Choosing a cat food can be overwhelming, especially when you’re looking at raw cat food. It’s our responsibility to make sure we are giving them the balance of nutrients they need, but it’s not always clear which foods are safe and healthy. So are raw foods, including chicken, good for our cats? In this article, we’ll talk about whether or not cats can eat raw chicken, the benefits and hazards of raw chicken, and how to feed your cat a safe raw diet.
In short, cats can eat raw chicken, but it comes with a few risks. Keep reading for the details.
What are the benefits of raw chicken?
Every cat has different tastes, so some cats may not be able to tolerate eating a raw diet or raw chicken. However, feeding raw chicken and a raw diet do have benefits. These include:
Cats are carnivores, so they must eat meat. Cats need amino acids to stay healthy and there are plenty of these in raw chicken.
Some owners have noticed that feeding a raw diet to their cats has resulted in better coat quality.
After switching to raw cat food, owners have noticed how much more energy their cats have. Cats can utilize proteins, turning them into energy in their liver. This in turn may help your cat lose weight if they are overweight.
Better Dental Health
Chewing on raw bones helps keep the teeth clean. If you want to feed your cat raw chicken bones, observe your cat carefully to make sure they are safe and not chocking on them.
Watch out for your cat’s next faeces. Should you notice blood or if your cat is struggling to pass faeces, then stop feeding them bones and seek veterinary advice immediately.
What are the risks of feeding raw chicken?
If you choose to give your cat raw chicken as anything more than a treat, it is recommended to find a diet by a reputable brand or one that has been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist.
Feeding raw chicken alone could potentially give your cats an imbalance of nutrients which (in turn) could lead to health problems. If you want to feed your cat solely raw chicken, then speak to your veterinary surgeon, as a supplement may be needed, to ensure your cat is getting all the nutrients they need.
In addition to the risk of nutrient deficiencies, raw diets pose other risks for cats. Any bones not completely ground up could cause intestinal blockages or even lacerations.
Plus, raw foods are more likely to be contaminated with harmful bacteria like Salmonella. This can cause a variety of problems for cats, including diarrhea and vomiting. It can also be spread to humans.
How much raw chicken should I feed my cat?
There are guidelines you can follow and use to give you a good idea as to what is considered a good amount of raw chicken to feed your cat.
In general, you can feed your cat a chunk of raw chicken or a raw chicken wing once a week as a treat.
If you’re feeding a complete and balanced raw chicken-based diet, it’s generally recommended that you feed between 2% and 4% of your cat’s ideal body weight, split into two or three meals a day. For an accurate amount to give your cat, seek veterinary advice.
What should I do if my cat ate raw chicken that was not prepared correctly?
The main concern of your cat eating raw chicken that was not prepared correctly for them is the risk of bacterial contamination such as salmonella, which can be passed onto humans.
If you think your cat has eaten raw chicken, look out for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea (often bloody), being lethargic, and loss of appetite. If these symptoms occur, seek advice from your veterinary surgeon.
Can Kittens Eat Raw Chicken?
If you decide to feed raw chicken to your kitten, then you will need to feed them smaller pieces that have been deboned. It is important to gradually introduce this to the kitten, as not all cats or kittens may be able to tolerate raw chicken.
Kittens need more proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals than adult cats, so make sure that the diet is balanced.
If you are unsure about feeding raw chicken to your kitten but would like to, then your kitten’s veterinary surgeon can help you decide about how and when to introduce raw chicken into their diet.
Safety Tips for Feeding Your Cat Raw Chicken
Should you wish to feed your cat raw chicken, remember the following when feeding any raw food to your cat. Top tips include:
- Prepare the food in one part of the home and clean the area thoroughly after every preparation.
- Always wear gloves when handling raw meat and wash hands thoroughly.
- Use any meat ingredients from a trustworthy source.
- Feed your cat in an area where it is easy to clean.
- Clean bowls after feeding so no bacteria can spread.
If you choose to feed your cat a raw diet, it should be completely balanced by a veterinary nutritionist; as should the diet become imbalanced, then your cat could be at risk of a variety of health issues.