Long Story Short

  • Yes, kitties can munch on popcorn (without the kernels, though).🍿✔️
  • Be mindful of the high carb content and low nutritional value of this snack. ⚠️
  • Popcorn with added salt, fat, sugar or flavors can potentially cause some upset stomach. ❌
  • In general, we recommend dried meat, dried fish and pieces of boiled egg instead of popcorn. 🥩🐟🥚

Popcorn for Cats – What’s the Big Deal?

Cats are obligate carnivores – but what does it mean? Well, their bodies are specifically designed to break down and use only animal-based proteins. Veggies? Not so much, unless they need a little extra fiber in their diet to keep things…going.

But let’s talk about the elephant in the room: popcorn. Why do our furry little friends sometimes go crazy over this crunchy treat? Well, as it turns out, corn – the main ingredient in popcorn – is not actually a vegetable at all. Nope, it’s a grain! And guess what? Grains are a prime source of carbohydrates, which cats can totally digest. In fact, commercial cat foods often contain anywhere from 30% to 60% grain – like wheat, oats, barley, rice, and of course, corn. So, can cats eat popcorn, then?

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Carbs in Popcorn – Bad for Cats?

Turns out, not really. Too many grains can actually harm your cat. Cats often develop a bloated belly if they’re fed grains on a regular basis. Sadly, that’s not all the nopes of them. Some kitties are allergic to grains, with symptoms including: harsh scratches, vomiting, diarrhea, and food repulsion. So, how about them popped corns?

Plain, air-popped popcorn contains fiber and carbs (about 21 grams per ounce). This variety is safe for cats to eat (without additives)! The catch is in how often you give it to your cat. 

Fact Check 🔍

Cats require animal-based proteins to survive. However, this doesn’t mean that carbohydrates are harmful to cats – in fact, they actually need a small amount of carbohydrates in their diet. The key word being “small”

Can Cats Eat Popcorn as a Snack?

If we can’t feed cats popcorn, can they at least get some as an occasional treat? Yes… and no. Cats can eat popcorn, but it’s not the best food for them. (It’s low in nutrients, and can’t provide your cat with the balanced diet they need.)

What makes cats’ ears all perked up? Here are our top picks:

  • wet cat food;
  • pieces of meat;
  • boiled egg;
  • dried fish.

Editor’s Hack 😼🍿

How to keep your kitty away from your bowl, pack (or bucket?) of popcorn? Choose a few without kernels. When your cat sneaks up to snatch some, just throw it away so that she’ll chase them! A treat and some exercise, all-in-one! 

Why Can Popcorn Be Bad For Cats?

What makes popcorn the “not the best option”? For starters, it’s just not high-quality enough to meet the nutritional needs of our precious kitties. In fact, eating too much of it can lead to all sorts of health problems, like malnutrition and tummy troubles. And don’t even get us started on the potential choking hazard of those pesky kernels!

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But wait, there’s more! Commercial popcorn often contains additives (we’re talking salt, sugar, flavoring powders, even toppings). Cats get all the nutrients they need from their main food, so why risk their health by adding unhealthy ingredients into the mix?

Why Can Popcorn Be Harmful For Cats?

Can Cats Eat Popcorn From a Microwave?

Did you know that microwaves are totally safe for human consumption? Can cats eat popcorn from a microwave, too?. Sadly, no. The problem is that microwave popcorn is usually slathered in palm oil or butter – and neither of these ingredients are kitty-friendly. Sorry, Puss in Boots! And if that’s not enough, remember the unpopped popcorn kernels! Your cat can choke on them (or get them stuck in between their teeth, like we do).

The Bottom Line

Can cats eat popcorn? Drumroll, please. Yes! But also no. Popcorn isn’t toxic to cats, as long as it’s plain, and just a few pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cats Eat Sweet Popcorn?

No, sweet popcorn contains too much sugar.

Can Popcorn Kill Cats?

If a cat chokes on popcorn or eats too much, it may lead to health problems that can be life-threatening. In general, though, cats cannot die from eating small amounts of plain popcorn.

Can Cats Eat Popcorn With Cheese?

If the cheese is the only additive, then probably yes. Cheese isn’t that bad for kitties. Just don’t let them eat too much.

What If My Cat Eats a Handful of Popcorn?

Well, that’s quite a lot, isn’t it? As you may probably guess, this is not all alright. But it’s not all bad, either. What you can expect is vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach troubles. If your cat gets better soon after that, or the next day, she’ll be ok. If she’s still struggling, take her to a vet.

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