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Can Cats Eat Chicken?

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Chicken is a very popular food item for humans around the world. It is the second most consumed meat-type after pork. Chicken is found in burgers, tacos, sandwiches, salads, nuggets, and many other dishes. It is not only tasty to eat but a great source of nutrients as well. That is to say, our life is incomplete without chicken.

But what about cats? Can cats eat chicken? Is it okay for cats to eat raw chicken? Or is it okay for cats to eat cooked chicken? Well, the answer is yes! Cats can eat chicken. But keep in mind it must be properly cooked.

As cats are obligate carnivores, their diet should consist mainly of proteins. Therefore, it is okay to feed your cat with animal products. Even so, you cannot feed them random human foods that come your way. You might have seen wild cats eat raw chicken bones on TV and it might seem very natural to let your pet eat some table scraps. But wait! Domesticated cats’ digestive system responds differently to human foods, contrary to our expectations. Therefore, it is important to research thoroughly before feeding chicken to your cat.

If you are also concerned about feeding your cat raw chicken, and its health consequences, then keep on reading till the end. This blog will discuss the effects of chicken on cats’ health and will discuss whether cats can eat chicken, in detail. So keep on reading till the end.

What Happens if Cats Eat Chicken?

It’s no secret that the cat is an obligate carnivore, hence it loves to eat poultry, whether it is cooked or canned chicken. According to experts, feeding chicken to cats is perfectly fine, but you should not replace their regular meal routine. Cats need a balanced diet for a healthy reproductive system.

Chickens coated with oil, or seasonings are not healthy for cats. These coatings might cause internal damage to your cat’s digestive tract. Similarly, chicken cooked with garlic and onion is also not recommended by experts who are keeping in mind the safety considerations of the cat, and because feeding your feline with garlic and onion can cause toxicity.

Similarly, cats can eat canned and cooked meat, but keep in mind that they contain calories that can exceed the minimum calorie intake of the cat. Also, feeding your feline with extra fat trimmings that contain fatty acids can cause pancreatitis.

What Are the Benefits of Feeding Chicken to Cats?

Chicken is rich in lean protein, which is mandatory for cats. Moreover, chicken meat also contains vitamin B6 and phosphorous, and very little sodium and fats, which is good. The nutrients in the chicken help to maintain a cat’s weight, strengthen bones, and help in the development of strong muscles.

The phosphorous in the chicken is not only helpful in maintaining the health of bones and teeth, but it is also mandatory for the good working of the liver, kidney, and the central nervous system of kitties.

Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken?

The two most common questions that every cat owner wants to know are, can cats eat chicken? Can cats eat cooked chicken? Well, the answer is yes. Cats can eat cooked chicken. You should always opt to feed cooked or boiled chicken to your kitty. However, remember that chicken should only be given to cats as part of a daily treat. Relying on cooked chicken alone is not healthy for your cat long-term and can make your cat sick.

Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken Bones?

Cooked bones are way more dangerous than raw chicken bones. You should avoid feeding your cat any cooked chicken bones as they become brittle and can shred into little pieces.

These pieces can get lodged in the digestive tract and pierce through the cat’s mouth, esophageal lining, and intestine. Either blockage or tear will result in a need for surgery to remove the tiny shredded pieces to prevent further damage or repair the injury.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?

Being a cat owner, you want to feed your cat the best foods available. Therefore, you are trying to replicate a wild cat’s diet. Raw meat has a lot of benefits, but it also comes with its disadvantages. If you are planning to feed raw meat to your cat, you need to know the risks involved.

One of the biggest risks involved with feeding your cat raw meat is the risk of diseases caused by microorganisms. Raw meat skin is full of bacteria that cause several diseases in humans, and obligate carnivores can also be affected by them, to some degree.

What Are the Side Effects of Feeding Raw Chicken to Cats?

If you want to know can cats eat chicken? Or can cats eat raw chicken bones? Then let me tell you cats can eat chicken, but raw chicken has some side effects including microbial contamination.

Bacterial Contamination

Raw chicken will always have bacterial and parasitic contamination, no matter how thoroughly you wash it. Eventually, these microbes will find their way into the cat’s digestive tract. Freezing the raw meat will also be of no help since these microbes can survive in decreased temperatures.

Following are some of the bacterial strains commonly found in raw meat.

Salmonella species

This bacterial species causes the disease that is called salmonellosis. There are more than 200 types of these bacteria, therefore every infected cat will show diverse symptoms to each other. Some will be completely fine with no symptoms at all. While others will show signs like diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, high fever, gastroenteritis, body weakness, and stomachaches. Additional symptoms include abnormal heart rhythm, shock, skin infection, vaginal discharge, blood loss, and non-intestinal infections. Therefore, you need to be careful while feeding felines raw meat.

With mild bacterial disease, your cat needs an antimicrobial medicine that can be given to the cat at home. Where the cat has eaten raw or spoiled meat, and the condition is severe, your cat will also need electrolytes, IV fluid, and other medications to treat the symptoms. In some rare cases, the cat will be isolated to avoid transmission to you and other animals.

Listeria monocytogenes

According to scientists, these bacteria are commonly found in dairy products, canned food items, and meat. These bacteria cause Listeriosis, an infection common in various species. Being meat eaters, cats can easily contract these bacteria and suffer from symptoms like septicemia, depression, upset stomach, and facial nerve paralysis. These bacteria cannot be transmitted from cats to humans, but you still need to be careful.

Treatment of this condition depends upon the severity of the symptoms the cat is showing. In case of mild flu-like signs, taking the cat to the hospital isn’t necessary, but if symptoms are more serious, your cat might need antibiotics like ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or penicillin. Be very careful while observing your cat because these bacteria take months to display symptoms in the cat’s body. Thus, keep your cat’s diet super healthy and clean to avoid any bacterial encounters.

Nutritional deficiency

According to experts, the nutritional profile of raw meat is not suitable for cats. Hence, you should not feed raw meat to cats as a sole food item. Kitties need to have a balanced diet for a healthy life. Hence it is best to feed your feline the diet food recommended by a veterinarian.

What Is the Right Way to Prepare Raw Meat for Cats?

If you want to feed your cat, raw chicken, raw beef, or any raw meat, it’s best to speak to a vet beforehand. Since domesticated cats are more used to eating cooked foods, feeding raw meat can upset their stomach. However, if your cats eat raw chicken, and show no problematic symptoms, then you can feed your kitty raw meat.

Here are some tips that you can use while preparing raw meat for your cat.

1. Get your hands on fresh chicken

Chicken needs to be fresh for both you and your cat to eat. Bacterial growth is enhanced in out-of-date meat and there are more chances that it will be spoiled. You can consider raw chicken, which is specially marketed for felines as it contains the essential nutrients and is free of bacterial contamination.

2. Prepare the chicken with care

You need to be very careful while preparing a raw chicken for your cat. Clean and cut the raw chicken on a tidy surface. Remove raw chicken bones before feeding your cat. Serve the cat a meat portion according to their appetite. Once they are done eating raw chicken, discard all the leftovers. Do not leave any raw chicken or raw chicken bones behind that have come to the room temperature. Also, wash the cat’s raw food bowl with hot water.

3. Practice hygiene

Make sure the surface used to clean and cut the cat’s chicken is super tidy to avoid the contamination and spread of bacteria. If you are looking for an easier alternative to a raw food diet for your cats, you can serve them boiled or cooked chicken and chicken bones.

Can cats eat raw chicken bones?

If you are wondering, can cats eat chicken bones? Then let us tell you, cats cannot eat raw chicken bones. Small bones present in the raw meat can cause a choking hazard and seriously harm the cat’s digestive tract. This is because these bones in the cat’s food can get stuck in the cat’s esophagus, intestine, or stomach. If the small bone pieces in the cat food are sharp, they can pierce through the digestive tract and cause sepsis.

Can cats eat marinated chicken?

No! cats cannot eat marinated chicken. The spicy ingredients will make the chicken taste more delicious but are severely detrimental to your cat’s health. Most of the marinades contain a high amount of salt or garlic and onion, which are all extremely lethal for cats to have. Even if the cat doesn’t display any momentary symptoms because of the marinated chicken, it does not guarantee that it won’t have any negative consequences in the long term. Also, make sure to feed only meat, not the skin, to your pet because most of the protein content is in the meat. The skin is rich in fats which can make cats obese.

Final thoughts

Cats are obligate carnivores so naturally, they love eating meat like chicken and beef. However, domesticated cats cannot eat raw chicken that well, unlike wild cats. Therefore, make a preference for feeding cooked or boiled chicken to your pet cat. Avoid any seasoning like spices, salt, onion, and garlic. You can also feed raw chicken if your cat’s stomach is not very sensitive, but you have to make sure the chicken is fresh, thoroughly cleaned, and free of all kinds of contamination. Beware of feeding bones, especially cooked bones to kitties, as they are brittle and can break into small pieces that can pierce through the digestive tract.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cats eat chicken every day?

Some owners feed their cats only a chicken or fish diet, but it is not recommended to do so. You should feed chicken only as a daily treat. And remember not to exceed the amount of chicken or any other treat food over 10 percent of the actual diet.

Can cats eat chicken broth?

Yes! Cats can eat chicken broth, and it is perfectly safe for them. You just have to make sure the broth does not contain spices, salt, garlic, or onion because these can make a cat’s health worse.

Can cats eat chicken with rice?

Yes! cats can eat chicken with rice. This combination is perfect for a bland diet for both cats and dogs. You can serve plain, boiled, chopped chicken with plain rice to cats in small amounts. This combo can be served 3 to 5 times a day depending upon the cat’s appetite.

Can kittens eat chicken?

Yes, kittens can eat small pieces of cooked chicken. You can serve kittens of seven weeks with whole chicken necks. You can also introduce raw chicken bones to kittens when they are 12 weeks old, as this is the time when they actively start chewing whilst their permanent teeth are developing.

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