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Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

While you watch movies your cat will probably become more curious about your snacks than the film itself so you might get tempted to offer them a taste from your bowl of popcorn. This is generally a very bad idea but how about popcorn, can cats eat popcorn? Let us find out the details together.

Nutritional Value

A lot of carbohydrates are contained in the grain and carnivores such as cats have no need for grain in their diet so they won’t digest them properly. The enzymes required, namely amylase, aren’t produced by cats and thus this will provide almost no nutritional value to them. They do offer some fiber to your cat but there are many better sources for that out there.

While a cat is in its natural environment they do eat some plants but it is about 10% of their usual diet and if you check on most commercial cat food products you will notice that many contain a higher vegetable percent than this. So adding things like popcorn to their diet for health benefits makes no sense.


Just like it happens to us when we eat too much popcorn, this will cause abdominal pain and gases. The cat’s digestive system is a lot more sensitive than ours and the undigested corn can start to ferment leading to problems such as diarrhea. It is a good idea to get some cat probiotics and have them in your home if your cat tends to experiment with different foods because they might help ease the pain of indigestion.

Harmful Ingredients

We discussed plain popcorn so far but we never eat it without adding some flavoring to it and this can be the most dangerous part of this snack to a cat. I don’t think I have ever eaten popcorn without salt and cats assimilate a lot less salt than us so even a few pieces can lead to sodium poisoning that can cause heart and blood flow issues which should be taken very seriously.

One choice without salt is popcorn dipped in chocolate but chocolate is also highly dangerous for cats since it can poison them. Never feed your cat chocolate because the symptoms it can produce might even put the life of your pet in danger.

Tiny Snack?

If your cat is really curious about your popcorn and they want to have a taste then choose a piece that doesn’t have that much salt and let them try it but don’t continue feeding them that or you will just cause harm to your furry friend.

One other thing to make sure of is that the corn is fully popped because if it isn’t the seed can prove too hard to chew and might either cause dental problems or even pose a choking hazard for your cat, so we hope that we gave you ample reasons to think twice before giving your cat a try of your snacks.

Short Answer:

No, they can eat a bit but it provides no nutritional value and can cause a lot of problems.

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