If your cat likes to bug you when you’re eating popcorn, you probably thought about letting them nibble on a piece or two. But is this wise, or are there specific reasons why cat’s shouldn’t have it?
Aside from the same reasons why humans need to be careful when eating popcorn, namely the choking hazard and the high amounts of fat and salt, the situation is exaggerated because of your cat’s smaller size. This means they have a smaller throat and airway, and less tolerance for foods that are high in things that aren’t good for them. Many owners say that one or two pieces of popcorn is fine, and won’t harm your cat. But how can they know? They are only basing their opinion on their own experience, with their own cat, a certain number of times.
What’s wrong with playing it safe? This is your beloved pet, why take chances with something like popcorn. There are humans that have to go to the doctor to get popcorn pieces removed from their throat. The same definitely holds true for a cat, considering that they don’t have the kind of molars we do for chomping up things like popcorn, and they don’t have as large of a through for the pieces to pass through.
Can I Give My Baby Cat Popcorn? Answer: Not Recommended
There’s nothing in the popcorn that is good for your cat, so the question really is why would you give your cat popcorn? An errant kernel could end up stuck in their through, or caught in their gums. It’s not as if they’re going to savor the taste enough to go through all of that trouble, or even the risk of trouble. Popcorn is a movie time treat for us, or a snack to hold you over until mealtime. Most of the kinds of popcorn available is not health food by any means, especially if it’s coming from the microwave.
Better Treats for Your Cat
If you want to give your cat a treat so that they can be snacking when you’re snacking, stick to formulated cat treats that serve this purpose. These treats will have vitamins and minerals that your cat needs, they won’t present a choking hazard, and they’ll be flavored for your cat to enjoy. If you get into the habit of giving your cat things that you eat, sooner or later you’ll give them something they really shouldn’t have. They’ll come to expect your generosity, and will really amp up their begging and bugging you if you always cave in with your food.
Cats and People Food
Our food is laced with all sorts of additives and chemicals, things that we’re not used to, but definitely things that an animal like a cat isn’t used to. They shouldn’t be subjected to things like partially hydrogenated oils that most commercial popcorn contains. They also don’t need the iodized salt that is used in the popcorn most readily available. This is a very unnatural substance, as humans are the only species on the planet that has access to popped corn, and all other animals only eat corn as nature presents it.
What’s interesting is that cats in the wild wouldn’t fathom eating corn, so there’s no need to try and convert your cat into eating it. You don’t have to go to extremes and start feeding your cat a raw meat diet, but at the same time it’s your job to keep them away from things like popcorn, and steer them towards foods that are created especially for them.
The Bottom Line
You’re going to have to decide what owner you’re going to be. We recommend being the kind of owner that takes great care of their pet and keeps them well-fed with food that has nutrients their body can break down and use. You also have to be the one to make sure that they aren’t eating foods that are potentially harmful for them. You’ll have a greater peace of mind knowing that your cat is getting a great life experience, and that they are getting all of the pieces of the puzzle to create a great life: good nutrition, a clean litter box, and lots of love.