Popcorn and Kitties: Safe or Unsafe?

November 06, 2019

Popcorn and Kitties: Safe or Unsafe?

Popcorn is a healthy snack for humans. 


In fact, I love to munch on popcorn while watching some TV or my favorite movie and, my cat seems interested in what I’m eating and wants a taste of it. 


But, is popcorn safe for cats to consume? 


The thing is that some common human foods can be toxic to our furry little bundles of joy and can even prove to be fatal. So, it is always a good idea to look up a human food before giving it to our kitty to ensure that it is safe. 


In this blog post, I’ll answer the question, “Can cats eat popcorn?” in as much detail as I possibly can. 


So, let’s get started!


Yes or No: Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

Yes, cats can eat popcorn as long as it doesn’t have any additives in it. 


Although popcorn is nontoxic to cats, it doesn’t mean that it is entirely safe either. The thing is, popcorn has no nutritional benefits at all for your feline friend, and your kitty gets everything she needs from her dry kibble. 


So, popcorn isn’t the best thing to feed your kitty. 

Cats and Popped Corn: What’s the Deal? 

The additives you get in the ready-to-make popcorns (especially those that you can make in the microwave) can be potentially toxic to cats. 


So, keep the popcorn away from your cat at all cost. 


Popcorn which contains butter, salt, garlic, or onion should be kept away from your kitty’s reach, and you should ensure that you have them only if your cat is in the other room. Even small amounts could have an aversive reaction. 


Gourmet popcorn isn’t safe for your kitty either. 


Caramel, chocolate, or popcorns massively powered with cheese should also be kept away from your kitty. 


The additives in the ready-to-make popcorn coupled with the artificial flavorings can cause your cat to have an aversive reaction and may even cost you your kitty’s life. 


So, it’s best to keep these away. 

What About the Kernels? 

The first thing that you need to know is that all the popcorns in your bowl aren’t entirely popped. 


While it is easier for humans to chew the kernels and the unpopped popcorns, it isn’t the case with kitties. 

If you are serving your kitty some unsalted and homemade popcorn, you should never feed her the kernels. 


Following are the risks of doing that: 

  • Kernels are hard and can chip or even break your kitty’s teeth which is very painful for your furry friend
  • They aren’t easily digestible by your kitty’s digestive system and can cause a blockage in the intestine leading to constipation 
  • Your kitty could even choke on a kernel 

It is best if you examine a piece of popcorn before giving it to your kitty to make sure that she doesn’t break her teeth. 


Cats and Salt

Salted popcorns are the most common ones enjoyed by people all over the world. But, you shouldn’t feed them to your kitty!


Too much salt in your kitty’s diet can wreak havoc on her system! Excess salt throws a cat’s electrolytes out of balance which leads to a malfunction in their cells. This is known as salt toxicity. 


Following are some symptoms you should look out for: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Walking drunkenly
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination 
  • Seizures 

Salt toxicity can even kill your kitty within 24 hours if you don’t get her treated on time. 


Call the vet immediately if you see any of the symptoms. Your vet will start your cat on IV fluids to bring the electrolytes back into balance. So, keep those salted popcorns away from your cat at all costs. 


Final Words: Can Cats Eat Popcorn Without Having Any Problems? 

The answer to this is a complicated one. 


While homemade and unsalted popcorns in moderate quantities are completely fine for your cat to have, the ready-to-make variety is something that can have toxic ingredients which may even cause death. 


Popcorns you should keep away from your kitty’s reach include:

  • Butter 
  • Salt 
  • Garlic  
  • Onion 
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate 
  • Cheese flavored

Preservatives and additives included in the popcorns are put in keeping humans in mind, not cats. To protect your cat from having an aversive reaction, it is best to keep them as far away from your kitty as possible. 


And, giving kernels to your cat isn’t a good idea either!


Kernels are hard and can chip or even break your cat’s teeth which is very painful for your kitty friend. 


Still, have any questions or concerns? Let me know in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.