Can Cats Eat Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)? (Solved & Explained!)

KFC is a treat that many of us enjoy from time to time. If you have a cat in the house, you’ll undoubtedly see their face light up with the smell, but is this fried food safe for them to consume?

Cats can eat fried chicken once in a while as long as you remove the skin and bones, making it healthier and safer for your feline to consume. However, you should only let them eat fried chicken occasionally to avoid stomach issues, diabetes, and heart disease.

Continue reading to learn how to make fried chicken healthier for your feline and whether or not you can give them a chicken bone to enjoy.

KFC on street corner

Is Fried Chicken Healthy For Cats?

In short, no, fried chicken is not a healthy food for your feline to consume. This foodstuff possesses a high-calorie content plus excess amounts of salt, fat, and carbohydrates, all of which can be harmful to cats.

Why Is Salt Unhealthy For Cats?

Most cats won’t try to eat salt in its pure form; however, they will try to eat foods with high salt content, such as fried chicken. This shouldn’t have any severe or lasting effects in small quantities, though it can cause extreme thirst and dehydration even in small amounts.

This is particularly significant for cats because they possess a low thirst drive, making them susceptible to the effects of dehydration, such as muscle weakness and elevated heartbeat.

Many felines exist in a constant state of mild dehydration, and salty foods can exacerbate this to an unhealthy level.

If your cat eats too much salt, they can quickly become lethargic, dizzy, and sick. You can overcome many of these issues by ensuring you give your cat plenty of fluids (increase wet food or try adding extra water to their food).

However, in extreme circumstances, your feline could develop hypernatraemia, a condition in which rapid loss of water in your cat’s cells leads to renal failure, infection, hormone imbalances, and several other conditions that can be life-threatening.

KFC chicken sandwich meal with fries and nuggets

How Do I Know If My Cat Has Salt Poisoning?

If you suspect your cat has salt poisoning, you need to call your vet immediately. Symptoms include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors or seizures

Salt can be life-threatening to cats (and other pets); if you suspect your feline has consumed too much of this mineral, refer to the Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661 for advice.

Why Is Fat Unhealthy For Cats?

The number one reason why fat is unhealthy for cats is that it can lead to them being overweight. Did you know that obesity is the most common disease for cats that is preventable? Around 30-35% of the general feline population is obese, and 50% of cats between five and eleven years old are overweight.

Obesity can reduce your feline’s lifespan and increase their chances of developing a number of diseases such as hepatic lipidosis, heart disease, and cancer.

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Obese?

The easiest way to ensure that your cat is an ideal weight is to attend regular checkups with your vet, who will be able to carry out accurate measurements and advise you where your kitty sits.

Why Are Carbohydrates Unhealthy For Cats?

The wild ancestors of your cat are obligate carnivores, which means they live on a high protein diet with only minimal amounts of carbohydrates. This unique diet has seen cats evolve the dietary system to complement this way of eating, which now means that consuming high quantities of carbohydrates can be detrimental to their health.

It’s possible that a high intake of carbohydrates could lead to both obesity and diabetes in your feline.

Is KFC Chicken Coating Bad For Cats?

KFC chicken coating is extremely bad for your feline. Not only does it contain the salt, fat, and carbohydrates examined so far in this article, but it has several other elements that could present a risk to your feline.

The coating will likely have higher salt, and fat content as the chefs will have deep-fried it to crispy perfection. And these high quantities can quickly lead to vomiting or diarrhea. In addition, the skin contains extra ingredients like garlic or onion powder.

These seasonings give flavor to the skin, but unfortunately, they are toxic to your feline and can cause serious health complications if consumed in large enough quantities.

Can Cats Eat Fried Chicken Bones?

It’s easy to assume that bones are safe to feed to your cat – after all, they eat wild prey, bones, and all right? They do, but the problem is once you cook (or deep fry) bones, they become brittle and easy to break down.

In this way, it’s easy for a chunk to dislodge and wedge itself in your cat’s throat. To keep your cat safe, remove any bones before you allow them to eat a piece of fried chicken.

Can I Feed My Cat KFC?

Cats can eat fried chicken, but there are several important guidelines to follow:

  • You should only feed your cat a small amount of KFC every once in a while. This is not good regular food for cats and could lead to serious health complications in large quantities.
  • KFC should not replace a meal for your cat; you should only allow them one small bite-sized in a sitting.
  • Remove the skin/coating from the chicken to avoid excess salt and fat and eliminate toxic ingredients such as garlic or onion.
  • Remove all bones from the chicken before giving it to your cat. These may seem harmless, but their brittle nature can cause chunks to break off and choke your cat.
  • Only allow your cat to eat small chunks of the lean, white meat inside your piece of fried chicken.

If you’re in doubt, it’s best to avoid feeding KFC to your cat. If you have takeaways, reward them with a different, species-appropriate treat.

Final Thoughts.

It’s okay to treat your cat to a small helping of KFC every once in a while; just ensure that you remove the skin and bones first. Fried chicken is not an ideal foodstuff for cats as it contains high amounts of salt, fat, and carbohydrate, but a small helping of the meat is okay infrequently.