Can Cats Eat Chicken? How to Prepare Chicken Safely for Cats? 

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Can cats eat chicken? Cats are carnivores, so their diet should consist mainly of meat. Chicken is a good source of lean protein for cats and is one of the main ingredients in commercial cat food. 

Chicken can make up part of your cat’s main meals and can also be a healthy treat if given in moderation. When feeding your cat chicken, make sure it is cooked thoroughly to avoid foodborne illnesses. You should also avoid giving your cat cooked chicken bones, as they could splinter and damage their digestive tract or gums. 

Overall, chicken is a safe and healthy food for cats when fed in moderation. This article will tell you everything you need to consider before feeding your cat chicken, chicken skin, or raw chicken!

Can cats eat chicken? 

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Chicken is eaten in large quantities globally by humans and pets. It’s the most popular meat after pork and is one of the main ingredients in cat foods and treats. Chicken is non-toxic and suitable for cats. 

Cats can eat chicken, depending on how it’s prepared, but it may not be the best option for them.

Chicken contains lean protein, which will help your cat stay healthy and contribute to their energy levels. It also helps cats build muscle mass. 

Chicken contains many healthy vitamins and minerals, including B6, phosphorus, and selenium. These nutrients help keep a cat’s bones, fur, and teeth strong and healthy and contribute to a healthy immune system.  

Chicken can also help your cat maintain a healthy weight, and it’s good for your pet’s liver and kidneys. 

The disadvantages of chicken

Chicken also contains fats, which can be difficult for cats to digest. Problems may occur if you feed your pet chicken that’s meant for human consumption or raw chicken.  

It is vital to make sure that chicken is cooked thoroughly before feeding it to your cat, as raw chicken can contain bacteria that can make your cat sick. 

If you’re feeding leftovers to your cat, remove any skin or bones, as these can be dangerous for them to eat. 

Don’t give your cat chicken if it’s been cooked in a sauce that contains ingredients that are harmful to cats, including salt, garlic, or onions. It’s also best to avoid chicken that’s been fried when feeding your pets. 

Things to consider before feeding chicken to your cat

can cats eat chicken?
Can cats eat chicken? Yes, but its best not to give your pet a whole chicken carcass.

If you are unsure whether your cat can eat chicken, it is best to consult with a vet. Here are some tips to consider before feeding chicken to your cat:

  • Remove the bones before giving your cat any type of meat. Chicken bones can be very sharp and dangerous for cats if swallowed.

  • Cook the chicken thoroughly, as raw chicken may give your cat food poisoning.

  • Remove the skin from the chicken before feeding it to your cat. The skin is high in fat and difficult for cats to digest. 

  • Cut the chicken into small pieces so that your cat can easily chew and swallow it. 

  • Monitor your cat closely after feeding them chicken to ensure they do not have any adverse reactions, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat does experience these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately.

How to cook chicken for your cat?

Ensure that the chicken you feed your cat is as plain as possible. The best way to cook chicken is to boil or steam it without adding any oil or seasonings. Before cooking the chicken, cut off any excess fat which is unhealthy for your pet.

  • Don’t add salt; cats that eat too much salt can end up with sodium poisoning
  • Don’t add oils when cooking chicken for your cat
  • Avoid seasoning, especially garlic and onions.
  • Avoid herbs and spices. 

Can cats eat raw chicken?

Many people believe that cats can eat raw meat; after all, they will catch birds and mice to eat given half the chance. Big cats and feral cats will also eat raw meat. While there is some truth in this, you do need to be very careful when feeding raw meat to your cat. 

Most vets would advise against raw meat as cats’ digestive systems have evolved through domestication and they aren’t used to eating large quantities of raw meat. 


Cats should not eat raw chicken as it may contain bacteria such as salmonella, E Coli, or a parasite called toxoplasmosis that can make your cat sick. It is essential to cook chicken thoroughly before feeding it to your cat or dog. 


Salmonella can be found in meat, fish, and eggs and causes an upset stomach with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Your cat may quickly become dehydrated if he gets sick, which can cause further problems.

If your cat does eat raw chicken, watch out for these signs of illness and take them to the vet immediately if they occur. Most cats will quickly get over food poisoning as long as they are treated with IV fluids and medication soon enough. Weak, young, or old cats are likely to be more affected and take longer to recover. 

It’s also worth noting that salmonella is a zoonotic bacteria. This means that it can affect many different species of mammals. You can even catch the illness off your pet, especially if you are cleaning out their litter box and then don’t wash your hands properly. 

There are over 2000 types of salmonella around nowadays due to the bacteria mutation. Some strains aren’t very severe and won’t affect your cat much, but they could affect people in the household. This is a good reason not to give your cat raw meat.

Raw food diets

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Can cats eat chicken? Yes, as long as its correctly prepared and doesn't contain bones. The skin is best removed.

Some pet owners feed their cats a raw food diet for health reasons; it’s best to do your research and consult your vet before adding raw meat to your cat’s diet.

Young kittens and older cats are more likely to be affected by bacteria in raw meats.

How much chicken can cats eat?

Cats should not eat large amounts of chicken as it is high in protein and fat. A small amount of cooked, boneless chicken breast meat is a good occasional treat for cats. 

The exact amount of chicken, a cat, can eat will depend on his age, size, and health. In general, a small handful of chicken is enough for your cat.

Can cats eat chicken skin?

No, cats should not eat chicken skin. Chicken skin contains more fat than meat and may be hard for cats to digest. 

Cats that regularly eat chicken skin are more likely to suffer from health problems such as pancreatitis and obesity. An overweight cat will also be at risk of other issues such as diabetes or poor joint health as they age.

Related Article: Can Cats Have Almond Milk? 

Can cats eat raw meat?

Cats should not eat raw meat. Raw meat may contain bacteria that can make your cat sick. It is essential to cook meat thoroughly before feeding it to your cat. 

Avoid bones

Also, avoid bones, especially in meat such as chicken or fish. Chicken has very small bones, which can be a hazard to pets’ health. 

Bones are particularly hazardous when cooked as they are more prone to splintering. Raw bones are healthier for cats, but there is the risk of bacteria associated with raw meat, so it’s best to avoid bones altogether. 

That being said, chewing on a bone can help maintain the health of your cat’s teeth. The bone marrow is full of iron and other beneficial vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. 

Can chicken cause dental issues?

Chicken can cause dental health problems in cats due to bacteria which can damage the teeth and gums. Chicken has gristly meat, which can easily get stuck between your cat’s teeth and cause infection. 

If you give your cat chicken with bones, they can splinter and cut your pet’s gums. 

Can cats eat fish? 

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Yes, cats can eat fish. Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for cats. However, fish should only be given to cats in moderation. Too much fish can cause health problems such as liver disease.

When feeding fish to your cat, make sure it is cooked thoroughly and does not contain any bones. It is also essential to avoid giving your cat fish that has been cooked in a sauce that contains ingredients that are harmful to cats, including salt, garlic, or onions. 

Don’t give your cat fish that’s been fried or raw fish. Ensure that the fish has been plainly cooked before feeding your pet.

Which human foods can cats eat? 

Cats can eat meats such as chicken, turkey, or beef as long as it’s plainly cooked. They can also eat scrambled eggs as long as you haven’t added any salt, butter, or oil. 

Fish such as salmon, tuna, or shrimp is also a healthy treat for cats. If you’re feeding your cat the canned variety, ensure you choose one that’s in spring water, and that doesn’t contain toxic ingredients. 

Some cats like peas or carrots and these are ingredients that are often added to cat foods and treats. You need to be careful when giving your pet vegetables or plant matter, as some plants are toxic to cats

Cat treats

Rather than giving your cat human foods as a treat, you may like to choose a cat treat or chew. There are many healthy treats for cats that contain vitamins and minerals that will maintain your pet’s health. Treats are also available that will help your cat get rid of furballs. 

Related Article: Can Cats Eat Dog Food in an Emergency? 

Can cats eat chicken? Final thoughts

Cats can eat chicken, as it contains high levels of protein which will provide your pet with energy. It is vital to ensure that chicken is cooked thoroughly before feeding it to your cat, as raw chicken could make your cat sick.

Rather than feeding your cat foods that are meant for humans, it’s best to choose good quality cat food. Commercial cat foods have been formulated specifically for cats so that they get all the nutrients they require. 

Related Article: Can Cats Eat Salmon Skin?

Further Reading: New Kitten Checklist 

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