Can cats eat corn or corn?
Corn, also called elote, is a widely consumed food in the world, being a very versatile ingredient for many recipes. Surely you have some corn in your home and you may wonder if your cat can eat it or if, on the contrary, it is not safe for them to eat it. Corn can be eaten by your little cat, in fact, many commercial diets for cats include it in their composition because it is non-toxic and adds flavor and benefits to the food. Even so, it is not the best ingredient to offer your small feline whose diet should be based on protein from animal tissue and not foods rich in carbohydrates such as corn. This does not mean that you cannot give your cat corn, but if you do, you should know how to do it in moderation.
If you continue reading this AnimalWised article you will learn more about the consumption of corn in cats, its benefits and dosesin addition to its side effects, contraindications and how to offer it.
Is corn or corn good for cats?
Corn is a starchy cereal, which is consumed worldwide due to its nutritional benefits and versatility. Also called corn, it was cultivated in Mexico for the first time 10,000 years ago and later it reached Europe, North America and South America.
As you possibly consume corn on a regular basis in some of its forms, you may be wondering if corn or corn can also be consumed by your little cat and the answer is yes. Can our cats eat corn?It is not a toxic food for them but it is true that its composition is far from ideal for this species. This is due to its high content of carbohydrates, a macronutrient that cats do not have as a priority nor are they designed to digest or take advantage of due to their metabolism and nature.
The nature of our cats is carnivorous, they require protein and fat from animal tissue to obtain all the nutrients they need in their correct proportions, something that they cannot obtain with carbohydrates.
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Benefits of corn or corn for cats
Corn has many health benefits. On the one hand, 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 damage to cells and prevent aging and some types of cancer. It also contains carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein, beneficial for the eye health of our cats and is rich in B vitaminsespecially vitamin B1, B3 and folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, manganese and iron.
This does not mean that your cat is not receiving these nutrients with its usual diet and that they should eat corn, but on the contrary, it is a complementary food for cats that will provide all the nutrients in their correct proportions. The more protein you have a feed for a cat, the better it will be. Some cat foods may contain certain amounts of corn for flavoring and supplementation, but this is not required.
Dose of corn or corn for cats
Although corn or corn is a very healthy food, our cats should eat it in moderation. The nutritional value for our cats is not the best, so if you are interested or your cat likes it, it should be given as a snack or complement occasionally and never often.
Snacks should not exceed 10% of their recommended daily intake, so if you give corn as a snack one day you should reduce the dose of other supplements to their usual food. Once a week and in a quantity no greater than a teaspoon, our cats can safely eat corn. In addition, you should take into account whether or not your cat’s diet contains corn, because if it does, it would not be necessary to administer more.
How to give corn or corn to my cat
The best way to offer corn or corn to your little feline is boiled or roasted and without adding any type of seasoning or salt. It is also not convenient to give canned corn because it usually contains added sugars that are not good for your cat or popcorn or corn chips.
Raw ears are also not suitable because our cats can choke on them or suffer from intestinal impaction. You can offer your cat corn directly in a feeder or mixed with its main food and when you are going to offer it you must be by its side in order to quickly detect any reaction or allergy manifested with symptoms such as swelling, choking, rapid breathing or signs such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Side effects of corn or corn for cats
Corn is usually a very safe and digestive food, but some cats can feel bad or be indigestible, especially when swallowed copiously, giving rise to gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea in addition to abdominal discomfort and nausea. Intestinal impaction or dilation of the intestinal loops can also occur due to the metabolization of corn.
In the worst case, frequent consumption could cause them being overweight, obese, or inflamed pancreas or pancreatitis. Finally, if you offer corn with its shell or leaves, the risk of suffocation is increased.
Contraindications of corn or corn for cats
As we have been commenting, consuming corn is good for health but not very suitable for cats. Due to its carbohydrate content, this predisposes them to gain excess weight, increasing the risk of developing overweight or obesity, which in turn increases their predisposition to the development of diseases derived from this, such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease and degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.
On the other hand, it is not convenient to offer corn if your cat have a sensitive digestive system or if are having an episode of loose stools or diarrhea due to its fiber content that increases the transit and peristalsis of the intestine making the feces even softer. You should also not offer new foods such as corn if your cat have food allergies or hypersensitivity.
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