Can Cats Eat Popcorn – Is Popcorn Safe For Cats? The Short Answer

Russell Jonathon

Russell Jonathon

cat with corn

Can cats eat popcorn? It may seem like a strange question, but it’s more common than you might think.

While it’s not a simple yes or no answer, in most cases, popcorn should be perfectly fine for your cat to eat. But as always, how much is too much? The type of popcorn they eat could also cause some issues.

In this article, I’ll cover which popcorn is safe for your cat. I’ll also cover some dangers around popcorn that you might not be aware of. Let’s get stuck into it then.

Is Popcorn Toxic For Cats?

Plain, unflavoured popcorn alone is not toxic for cats. While cats can eat popcorn, that doesn’t mean they should. Cats require very little carbs in their diet, instead, they need a high fat, high protein diet to stay healthy. If you do wish to let kitty give it a try, keep it to a minimum and watch to see they didn’t have any issues swallowing it.

Popcorn with toppings is a different story, these can be toxic for your cat. Sugar, salt, butter, caramel and some spices are among the most popular toppings. These are all toxic for your kitty and should never be consumed by them.

Cat yawning

Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

Technically speaking yes, but as mentioned, they should avoid eating any popcorn with toppings on it. In fact, they should avoid eating it altogether, but cats will be cats and us humans like to give them a cheeky treat.

If you allow your cat to munch on a small amount of natural popcorn, make sure to keep an eye on them. The risk of choking is relatively low but, some kittens could struggle and I hate the thought of the worst happening.

Popcorn Vs Corn

So what about corn then? If you have wondered if it’s okay to feed your cat corn, the simple answer is yes. It can provide your kitty with plenty of moisture and a fun snack for them to chew on.

Pro Tip: Unlike popcorn, field corn does contain protein. This alone makes it a better snack for your kitty.

Corn is often used as a filler in cheaper cat food products. You’ll notice grain free foods typically are more expensive as their quality of ingredients is better. When choosing cat food, look for high quality grain free products.

If you’re asking, can cats eat popcorn because you’re looking for a safe treat to give kitty, I would suggest skipping the popcorn and go straight for a specialized cat treat. You can go one step further and give them raw meat as a snack instead.


There you have it, you can allow your cat to enjoy a piece or two of popcorn (without toppings) with you on movie nights.

While cats can eat popcorn, it should be avoided if possible. Never give your cat popcorn with toppings added as these are toxic for them. If you’re wanting to give your cat a treat, stick to specialized cat treats or raw meat.