The truth is it can be difficult to avoid spoiling your feline companion with some special treats. Though that doesn’t mean cats can eat all of the human foods in your house. Some of the treats you share with your pet can cause upset stomachs and allergies. Remember, cats are not like humans, and their digestive systems are not similar to ours.
Corn is a food commodity that is typically found in many households. In fact, you might have either cornmeal or any other corn-based food in your house. Well, corn is popular, and that’s for a good reason. It’s packed with most nutrients, notably protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Corn also has a delicious flavor and comes in many forms making it a favorite food among vegans and vegetarians.
But can cats benefit from the nutritional properties of corn? Is corn bad for my cat? What will likely happen if my cat sneaks up on me and accidentally takes a bite from my plate? Should I be worried? Well, there is certainly no need to panic because corn has no immediate harmful effects on your kitty, and we will get into the details for a better understanding.
Can cats safely eat corn?
First things first, most cats can eat corn without suffering any ill effects. However, corn is not a healthy food for your cat. The digestive system for cats is quite different from that of human beings. For that reason, your cat might have trouble digesting foods such as corn that are not biologically appropriate for them. Keep in mind; cats are carnivores thus designed to feed on meat and thrive on it alone.
Any time you feed your furry friend some corn, she will definitely not refuse and will eat it without any issues. However, this should always be done in moderation and only as an occasional treat. Prolonged exposure to corn puts your kitty at risk of suffering digestive upsets and even interferes with the proper digestion of the other important nutrients.
In most cases, corn is not considered harmful to cats. As I said, there will be no immediate health complications if your cat happens to feed on some corn. However, this is not a portion of healthy food, and it has actually been linked to obesity and diabetes in cats. What happens is that corn basically breaks down into sugar during digestion, and then it’s converted to fat whenever it’s not burned through exercise or physical activity. Though, your cat will have to eat large portions of corn regularly to be at a high risk of obesity and diabetes. The worst that can happen when a cat eats large amounts of corn is a stomachache resulting from digestion issues.
That said, corn is one of the common ingredients used in commercial dry foods for cats. Unfortunately, the corn in commercial cat foods is not for nutritional benefits. It’s only a cheap filler that will not offer the required amounts of nutrients like vitamins and proteins.
Corn allergy in cats
Cats are carnivores meant to feed on meat. That’s why they tend to be allergic to many of the other foods. That said, studies are indicating that some cats can actually be allergic to corn. In the studies, corn is considered to be among the foods that tend to trigger allergic reactions in cats.
Since you may not know for sure if your cat is allergic to corn, always practice caution with this food or anything else containing it. If you must give your cat any corn, start with only a small serving and keep an eye on her for signs of an allergic reaction. The common signs of corn allergy include excessive scratching, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and sneezing. Watch out for any of these and if the cat experiences an allergic reaction, take her to the veterinarian immediately.
What can go wrong when your cat eats corn?
Corn has its fair share of nutritional benefits, and that’s probably the reason why it’s a lovable food in our households. While cats are designed to feed mainly on meat, curiosity might get in the way and attract them to foods such as corn. Corn is not harmful to cats, and these furry friends can eat it in moderation without suffering health complications. However, there are demerits of feeding corn to your kitty.
Amino acids deficiency
Corn is basically packed with many of the plant-based amino acids. Unfortunately, cats are obligate carnivores that thrive on a diet comprising of animal protein. The plant protein found in corn lacks the essential amino acids, which are the crucial nutrients for your cat’s growth and survival.
High in carbohydrates and sugars
Corn is also a rich source of carbohydrates and sugars. This alone should make you reconsider feeding too much corn to your cat. For one thing, cats are unable to digest carbohydrates properly. Secondly, corn may contribute to a spike in blood sugar levels leading to health conditions.
Interference with food digestion
Corn contains a component known as phytic acid that has the ability to inhibit the absorption of vital minerals such as zinc and iron. This means that too much corn in your cat’s diet might be interfering with the absorption of some vital minerals.
Seasoning and toxic ingredients
As I said, corn comes in a variety of forms. You can simply boil it or add other things to make it delicious. One reason why cats should not eat corn is that it may contain seasoning and other ingredients such as garlic, sugar, or onions. Many of these ingredients are toxic to cats and can cause severe health complications. It’s way better to think of healthier treats for your cat.
Letting your cat eat a little bit of corn now and then in moderation is not bad. However, ensure you focus on the foods that are rich in animal protein. Besides that, watch out for harmful seasoning and flavourings that are often added to the corn we eat. The plant itself may not be harmful, but seasonings like onions, garlic, and salt can be very toxic.