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Can cat eat raw chicken

Can cat eat raw chicken

Probably you are well aware of all the raw diets for pets. In the case of wild cats, they can eat raw meat at any time, which means that a raw diet benefits felines. But as you know, everything has its advantages and drawbacks. The same is the case with feeding cats raw meat, including raw chicken.

Can cats eat raw chicken? Yes, they can. But the debate is still going on whether to feed them a raw diet or not. That’s because, along with benefits, some risks are associated with providing raw chicken to cats. So, it’s better to talk to your vet to make the best choice for your pet.

If you want to know more about, Can cats eat raw chicken? Then, you are in the right place. So, let’s begin.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?

Yes, cats can eat raw chicken. Naturally, cats are predators who capture their prey. Being obligate carnivores, they can eat raw meat. Hence, cats can consume fresh raw chicken safely. However, ensure that the meat is fresh and free from bacteria.

The natural diet of felines, while consuming raw meat, is rich in protein and consists of a moderate amount of fat and a small portion of carbohydrates. Therefore, cats can consume raw meat, organs, and bones of their prey.

Moreover, the cat’s digestive system is usually tiny and acidic; thus, it takes around 12 hours for raw meat to be digested. So, it prevents food poisoning as bacteria don’t get enough time to flourish.

In the case of domestic cats, commercial diets are usually preferable and are a rich source of proteins. That’s because they have been adapted over time. To be more precise, can cats eat raw chicken? It’s essential to have a look at the health considerations.

Is Eating Raw Chicken Good For Cats?

Are there any health benefits if cats eat raw chicken? Commercial diets that are cheap have plenty of additional ingredients that are not good for cats. While raw food is free from any additives and preservatives.

Besides, cats require amino acids to remain healthy. So, raw chicken is a good source of amino acids for them. In addition, unlike plant-based food, raw chicken contains fewer carbohydrates. Thus, it doesn’t lead to weight gain or digestive issues in felines.

According to vets, raw chicken also helps in improving hydration in cats. The reason is that it consists of plenty of fluids compared to dry cat food.

Apart from hydration, eating raw chicken helps maintain a balanced diet that offers nutritional value to cats. In addition, raw foods also enhance the feline’s immunity against diseases.

Along with benefits, raw chicken also presents some risks to felines. Let’s have a look at them.

Is Raw Chicken Bad For Cats?

Being a pet owner, keeping your cat healthy and well-fed is essential for you. When it comes to chicken, it’s not as harmful as chocolate or grapes, which cats can’t consume. Although raw chicken is safe for cats to eat, feeding them regularly is not recommended.

Some hazards associated with feeding raw chicken to cats include:

Salmonellosis And Listeria

It’s worth mentioning here that cats eating raw chicken risk getting food poisoning. Although they have a short digestive tract containing strong acids, they aren’t entirely immune to bacteria like salmonella.

The tests conducted by USDA recently showed that 3.8% of young chicken samples contained salmonella.

Salmonellosis is an infection that occurs in cats because of the consumption of raw chicken. Its symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

Besides, your pet might seem lethargic and can undergo rapid weight loss. In such a situation, you must contact your vet without wasting time. Kittens and older cats are at higher risk of salmonellosis because of their poor immune systems.

Listeria is another infection that is caused by bacteria. It is commonly present in poultry, cattle, soil, and water. Its symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness

If left untreated, Listeria leads to death in cats.

Nutritional Deficiency

Raw chicken recipes made at home don’t contain proper nutrients and therefore cause nutrient deficiencies in your pet.

Cats need amino acids like arginine, methionine, and taurine for the proper functioning of their bodies.

Raw chicken isn’t rich in nutrients and vitamins compared to good cat food. Taurine is absent in raw chicken, providing cat health benefits and preventing reproductive problems and hair loss.

Instead of raw chicken, commercially available cat food containing raw meat is a good option. It is specifically formulated for your cats and is relatively safe.


Another risk associated with consuming raw chicken in the case of cats is small bone pieces. These pieces can get stuck in the cat’s digestive tract.

Cooked bones also cause internal injury when swallowed. That’s why you must consult your vet before giving cats raw chicken or other raw meat.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Safely?

Although raw meat diet poses some serious risks to your pet, there are several ways to remain on the safe side for your cat. These tips include:

  • Always choose fresh meat from any reliable source
  • After dealing with raw meat, wash your hands properly. It’s good to use gloves but dispose of them safely.
  • It’s good to freeze the raw meat and keep it tightly sealed so that cross-contamination doesn’t occur.
  • Disinfect surfaces and food bowls that remain in contact with the raw meat.

What Should I Do If My Cat Ate Raw Chicken Accidently?

Being a pet owner, leaving raw chicken can be pretty dangerous, and keeping an eye on your pet is essential.

Raw chicken not prepared properly might contain salmonella or any other bacterium. If your pet ate raw chicken that wasn’t properly made, he might show several symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

Salmonellosis not only occurs in cats but can also severely affect humans. So, if you observe any of these symptoms, you should call your vet immediately.

How To Safely Prepare Chicken For Cats?

It’s recommended to ask your vet before you feed raw chicken to your cat. Wild cats can eat raw meats. However, your domesticated cat is habitual to processed and cooked food. If your vet suggests introducing raw chicken to a feline’s diet, here are some safety tips.

  • Make Certain the Chicken is Fresh

It’s better to look for an organic chicken and buy the fresh products that you can. Feed these to your pet without delay, as the longer it stays, the more bacteria can grow in it.

You can feed your cat raw commercially available chicken as it contains additional nutrients and less harmful bacteria.

  • Prepare the Chicken Carefully Before Serving

Cut the chicken meat on a clean surface during preparation using a clean knife. Carefully remove all chicken bones before serving. It’s better to discard any leftover chicken. After your cat is done eating, clean the bowl using hot water and soap.

  • Clean Surfaces To Prevent the Spread of Bacteria

After preparing the raw chicken for cats, properly clean those surfaces where meat is placed. This will prevent contamination to yourself and others.

One of the easier ways to feed your homemade pet chicken is to boil or grill the meat without adding any salt or seasoning. Garlic, onion, and salt are harmful seasoning to cats; therefore, you must avoid them.

Final Thoughts

To sum up the above discussion, it’s okay for felines to have raw food diets. However, there are benefits and risks associated with feeding cats raw chicken.

Feeding cats raw chicken will improve their digestion, prevent obesity, and make them active.

On the other hand, some bacterial infections can occur if your cat eats raw chicken. If you caught your cat eating raw chicken, monitor their condition and call your vet immediately in case of any emergency.

Adding raw chicken necks and bones to your cat’s diet is usually good, but make sure to feed them only in small amounts.

FAQs For Cats Eating Raw Chicken

How Much Raw Chicken Is Enough For Cats?

Let us answer this question for you.
Each cat has different activity levels, age, sleeping duration, health, and genetics. In the same way, cats eat raw chicken with additional nutritional value compared to humans.
In the case of young, pregnant, nursing cats and kittens, feed them twice the food amount per pound of body weight. That’s because they are growing and need enough nutrients.
According to vets, it’s ideal for feeding 2 to 4% of their body weight daily. Hence, if your pet has 10 pounds weight, 3% will be 4.8 ounces daily.
Depending on the above formula, weigh your pet after feeding him raw chicken for a few weeks. Then, adjust the serving amount depending on whether the weight has increased or is decreasing. That’s because the goal is to maintain your pet’s weight.

How Often Can A Cat Eat Raw Chicken?

The ideal way to give the raw chicken to cats is to feed them as an occasional treat. It is generally reasonable to offer them a small piece of raw chicken breast once or twice a week.
If you want to give them raw food diet all time, always go for a commercially raw food diet that is certified and contains complete nutrients.
As a result, it will prevent your felines from any nutritional deficiency that can affect their health.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Bones?

It’s better to feed your cat raw chicken in small amounts, and it should be well prepared. But the question is, can cats eat raw chicken bones?
Based on pets and expert recommendations, you should let your pet chew bone pieces carefully. These breakable bones are good for dental health as well as mental stimulation.
Besides, these chicken bones provide nutrients like calcium which is essential for a healthy cat.
It is said that raw bones are usually better than cooked bones. The reason is that cooked bones have more chances of getting stuck in a cat’s digestive tract. Therefore, to remain safe, you should ask your vet before feeding them.
Always keep an eye on your pet in case of cooked or raw bones. Carefully monitor your pet’s bowel movements.
In case of any indigestion, blood, vomiting, gas, or other problem, call your vet and avoid feeding them bones again.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Liver?

Just like humans, can cats also eat raw chicken liver?
Raw chicken liver is rich in nutrients more than any other raw meat. In addition, it contains protein, calcium, iron, copper, vitamin B, magnesium, phosphorus, and other essential nutrients.
But make sure to feed your cat raw chicken liver in small amounts. If not, your pet can get diarrhea; therefore, you must be careful.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Necks?

Chicken necks consist of small chicken bones and contain various vitamins and minerals.
Plenty of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus are in the chicken neck. These chicken necks can be a great occasional treat for your pet.
It’s essential to observe your cats while they are eating raw chicken necks. Be sure they don’t have trouble chewing or digesting any portion of the chicken neck.

Can Kittens Eat Raw Chicken?

As eating raw meat is safe for adult cats. But what about kittens? Can they also eat raw food?
The answer is yes; kittens can eat raw chicken. But similar to adult cats, feeding them in small quantities is recommended. If it is cooked chicken, then it’s better.
For kittens, remove all the bones of raw chicken and serve them in small pieces to avoid choking hazards.
Kittens need a balanced diet containing proper proteins and vitamins for their growth and development.
Therefore, raw chicken is not so good regarding nutrients for your kittens. Instead, you can opt for good-quality pet food to help your kitty grow into a healthy cat.