Can Cats Eat Popcorn? Find out if it is safe for your cat

Watching a TV show with your cat is a pleasant experience. However, your cat is likely to try and grab some of your popcorn. Should you let him have some or are there any adverse effects he might face after ingesting this human food? So, can cats eat popcorn? Let's find out.

Should You Let Your Cat Eat Popcorn?

Generally, cats can eat popcorn without any trouble. However, their intake should be limited since the food does not have any significant nutritional value. Corn is commonly used in cat food as filler, although it contains little amounts of carbohydrates.

Cats should only be fed on popcorn that has been freshly made. As noted in this video, the problem with popcorn is mainly the additives and flavors used. These can cause serious digestive problems to cats. If you bought ready-made popcorn, you should avoid giving it to your cat since it most likely contains dangerous ingredients.

Here are some harmful ingredients used to make popcorn:


Popcorn typically contains high amounts of salt, and this can be toxic to cats. Too much salt will affect the functioning of the cat's cells. This will lead to the manifestation of certain symptoms. For example, he may start walking drunkenly and can get excessively dehydrated.

Too much sodium can also lead to heart and blood complications. Sodium is meant to balance elements in the cat's system, and an excessive amount can disrupt this balance and lead to serious health problems.

Ideally, the popcorn fed to cats should have limited amounts of salt.

The Sticky Sweet Coating

To improve the taste of popcorn, many people add a sticky sweet coating. This coating can affect the cat greatly, especially if they eat popcorn frequently. This sugar can easily lead to conditions like diabetes and obesity. This is particularly important if your cat is the sedentary type.

In some cases, popcorn is prepared with chocolate coatings. As a pet owner, you probably know the dangers of feeding cats on chocolate, aside from the obvious health effects of sugar. It contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which are toxic elements. Cats that consume popcorn containing chocolate end up with signs like increased heart rate, diarrhea, restlessness and nausea. Chocolate poisoning might force you to take your pet to the vet.


Just like onions, garlic destroys the cat's red blood cells and can lead to anemia. If your cat is exposed to high amounts of garlic regularly, he may end up showing signs of lethargy, weakness, and reduced appetite. He may also have pale gums and orange or dark red urine. Once you notice such symptoms, you should rush him to the vet.

Change of Diet

Pets don't respond well to a change in diet. Introducing popcorn all of a sudden can impact the functioning of the cat's digestive system. This is one of the reasons why you should only feed them small amounts of popcorn, especially if they have never had these grains.

If the cat gets used to eating popcorn, they will miss out on essential nutrients found in healthier foods.  However, if you are feeding your cat high calorie treats, substituting plain popcorn into your cats diet maybe beneficial.

Unlike human beings, cats don't need carbohydrates in their diet. In fact, the cat saliva doesn't have the enzymes needed to properly break down grains. This also means that your cat is likely to experience digestive problems if they consume a lot of popcorn.

The popcorn that is not broken down may ferment and lead to pains in the abdomen.  Again the best policy is only feed your cat popcorn in moderation. This will ensure that your cat doesn't experience any health issues from consuming popcorn.

Choking Hazard

Choking is a problem in cats that are either too young or too old. If your cat falls in either of these extremes, you should entirely avoid giving them popcorn.

Are There Any Benefits Cats Get from Popcorn?

Popcorn is beneficial to cats in minor ways. First, they get little amounts of carbohydrates and fiber from popcorn, and this helps to bind their stool so they don't get stomach problems. The same benefits can be obtained from other healthier alternatives, so this shouldn't really be a reason to feed your cat on popcorn.

The key advantage of letting your cat eat popcorn is the fact that you will enjoy watching TV shows with them! You will be able to share the popcorn as you watch your movies! Good old cat bonding time is always beneficial to both parties.

Which People Foods Can Your Cat Eat?

Popcorn might not be the best human food to give your feline friend. However, there are many alternative human foods you can share with them. They include:


Cats are meat-eaters, and that is what their systems are primarily meant to digest. Wild cats rely on meat for survival. Their grains and vegetables are actually obtained from the digested matter in their preys' systems. Cooked meat is also commonly used in commercial cat food, so you shouldn't hesitate to offer your cat a share of turkey.

Whole Grains

Cats also like whole grains such as corn and polenta. Ideally, you should grind and cook the grains before offering the cat since they might have a hard time digesting the grains. Some cats are allergic to certain grains, so you should watch your cat's reaction to the foods you give him and avoid any grains that cause negative reactions.


Cats like eggs, as long as they are cooked. Raw eggs can cause food poisoning. Eggs are actually a superfood for cats. They contain high amounts of protein and essential amino acids that will keep your cat lean and muscular. Cats can digest them easily too.

Vegetables and Fruits

You cat is unlikely to enjoy vegetables and fruits as much as you do. However, these foods are safe for them. Since they can't taste sweet flavors, you may have to get them used to the taste first by slipping the vegetables in burgers and other foods. Sometimes the texture alone will entice your cat into taking a little nibble. Strawberries is a great example of this. Vegetables are loaded with fiber, water, and vitamins and will do a lot of good to your cat.


Cats can eat popcorn, although the popcorn should be prepared at home. It shouldn't contain any flavors or additives. Still, you should never give your cat too much popcorn as it can cause digestion problems. Also, it is full of empty calories and will not really benefit your cats health.

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