Can cats eat raw chicken? Felines eating raw meat is a controversial topic since it comes with both health benefits and risks. Learn if raw chicken is safe for cats as we look into the pros and cons of adding raw chicken to a cat’s diet.
The Advantages of Raw Chicken Feeding
Feeding cats raw chicken can have a good impact on their health. Many proponents of the raw diet believe that it can yield several health benefits, such as:
Good Protein Source
Cats are obligate carnivores, and they rely on animal proteins to thrive. Wild cats primarily eat raw meat to obtain these nutrients.
Feeding raw chicken to a domesticated cat also gives the same result. Raw chicken contains well-balanced and high-quality proteins that are essential for your cat’s diet.
Free from Preservatives
Most commercial cat foods– contain preservatives, stabilisers, and artificial food colouring that are unhealthy for felines.
With raw chicken feeding, pet owners do not have to worry about these dubious and potentially harmful ingredients.
Low in Fat
Raw chicken without the skin is low in fat and calories compared to other protein sources and plant-based food. Thus, it will less likely contribute to weight gain and obesity in cats.
Water is important to keep a cat healthy. However, domestic cats are known to scarcely drink water, just like their wild counterparts. For this reason, it is recommended that their diet should contain high water content.
Cats can get more fluids in raw chicken than in dry cat food as it has higher water content. This also means it makes cats feel full but consume less food.
Strengthens the Immune System
Raw chicken is rich in nutrients such as B vitamins that boost the immune system. They help prevent the development of diseases such as cancer, feline arthritis, and heart disease. These nutrients also aid in hastening a cat’s recovery from illness.
Promotes Healthy Teeth and Bones
Raw chicken contains copious amounts of phosphorus. This mineral is essential for maintaining strong and healthy teeth and bones. Aside from that, phosphorus also supports the proper liver, kidney, and nervous system functions.
The Drawbacks of Feeding Raw Chicken to Cats
To learn if feeding raw chicken to cats is a safe choice, we should not gloss over its potential health risks. Raw food diet has been widely debated until now because of several health concerns that have been raised.
Below are the most common hazards when feeding raw chicken to cats:
Lack of Essential Nutrients
Not all homemade raw chicken food for cats provides a balanced diet. They can be insufficient in certain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids important for your cat’s body functions. This may cause nutrient deficiencies in your furry friend.
When making homemade raw chicken cat food, thorough research should be done to ensure that it covers all of your cat’s nutrient requirements. Consulting a vet will make the entire process easier.
Cat owners may also opt for reputable cat food based on raw meat. It is specially formulated for cats by pet nutritionists. Thus, it caters to the nutritional needs of your furry companion.
Moreover, this type of cat food also undergoes frequent testing to ensure that they meet safety standards.
May Be Contaminated with Bacteria and Parasites
Salmonella, E. coli, and listeria can thrive in fresh raw meat. This puts not only felines but also cat owners in danger as these can be passed on from pets to humans.
But cats have lower chances of getting infected since their digestive tract is shorter and has higher acidity levels than a human stomach.
What happens if cats eat raw chicken containing harmful bacteria or parasites? They may suffer from raw food poisoning. Below are the most common symptoms of this illness:
Bring your cat to the vet right away if she manifests these symptoms.
Careful Preparation Is a Must
After knowing the possibility of bacterial contamination in raw meat, you may be thinking, “Is it safe for cats to eat raw chicken?” The answer is yes, provided that you meticulously follow food safety handling practices.
How to Prepare Raw Chicken for Cats
We have listed down a few pointers to keep in mind when preparing raw chicken meat for your feline friend:
- Find a trustworthy source of raw chicken. Their products should be specifically produced to be eaten raw by cats.
Many reliable raw food diet companies use flash-freezing or high-pressure pasteurisation processing (HPP) since this helps eliminate bacteria and parasites in raw food.
- Avoid store-bought raw chicken. It is made for human consumption and should be cooked thoroughly before eating. Feeding this type of raw chicken to your cat can make her sick.
- Use gloves when handling raw chicken. Dispose of the gloves properly after use. For additional safety, wash your hands thoroughly too.
- Clean and disinfect all items and areas that come into contact with raw meat after your cat eats.
- Discard raw chicken that has reached room temperature. Never leave it out for your cat to eat later.
Mind the Feeding Portions
Keep in mind that overfeeding your cat can lead to obesity, which can cause a slew of health issues. Feed raw chicken to your cat in moderation so that she maintains a healthy weight.
How much raw chicken should cats eat? The general guideline is to feed 2%–4% of their total body weight per day.
For instance, if your cat weighs 4.5 kilos (10 pounds), 3% would be 4.8 ounces of raw chicken per day. Divide the portions into 2 small meals to make it easier for her stomach to digest.
“Can I feed my cat raw chicken as a treat?” is another frequently asked question of pet owners. The answer is yes.
Raw chicken can be used as a treat instead of being a constant part of the diet for cats. Always remember that treats should be given in small amounts. You can feed your cat a chunk of raw chicken once a week as a treat.
What Parts of Chicken Can Cats Eat?
The entire discussion has answered the question: “Can cats eat chicken?” Although the answer is yes, some parts of chicken should be omitted from your cat’s diet for a good reason.
Can cats eat raw chicken fats?
No, never feed raw chicken fats to cats. It can cause stomach problems, including diarrhoea and vomiting. Cats consuming raw chicken fats are highly at risk of certain health problems such as obesity and pancreatitis.
Can you give cats cooked chicken?
Yes, cooked chicken is safe for cats to eat. Make sure to remove all fat and skin from the chicken before cooking.
Vets suggest boiling the chicken instead of frying it as the oil can cause stomach upset in cats. Once fully cooked, serve it plain to your cat. Do not add harmful or toxic food spices and seasoning as it will only result in tummy problems.
Is raw or cooked chicken better for cats? Both are good for cats. However, with raw chicken, you will need to be extra cautious during preparation as it has a higher risk of bacteria contamination compared to cooked chicken.
Can cats eat raw chicken bones?
Yes, cats can eat raw chicken bones. But pet owners should be careful what type to choose. Raw chicken necks, wings, and drumsticks are soft enough for your cat to chew.
Feed your cat 1–2 small bones only once a week. Excessive consumption of raw chicken bones can eventually lead to constipation.
Can cats eat cooked chicken bones?
No, it is dangerous for cats to eat the cooked bones of the chicken. The cooking process makes the bones tough but splinters easily when chewed.
Cooked chicken bones can damage your cat’s mouth and intestines. It can also cause choking and stomach blockage.
Can cats eat raw chicken giblets?
Yes, raw chicken giblets are full of nutrients that are good for cats. What are chicken giblets? These are edible internal organs of the chicken. These include the gizzard, heart, kidneys, and liver.
They are rich in B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein. But feeding your cats raw chicken giblets should be done in moderation. Too much consumption may trigger stomach issues.