Cats love human food. Your feline friend always walks up to you with pleading eyes wanting a bite of what you are munching. This includes your bowl of popcorn.
In Fact, cats eat a lot of popcorn and you are probably wondering if it is healthy for them. Every cat owner has this dilemma. You do not want to hog the whole bowl of popcorn during movie time. At the same time, you want your feline to live longer eating only the healthiest cat food.
If this is you, we are going to unravel the truth for you. There is no cause for alarm as popcorn is totally harmless to cats. But, if you want your cat to be healthy, you may want to tone down that kernel addiction he has.
Do Cats Like Popcorn?
We already know that your furry friend Whiskers loves himself some popcorn. But, why does he really like it?
It is easy to assume that cats love popcorn because of the sweet or savory taste of it. But this is far from the truth. Cats are omnivorous creatures with a strong carnivorous side. Their taste buds favor meat more than veggies. Also, cats do not taste with their tongue so they have no way of tasting the salt or sugar in popcorn.
So why do cats really like popcorn?
It is because of the fat content in popcorn. Meat contains fats which cats can detect using their nasal receptors. It is then safe to say that anything with fats in it will immediately draw a cat’s culinary interest. If your cat is eating popcorn, it is because of the fats in the popcorn seeds that he is drawn to.
What nutrient is contained in popcorn?
Now we know why your feline friend steals from your popcorn bowl a lot. We assure you that popcorn is safe for him as long as he does not overindulge.
But you must be wondering. Is there any nutritional value in the popcorn kernels your feline friend so gracefully nibbles on?
Turns out there is. Popcorn packs plenty of nutrients that benefit your cat’s health. These nutrients are;
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – helps your cat maintain optimal cognitive function
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) – help your cat maintain a healthy weight and shiny coat
Niacin (Vitamin B3) – helps your cat metabolize energy
Zinc – helps your cat process vitamin A and maintain a healthy reproductive system
Phosphorus – helps in bone and muscle development of cats
Iron – helps the growth process of kittens
Copper – helps your cat keep a healthy and shiny coat
Manganese – to help your cat maintain an optimal weight
Omega-6fats – helps your cat maintain a shiny coat and a healthy brain function
Not so bad after all. This should put a smile on your face each time you watch Whiskers chewing on a kernel.
But there is one other question we need to answer.
Is Popcorn Dangerous for Cats?
How safe popcorn is for cats depends on how it was made. If you make your own popcorn at home, then it is totally safe. Commercially made popcorn is what you should be careful of.
Find out what ingredients are used in making the popcorn you enjoy. Some ingredients are safe for human consumption but dangerous to cats. Commercial popcorn also has artificial additives that are not so good for your cat’s health.
Do not allow your cat to eat popcorn that contains artificial sweeteners like chocolate or caramel. Chocolate is especially toxic to cats and dogs as well. Chocolate contains toxic additives that can cause your cat to vomit and diarrhea. Chocolate and caramel may also cause a blood sugar spike and breathing difficulties in your cat.
Keep your cat away from popcorn flavored with garlic or onion. Garlic and onion contain thiosulphate which can cause hemolytic anemia in cats. You should also keep your cat away from caffeinated popcorn. Caffeine can cause seizures and tremors in your cat. Caffeine also contains toxins that can cause hyperactivity, breathing difficulty, or hyperactivity in your cat.
Can Cats Eat Raw Popcorn?
You already know that your feline friend loves to share a bowl of fresh warm popcorn with you. But you should also not let him nibble on raw or unpopped popcorn. Raw popcorn is not only too tough for a cat to chew, but it can also cause blockage in the digestive tract if ingested.
So do not let your cat eat raw popcorn. When your popcorn is ready, remove the unpopped kernels before enjoying the snack with your cat.
There you have it!
By now we hope you understand why your cat loves chewing on popcorns. Homemade popcorn is good for your cat as it packs healthy vitamins and minerals. Ensure there is no other ingredient in the popcorn that can harm your cat.
How else do you enjoy popcorn with your feline friend?