Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? The Benefits and Disadvantages of Raw Chicken for Cats
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Can cats eat raw chicken? Cats can eat raw chicken, and it may have some health benefits. However, there are also some downsides to giving your pet raw meat.
Some pet owners add raw meat to their cat’s diet as a wild cat would naturally hunt and eat raw meat. Eating raw chicken can help cats clean their teeth and is a good source of protein. However, meat that isn’t fresh can contain bacteria that will make your cat sick.
This article will answer the question, ‘can cats eat raw chicken?’ We’ll discuss the benefits and disadvantages of feeding raw chicken to your cat.
Can cats eat raw chicken?
Many people believe feeding their cats raw meat is okay. After all, cats would naturally eat the raw flesh of their prey in the wild; therefore, they are biologically meant to eat raw meat. While this is true, there is also less chance of the cat consuming harmful bacteria as they would only eat meat that was very fresh and caught just seconds ago.
If your cat has stolen some raw meat there is no need to worry, but it’s debatable as to whether a cat should be regularly fed raw chicken and other meats. Raw meat can also contain small bones, which may be a choking hazard for cats.
Related article: Can Cats Eat Chicken?
Bacteria in meat
Raw chicken has been killed, chilled, and stored, often while being transported for long distances. It’s then displayed on a supermarket shelf and finally ends up in your fridge. There is a chance that the meat isn’t as fresh as it could be and may contain harmful bacteria, which could make a cat sick if consumed. Raw chicken can contain bacteria such as salmonella and e. coli, which can be harmful to cats if ingested.
While the risks are small, bacteria is something you should consider when feeding raw meat to your cat. You should always give your cat the freshest meat possible and ensure you store and handle the meat correctly before giving it to your cat. Felines have a shorter digestive tract than humans, so they are less likely to suffer from symptoms, even if they do eat meat containing harmful bacteria. Their stomachs are also more acidic, which means they can eat raw meat without issues and do so regularly in the wild. However, older, ill, or young cats will be at greater risk of getting sick if there is bacteria in the meat.
Rather than giving your cat raw chicken, you may like to cook the meat. Cooking at a high temperature will kill any germs and bacteria on the meat and will mean that there’s less chance your cat will suffer from food poisoning.
Chickens have small bones, which can be a choking hazard for cats. The bones can also splinter and injure your cat’s mouth or intestines, leading to lifelong health issues or a large vet bill. You should always remove the bones from chicken before giving it to your pet, only give your cat raw bones, as they are more likely to splinter when cooked, and supervise your pet as they eat.
The benefits of giving your cat raw chicken
While there are some risks involved with giving your cat raw meat, there are also a few benefits. Raw chicken wings are beneficial for cats as it helps keep their teeth clean. The chewing action helps to remove plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth and gums.
The protein in raw chicken also benefits cats as it helps support healthy muscle growth and development. However, feeding your cat a diet of just raw chicken isn’t a good idea, as your pet may become deficient in nutrients.
How to safely feed your cat raw chicken
If you do decide to feed your cat raw chicken or other meats, there are a few steps you should take to keep your pet safe and avoid contamination.
- Buy the freshest meat possible
- Wash your hands before and after handling meat
- Clean all surfaces and pet bowls with disinfectant
- Store meat in your fridge or freezer correctly
Rather than buying meat for human consumption, you may like to buy a good quality commercial cat food that contains raw meat. Vets and dieticians have specifically formulated these products to ensure your cat gets all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Can cats eat raw chicken: Final thoughts
In conclusion, cats can eat raw chicken, but it is vital to do so with caution. Ensure you consult a vet before feeding your cat raw chicken, and be aware of the risks associated with doing so. With proper care and attention, your cat can enjoy the benefits of raw chicken while avoiding any potential harm.