Homemade diets

Can Cats Eat Corn?

Laura García Ortiz
By Laura García Ortiz, Veterinarian specialized in feline medicine. February 3, 2023
Can Cats Eat Corn?

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Corn is a widely consumed food and a very versatile ingredient for many recipes. You have probably been in the situation where you have corn in the house and wonder if it is safe for your cat. The truth is, yes, corn is safe for cats. In fact, many commercial cat foods contain corn because it is non-toxic and adds flavor and benefit to the food. However, it is not the best ingredient for your cat, whose diet should be based on protein from animal tissue, not foods rich in carbohydrates like corn.

Below AnimalWised explains if cats can eat corn, the possible benefits, but also the side effects, contraindications and how you can offer it.

You may also be interested in: Can Cats Eat Chayote?
  1. Is corn good for cats?
  2. Benefits of corn for cats
  3. Dosage of corn for cats
  4. How to give corn to your cat
  5. Side effects of corn for cats
  6. Contraindications of corn for cats

Is corn good for cats?

Corn is a starchy grain consumed worldwide for its nutritional benefits and versatility. It is also called corn and was first cultivated in Mexico 10,000 years ago. It later found its way to Europe, North America and South America.

Since you regularly consume corn in some of its forms, you may be wondering if your little cat can consume corn, and the answer is yes. Although corn is not toxic to cats, its composition does not make it an ideal food for them. This is due to its high content of carbohydrates, a macronutrient that cats cannot utilize or digest as a priority due to their metabolism and nature.

Cats are carnivores by nature. They need protein and fat from animal tissue to get all the nutrients in the right proportions, which they cannot achieve with carbohydrates.

Continue reading this other article to learn which fruits and vegetables are safe for cats.

Benefits of corn for cats

Corn has many health benefits for cats. First, it contains large amounts of insoluble fiber, which promotes intestinal transit and prevents constipation. It is also a good source of vegetable protein, but it is deficient in certain amino acids such as lysine or tryptophan.

Corn also contains numerous antioxidants that protect against oxidative cell damage and prevent aging and some cancers. It also contains carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are beneficial for the eye health of our cats. Furthermore, it is rich in B vitamins, especially vitamin B 1, B3 and folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin K, and minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and iron.

This does not mean that your cat does not get these nutrients from its normal diet, but rather that corn provides all the nutrients in the right proportions as a complementary food. The more protein a cat food contains, the better it is. Some cat foods may contain certain amounts of corn for flavoring and supplementation, but this is not necessary.

Continue reading this other article to learn about fruits and vegetables that are forbidden for cats.

Dosage of corn for cats

Although corn is a very healthy food, our cats should eat it in moderation. The nutritional value for our cats is not the best. So you should give it only as a snack or as a supplement from time to time.

Snacks should not exceed 10% of the recommended daily intake. So if you give corn as a snack one day, you should reduce the dose of the other supplements to the usual food.

A teaspoon of corn can be safely eaten by our cats once a week.

Can Cats Eat Corn? - Dosage of corn for cats

How to give corn to your cat

The best way to offer corn or grain to your cat is boiled or roasted and without adding spices or salt. It is also not advisable to give canned corn nor popcorn, as these usually contain added sugars that are not good for your cat.

Raw corn are also not suitable, as cats can choke on them or suffer from intestinal blockage. You can offer your cat corn directly in an automatic feeder or mixed with their main food. When offering corn for the first time, you must be by your cat's side to quickly recognize any reaction or allergy. Signs include swelling, retching, rapid breathing, or signs such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Can Cats Eat Corn? - How to give corn to your cat

Side effects of corn for cats

Most cats are able to digest corn well, but some cats may feel poorly after eating a large amount, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. Intestinal blockage or dilatation of the intestinal loops can also result from metabolizing corn.

In the worst cases, frequent consumption can lead to obesity or inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis.

Finally, offering corn with the husk or leaves increases the risk of choking.

Continue reading this other article to learn more about what to do if your cat has poisoning.

Contraindications of corn for cats

As we mentioned earlier, eating corn regularly is not particularly good for cats. Because of its carbohydrate content, corn increases the risk of obesity or overweight. This in turn makes them more likely to develop diseases such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

Furthermore, if your cat suffers from loose stools or diarrhea, it is not recommended to feed them corn, as its fiber content increases the passage and peristalsis of the intestines, making the stool even softer. You should also not offer a new food like corn if your cat has a food allergy or hypersensitivity.

If you want to read similar articles to Can Cats Eat Corn?, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.

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Can Cats Eat Corn?