic to cats, but considering their carnivorous nature, carbohydrates aren't an essential macronutrient to maintain optimal health. If you see corn in your cat's food, there's nothing *technically* wrong with that, but know that corn is a dense carbohydrate and is a filler in their food so the manufacturer can skimp on actual meat protein.
Popcorn, while low in fiber and sugars, is also low in protein, yet packed with carbohydrates and calories. Corn alone can't provide enough nutrients to support your cat's health.
If your cat happens to paw an air-popped, unflavored, bite from your bowl it's not the end of the world, but we wouldn't recommend giving your cat popcorn to enjoy.
Dangers of Popcorn for Cats
The primary concern with cats eating some popcorn is in the additional toppings and seasonings that people love the most. High amounts of salt, butter, sugar, caramel, spices—especially garlic—can be unhealthy and toxic when consumed by cats. Consuming the salty snack with it's saltier toppings can lead to high blood pressure and other longterm health complications.
Cats Should Avoid Carbohydrates
When in doubt, remember that your little obligate carnivore needs meat and not much else. What you find to be a delicious snack might not ring true for your feline friend, so remember to avoid sharing. Popcorn—and corn in general—is a dense carbohydrate, often loaded with flavorings rich in sugars or sodium that can pose additional health risks to your feline friend.
[#BeginTLDR#]If your cat eats an air-popped bite of popcorn from your bowl, it's not the end of the world. Plain popcorn isn't toxic to cats.[#SplitTLDR#]Yet, it's important to remember that cats need meat, not carbs, so they shouldn't rely on corn-rich diets.[#SplitTLDR#]Avoid sharing popcorn with your cat if it has additional toppings like butter, salt, cheese, and other seasonings, as these are unhealthy and could be toxic to your cat.[#EndTLDR#]