Corn is a versatile food source that is available in abundance and also packs in a lot of nutrients. But while you pick out the best corn from the supermarket, you might wonder if this is something your cat might love to nibble on as well. Given that many popular feline food manufacturers tend to use corn starch or corn flour as an economical filler agent, it is obvious that cats can surely eat corn. While it seems like corn isn’t a harmful food option for your cat, does it mean it is healthy? Can your cat eat corn safely without any side effects? Here is a complete rundown of whether or not corn makes up for a healthy food choice for your feline friend!
How Do Cats Benefit From Eating Corn In Terms Of Nutrition?
If you simply analyze corn as a source of food for humans, it is rich in folate, vitamin C, dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and much more. However, these nutrients only benefit carnivores and herbivores as they can digest them better. Yet, when it comes to cats, they are carnivores by birth. So, their digestive system is designed to absorb nutrition only from meat. So, feeding your cat corn might seem like a redundant choice. Corn comprises phytic acid which inhibits nutrition absorption. To decrease its effects, you can soak, ferment, sprout, or boil the corn and ensure better nutrition absorption.
There is a good reason popular cat food brands include corn as their primary filler agent. Corn is available at an economical price and is rich in dietary fiber. Given that cats do not drink a lot of water, they might be constipated a lot of the time which can worsen if their water intake isn’t corrected. However, with a good amount of fiber in their diet, the issue of constipation can be eased. Not just that, it is also an economical way to provide your cat with the much-needed caloric content.
Moreover, given its fiber content, food items with some corn in them will make your cat feel fuller for longer. So, if your cat is obese and tends to eat a lot, this will help reduce those hunger pangs while helping in weight control.
Why Shouldn’t Your Cat Eat Corn?
Certain cats can be allergic to other filler agents and corn has been experimented with to conclude that it can cause allergies in cats, especially the ones that aren’t accustomed to this food item. The zein content found in corn can lead to the development of gluten intolerance in your cat which can eventually turn into weight loss, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, and so on.
While corn doesn’t have a lot of fat content, refined oil made out of corn is rich in fat. So, you shouldn’t feed refined oil made from corn to your cat. Although corn does have some protein content which is a necessity for your cat, it doesn’t have the crucial amino acids that help cats thrive. So, corn isn’t toxic to your feline friend, unless they are allergic to it. However, they don’t provide a lot of nutrition to your cat and are just a filler agent that keeps them filling fuller for longer.
Does My Cat’s Packaged Food Contain Corn?
Depending on the brand of cat food you prefer, the packaged food might have more or less amount of corn used as fillers. In general, dry food items tend to have a higher amount of corn as compared to wet/canned food. This is what gives the food its highly desired crunchy texture. While it is generally well-digested, your cat might be allergic to it and this is something that can’t be ruled out. If you are looking for a corn-free cat food option for your pet, the Blue Buffalo High Protein Wilderness Cat Food is something you should surely add to your cat’s diet. This cat food formula doesn’t contain any artificial flavors/preservatives, wheat, corn, or soy which is perfect for cats that are allergic.
How Much Corn Can A Cat Eat?
The amount of corn you give your cat should never exceed 3 percent of their daily meal. When serving corn, it should never be given raw to a cat. The best option is boiled, streamed, or cooked with their daily meal. If you accidentally hand over an entire cob of corn, be prepared to take care of a cat with an upset stomach or one struggling with diarrhea. So, make sure your cat’s corn intake is limited. In case they are allergic, refrain from giving them any corn or corn-based food items.
Remember to check with your veterinarian if it is fine to feed your cat a small amount of corn now and then. If your cat loves to eat corn, it shouldn’t be served as a replacement meal, but rather as a snack. Feeding your pet a high amount of corn or a diet that is predominantly comprised of corn can cause major health problems as well as nutritional imbalances. So, always start with a small amount of corn and see if they take a liking to it. In case they don’t like it, you can remove it from their daily diet without any concerns.