Cats have a very specialized diet that does not include eating vegetables. Diarrhea and allergic reactions may outweigh the benefits of your cat eating corn. Read on to learn the drawbacks and benefits of your cat eating corn.
It is safe for cats to eat corn. However, bear in mind this should be an occasional treat, not a substitute for meat because if they consume too much, the result could be gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea.
There are also some indications that renal failure can occur in cats when eating large quantities of vegetables and fruits. As a result of domestication, cats no longer kill and eat their prey’s meat. However, they still have a digestive system primarily restricted to this type of diet. There is no need for cats to eat corn.
Can Cats Eat Corn?
The short answer to this question is yes. Cats are curious creatures that are not averse to trying new foods for the experience. The longer answer is whether corn is necessary or even beneficial to cats.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies are designed to break down meats and fats, while cats don’t expect carbs to be part of their regular diets. Wild cats will hunt for their food. However, domesticated cats don’t always have access to these food sources, and it’s the caregivers’ job to choose which food they will eat.
There are several reasons why some cat owners are wondering if they could switch their cat’s diet to veggies only. Even though this is not entirely possible, you could add non-toxic vegetables to your pet’s diet.
Corn is a high-energy food that nutritionists have found to contain high levels of low-grade protein. There are also vitamins and trace minerals necessary for us to maintain good health. The majority of the mass of corn is fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates or sugar. This carbohydrate mass is a slow-release type of energy that is important for protracted periods of exertion.
But corn is also characterized by allergies relating to the high levels of zein protein they contain. Zein is a natural plant derivative that plants use to add form to the plant’s structure. Many vegetables utilize zein proteins as a structural support mechanism. Unfortunately, humans and cats appear to have allergy sensitivity to zein proteins. Often manifesting a severe allergic reaction, they can cause respiratory and circulatory problems.
Understanding The Benefits And Risks For Your Cat When Corn
We must consider all things in balance. Too much of a good thing can be bad for us, just as not enough of something. If we were only to eat corn, it would not be long before an obvious problem might arise for our health. Nutritionists always remind us to have a balanced diet, a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, grains, and fruits. For humans, a balanced diet of this kind is instrumental for good health.
What do cats need for a healthy balanced diet? It would appear that cats have a much more restricted diet than humans, requiring meat and some grains to maintain their health. Their diet is restricted as to the enzymes they have for digestion. Cats have a low capacity to digest sugars in simple and complex forms like carbohydrates.
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Corn is contraindicated for cats because it is a carb full of complex sugars. Protein seems to be the hallmark of a cat’s diet. While corn is a low-grade protein, it would be insufficient in itself to sustain the healthfulness of your cat’s diet.
Fiber is an essential element in a cat’s diet. Corn contains large amounts of fiber to aid in resolving problems with constipation. In comparison, a small amount of corn might keep your cat more regular. High corn consumption could cause diarrhea and result in problematic dehydration for your cat.
One can easily see that in the case of your cat eating corn, the cons outweigh the pros. It is our responsibility to see the cat through its own eyes, not our own. What is a good diet for us is not necessarily a good diet for our cat. While it would be acceptable to share corn with your cat from time to time for fun, it would not be wise for us to restrict our cat’s diet by making the consumption of corn commonplace for our cat.
Historical Changes In Our Cats Diet
Our furry feline friends are members of a large and diverse family of predatory carnivorous mammals. Like their larger cousins, house cats are naturally predatory creatures that come equipped to hunt to survive. Experts say a cat’s life is basically to pursue its food, followed by long sleeping periods and resting to conserve energy for hunting. Cats hunt only to survive and eat only what they must to maintain their health.
Over the last fifty years, cats have replaced dogs as man’s best friend in our homes. Their fierce independence and ability to fend for themselves have made cats a favorite for all. In the cat’s domestication process, much time and energy has gone into the analysis of their lives with us and their diet.
Humans like to change things for convenience and ease of use. It is not surprising that we have significantly altered our cats’ diets in our homes. Cats are meat eaters, but to have fresh meat available to feed our cats daily can be difficult and impractical. As a result, a dry, food replacement for meat cleverly crafted by scientists from corn can replace the fuss involved in preparing fresh meat for our cat.
The new diet for cats is a corn-based diet with the flavor and nutritional additives of meat. Cereal infused with vitamins, minerals, and proteins, this new diet is touted as being more healthful than the cat’s regular meat diet. If this is true, it is equivalent to how we have changed our diet, using chemically derived substitute nutrition for health’s sake.
If all of the dietary components your cat needs are in the dry kibbles we feed our cats, there should be little need to give any supplements to our cat, including corn.
Corn Snacks Your Cat Could Eat
There are lots of corn snacks available in the market. Some of these snacks might include other ingredients that are not entirely healthy for your cat. When it comes to corn, grilled or boiled sweet corn must be your go-to option. Here’s a list of corn snacks that experts don’t for your cat to eat:
- Corn tortillas
Enjoyable Corn Eating With Your Cat
The dietary benefits or problems relating to your cat eating corn are one thing, but having fun with your cat is quite another. Cats are naturally playful and curious creatures. If your cat joins you for a moment while you are enjoying your healthful cob of corn, go ahead and share. If your cat tries some of your corn, you are in control of how much. A little sharing is a beautiful way to build friendship and devotion between you and your cat. Remember that part of your responsibility of ownership of your cat is loving and sharing time and experiences with pets, so enjoy!
When considering the best way to care for our cat through their diet, it is essential to see your cat’s life as a product of its needs, not ours. While we are all clear about the nutritional benefits of corn in our diet, the reality is that the contrary might be the case for our cats.
Cats and humans, while great companions have little in common concerning their mutual genetic, developmental history. As omnivores, humans are required to eat a diverse complement of foods to maintain their health. On the other hand, cats have developed their restrictive protein-based diet based on the historical availability of food in their natural habitat.
We need to be sensitive to our cats’ heritage and their resulting need for a much more restrictive diet than our own. We have modified our cat’s diet with meat substitutes like corn for our convenience. Cats still require a protein-rich diet with little necessity for other food classes.
Stewardship of a pet is a great honor and responsibility that, if conducted well, leaves us with a devoted friend for life. It would be acceptable to share some corn with your cat for experience’s sake or as strata. It can be helpful for a moment spent developing your cat’s relationship with you, but remember, you are the caregiver. You decide what’s best!
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.