Can Cats Eat Corn?

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Image discussing the potential benefits of corn for cats

Corn, sometimes called maize, is a starchy vegetable that is grown and eaten all over the world.  Corn was first grown in Mexico around 10,000 years ago, before being brought to North and South America and Europe.

Quick Overview: Can Cats Eat Corn?

toxic Toxic: No
allergenic Commonly Allergenic: No
specie Species Appropriate: No
clock-2 How Often to Feed: Occasional
bowl How Much to Feed: Supplemental

Summary of Content

Corn is a safe and healthy veg for cats, however, it shouldn’t become a major part of their diet as it doesn’t offer them much nutritional value.

Nowadays, its versatility makes it a hugely popular food, whether it’s boiled, steamed, roasted, or grilled. As it’s such a popular veg for us humans, you might be wondering if your cat can eat corn too. The answer is that yes, cats can safely eat corn.

So, let’s have a closer look at how much, how often, and what types of corn are safe for your feline friend.

Is Corn Good for Cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores, so they get most of the nutrients they need to stay healthy from meat. But they still need to eat a balanced diet. Corn is packed with fiber, which helps keep your cat’s gut healthy. It supports healthy gut bacteria which reduces the risk of diabetes, obesity, diarrhea, constipation, and hairballs.

Corn is a good additional source of protein, which can be used for energy. Corn is also tasty, and easy to digest! But it is not used in cat foods as a source of nutrition. It is only used as a healthy filler, and to add flavor and texture to the food.

A small amount of corn added to your cat’s diet can be a tasty treat and is certainly not unhealthy or harmful. However, there are other healthier and more nutritionally balanced treats to offer to your cat.

Do Cats Like the Taste of Corn?

Cats like the taste of many human foods, and corn is no exception. Some cats might not be so keen, but most don’t mind the sweet taste and texture and corn!

How Much Corn Can a Cat Eat?

Image capturing a cat eating corn, showcasing a feline's interaction with a human food item

Corn, like all treats and snacks should only make up 10% of a cat’s daily food intake.

Although corn is healthy and safe for cats to eat it should still be fed in moderation. This is because it doesn’t have a very high nutrient value on its own, and cats need to eat more meat than anything else.

Corn, like all treats, should be fed in moderation. Any treats and snacks should only make up 10% of a cat’s daily food intake. A small teaspoon of corn should be plenty for most cats. Too much could fill them up too quickly and not leave any room for their meaty food, which they need to consume to stay healthy.

How Often Can a Cat Eat Corn?

Moderation is key when it comes to treats and snacks for your cat, and they should only make up 10% of their daily food intake. As a rule, cats should only eat corn once a week at the most, and in very small quantities.

Too much corn could cause an upset tummy, and if your cat fills up on corn they might not want to eat all their meat which contains the nutrients they need to survive and stay healthy.

Is Corn Used in Commercial Cat Food?

Corn is often used as an ingredient in commercially prepared cat foods, so your cat probably already has corn in their diet. It is used as a filler, and to add flavor to wet and dry cat foods. But it also boosts fiber content and adds important vitamins and minerals to create a balanced meal for your cat.

Is Corn Bad for Cats?

Corn is available in a variety of forms, and the safest way to feed it to your cat is cooked completely plain. Some corn-containing foods could be dangerous for your cat and are best avoided.

  • Cornstarch should be avoided, as it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It could also trigger pancreatitis which is the inflammation of the pancreas causing further gastrointestinal symptoms and abdominal pain. This often leads to cats being hospitalized and put on IV fluids at the vet.
  • Corn husks and corn leaves are also risky for cats – they are very difficult to digest and could be a choking hazard.
  • Corn chips are best avoided, as they have a very high salt content. If you cat gets their paws on a tiny bit of corn chip, then you should not have anything to worry about. But cats can’t tolerate the salt content of these snacks – too much salt can cause severe dehydration and make your cat quite unwell. Corn chips might also contain other ingredients that could be harmful to your feline friend.
  • Corn flakes and kettle corn (or popcorn) are not safe for cats, as they have high sugar and fat content. These tasty snacks could give your cat an upset tummy, and too much sugar can lead to obesity, or trigger an episode of pancreatitis.

Final Thoughts

Image depicting a domestic cat attempting to interact with corn

Corn is a safe and healthy veg for cats, however, it shouldn’t become a major part of their diet as it doesn’t offer them much nutritional value. A small teaspoon of cooked sweetcorn every so often is okay, and if your cat gets their paws on some corn, it certainly won’t harm them.

But some corn containing foods such as corn flakes, corn starch, corn chips, and kettle corn should be avoided as they could give your cat a rather upset tummy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it corn safe for cats to eat?

Yes, corn is safe for cats to eat as long as it is cooked plain and fed in moderation. Too much could cause an upset tummy, and as it doesn’t provide cats with much nutrition it should only be fed as an occasional treat.

Why is corn bad for cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need to eat meat to survive and stay healthy. Corn doesn’t provide much nutrition to cats, although it does contain fiber and protein. Other corn-containing products such as corn chips and corn flakes can contain ingredients that can be harmful to cats such as sugar and salt.

Why do cats love corn?

Cats enjoy the sweet taste of corn, as well as its texture. It is also filling and nutritious!

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About Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS

Dr. Woodnutt is a small animal veterinarian and cat behavior and nutrition writer. She's passionate about helping owners to learn more about their pets in order to improve animal welfare. In her spare time, Dr. Woodnutt takes consultations on the small island of Guernsey.

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