Can Mice Eat Popcorn?

  • Author: Sue Dorrens
  • Published: September 2, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

It’s good news for mice owners, as mice can safely eat plain popcorn. Despite their miniature size, there’s no harm in treating mice to popcorn every now and again.

Popcorn is commonly eaten by mice, and it’s normal for mice owners to dish out popcorn as a tasty snack.

Let’s look into why mice like popcorn so much, the health benefits it offers, and whether there are risks to be aware of when feeding popcorn to mice.

Can Mice Eat Popcorn?

Yes, mice can eat popcorn. Popcorn shouldn’t make up a large amount of your mouse’s diet, though, as it can cause an upset stomach. But it can be fed to mice as a satisfying treat. Your mice could even tuck into popcorn while you’re kicking back with a movie and a bucket of popcorn.

Is Popcorn Healthy for Mice?

Yes, if mice eat popcorn in moderation, it can be healthy for them. Popcorn contains a lot of fiber (3.6 g per 1 cup). It’s recommended that mice have at least 18% fiber in their diet, so popcorn is a great way to reach this level.

Fiber is an important nutrient that mice need to eat. The health benefits of fiber for mice include:

  • Maintenance of a healthy weight
  • Protection against the flu
  • Fights digestive tract disorders
  • Prevention of chronic inflammation
  • Prevention of hypertension
  • Prevention of heart failure

Can Mice Eat Unpopped Popcorn kernels?

It’s best not to let mice eat unpopped kernels. One unpopped kernel probably won’t do any harm. But, if mice eat multiple unpopped kernels, they could struggle to swallow them and choke. They could even cause a blockage in the intestinal tract, which would need veterinary assistance.

Can Mice Be Allergic to Popcorn?

It’s possible for mice to be allergic to popcorn. Although it’s the corn, they’ll be allergic to rather than the popcorn.

Signs that a mouse is allergic to popcorn include:

  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Soft stools

What Type of Popcorn Can Mice Eat?

mouse

The only type of popcorn mice should eat is air-popped popcorn. Don’t be tempted to give your mice popcorn that has popular popcorn flavorings or toppings added to it as these can be dangerous. Although, there are some fun ways you can serve popcorn to mice, which we’ll discuss later on.

What Popcorn Flavorings Are Dangerous for Mice?

  • Cheese – it’s a myth that mice love cheese. Cheese offers no nutritional value to mice and so they shouldn’t eat it – even on top of popcorn!
  • Butter – butter is packed full of fat. Fat is bad for mice as it causes obesity, which can lead to additional health problems, including type 2 diabetes and hyperketonemia.
  • Sugar – mice are attracted to sugary snacks like popcorn. But you shouldn’t give mice popcorn with any type of sugar on it, including toppings like caramel. Studies have found that mice are susceptible to sugar toxicity, which can cause death, so make sure you’re careful with how you serve popcorn to your mice.
  • Salt – salt is another ingredient that mice are enticed to. Mice that eat too much salt could die, especially if they don’t get enough water. Salt can also cause immune changes in the gut, which is linked to blood vessel damage.

Check out these great salt alternatives for popcorn.

Why Do Mice Like Popcorn so Much?

Mice are attracted to popcorn because it contains carbs. One cup of air-popped popcorn typically contains 6 g of carbohydrates.

Mice also love to eat grains. As popcorn is solely made from corn, mice can’t help but tuck into it if they come across it.

Can Mice Choke on Popcorn?

Yes, it’s possible that mice will choke on popcorn. Mice have very small throats, so it’s best to cut up the popcorn into smaller pieces before serving it.

How Much Popcorn Can Mice Safely Eat?

Popcorn is a treat for mice, so it should only be eaten in small quantities. As a general rule, popcorn shouldn’t make up any more than 5% of a mouse’s diet.

Mice that are also fed other treats, such as sugar-free breakfast cereals, blueberries, bananas, and peas, shouldn’t eat too much popcorn, to avoid overindulging.

How Do You Feed Popcorn to Mice?

Just like us, mice can eat popcorn in a variety of ways, including:

  • On its own – just remember to break it up into bite-sized pieces.
  • With sugar-free peanut butter – mice might not be able to eat traditional popcorn toppings, but sugar-free peanut butter is a much-loved snack for mice. Simply put a small coating of sugar-free peanut butter onto some popcorn and let your mice devour it.
  • With berries – mice love berries, so why not treat your little friend to a berry and popcorn medley?
  • With seeds and nuts – seeds and nuts are good for mice because they’re full of protein. They also make a delicious and wholesome snack when served with popcorn.

You might be surprised to find out that mice can eat popcorn. There are some precautions you need to take before giving it to mice. But when you’ve got the right popcorn available, your mice and you can tuck into this delicious treat together.

Check out our small rodent collection and their love of popcorn:

Can Rats Eat Popcorn?

Can Hamsters Eat Popcorn?

Can Squirrels Eat Popcorn?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn?

Sources

https://ovenvia.com/do-animals-eat-unpopped-popcorn-kernels/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3482633/
https://a-z-animals.com/blog/can-you-kill-mice-with-salt-should-you/
https://www.eatingwell.com/article/287742/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-eating-more-fiber/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180515113805.htm
https://animalcare.umich.edu/our-impact/germ-free-mice-study-shows-importance-high-fiber-diet-protecting-against-infection
https://animals.mom.com/can-mice-eat-dry-corn-1980.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/science/food-fiber-microbiome-inflammation.html
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circulationaha.116.024545

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