Most people keep cats as pets, and it’s natural to wonder if the foods that we eat are safe for them to eat as well. For example, can cats eat chicken?
Some people may be surprised to know that chicken can indeed be a good food choice for cats in certain situations, but there are some limitations and risks involved when feeding it to felines.
Therefore, we’ll take you through all pros and cons related to this question to help you decide if your cat can eat chicken meat as well.
Table of Contents
Can Cats Eat Chicken?
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need animal-based protein in their diet to survive. So, they can eat chicken safely as long as it is cooked properly.
Though chicken is safer for cats, it shouldn’t replace balanced meals.
Chicken meat should be given in small amounts and only occasionally as a treat or a snack instead of every day as food.
What are the Health Benefits of Chicken for Cats?
Chicken is a great source of protein for cats and has a lot of other benefits as well. A diet rich in poultry can help maintain healthy joints and a healthy weight in your pet because it provides protein without added fat or sodium like many other sources of protein do.
Chicken is rich in selenium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.
Selenium is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to heart disease and cancer. This can also improve the cat’s immune system, and reduce shedding and hairballs.
Phosphorus helps build strong bones and teeth. In addition, it improves the function of the heart and liver, as well as the nervous system.
Magnesium in chicken supports the immune system, muscles, and nerves.
Chicken is high in potassium which is needed for fluid balance and blood pressure regulation, as well as muscular contractions.
Vitamin B6 helps convert food into energy and works with other vitamins to help the body use proteins efficiently. It also helps boost kidney functions and improve glucose metabolism, preventing diabetes in cats.
Can I Feed Chicken Liver to My Cat?
The liver of chicken can be consumed by cats in small amounts. This cat-friendly treat contains many vitamins and nutrients, and it is a great source of protein.
The chicken liver also contains calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Occasionally, a small amount of chicken liver is good, but eating too much may cause stomach upset or infection.
Do Cats Have a Problem Eating Chicken Bones?
Many veterinarians advise against giving your pet chicken bones for several reasons. First of all, the bones can harm your pet’s mouth and throat when chewed up.
Secondly, when a cat eats too many bones or bone-related material it can lead to constipation or blockages which can be life-threatening to your pet.
In addition to these risks of injury and illness, there is the chance that your pet may choke on the bone which is something no owner wants to happen to their furry friend.
Some vets recommend cats can chew breakable bones under supervision since they are a good source of calcium and promote dental health.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Necks Safely?
Cats may enjoy chicken necks as treats, but make sure that your cat chews the bones carefully so as not to choke. Smaller cats may choke if they are not handled carefully despite the softness of chicken neck bones.
Are Cats Allowed to Eat Raw Chicken?
It’s true that cats can eat raw chicken, but domesticated cats have sensitive stomachs, and it isn’t safe for them to digest raw meat. Because the digestion of domesticated felines has evolved according to the food they are fed. If you want your cat to try some raw chicken meat, you should try introducing it in a gradual way.
What are the Reasons Raw Meat is not Safe for Cats?
Feeding raw chicken to your cat is not advised because it could lead to a bacterial infection and raw meat can carry parasites, like Toxoplasma Gondii, which can make your pet sick.
Raw chicken may give rise to:
Some raw chicken might have been contaminated with listeria, and this may lead to listeriosis. The symptoms will vary depending on how severe the condition is, which can range from mild to severe.
Mild cases may show the following signs:
Symptoms might include muscle pain, breathing problems, pregnancy complications, or even death if it progresses further.
Feeding your cat raw chicken is dangerous because of the high probability of salmonella infection. If your cat eats raw chicken containing salmonella, it may experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid weight loss
- Severe dehydration
If the cat shows any of the above symptoms, the cat should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid potentially fatal results.
Can Kittens Eat Chicken?
Kittens require a well-balanced diet that contains protein, so if your kitten is old enough to eat solid food, then it can eat poultry.
Chicken meat should be well-cooked and unseasoned before feeding to your cats. However, never give chicken as a replacement for kitten food; it should only be given as a treat or reward.
To make sure your kitten is getting the proper amount of protein in its diet, include other sources of protein such as lamb and fish.
Is it Safe to Feed Chicken to a Cat on a Daily Basis?
If you have a cat, it is not recommended to feed it chicken exclusively. The nutrients and vitamins in the chicken are not as high as those in high-quality cat food.
Chicken lacks taurine, an amino acid that is necessary for many functions like eye and heart health and reproduction. Cats cannot produce taurine themselves so they need it through diet.
Chicken also lacks enough fat which is necessary for cats to protect internal organs and maintain their weight.
In conclusion, a cat fed only chicken might develop nutritional deficiencies and diet-related health problems that are linked to chicken.
Therefore, chicken is not a complete diet and should not be fed exclusively to a feline. It is best for your cat to consume cat food recommended by a veterinarian to get the necessary nutrients.
Snacks for Cats That are High in Protein
Protein snacks like small bits of cooked egg or a small serving of tuna will provide your cat with nutritional benefits without any risk.
There are a lot of protein snacks available to choose from:
- Cooked eggs
- Lean beef
- Shrimps and prawns
What Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?
For people that want to share their food with their cat, make sure to give your cat healthy human snacks instead of snacks that may harm them.
Foods you should avoid giving your cat include:
- Citrus fruits
- Grapes and raisins
- Dairy products
- Raw bread containing yeast
- Onions, garlic, leeks, chives, scallions, and shallots
- As obligate carnivores, cats can eat chicken safely.
- One should not feed their cat raw chicken or any uncooked meat because of the risk of bacteria and parasites.
- In moderation, cats can eat chicken liver and chicken necks.
- Chicken lacks essential nutrients, so it should be mixed with a balanced diet.
- Always consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any new food.
It can be very stressful and concerning when a beloved pet is not feeling well, so it’s worth it to get pet insurance to make sure you can cover the veterinary bills.
Importance of Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is a great way to protect your animal’s health. It can be hard to predict when an accident will happen, but with pet insurance, you’re covered.
There are a few different types of plans depending on your needs, and it only takes minutes to get coverage for your pet.
Some pet insurance companies will even cover 100% of veterinary expenses. So make sure to choose the best pet insurance plan for your furry friend.
Once you have a plan in place, vet bills will never be too high because they’ll already be covered by the policy.
It’s important that we all take care of our animals’ safety and well-being so they can enjoy their lives just as much as we do ours.
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