Your cat will be curious to check what you’ve got if you simply opened a bag of popcorn. Cats, like other pets, will happily ingest homemade food out of curiosity. Popcorn is a favorite human snack, but is it safe for your cat companion?
Yes and no. ‘Do cats even like popcorn?’ may be the true question. Popcorn isn’t particularly appealing to cats, but they can eat it. The additives and toppings often used in preparing popcorn, on the other hand, can be harmful to your cat’s health. If it’s a kitten, they’ll probably choke as well.
Before feeding your cat any popcorn, here’s what you need to know.
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When is Popcorn Safe for Your Cats to Eat?
The majority of commercial cat diets use corn as a filler. As a result, it’s possible that your cats are eating maize already. So, how do you pack the popcorn for your cats in a way that is safe for them?
Serve it Plain
Onion, garlic, caramel, butter, salt, and other spices are among the additives and toppings found in popcorn. These items may be harmful to your cat’s health.
Cats, although eating a varied diet, do not digest grains in the same way that humans do. As a result, serve this food plain to keep your pet safe.
Serve It as a Treat
Popcorn isn’t good for your cat’s health. When you give your cat a bowl, it may eat some of it and play with the rest. As a result, feed it to your cat in moderation as a treat and prepare to provide him with other healthy options.
Serve Small Kernels
If you’re going to offer popcorn to your cat, make sure the kernels are small. Cats, in comparison to smaller dogs, have smaller mouths and require little portions of food. To avoid choking or obstruction, break up the bigger kernels.
Why is Popcorn Unsafe for Your Cat?
Before you share some popcorn with your cat, here are some reasons why this is not safe.
Your Cat Might Choke
While eating popcorn in moderation is much safer for your cat, it’s extremely dangerous for young or older cats. If your cat fits into one of these groups, it’s best not to feed them popcorn in order to keep them safe and alive. Furthermore, because babies can’t chew well, the popcorn may become stuck in their throats or intestines, creating digestive issues.
Nutrient meals should be included in a kitten’s diet to aid with body growth. Corn, unfortunately, lacks these necessary nutrients, thus it isn’t a must.
Too Many Additives
If cats are not adequately cared for, they are prone to obesity. Feeding your cat popcorn with dairy products or butter, for example, is fattening. Caramel and other seasonings used in popcorn include too much sugar or salt, both of which are unhealthy for your cat’s health.
Giving these flavorings to your cat on a daily basis can lead to high blood pressure and other problems. Furthermore, salty toppings are heavy in sodium and can easily lead to dehydration.
Popcorn will cause constipation in your feline companion. Cats don’t have the enzymes in their saliva to digest starch-based grains, so they can’t digest them.
Harmful Unpopped Kernels
You may have some unpopped kernels when preparing popcorn. During eating, these readily become trapped on human teeth. Your cat will experience the same thing, which is bad for its teeth and digestive system.
After the cat has eaten the popcorns, use a toothbrush to remove any stuck fragments or give the cat some water.
If you must offer popcorn to your cat, make sure it is air-popped.
Corn vs. Popcorn
Corn is frequently included as an ingredient in commercial cat food. Is this, however, safe for your cats? Unfortunately, because it’s used as a filler in dried cat food to help bond the other ingredients, this maize isn’t good for your pet.
This maize is good for your cat since it contains carbs that are turned to energy. Field corn has moisture, sugar, protein, and carbs, unlike popcorn. Cornmeal, polenta, oats, barley, and wheat breadcrumbs, all of which have nutritious value, can be fed to your cat in tiny amounts.
To make it easier for a cat to digest these healthy foods, make sure they’re properly prepared. Your cat, on the other hand, should be fed a well-balanced cat diet that is primarily composed of animal meat.
Popcorn, on the other hand, lacks the fiber and protein that the cat requires. As a result, both field and popcorn include nutrients that can be replaced by better alternatives. As a result, they aren’t required.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats Popcorn?
If you find your cat eating some of your popcorn, keep an eye on them for any signs of choking. This is necessary for all cats, regardless of age.
You should also keep an eye out for any stomach issues. Excess salt, sugar, and dairy toppings, for example, might cause constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, make sure your cat is eating properly and keep note of any changes in appetite or body temperature.
Even if your cat shows no signs or difficulties, it’s still a good idea to make an appointment with the veterinarian for observation. Because popcorn has no nutritional value, if the cat eats a lot of it, it may be at danger for long-term issues.
What Food Alternatives Can You Feed Your Cat?
Now that we’ve established that popcorn has no nutritional benefit, it’s time to think about some better alternatives. If you have to share your snack with the cat, non-toxic vegetables like zucchini, bananas, cantaloupe, broccoli, carrots, spinach, cucumbers, strawberries, or peas are good options.
You can try out a variety of treats to see what they enjoy. The cat should have a well-balanced diet, thus you should also feed them specially made cat food.
Protein that strengthens your cat’s bones, tendons, and ligaments is found in the best cat food. It also helps certain hormones and enzymes function more efficiently. They also require fatty acids for energy, vitamins for immunity and cell protection, as well as minerals for cell creation.
While a few pieces of popcorn will not harm your cat, they do pose some health risks. Popcorn has a low nutritional value and should only be consumed in moderation. If you must feed your cat popcorn, make sure it is plain, air-popped, and free of any additional toppings or additives.
After your pet has eaten the popcorn, keep an eye on them for any choking or stomach symptoms. If any of these issues arise, have your cat examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Also, talk to your vet about the best treats for your cat to eat in moderation.