Many of us are on the fence when it comes to feeding our cat chicken.
On the one hand, we want our furry friend to have a nutritious diet that is full of protein and vitamins; on the other hand, many people associate chicken with salmonella poisoning in humans.
There are risks associated with giving your cat raw or undercooked meat, but most cats can handle eating cooked poultry without any issues!
In this article we will discuss how safe it is for cats to eat chicken.
So Can Cats Actually Eat Chicken?
Yes, cats can eat chicken.
Cat food is made up of protein and meat from different sources such as beef or poultry like chickens so it is something that they are very used to consuming in their day-to-day diets.
Cats are carnivores, which means they thrive on a diet of protein.
They need to eat meat in order for their bodies and minds stay healthy so it is important that you feed them with the right amount every day.
The Health Benefits Of Adding Chicken To Your Cat’s Diet
There are a number of health benefits that come from adding chicken to your cat’s diet.
It can help them maintain their weight, it is good for the heart and brain as well as having anti-inflammatory properties which help with arthritis in older cats or those who have been injured.
Chicken contains taurine – this essential amino acid aids digestion by breaking down fats into smaller molecules called lipids; these then get absorbed more easily through cell membranes. Including plenty of taurine in your cat’s diet will help them to digest fat far better.
Taurine is also needed to maintain a healthy nervous system.
Why Feeding Your Cat Chicken Helps Them Maintain A Healthy Weight
Chicken is a low-calorie food, which means that it can help your cat maintain weight.
Cats are obligate carnivores and therefore need meat in their diet to stay healthy – chicken provides them with the protein they require without too many calories or carbohydrates from other sources such as grains (which cats simply do not need in their diets).
Why Cats Need Taurine
Taurine is essential for cats.
It promotes healthy vision, digestion and heart muscle function as well as normal pregnancy and fetal development.
Taurine also helps maintain a healthy immune system which can help reduce inflammation-causing side effects of conditions such as feline diabetes or congestive heart failure to name just two examples!
Taurine helps to regulate your cat’s heart function and blood pressure, as well as maintain healthy retinas in the eye – it can be found naturally occurring only within animal-based proteins such as meat or fish.
Tuna contains taurine but not enough for cats so should never replace chicken!
Cats are unable of producing their natural supply themselves which means they must obtain sufficient amounts from food sources such as meats like chicken.
How To Cook Chicken For Your Cat
When cooking chicken for your cat you should avoid using oils and any seasoning as oils add uneccessary fat to your cats diet which make the chicken harder to digest and cats are likely to be put off by certain seasonings, especially spicey ones.
Chicken should be cooked at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, this is sufficient to ensure that bacteria will die off but will still retain its nutritional value while also staying moist with no dry spots in it – perfect for your cat!
Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?
No, cats cannot eat raw chicken though that won’t stop them trying given the chance.
Cats are unable to digest meat that has not been cooked properly and this can lead them to become sick with a condition called toxoplasmosis which is caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii found in cat feces (toxoplasmosis can be extremely dangerous to babies in the womb which is why someone who is pregnant should avoid changing cat litter).
The dangers of feeding your pet uncooked food come from bacteria such as Salmonella or E coli which can be found in poultry products like chickens so it’s important you cook the chicken before feeding it to your cat, as the health risk of not cooking the meat is too high!
What To Do If Your Cat Eats Raw Chicken
If your cat eats raw chicken watch out for signs of illness such as vomiting and diarrhea.
If you notice either of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Skin?
Yes, cats can eat chicken skin!
However you should be careful as chicken skins typically contain high levels of oils that are hard to digest and, depending on how the chicken has been prepared, may contain seasonings such as salt, garlic and onions which can be toxic to cats.
Ideally you should only feed your cat chicken skin if it is unseasoned.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Liver?
Cats can eat chicken liver, but it should not make up more than 20% or so of the protein in their diet.
Liver is a good source for Vitamin A and B12 which are both important nutrients that help keep your cat’s immune system strong!
However be aware that too much liver may cause Vitamin A toxicity.
This is a serious condition that can lead to bone deformities, growths on the elbows and spine or osteoporosis as well as death.
Symptoms include deformed bones, bone growths on the elbow joints and backs of their spines which are common in older cats with more advanced cases showing signs such as an abnormal curvature of the backbone (scoliosis), muscle atrophy from disuse or weight loss followed by degenerative joint disease.
While such cases are rare it is important to not get into the habit of feeding your cat chicken liver regularly, if they must have it only give it as an occassional treat.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones?
Cats should not eat cooked chicken bones.
Cooked chicken bones are prone to splintering which can impale their throat and cause serious internal injuries.
However, cats can eat raw chicken bones.
Because raw bones are flexible they will not splinter and cause internal injuries like cooked chicken bones may do.
Raw chicken bones are also a great source of minerals and vitamins including things like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Raw chicken bones are packed full of calcium which is essential for cats as it helps them build strong bones and teeth.
Chewing raw bones can also improve the oral health of your cat.
In a study, the cat’s teeth were found to be cleaner and more healthy after chewing on raw bones.
When feeding your cat a raw chicken bone you should make sure that all of the raw chicken is removed and cleaned off the bone first.
This is because, as previously mentioned, raw chicken can contain bacteria that is not safe for cats. Even a small trace has the potential to make them ill.
What To Do If Your Cat Eats A Cooked Chicken Bone
If your cat eats a cooked chicken bone, you should take them to the veterinarian immediately.
This is because they can cause serious damage internally and may need surgery if not treated quickly enough!
If you wait for signs of internal injury such as blood in their faeces then it may be too late for the veterinarian to help.
The vet will need x-rays and a blood test in order for them to diagnose your cat’s condition, so it is important that you take him or her as soon after they have eaten their bone!
Alternatives To Chicken
If you are concerned about feeding chicken to your cat , then there are other options that you can try.
Alternatives include things like turkey breast without skin as well as beef liver pate with no onion powder in it (cats cannot digest onions!).
Some other alternatives to chicken which your cat may enjoy include:
- Fish, such a salmon or tuna. Salmon in particular has high levels of Omega oils which are good for your cat’s skin and coat!
- Duck is also a good alternative to chicken! It has high levels of Omega oils which are beneficial for your cat’s skin and coat too.
- Beef is also a good alternative to chicken, and it has high levels of Omega oils which are beneficial for your cat’s skin! Though be aware that beef should not make up more than 20% or so of the protein in their diet as red meat can put stress on their liver, kidneys and digestive system and if eaten regularly can cause weight gain and high blood pressure.
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