Can Cats Eat Canned Chicken Without Any Risks?

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Do you know if it’s safe to give your cat canned chicken? You might be surprised to learn that this is a question many pet parents have.

There is a lot of debate over the topic. Some people believe that canned chicken is healthy and nutritious food for cats while others think it’s best to avoid it altogether.

So, what’s the truth? Can cats eat canned chicken or not?

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this popular pet food.

Can Cats Eat Canned Chicken?

Yes, cats can eat canned chicken as a supplement to their regular diet. However, it’s important to note that canned chicken may not contain all of the nutrients cats need, so it’s best to use it as a supplement rather than the main source of nutrition.

Why Is Canned Chicken Healthy for Cats?

Canned chicken is healthy for cats because it is a good source of protein and moisture. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require animal protein to survive.

Canned chicken also contains moisture, which helps to keep cats hydrated.

Grocery aisle with canned meats of tuna and chicken

Why Is Canned Chicken Bad for Cats?

There are a few reasons why canned chicken may not be the best food for your cat. First and foremost, it is typically very high in sodium. While a little bit of sodium is needed for cats, too much can lead to health problems like kidney disease. 

Second, most commercially-available canned chicken contains preservatives. These can cause gastrointestinal upset in some kitties (diarrhea, vomiting, etc).

What Are the Bad Ingredients for Cats to Watch out For in Canned Chicken?

The bad ingredients for cats to watch out for in canned chicken are the ones that are found in most processed foods: added sugar, unhealthy oils, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

Some specific ingredients to avoid include:

  • Added sugar: which can cause weight gain and other health problems in cats
  • Unhealthy oils: like corn oil, soybean oil, or cottonseed oil, which are high in unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids and can contribute to inflammation
  • Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives: may be harmful to cats’ health.

How to Prepared Canned Chicken for Cats

There are a few different ways that you can prepare canned chicken for cats.

One way is to simply chop the chicken into small pieces and serve it as is.

Another way is to mix the chicken with some wet cat food, which will make it more moist and palatable for your cat.

You can also put the chicken in a food processor and blend it into a thick paste, which can then be mixed with wet cat food or served as is.

Whichever method you choose, make sure to refrigerate any leftovers and discard any uneaten food after 24 hours.

How Many Calories Are in Canned Chicken?

There are about 125 calories in a 5-ounce can of chicken. Of those, 35 come from fat, and 90 come from protein.

Canned chicken is a good source of protein, with about 22 grams per 5-ounce can. It also contains some B vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc.

How Many Calories Should a Cat Eat Every Day?

A healthy cat typically needs about 20-33 calories per pound of cat each day. This can vary depending on the age, weight, and activity level of your cat.

The average cat weighs 10 lbs and would need 200 – 330 calories per day. If you were to feed a 10 lb cat only canned chicken they could eat 1.5 to 2.5 cans per day.

Can I Feed My Cat Canned Chicken every day?

No, you should not feed your cat canned chicken every day. While this may be a good source of protein for cats, it does not have all the nutrients they need and it’s high in sodium which can cause kidney problems over time.

How Much Canned Chicken Can You Feed Your Cat Each Week?

Cats can eat a small amount of canned chicken a few times a week, but it’s best not to make it a regular part of their diet.

Canned chicken is high in sodium, so feeding it to your cat every day could cause health problems.

Plus, cats prefer changing things up, so they’re likely to turn up their noses at canned chicken if they have other options.

Do You Have to Cook Canned Chicken Before Feeding to Your Cat?

No, you don’t have to cook canned chicken before feeding it to your cat. Canned chicken is a great source of protein for them and is already cooked, so you can simply open the can and serve it to your cat as is.

Some people like to mix canned chicken with dry food or kibble to help keep their cats’ teeth clean, but it’s not necessary.

If you do choose to feed your cat canned chicken, make sure it doesn’t contain any extra sugar or preservatives, as these can be harmful to them.

Should You Rinse Canned Chicken for Cats?

You should always rinse canned chicken for cats (and dogs too!). That’s because rinsing will remove some of the sodium that’s added during processing, which can be harmful to your pet.

How Long Does Canned Chicken Last After You Open It?

Canned chicken can last for up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge after you open it. If you store it properly, it can retain its quality and taste for a longer period.

To store canned chicken, put it in an airtight container or wrap it well with plastic wrap. Freeze any leftovers that you don’t plan on giving to your cat within 2-3 days.

Does Canned Chicken Lead to Obesity in Cats?

No, it doesn’t. Canned chicken is healthy and nutritious food for cats and does not lead to obesity if given in the proper amounts for the size of your cat.

Does Canned Chicken Cause Kidney Problems in Cats?

Yes, canned chicken can cause kidney problems in cats. The reason is that the high sodium content of canned chicken can cause a cat’s kidneys to work harder than they should, which can lead to long-term damage.

To protect your cat’s kidneys, it’s important to provide them with plenty of fresh water and rinse any canned chicken you give them to remove some of the sodium.

Which Is Better, Canned Chicken, Tuna, or Salmon for Cats?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to canned chicken, tuna, or salmon for cats – they are all nutritionally equal and it just comes down to preference.

However, we would recommend choosing the one that is lowest in sodium, as too much sodium can be harmful to cats.

Open and closed cans of meat for chicken and fish

How Do You Make Your Owned Canned Chicken?

There are a few ways to can chicken. The safest way (and the only way for canning meats) is to use a pressure canner. 

Canning will save you some money but it’ll cost you time.

First, you’ll need to decide if you want to can chicken breasts or thighs. I prefer to can chicken breasts for cats because they’re lower in fat.

Once you’ve decided on the chicken, you’ll need to prepare it by removing the skin, bones, and any visible fat and cutting it up.

Cooked bones can splinter and choke your cat so always remove them.

Place the raw chicken in quart-sized Mason jars. Fill them with chicken then add water or no-salt broth leaving a 1-inch gap/headspace at the top.

Wipe any fat or residue from the jar tops then add new canning lids (just the lid not the ring).

Cook pint jars in the pressure cooker for 75 minutes minimum and quart-sized jars, for 90 minutes.

Watch this video to see it in action.

How Do You Tell if An Unopened Can of Chicken Went Bad?

There are a few key things to look for when determining if an unopened can of chicken has gone bad.

First, check the expiration date printed on the can – if the date has passed, there’s a good chance the chicken is no longer safe to eat.

Second, take a look at the can itself – if it’s dented or bulging, that’s another sign that the contents may no longer be safe.

Finally, give the can a shake – if you hear any liquid sloshing around inside, that means the seal has breached and bacteria may have entered.

If you’re unsure whether or not the chicken is still good, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw it out.

What’s the Difference Between Human Grade Canned Chicken and Cat Food Cans with Chicken?

Human-grade canned chicken is typically higher in sodium than cat food cans. Additionally, not all of the nutrients needed for cats are present in human-grade canned chicken.

For these reasons, it’s important to be sure to offer your cat a complete and balanced diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. When in doubt, always check with your veterinarian first.


In conclusion, cats can eat canned chicken but it should be rinsed to reduce the sodium content and only given a few times a week as a special treat.

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