Can cats eat chicken? Yes, but there are a few rules you need to consider before tossing your cat a few bites of chicken.
Boiled or cooked chicken with no salt, pepper, or spices is safe to feed your cat. Always provide thoroughly cooked chicken to prevent stomach upset or illness from eating raw poultry.
Cats are carnivores and require animal protein to maintain long-term overall good health. In the wild, they prey on protein sources and eat them raw.
Chances are your domestic cat has is served delicious kibble or wet cat food and enjoys a well-balanced diet but still chase prey when allowed to go outdoors.
If your cat has shown up at your door with a dead lizard, mouse, or bird in their mouth, this is an example of their natural instincts kicking into action. So, chances are your cat is going to love tasty cooked chicken.
Health Benefits of Chicken for Cats
Can cats eat chicken? Yes. As long as it’s thoroughly cooked and doesn’t contain any seasonings.
Chicken also provides the following benefits for your cat.
- Chicken breast is low in fat and sodium
- Builds lean muscles
- It contains selenium to support a healthy immune system
- It helps to maintain a healthy weight
- Supports healthy teeth and bones
- Supports the health of the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver
How much chicken should cats eat?
Can cats eat chicken? Yes, but how much is the right amount? According to PetMD, small portions of chicken can be fed to cats in moderation.
Avoid using chicken as a meal replacement. It’s also essential to avoid giving your cat the skin or fat trimmings because it can lead to pancreatitis.
Why can’t I feed my cat raw chicken?
You might wonder why you can’t feed your cat raw chicken when they eat natural protein when living in the wild.
Raw chicken is posted on the ASPCA list of toxic foods because it can contain E. coli and Salmonella that could make your cat sick.
Raw chicken can also cause infectious diseases such as toxoplasmosis.
While cats have no choice and are forced to eat raw protein in the wild, as domesticated cats, they can be protected from the harsh outcome by only eating cooked chicken.
Can cats eat chicken bones?
Your cat might like the crunchy texture of bones and the taste of marrow, but chicken bones are a choking hazard for cats.
Chicken bones come in all shapes, sizes, and density which means they can get lodged in your cat’s throat blocking the airway or puncture the digestive tract leading to serious health problems.
Alternative Healthy Snacks for Cats
Thoroughly cooked chicken is an excellent source of protein and satisfies your cat’s taste buds, but there are a few other alternative healthy snacks you can consider the next time you are looking for a tasty treat for your pet.
- Thoroughly cooked plain turkey or beef
- Brown rice
- Raw celery (this is an excellent option for cats that love to crunch)
- Scrambled eggs
- Green bell peppers
If your cat has a healthy appetite and enjoys trying different foods, you can also combine plain cooked chicken in a small bowl with any of the ingredients listed above.
While plain cooked chicken is safe and healthy for cats to eat, it’s best done in moderation. Chicken should be an addition to your cat’s diet and is not meant to substitute any meal.
Fun ways to include cooked chicken in your cat’s diet is to cut the meat into small bite-sized cubes and add a few to their dry kibble or wet cat food.
If you aren’t sure, cooked chicken is ideal for your cat’s nutritional needs, consult with a veterinarian for further assistance.