Can Cats Eat Chicken Skin? (Solved & Explained!)

If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably wondered if it’s safe to give your feline friend chicken skin. After all, chicken is a popular human food, so why wouldn’t it be okay for cats?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. There are both pros and cons to feeding your cat chicken skin.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at both sides of the issue so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to feed your cat chicken skin.

Whole deep fried chicken

Can Cats Eat Chicken Skin?

Yes, cats can eat chicken skin. Many cat owners believe that chicken skin is suitable for their feline friends.

Chicken skin is a good source of protein and essential fatty acids, both of which are important for a healthy diet.

Plus, the fat in chicken skin can help keep your cat’s coat shiny and soft.

Just be sure to cook the chicken skin before feeding it to your cat, as raw chicken can cause food poisoning. Raw chicken skin is safe if it’s been frozen first to kill pathogens before serving.

Can Kittens Eat Chicken Skin?

Yes, kittens can eat chicken skin but it’s best to cook it first or freeze it before serving it raw to kill any pathogens. Chicken skin is a good source of protein and fatty acids but it also contains a high amount of fats. Too much fat can lead to weight gain and heart disease in cats, so moderation is key.

At What Age Can Cats Eat Chicken Skin?

Most vets recommend you wait till a cat is at least 20 weeks of age or older before feeding them chicken skin.

Additionally, chicken skin is high in fat, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems in kittens.

Chicken Skin Benefits for Cats

  • Cats are obligate carnivores and are designed to digest animal products so chicken skin is easy on their digestive system
  • Chicken skin is a good source of essential fatty acids.
  • Chicken fat contains linoleic acid which can help keep your cat’s coat shiny and soft.
  • Chicken skin is a good source of other vitamins and minerals.

Chicken Skin Risks for Cats

  • Chicken skin is high in fat, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems in cats.
  • Raw chicken skin can cause food poisoning.
  • Commercial chicken skin (e.g. rotisserie) can contain spices (onions, garlic) that are toxic to cats
  • Fried chicken skin contains extra carbs and higher fat levels and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in cats
  • Cats can get spoiled on chicken skin and not want to eat dry or canned food which in turn might lead to malnutrition

Why Do Cats Like Chicken Skin?

One reason cats may enjoy chicken skin is that it’s a good source of protein. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require animal-based proteins to survive. Chicken skin is a good option for meeting your cat’s protein needs.

Another reason cats may be drawn to chicken skin is that it’s a good source of fat.

Fat is an essential part of a cat’s diet, and chicken skin is a good option for getting some healthy fats into your cat’s diet. Fat provides energy and helps keep your cat’s coat healthy and shiny.

Lastly, it’s something different from canned cat food or boring dry cat food. A lot of cats get bored with their food, so chicken skin can be a nice change of pace.

Plus, it’s a good way to get your cat to eat more if they’re picky eaters.

Is Raw Chicken Skin Safe for Cats?

No, raw chicken skin is not safe for cats without processing. Raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

To make raw chicken safer for cats you should always freeze it first for at least 24 hours.

chicken drumsticks with raw skin

What’s the Best Way to Make Chicken Skin for Cats?

There are several ways to make chicken skin for cats, but boiling it without spices is the safest way to prepare it for your cat since there is no risk of cross-contamination or food poisoning.

Boiling also produces chicken broth which you can mix separately with their dry food to make another tasty and healthy dish.

For cat owners that feed their pets raw food, you should freeze raw chicken skins first for at least 24 hours before serving to kill or reduce pathogens.

How to Make Cat Treats from Chicken Skin

You can make cat treats from chicken skin using a food dehydrator or you can roast them crisp in a convection oven.

Here’s how to make dehydrated cat treats from chicken skins:

  1. Spread chicken skins in a single layer on the dehydrator racks and turn the dehydrator on.
  2. Dry for 6-8 hours or until completely dehydrated.
  3. Store dried chicken skins in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.

Here’s how to make crispy oven-baked cat treats from chicken skins:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place chicken skins on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Remove from oven, let cool, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  4. Freeze leftovers from the fridge in an air-tight Ziploc bag and store them for up to 6 months.

Can My Cat Eat Chicken Skins Every Day?

Yes, your cat can eat chicken skins every day. Chicken skins are a good source of protein and vitamins.

However, you should only give your cat small amounts of commercially cooked chicken skins to avoid giving them too much sodium and avoid giving them fried chicken skins which lead to cat obesity and other health issues.

Homemade boiled chicken skins without added spices are safe to feed in moderation along with other cat foods as long as you don’t go over the daily calorie limits for your cat.

How Much Chicken Skin Can My Cat Eat?

The average 10 lb cat should eat no more than 260 calories per day. There are 90 calories in one ounce of chicken skin whereas a can of cat food has about 140 calories. Together that comes in just under what a cat needs for the day.

You’ll still want to watch their overall weight to make sure they don’t start slowly gaining.

My Cat Stole Some Chicken Skin from A Plate, Should I Be Worried?

No, you don’t need to be worried. Cats are scavengers by nature and they often eat things that are unhealthy for them. Chicken skin is high in fat, so it’s not the best food for your cat in large amounts.

However, it’s not likely to cause any long-term health problems.

Just make sure that your cat doesn’t get into too much chicken skin, and try to keep it away from her in the future!

Can Cats Eat Smoked Chicken Skin?

While there’s no harm in allowing your cat to nibble on a bit of smoked chicken skin from time to time, it’s not something that should be given regularly.

That’s because smoked chicken skin is higher in salt and preservatives than other types of chicken, and also contains cancer-causing smoke by-products.

Though not studied much in cats, for humans smoked meats contain known carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (i.e. microscopic burnt particles – source).

Can Cats Have Fried Chicken Skin?

Fried chicken skin is not the best diet for a cat. It’s high in fat and carbs, which can lead to health problems like obesity and diabetes in cats.

Plus, it’s not as nutritionally dense as other foods, so your cat will likely end up eating more of it to get the same amount of nutrients.

So while your cat may enjoy fried chicken skin every once in a while as a special treat, it’s not ideal as a regular part of her diet.

Fried chicken

What About Cats Eating Rotisserie or Grilled Chicken Skin?

Yes, cats can eat rotisserie or grilled chicken skin as long as it is made at home without salt and no spices.

No, cats should not eat commercial rotisserie or grilled chicken skin because it often contains unhealthy additives like sodium and spices.

Rotisserie chicken ready to eat and share with dogs and cats


Chicken skin is safe for cats to eat in moderation. However, it’s high in fat and calories, so it’s not the best food for them in large amounts. Plus, smoked and fried chicken skin can be harmful to cats. So stick to feeding your cat small amounts of homemade, boiled chicken skin without added salt or spices.