Can Cats Have Popcorn? Are They Good or Bad?

Popcorns refer to some variety of kernel corn that puffs when heated – microwaved, steamed, fried, air-popped, or machine-made or made using a cooker.

They are a common snack in theaters and in many homes especially as you spend time on Netflix, Hulu, AMC, Fox, Cinemax and so on watching your favorite shows, movies or TV series.

Usually, popcorns are salted, have corn oil or butter. However, some may have other ingredients including cheddar cheese, flavorings such as honey, chili, caramel, chocolate, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, enzymes, corn syrup, lecithin, artificial food colorings, etc.

We have had a discussion on whether cats can eat corn where we said unless she shows signs of allergies, corn is totally safe but should be given in small amounts. In fact, most feline foods have corn as one of their ingredients. Let us know focus on popcorns.

Can I give some popcorn to my cat
Can I give some popcorn to my cat?

Can cats eat popcorn?

Yes. Cats can have a treat of plain popcorns. They are safe, i.e., not associated with any toxicity to felines and canines. In fact, some kitties will actually love them so much.

However, before you even start thinking of substituting their usual diets with popped corns, you need to know cats are strict carnivores and naturally, starchy foods should not be a big part of their meals. They should have them as an occasional snack.

Nutritionally, they have iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, as well as thiamine, pyridoxine, and niacin. They also have proteins, fiber, fats and plenty of carbohydrates and some polyphenol antioxidant.

However, even though kitties require all these nutrients, starchy foods are not their ideal source. While in their natural habitats, they depend on rats, mice, rabbits, birds, reptiles, and a few bugs.

While a treat of popcorn is ok for cats, we recommend that you instead get them the various healthy commercial treats or go for treats made from animal products. They are better but do not overdo them too.

Finally, note that corn is often found in many feline foods and it may offer some nutritional value. However, it should not be the first or primary ingredient.

Some ingredients in popcorn are not good

We have noted that they are not harmful to felines including your fully weaned kittens. However, you need to consider any other added ingredient and remove any kernels that did not pop..

Additionally, avoid white cheddar popcorn, those with cheese or diacetyl as well as those that are chocolate flavored, heavily salted, have caramel, or those with flavorings or any ingredient that is not good for your kitty including too much sugar, honey, and so forth.

We acknowledge that honey is not harmful to cats. However, it is just unnecessary unless used therapeutically.

Also, dairy toppings including butter are not good since adult kitties are lactose intolerant, while onions and garlic are poisonous.

Moreover, if they are heavily salted, your fluffy friend may end up consuming excessive salt than required. High salt intake in cats can make them thirsty, urinate more or suffer from sodium poisoning. Cats with heart or kidney disease should not be given foods high in salt.

Therefore, while eating them, cover popcorns that have other harmful ingredients, limit the amount you give to your felines even if they like them and they are plain or avoid eating them while your feline pal looks at you because she will obviously want a bite.


Popcorns are human foods. Your felines need carnivorous diets that are high in protein and with all nutrients including taurine for growth and development. A few plain popcorns may not harm your feline, but they are just unnecessary.

Furthermore, avoid giving them your young kittens or elderly cats since they have digestive problems. Kittens may also be choked by these puffed maize kernels.

Finally, in case of any signs of allergies to these corn products or stomach upsets, diarrhea or vomiting, stop giving them to your pets. This is all you need to know on cats and popcorns.

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We are passionate pet and animal enthusiasts bringing insightful information to ensure your furry, flying or finned friends are happy and in good health. Feed them well and love them always.

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