Last Updated: 1 month ago

Is this a safe treatment for our furry friends, or should we keep it away from them? Popcorn is an incredibly popular snack, but does that mean that cats can enjoy some too?

We’ll be exploring these questions in more detail below, so you know exactly what’s safe for your cat.

Cats are curious creatures, and they often like to explore new things, including the contents of your snack bowl. But when it comes to popcorn, can cats eat popcorn?

The answer is yes or no. Popcorn itself is not toxic to cats, however, it should be fed in moderation as there are potential risks associated with feeding popcorn to cats.

Is Popcorn Safe for Cats?

Can Cats Eat Popcorn

Yes, plain air-popped popcorn without any added salt or butter is safe for cats to consume in small amounts.

However, if the popcorn has been flavored with anything such as butter or salt then it should not be given to your cat due to the high sodium content which could lead to health issues.

Unpopped kernels of corn can pose a choking hazard so they should also be avoided when feeding your cat popcorn.

What Are the Benefits of Feeding Popcorn To Cats?

Popcorn contains some beneficial nutrients that may help support overall health in cats including fiber and antioxidants which can aid digestion and boost immunity respectively.

It also provides a low-calorie treat option compared to other snacks that are often higher in fat and sugar content making it an ideal choice for overweight cats who need fewer calories throughout the day.

What Are The Risks Of Feeding Popcorn To Cats?

Cat eating popcorn on the couch

Is popcorn safe for cats to eat?

While plain air-popped popcorn is generally considered safe, it’s important to be mindful of potential risks.

Feeding excessive amounts can lead to digestive issues and weight gain due to high fiber and carbohydrate content.

Moreover, flavored popcorn with seasonings like garlic or onion powder should be avoided to prevent gastrointestinal distress.

Prioritize your cat’s well-being by offering plain popcorn as an occasional treat without added seasonings.

How Much Popcorn Should I Give My Cat?

It is best practice to only give 1-2 pieces of popped corn per day depending on how active your cat is and their size/weight ratio – larger breeds will require more while smaller breeds will require less.

Always err on the side of caution when introducing new foods into their diet just in case they have an adverse reaction.

If you notice any signs of discomfort after eating the treat, discontinue use immediately and consult with your veterinarian if necessary.

What Are Some Alternatives To Feeding Popcorn To Cats?

If you’re looking for alternative treats that provide similar nutritional benefits, try opting for whole grain cereals like oatmeal (without added sugars), cooked brown rice (again without added sugars), cooked sweet potatoes/yams (no spices), canned pumpkin puree (unsweetened), etc.

All these options contain beneficial vitamins and minerals plus dietary fibers that can help keep your kitty healthy and happy.

Popcorn is not a necessary part of your cat’s diet, but it can be an occasional treat.

However, it is important to understand the potential risks and benefits associated with feeding popcorn to cats before doing so.

Nutritional Value of Popcorn for Cats

What are the nutrients in popcorns for cats

While it may be tempting to share your favorite snack with your furry friend, it’s important to understand the nutritional value of popcorn for cats before you do.

Macronutrients in Popcorn

Popcorn contains carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are found in the form of starch and fiber.

Protein is found in small amounts while fat content varies depending on how much butter or oil was used when preparing the popcorn.

Vitamins and Minerals in Popcorn

Popcorn also contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B6, C, E and K as well as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

However, these levels are too low to provide any significant health benefits for cats so they should not be relied upon as a source of nutrition.

Popcorn offers various nutrients beneficial to overall health. It contains antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals:

  • Anti-inflammatory polyphenols
  • Cholesterol-reducing phytosterols
  • Cancer-risk-reducing lignans
  • Antioxidant flavonoids
  • Antiviral saponins
  • Digestion-aiding tannins
  • UV radiation-protective carotenoids
  • Immune-boosting phenolic acids

How Does the Nutritional Value of Popcorn Compare to Other Treats for Cats?

When compared to other treats specifically designed for cats such as kibble or wet food, popcorn does not offer nearly enough nutrition or benefit due to its low nutrient density profile combined with its high carbohydrate content.

Therefore it should only be given occasionally if at all since regular consumption could lead to weight gain over time due to its high-calorie count per serving size (about 40 calories per cup).

Popcorn can be a safe and nutritious snack for cats, as long as it is unbuttered, unsalted, and unflavored.

However, there are different types of popcorn that you should consider before giving your cat this treat.

Types of Popcorn That Are Safe for Cats

What popcorn flavors are safe for cats

It’s important to know which types of popcorn are safe for cats so that you can give your furry friend a tasty treat without risking their health.

Popcorn can be a safe and healthy treat for cats, as long as it is prepared correctly.

However, there are certain types of popcorn that should be avoided to ensure your cat’s safety.

Plain Air-Popped

Plain air-popped or microwave-popped corn kernels are the safest type of popcorn for cats.

These kernels have no added flavorings, oils, or butter and provide minimal calories and fat content.

They make an excellent low-calorie snack option for cats who need to watch their weight or those with sensitive stomachs.

Flavored Microwave-Popped

Flavored microwave-popped corn kernels are another safe option for cats as long as they don’t contain any artificial sweeteners like xylitol which can be toxic to pets.

Many brands offer flavored varieties such as cheddar cheese, sour cream & onion, and even BBQ flavors that may appeal to your cat’s taste buds.

Just make sure to read the ingredients list carefully before feeding them these treats.

Caramel Microwave-Popped

Caramel or cheese-flavored microwave-popped corn kernels should also be avoided due to their high sugar content which could lead to digestive issues in some cats if consumed in large quantities.

Additionally, many brands add additional fats like vegetable oil and butter which could cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested too often by your pet companion.

Unflavored Air-Popped

Unsalted unbuttered unflavored air-popped or microwaved popcorn is another great choice when looking for snacks suitable for felines.

It contains no added sugars or fats that could potentially harm them if eaten in excess amounts over time.

This type of popcorn provides fiber and protein while being low in calories making it an ideal treat option when trying to keep your cat at a healthy weight level without compromising on flavor.

Flavored Air-Popped

Unsalted, unbuttered flavored air-popped, or microwaved popcorn is yet another variety that can safely be given as occasional treats, as it contains no added sugars nor unhealthy fats like vegetable oil and butter.

However, this type does include flavoring agents such as garlic powder, onion powder etc., so moderation is key here too.

Preparing and Serving Safe Popcorn for Your Cat

Little kitten eating popcorn on the couch

Popcorn can be a fun and tasty treat for cats, but it’s important to make sure you’re preparing and serving it safely.

Popcorn kernels can be a choking hazard if not properly prepared, so always make sure that any popcorn you give your cat is air-popped or microwaved without oil or butter.

It is important to always serve your cat popcorn safely and with caution.

With the right preparation and storage, you can give your cat a tasty treat without compromising its health.

How To Prepare

The best way to prepare popcorn for your cat is by using an air popper or microwave.

If using an air popper, use plain kernels with no added flavorings. For the microwave, use unbuttered and unflavored popcorn kernels in a bag designed specifically for popping corn in the microwave.

Make sure all of the popped corn has cooled before giving it to your cat as hot food can burn their mouths.

Storing Leftover

Any leftover popped corn should be stored in an airtight container away from heat sources such as stoves or radiators as this will cause them to become stale quickly.

It’s also important to keep them out of reach of other pets who may try to eat them.

Serving Popped Corn To Your Cat

Always serve small amounts at a time, too much could lead to stomach upset.

Never leave large bowls full of popcorn lying around where they could get spilled onto carpets or furniture which would then need cleaning up afterward.

Be aware that some cats may find the texture of popcorn uncomfortable so watch out for signs that they don’t like it before feeding more than one piece at once.

Safety Precautions

As mentioned above, popped corn can pose a choking hazard if not handled correctly so always take care when handling it around your pet.

This especially applies to kittens who are still learning how things work.

Keep all containers securely closed when not being used and ensure there are no pieces left lying around where curious paws might find them.


What kind of popcorns are safe for cats

It is possible for cats to eat popcorn in moderation. However, it should not be the main source of nutrition for your cat and you should always check with your vet before introducing any new food into their diet.

Popcorn can provide a tasty treat that cats enjoy, but only if it is prepared and served safely.

If you have any questions about whether or not “can cats eat popcorn” then please consult with your veterinarian first before giving them this snack.


Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.