America is the number one consumer and producer of corn which is a food eaten in various forms across the globe. It’s eaten on the cob, with butter, or in grain form made into a tortilla. Many people also love it straight from the tin, in salads or in chili, and maybe mixed as part of a crunchy fresh salsa to pair with other yummy dips and food types.
If you love corn, you may well want to share it with your cat. As cat owners we naturally want to give our cat a healthy and varied diet, and why not make corn part of that? It’s a vegetable right? It must be good for them?
Before you go giving your kitty this golden treat, read on to find out all about kitties and corn:
Can Cats Eat Corn?
Cats can eat corn safely, in that it is not toxic to them in small amounts. You may already know this to a degree, having seen it included on the ingredients list of various cat foods. It can often be included as a cheap filler ingredient for lower-priced cat foods so if you want the best cat food for your kitty, look for meat as a primary ingredient rather than corn.
How Should You Serve Corn To Cats?
You may wonder because corn is in some commercial cat foods, can cats eat corn in all its forms? Can cats eat corn chips? Can cats eat corn on the cob? Can cats eat candy corn? Can cats eat corn husks?
The answer is that in all cases, any corn in any form with salt, butter, sugar or other flavourings added should never be given to a cat. Those seasonings could give your cat an upset stomach, they could even be toxic to your cat. Cats can also become overweight if they eat lots of human food like butter, which is often paired with corn dishes.
If you want to give your cat corn, it should be done in very small amounts that are regulated by you. It should be totally plain, and free from any toppings. Just a few pieces of plain, cooked, cooled corn is enough with popcorn totally avoided if you can because it can be a choking hazard.
Can Cats Be Allergic To Corn?
Cats can be allergic to any new ingredient, so if they haven’t had corn in food before you could avoid giving it to them altogether as they aren’t missing out by not having it. If you do want to see how they are with it, perhaps because it is in a food you want to give them, it is worth giving them a small amount and then seeing what happens. If they start to seize, pant, get lethargic or vomit, they have had a severe reaction and need to see a vet immediately. If they have diarrhea or other mild, temporary symptoms after eating corn, that is another less dramatic, but still very important sign they should not be eating any corn.
Is Corn Bad For Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their digestive systems are designed to mainly consume meat. For that reason, corn is not an ideal food for cats. Rice and bread, as well as various veggies and fruits come under the same umbrella.
Sure, a little bit of plain corn won’t hurt them, but as a regular snack corn is not what you should be reaching for to keep your kitty healthy. Instead, your cat should have a great cat food suitable for their health, size and age as their main diet. Cat suitable treats, as well as kitty treats bought from the store, include cooled-down steamed chicken, steamed fish and cooked shrimp.
The only instance where corn may be very bad for a cat is if the cat is already overweight and/ or diabetic. Corn is a carbohydrate which contains sugar and empty calories which could well cause a very plump kitty, or diabetic kitty to have some health problems. If they are overweight or diabetic, corn and other carby treats are best avoided altogether.
Corn Is OK But Kitty Will Do Better With Meaty Treats
Overall, corn is generally best avoided when it comes to a cat’s diet. If they steal a bit it won’t hurt them, but it shouldn’t form part of their daily meals and treats. The good news is, they probably won’t even be interested in corn anyway and instead, will be much more excited to get rewards like cuddles, kisses and meaty cat treats from you, so you won’t feel like they are missing out.