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

If you are a proud cat owner, it is most likely very important to you that they are eating a diet that keeps them as healthy as possible. Raw diets can be a great way to keep your cat fit and sometimes include raw meat like chicken, but can cats actually eat raw chicken?  

Yes, cats can eat raw chicken, but it needs to be done properly to ensure the safety of your pet. Ensuring that the meat is free from bacteria and other harmful parasites is crucial if you are going to pursue a raw diet for your cat. 

Together, we’ll explore the process of feeding raw chicken to your cat and the pros and cons of a raw diet. Having this information will hopefully help you to decide whether a raw diet is right for your feline friend.

raw meats prepped for cats as treats

Benefits of Raw Diets for Cats Are Few

There are large numbers of supporters of raw diets for cats. Many argue that this way of eating more closely resembles a natural diet cats would have consumed in the wild.

Cats rely on a high-protein diet to survive, and eating raw meat will give them a lot of nutrients to be their strongest, healthiest selves. However, the nutritious benefits hardly outweigh the risks associated with feeding your feline friend raw meat.

If you are going to feed your cat raw chicken, it is highly recommended that you supplement that with regular cat food to ensure they are getting a well-rounded diet.

chicken drumsticks with raw skin

Risks of Raw Diet for Cats

Even if feeding your cat raw meat is something you’d like to pursue, you should be aware of the many risks associated with such a diet. While cats would consume raw meat and organs in the wild, the meat we as humans buy from the store can be unsafe for animal consumption if raw.

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Some of the most obvious risks associated with raw meat consumption are reasons enough to steer clear of feeding your cat this diet and avoid any potential illnesses.

Possible Bone Fragments

Raw chicken can sometimes contain small bone fragments that end up in your cat’s digestive system. This can be dangerous as the fragments can become lodged in their system, causing blockages or even puncturing vital internal organs.

Even cooked bones can pose a threat as they can splinter once consumed and cause internal damage as well.

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Parasites and Bacteria

Any meat that is uncooked has the possibility of becoming a host to any number of parasites and harmful bacteria strains.

Consuming contaminated meat can have serious health risks for your pet. Parasites and bacteria can both lead to serious illnesses that may require a visit to your vet.

Buying fresh raw meat is crucial when feeding it to your cat. This reduces the risk that it will have harmful bacteria attached to it and could save you from having to make a trip to your vet.

Inefficient Nutrition

Although raw chicken would give your cat more than enough protein and a few other nutritional benefits, it most likely will lack numerous other nutrients it needs to thrive. This can cause serious nutrient deficiencies in your cat and lead to illnesses.

Cat food made by experts that you can purchase at the store will have all your pet needs to remain healthy. Raw diets can be healthy but may need to be supplemented.

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Feeding Your Cat Raw Chicken Safely

If you choose to feed your cat a raw diet, you need to take steps to ensure you are doing it safely. Taking these precautionary measures will hopefully prevent your cat from getting sick and having to pay a visit to your vet.

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Make Sure the Meat is Fresh

It is crucial to ensure the raw chicken you’re serving your pet is as fresh as possible. Buy from a local butcher if possible, and always serve it to your pet as soon as possible after bringing it home. This will help lower the risk of harmful bacteria growing on the meat.

Properly Prep the Meat Before Serving

Before giving the chicken to your cat, cut the meat into pieces they can safely eat on a clean surface. It is important you give your cat only what they can eat and throw any leftover meat away.

It is also vital to be sure all bones are removed from the meat before serving. Once your pet is done eating, always wash their bowl thoroughly.

Clean Up After

When your pet is done eating, always wash every surface thoroughly that the meat has touched so that bacteria does not spread and contaminate other foods or surfaces.

As stated above, also throw away any leftover chicken. Do not serve this to your cat later on because the longer it sits, the longer it could become contaminated.

What Do I Do If My Cat Eats Raw Chicken That Wasn’t Safely Prepared?

If your cat eats raw chicken before you have time to properly prepare it, there are a few things you should be watching out for.

If your cat begins to vomit, has diarrhea, seems overly tired and sluggish, or does not want to eat, you should contact your vet for further observation. All of these signs could point to an illness or parasite stemming from consuming contaminated chicken.

If your cat does not show any of these symptoms, it is still advisable to monitor their behavior over the next few days and seek medical attention if any symptoms do develop.

Conclusion

Cats can eat raw chicken if it is properly prepared and sourced from a reputable store or butcher. The risk of parasites or harmful bacteria is high, and you should handle the raw chicken with care before putting it in your pet’s food bowl.

Although cats can consume a raw diet, it is always wise to consult with your veterinarian before making any drastic changes to their food. It is also smart to supplement raw chicken with regular cat food to ensure a healthy and happy cat!