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Can Cats Eat Corn? What’s The Deal With This A-Maize-Ing Grain?

Can Cats Eat Corn? What’s The Deal With This A-Maize-Ing Grain?

Where the heck would you and your four-legged friend be without TikTok? This app has been the most fun the two of you have had since the dawn of time and it’s taught you SO MANY THINGS. Suddenly you’re shopping for cat towers on Amazon, making a hat out of her fur, and air frying yummy corn ribs. But, can cats eat corn?

Both of you were over the moon when you stumbled upon Farrah J’s TikTok on how to make the most paw-licking, mouth-watering corn ribs. But, the excitement died down as soon as you realized you had no clue whether you were allowed to share them with your furry friend.

Worry not, my friends, we’ve got your back. According to our friends over at the APSCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), cats can eat corn. Corn happens to be one of the most popular grains you can stumble upon when you’re shopping for regular cat food.

Corn is rich in dietary fiber, low in fats and calories, and beaming with a fair amount of protein. And corn seems to be one of the rare grains suitable for your cat to munch on when she needs a pick-me-up.

But, there’s always a but when you’re trying to feed your cat something she isn’t supposed to eat on a regular. Few kernels here and there don’t sound that bad, but you might want to brush up on your corn comprehension before you make any rash decisions.

So, can cats eat corn?

Can Cats Eat Corn? What's The Deal With This A-Maize-Ing Grain?

Who doesn’t love corn!? Corn’s simple, aesthetically pleasing, and extremely appetizing. And, when you and your four-legged friend have a lot on your plate (no pun intended), corn seems to be the perfect snack you can have on the go. But, what if…

Let’s be honest, the moment you became a pet parent your life turned into an endless cycle of what-ifs. What if you feed her something she isn’t supposed to eat? What if she gets seriously sick because you failed to do your research? And what if she eats a corn rib and ends up needing an emergency vet visit?

Her ancestors are LITERAL lions and tigers but she gets a tummy ache whenever she eats something that wasn’t specifically designed for her?! With that rant out of the way, we have to address the fact that cats are carnivores.

Cats require a bunch of meat, animal protein, and animal-sourced nutrients in their diets to survive. They don’t require fruits, veggies, and grains the same way humans do. They don’t even possess the enzymes necessary to digest most foods humans eat on a regular.

So yes, your cat’s ancestors were lions and tigers. But also yes, your cat’s digestive system might need a bit of help to digest corn. Cats can eat corn, but that doesn’t mean that corn should become a regular part of your cat’s diet.

Corn’s pretty much a snack she can have when she needs a refresher, but she’s better off munching on carefully crafted cat foods and cat treats. You might be feeling confused right about now, so here are a couple of things to consider before running off to Trader Joe’s and getting a bucket of corn.

What are the good sides of feeding corn to your cat?

You might be feeling tempted to give up on corn right about now, but… There are quite a few good sides of feeding corn to your cat that might make the hassle of making corn ribs or corn on the cob from scratch worth it in the end. Who would’ve thought you’d be making TikTok recipes for your cat?!

So, what’s so great about feeding corn to your cat? Corn happens to bring a bunch of nutritional and health benefits to the table. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And, it’s a great source of dietary fiber (paired with pretty much zero fat and zero calories!).

1. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Who’s surprised that corn (the cream of the crop) contains a bunch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants? Sure, your precious princess gets most of her nutrients from the Purinas and Whiskas of the world, but she’s happy to have a healthy corn snack from time to time.

Getting her daily dose of vitamins means everything for your furry friend’s health. Vitamins are responsible for maintaining the proper function of enzymes that are essential for her metabolism. And corn happens to be a great source of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B12, and vitamin B5.

On the other hand, minerals help with the development of your cat’s bones and muscles, ensure the proper function of the thyroid, and maintain the health of her skin and hair (Gigi Hadid, who!?). Corn’s a great source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

2. Fiber

Can Cats Eat Corn? What's The Deal With This A-Maize-Ing Grain?

Don’t even get me started on the importance of fiber for your cat’s health! Wild cats typically get their daily dose of fiber from the stomachs of their prey and from random plants they munch on when they’re craving something less chewy. Your not-so-wild cat typically gets her daily dose of fiber from cat food.

But, she might need an additional dose from time to time. Fiber provides bulk to help food move through the digestive tract. Fiber also retains water which, in turn, helps with digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea. That’s where corn comes to play.

Corn’s a great source of fiber and can offer your cat help when she’s dealing with digestive problems. Give her a handful of kernels from time to time and observe how much better she feels after her visits to the litterbox.

3. Protein

And we can’t forget about protein! We mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago how cats require a bunch of protein in their diet, but we used the term animal protein. That’s because animal protein plays an essential role in your cat’s diet, while plant protein assists to a certain extent.

Corn contains plant protein, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t beneficial to your cat one way or the other. We would feel weird talking about the benefits of feeding corn to your cat and not mentioning the staggering levels of protein corn contains.

What are the bad sides of feeding corn to your cat?

Your furry friend should get most of her nutrients from other sources (mainly other animals). But, who’s to say she shouldn’t have an occasional corn rib? But if you’re planning on sharing your corn ribs with your corny cat, you should consider a couple of things.

First things first, corn contains a bunch of carbohydrates that aren’t that great for your cat’s digestive system. Cats don’t possess the enzymes necessary to break down carbohydrates so they experience stomachaches whenever they consume them (who knew cats were into Keto?)

On the other hand, corn also contains something known as phytic acid which can be extremely tough on your cat’s stomach. She can experience a bunch of digestive problems such as stomach discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, or even constipation.

Don’t even get me started on different seasonings that might find their way onto corn ribs. Onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper are only some of the seasonings we’re talking about. Salt doesn’t benefit your cat, either.

So, cats can eat corn with a bit of portion control. Two or three bites of corn shouldn’t cause them harm, but that’s as far as they should go.

Can cats eat kettle corn?

No, cats can’t eat kettle corn! What’s kettle corn (for those of you who’ve been living under a rock)? Kettle corn’s a type of popcorn that’s typically made with sweet seasonings, sugar, salt, and oil. To your cat’s demise, none of these ingredients scream “we’re a great source of nourishment for your cat!”

Your furry friend’s better off munching on something else. Kettle corn doesn’t provide her with anything other than a stomach ache from the amount of sugar. Not only that, but kettle corn doesn’t even taste that great because cats can’t taste sweet things.

Can cats eat corn chips?

Can Cats Eat Corn? What's The Deal With This A-Maize-Ing Grain?

Nope, cats can’t eat corn chips. Before your four-legged friend gets her paws on Doritos and Tortilla corn chips, you might want to chase her away off the kitchen counter.

Corn chips (which are pretty much regular chips made with cornmeal instead of potatoes), contain stuff you don’t want in your cat’s stomach. Corn seems to be the least of your concerns when you’re dealing with a bunch of oil, salt, seasonings, and spices. So, corn chips don’t get an A+, that’s for sure.

What about cornstarch?

Cats can eat cornstarch! But, that doesn’t mean that they should. Humans use cornstarch to thicken soups, sauces, and desserts. Cats use cornstarch for the same purpose (or they get their humans to do that for them). But, they don’t actually munch on cornstarch when they need a quick snack.

You can use a pinch of cornstarch when you’re preparing a homemade meal for your cat. Make sure you don’t use cornstarch for her meals every single day, but other than that, you’re good to go.

Can cats eat corn leaves?

Cats can’t eat corn leaves under any circumstances! Are you surprised to learn that cats can’t eat corn leaves (also known as corn husks)? Cats can eat corn because corn doesn’t contain pretty much anything that can negatively affect your cat’s health.

But, cats can’t eat the husk because it contains saponins which can cause serious harm to your cat’s digestive system. Here’s the good news: cats aren’t likely to show any interest in corn husk so there’s little to zero chance of that ever happening to your cat.

Can cats eat raw corn?

Cats can eat raw corn as long as they don’t eat corn leaves (or other parts of the corn plant). But, your cat might get a kick from nibbling on such minuscule morsels so make sure to keep a close eye on her. Corn kernels can become a choking hazard because they’re pretty hard.

What about corn silk?

Cats can’t eat corn silk for the same reasons they can’t eat corn leaves. Corn silk contains saponins which can cause a bunch of digestive problems to your cat. Stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, and even constipation aren’t worth the short period of happiness from munching on corn silk.

But, worry not because your four-legged friend isn’t likely to catch a whiff of corn silk and meow “That’s the most delicious thing my eyes have ever seen!” She’s more likely to give a sniff, a lick, and push it away from her with her paw while giving you the best “Do you consider me a fool?” look you’ve ever seen.

Let’s be clear

Yes, cats can eat corn! Cats are carnivores which means they prefer munching on meat, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t have an occasional corn pick-me-up. Corn’s packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can make your cat happy and healthy at the same time. What’s better than that?!

Can Cats Eat Corn?