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Can Cats Eat Corn? Nutritional Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Corn
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

Corn is a common dinner side dish for many people. It’s sweet, delicious, and healthy, making it a favorite for people all over and we’ve been eating it for many centuries. You might have noticed that corn is even a common ingredient in many cat foods. Still, it’s always a good idea to check if a new food is safe before giving it to your cat. In this case, yes, cats can eat corn and it won’t cause any harm. But corn doesn’t have any place as a staple in your cat’s diet. Though it won’t hurt a cat in small doses, it’s not a great food to feed your cat regularly.

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Is Corn Safe for Your Cat?

Cats are obligate carnivores. They get all of the nutrients they need from eating other animals. As such, corn is not a part of their regular diet in the wild. It’s not something they need and because of their status as obligate carnivores, they’re very inefficient at digesting grains like corn.

Despite all this, a small serving of corn poses no threat to your cat’s health. But it’s basically empty calories for your cat and can even cause an upset stomach if overconsumed. So, it’s recommended that corn is reserved as an occasional treat for cats.

Credit: keem1201, Pixabay

Should You Feed Corn to Your Cat?

Cats have a hard time digesting carbohydrates. This means that carbs can lead to weight gain quickly. Instead, cats need to eat a diet that consists of a high amount of protein. Corn does have a high amount of protein compared to other vegetables, but it’s not close to enough to be counted as a protein source for a cat.

And in truth, most cats probably won’t like corn anyway. They’re known for being picky eaters, and with no health benefit and a sweet flavor overall, cats aren’t likely to come back for seconds. If your cat doesn’t like corn, then definitely don’t try to force it on them. But if your cat does seem to like corn, you can give them a few kernels without guilt. Just don’t make it a regular habit.

3 cat face dividerDoes Corn Have Benefits for Cats?

For humans, corn is a healthy vegetable packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But cats are quite different. Cats don’t need fiber and their bodies digest carbohydrates different than ours, making corn a poor snacking choice for any cat. In truth, cats aren’t getting any health benefits from eating corn. On the contrary, corn can contribute to an overweight cat and is likely to cause an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea if overconsumed.

cat is eating corn_Grizanda_shutterstock
Credit: Grizanda, Shutterstock

Why Is Corn in So Many Cat Foods?

So, if corn isn’t a great food for cats to eat, then why is it an ingredient in so many commercial cat foods? Well, the truth is that commercial cat foods are crafted for profit first and animal health second.

Corn represents an affordable filler grain that can even help to boost a food’s overall protein content. This makes it a very attractive option for cat food manufacturers who are looking to save money while offering a product that appears to offer plenty of healthy protein and other nutrients for cats. Often, seeing corn on the ingredients list is a sign of a low-quality cat food. That said, even some very expensive, high-end foods contain corn.

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There’s no reason to worry if your cat happens to run off with a cob of corn that fell off the grill. If your cat seems interested in your corn, you can safely feed them a few kernels without worry. But it’s not a great food to feed your cat regularly and it shouldn’t be a staple in their diet. Corn isn’t so easy for a cat to digest and it doesn’t pose any health benefits for them, so it’s best to avoid providing too much of it for your cat. You might even choose to stay away from foods that contain corn as a main ingredient.

Featured Image Credit: Excited Cats

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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