Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

cat in the cinema

Cats shouldn’t eat certain foods because they are simply bad for them. 

Before you decide to give your cat popcorn, you will need to consider a few things. This will help you to make the right decision and therefore preserve your kitty’s overall health.

Is Popcorn Dangerous for Cats?

While popcorn is not toxic to cats, it is certainly not a part of their natural diet. This food can present a health threat to cats, especially if it is given to them on a regular basis. 

Certain types of popcorn may present more of a threat to your cat’s health than others, depending on the ingredients. There could be additives that will negatively impact your cat’s health.

The artificial butter that a lot of pre-packaged popcorn contains is one of the most concerning things when it comes to your cat’s health. These animals were not meant to ingest the butter and various artificial ingredients in most popcorn products on the market.

Nutritional Benefits of Popcorn

Popcorn doesn’t offer a whole lot of nutritional benefits, but it does contain quite a bit of vitamin B, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Your cat can certainly benefit from consuming these vitamins and minerals.

It is also worth noting that popcorn contains some fairly powerful antioxidant properties. This means that it can help with regulating your cat’s digestive system and circulation. It may even be able to aid in preventing cancer.

  Can Cats Eat Yogurt?

One of the good things about popcorn is that it contains little to no sugar or carbs. It doesn’t contain much protein either though, which cats need lots of.

Guidelines for Giving Your Cat Popcorn

If you are going to give your cat any amount of popcorn, there are certain things that you will need to keep in mind. These guidelines will allow you to keep your cat as healthy as possible.

cat eats popcorn

1. Look at the Ingredients

Before you give your cat any popcorn, you’ll want to take a close look at the ingredients. You need to make sure that there are no additives in the popcorn, as they could negatively affect your cat’s health. This includes powder cheese flavorings, butter, onion, or garlic. 

You also don’t want to give your cat popcorn that contains lots of salt. Avoid popcorn that uses a ton of seasonings, as they tend to be very bad for cats, even in small quantities.

2. Don’t Give Them Any Unpopped Kernels

Make sure that there aren’t any unpopped kernels mixed in with the popcorn you give your cat. These kernels are hard for cats to chew, and they can even cause damage to their teeth.

3. Moderation is Important

You need to make a point of giving popcorn to your cat in moderation. Giving your kitty this food on a regular basis can cause it to gain weight and become obese. This food should only be given as a special treat.

The fact is that cats need a protein-based meat diet. There is nothing about popcorn that satisfies your feline’s nutritional needs. This is why you will want to make it an occasional treat as opposed to a regular thing. Treats should only make up ten percent of their total diet at most. Check out our article about the best cat food to know more.

  Can Cats Eat Mango?

4. Just Give Them a Tiny Bit the First Time

If your cat has never had any popcorn before, you’ll only want to give them a tiny bit. If they have a negative reaction to this food, it should be minimal. Keep an eye on your cat and monitor its overall condition for the next several hours.

It is crucial that you get your cat to the vet if you notice any signs of illness after it eats the popcorn. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargic behavior.

By giving your cat just a small amount of this food, you will also reduce the chances of them choking on it. Cats have fairly small throats, so they can easily choke on something like a piece of popcorn. 

This is all the more reason to give them just one or two pieces. You should only give them one piece at a time. Once they have swallowed one piece of popcorn, you can give them another.

funny cat and popcorn e1584285825720

Better Snacks to Give Your Cat

There are a lot of other much healthier snacks that you can give your cat, including carrots, green bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and zucchini. All of these foods are much better for your cat than popcorn and pose virtually no threat to their health in moderation.

When you are looking for healthy snacks to give your kitty, it is important to look for ones that are loaded with vitamins and minerals. This can help to supplement their diet so they stay as healthy as possible.

You should also make a point of looking into special treats that are formulated specifically for cats. These treats will provide your kitty with a little taste variety while maintaining their overall health. Take a close look at all of the ingredients in each of the cats treats you come across before choosing one to give your pet.

  Can Cats Eat Eggs?


  • While popcorn is not toxic to cats, it doesn’t offer much nutritional value.
  • Popcorn doesn’t contain much sugar, but it also doesn’t have a lot of protein.
  • The vitamins and minerals found in popcorn can benefit your cat to a degree.
  • It is important that you give your cat popcorn in moderation, only as a special treat once in a while.
  • It’s also a good idea to only give your kitty one piece of popcorn at a time to keep them from choking.
  • Make sure that you monitor your cat’s overall condition after giving them any amount of popcorn.
  • There is no telling how your cat’s body will react to the popcorn you give them, so look for signs of illness like vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
  • If you notice that your cat seems sick after eating any amount of popcorn, you should get them to the vet right away.
Was this article helpful?