Can cats eat raw chicken? They can, but should they? Well, here’s the meat and potatoes:

The Kitty Key Takeaways

  • Chicken is protein power for our feline friends, loaded with vitamins and minerals 🍗 
  • But, it can come with a side of nasties, including Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter – not exactly a savory bite for your kitty 🙀 
  • Generally, it’s best to avoid giving your kitty raw chicken 😿
  • If you’re set on it, though, be sure you’re sourcing it from a reputable provider and chilling it out in the fridge until it’s mealtime ⚠️

Is Chicken Safe for Cats?

Our feline friends are obligate carnivores. Their bodies are custom-built to digest and utilize animal proteins, and chicken fits that bill purrfectly. However, while chicken can be a fantastic source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, raw chicken might serve up some health hazards.

Note from the Catnip Chronicles

One of my neighbors told me about a vet trip they had in November.  Her cat, Purr-fect Penny, used to be a notorious turkey thief during Thanksgiving. The turkey tasted delightful to Penny, until it didn’t. One misadventure landed her at the vet’s, with an unhappy tummy. So, let’s remember – raw meat might not always be the cat’s meow!

What Happens If You Feed Cats Raw Chicken?

Thinking of having a feline feast featuring raw chicken? Remember, raw chicken might house Salmonella, potentially fatal to cats. Other unwelcome dinner guests could include E. coli and Campylobacter jejuni.

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Are you afraid of parasites crashing the party? Try freezing the chicken for at least four days. This can dispatch the creepy crawlies. But bacteria? Not so much. The only way to fend off Salmonella is to cook the chicken thoroughly before dishing it out.

And for the love of Mr. Fluff, always wash your hands post handling raw chicken (and keep it miles away from human food).

What Happens If You Feed Cats Raw Chicken?

Campylobacter Poisoning in Kittens

Our feline babies are not exempt from the chicken chaos. The bacteria, Campylobacter jejuni, found in raw chicken, can cause a nasty tummy infection, campylobacteriosis, in kittens. If your tiny tiger ends up with this infection, it’s time for some antibiotic action. 😿

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken at All?

Yes, raw chicken can provide cats with top-notch protein and hydration. But it also opens the door to salmonellosis (a nasty food-borne illness) leading to dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea, which could potentially turn fatal for cats.

If you’re set on offering raw chicken to your kitty, follow these golden rules:

  • Say no to room temperature meat! Only serve the chicken straight out of the fridge.
  • Hand hygiene is key before and after handling the meat.
  • Keep your cat’s water bowl filled to the brim.
Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken at All?

If Mr. Fluff seems under the weather post chicken feast, it’s time for a vet visit! And yes, the golden question, “Can cats eat raw chicken?” Ideally, they shouldn’t. So, whenever you get an opportunity to cook that chicken for your cat instead of serving it raw, do it.

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Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

Ever wondered if it’s safe for your cats to nibble on chicken bones? Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. Cats might choke on a bone, or worse, swallow sharp splinters that could cause internal injuries. If you’re sharing some chicken with your kitty, make sure it’s bone-free and well-cooked.

Raw chicken bones are less risky than their cooked counterparts, which can splinter and harm your kitty’s digestive system. If you want your cat to gnaw on a bone, pick a raw, sturdy one to minimize the risk.

Is a Raw Food Diet Healthy for Cats?

A raw diet could be a healthy option for cats, as long as it’s balanced and bacteria-free. This can be quite tricky to pull off.

Cats that feast on raw meat usually sport shiny coats, healthy teeth, and bright eyes. And let’s not forget – less smelly litter boxes! However, a raw diet must include a mix of different meats and veggies, supplemented with taurine.

Is a Raw Food Diet Healthy for Cats?

Caution ⚠️

Feeding your cat raw chicken exclusively could lead to nutritional deficiencies. Consult your vet before switching your cat to a raw food diet. When in doubt, stick to the safe side and treat your cat to cooked chicken occasionally.

To Sum Up, Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?

So, can cats eat raw chicken? Technically, yes. Raw chicken is a protein powerhouse. However, always chat with your vet before introducing something new to your kitty’s diet, especially something potentially risky like raw chicken. And remember, keep the water bowl brimming. If your cat shows any adverse effects after a chicken dinner, make a beeline for the vet.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Raw Chicken Should I Feed My Cat?

Ideally, none. But if you’re sure it’s free from harmful bacteria, you could replace one of your cat’s meals with raw chicken once a week. Treats, including meaty bites, should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily diet.

Can I Give Raw Chicken Breast to My Cat?

Yes, you can, but always opt for boneless chicken breast. Other parts might harbor sharp bones that could harm your cat.

Can Cats Get Worms From Eating Raw Chicken?

Possibly. Improperly handled chicken might house worm eggs or larvae. Freezing the meat for at least 7 days could kill most parasites. 

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