The short answer to the question “can cats eat sweetcorn” is not a simple yes or no. The issue is if you are feeding your cat any commercial cat food that is not grain free, they are probably already eating corn because a lot of cat food brands include corn as a filler to their products. However, I must add that the corn they put into cat foods is not sweetcorn, it is field corn but this does not make any difference.
Is Sweetcorn Safe For Cats?
The answer to this question all depends on how you cook and prepare the sweetcorn. The safest option would be boiled or grilled sweetcorn without any seasonings such as salt or butter. The seasonings are not good for your kitties’ health and they might cause vomiting or diarrhea and some of them are even toxic to cats such as powders that include onion or garlic.
The corn itself is safe for cats. Considering they have been consuming it since their wild ancestors when they eat birds or mice that has corn in their stomachs due to their diets. What might not be safe for the modern cat is the uncooked kernels which might be hard to digest or can cause teeth issues.
As for the nutritional value of the sweetcorn for cats… Well, cats are obligate carnivores which means that they get their primary nutrition from meat. Their entire digestive system is evolved that way so their bodies do not absorb the nutrients in grains as ours do. Sweetcorn or corn in general has a lot of nutrients but unfortunately your cats body can not make use of it.
So why do commercial cat foods include corn? The answer is they use it as a filler because it is cheap and safe for cats. Trust me when I say if they find another ingredient that was cheaper and safe, they would use that instead of corn. Corn also happens to be the bonding agent in the cat food which means that it holds all the ingredients together and prevents them turning into dust making sure that especially dry cat food stays in the shape it is intended to be.
Having said that corn is safe for cats but the nutritional benefits are negligible, you should be careful not to give too much corn to your cat. That is to say it should not be the main source of food for your little friend. As mentioned above, cats should eat meat and that’s it. There is no arguing about this. Giving too much corn to your cat can cause diarrhea, vomiting, digestive issues and sometimes it might even lead to allergies.
Your cat can handle a few boiled or grilled kernels every once in a while as snacks. Having said that be careful about the cob, as it might also be hard to digest and cause digestive issues.
How About Popcorn?
Popcorn basically has the same principles as the sweetcorn but if we prioritize according to safety and health, boiled or grilled sweetcorn would take the first place and then plain popcorn without any seasonings or toppings comes. You may want to check our post about cats eating popcorn if your cat loves to sneak some at your movie night.
Giving one or two plain popcorn to your cat once in every two weeks would be ok if it loves popcorn that much. Also cats love playing with popcorn. Why wouldn’t they? Just like any other object they can push and throw that crunches or breaks, corns are excellent toys for them 😹
Let’s Sum It Up
Corn itself is safe for cats.
Seasonings on the corn can hurt your cat.
Cobs can cause digestive issues.
If your cat wants to eat corn, let it but don’t exaggerate it. Just a few boiled or grilled kernels every other week is enough.
Eating too much corn can cause digestive issues for cats.
The nutritional benefit cats get from corn is negligible.
As always have a purrderful day!