Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

A bowl of uncooked corn kernels and one with cooked popcorn

Can Cats Eat Popcorn? Or Is It Safe to Give Popcorn to Cats?

Yes, cats can eat popcorn because popcorn is not toxic. But as we all know, cats fall in the category of obligate carnivores. So, it is best to stick them to their meaty foods and treats instead of popcorn. Yet, popcorn may be given sometimes as an occasional treat to your feline companions.

History of Popcorn:

Popcorn is known to be the prevalent snack food for a long time. Popcorn has been found on various funeral urns in Mexico and New Mexico, dating back to 280 A.D. It was considered to serve at the first-ever Thanksgiving feast.

The machine used to make popcorn was first invented in 1885 by a Chicago resident named Charles Cretors. As this was also about when movies and cinemas are becoming popular, the two became intertwined. Because popcorn is inexpensive, it became trendy in the tight times of the ’20s and ’30s.

Microwave popcorn was invented in the 1980s. Today, the U.S. consumes about 18 billion quarts of popcorn every year. At any time of the whole year, you may pop some popcorn to eat while watching T.V. or Netflix.

So at any point, your Fluffy has decided that she wants some. Should you give her any? Or not? That’s the question you will be able to answer after reading the whole article

It has been established that cats that eat commercial cat food can already eat corn as a filler and cheap carbohydrate. It is non-toxic but not wholly nutritious for them. Cats have an intrigued nature, so they may want to do anything out of curiosity. They can smell the scent. The sound of popcorn may be alarming for some cats, but some cats will want to investigate.

Anything warm is sure to attract your feline companion. Keep in mind that even popcorn contains vitamins, iron, fiber, and minerals. They offer an unmatched amount in a cat’s diet.

Can cats eat popcorn?

The safest way to serve cat popcorn is straight and air-popped. Your cat is more likely to eat it when popcorns are warm and fresh. Otherwise, she may use popcorn as a toy. However, this should be within the strictest limits of moderation. Popcorn has a low nutritional value for cats and should only be a small treat.

Karie A. Johnson, Anne H. Lee and Kelly S. Swanson discovered in their recent research study that popcorn might treat osteoarthritis in aged cats and dogs.

Is Popcorn Safe for Cats?

Let’s take the Christmas tin with butter, cheese, and caramel. In general, dairy products are not suitable for adult cats. Butter is also a form of refined fat. Even if your cheese popcorn resembles “cheese food,” it is still not ideal for felines. Baking cheese powder includes garlic or onion paste, which is also not suitable for any cat. Caramel is too sweet and contains a high amount of sugar, which is way more harmful when given to a cat.
Nearly all popcorn is heavily treated with salt, which your cat doesn’t need.

[icon name=”info-circle” prefix=”fas fa-2x”] You may also be interested in our article on Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken

Popcorn contains many additives that are bad for cats:

Watch for toxic additives:

Simple popcorn is not bad for our felines (in small quantities). These are additives that can be dangerous and toxic. These include brands that include onion and garlic powder. Too much salt and butter, mostly artificial butter, which is included in microwaveable popcorn types, can also cause stomach upset.

You also want to avoid gourmet popcorn that uses candy coatings, chocolate, caramel, or heavily processed cheeses. All of this can be detrimental to your feline friend.

Some times flavoured popcorns may lead to allergy and bronchiolar inflammation. This is proved by a recent study on cats described as: “Perspectives in veterinary medicine: Description and classification of bronchiolar disorders in cats.”

Can kittens eat popcorn?

We are talking about a short digestion time and small digestive track here. This means that the junior can easily choke on something or that popcorn mat stick it in his intestines, which causes a tremendous amount of discomfort or sometimes pain to kittens. Kittens, which are big enough, should only eat soft, bite-sized things they can’t possibly choke on.

A kitten’s first solids should also be rich in protein and taurine to help him grow and consolidate its energy. Corn doesn’t have the exact ingredients to help the kitten develop because they are carnivores by birth. If your kitten is on solid foods, it’s time to get rid of the milk or dairy products, too. So no butter or cheese.

Dangers of cats eating popcorn:

If your cat gets into popcorn that doesn’t taste good, it can cause vomiting, nausea, stomach upset, and high blood pressure. Too much salt can also cause heart problems in cats. If she experiences any of these symptoms, take her to a doctor immediately. Some cats are allergic to corn (Maize) in any form. After feeding your cat anything new, monitor it to see if it hurts them or safe for them.

Remember that your four-legged friend needs nourishment in the form of meat. Popcorn should be given only as a rare treat. There are kittens treats available that your cat may prefer anyway.

If your cat is suffocating on a popcorn kernel or anything, here’s how to help:

Extend his head and neck.
Open the mouth to find something foreign.
If you can’t get this item out safely, you can use a feline version of the Heimlich manoeuvre on it.
Please pick your cat up and hold its spine close to your chest.
Place your hands under his ribs on his back.
Perform five or six abnormal thrusts.
If that doesn’t work, hang the cat upside down by picking his hips up and keep the head down and sweep its mouth with your fingers.
You can also try to give a blow between the shoulder blades.
Keep doing this practice until the object is loose, then take the kitty to the doctor.


While a pinch or a few popcorns probably won’t kill your cat, avoid giving popcorn to your cat because it is low in nutrition, and most popcorn toppings are toxic to cats. If your cat must have some popcorn at all, feed it a little simple, freshly air-popped popcorn without any additives or dairy product toppings. Although popcorn itself is relatively harmless, it is very unhealthy for cats because of popcorn’s flavours. Kittens, in particular, should never eat popcorn.

If your cat has vomiting or another stomach upset, it may suffer from a popcorn reaction. Too much salt can cause heart failure and high blood pressure, as we discussed above. Always look for your furry feline friend’s best interests and take him to the doctor if he needs one.


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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