Can cats eat raw chicken?

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Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? Is Raw Chicken Safe for Cats? What is the best way to feed cats raw chicken? Or are you panicking because your cat ate raw chicken?

Maybe your cat is clawing at your legs while you’re preparing raw chicken, or you’ve run out of cat food. Our guide answers questions about the benefits and risks of eating raw chicken for cats but also offers tips to keep your cat healthy and safe.

If you’re considering feeding your cat raw chicken or other raw foods, get the facts right first. Here’s what you need to know.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?

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cats can eat raw chicken In the wild, cats are predators and forage for their own food. You may have seen your furry friend chasing animals like birds and mice and bringing them home to you as gifts… or as feasts. So eating raw chicken is different?

In their natural habitat, cats are strictly carnivores, which means they can eat raw meat. Therefore, it is safe for cats to eat fresh raw chicken. You just have to make sure the meat is fresh and free of salmonella. Read on for information on the different types of raw chicken.

Their natural diet when eating raw meat is high in protein, moderate in fat, and also contains a small number of carbohydrates. As such, cats are adapted to eating raw meat, organs, and even bones from animals they catch.

If a cat catches a bird or a small rodent, it will eat practically anything! Their digestive tract is short and acidic, meaning raw meat can be digested in around 12 hours, which doesn’t give the bacteria enough time to grow. This will prevent food poisoning.

Here is a video of a cat eating a whole raw chicken. Go to the end to see how much raw chicken this black kitty swallowed!

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Health aspects

Just making sure it’s fresh, raw chicken isn’t enough. For example, domestic cats have adapted over time, making commercial foods a preferred and ideal source of protein and nutrients.

There are many health benefits and risks associated with eating raw chicken for cats. We’ve rounded up the risks and precautions to consider before giving your feline friend a piece of your fowl.

Is Raw Chicken Good for Cats?

Are There Any Benefits for Cats Eating Raw Chicken?

Cheap commercial diets can contain many fillers that no sane person has ever heard of. When you consider that eating raw allows you to avoid the preservatives and additives that pet owners add to make a few bucks more, you know exactly what you’re feeding your cat.

Vets also say that cats who eat raw chicken are better hydrated because raw chicken contains more liquid than dry cat food. In addition to hydration, a well-designed and prepared raw diet can also ensure your cat is consuming balanced meals with the right levels of micronutrients needed for a healthy cat diet.

Raw food has also been shown to improve cats’ immunity to disease and lead to much more predictable behavior. Who would have thought that raw chicken could be the solution to a crazy cat?

On the other hand, feeding a cat raw chicken or other raw meat also has many disadvantages…

RELATED: 15 human foods that are safe for cats

Is Raw Chicken Bad For Cats?

Every cat owner wants to make sure their cat is healthy and well-fed. Chicken isn’t as bad as other foods that cats generally don’t eat, e.g. B. chocolate or grapes. However, it is also not the best source of protein.

Although cats are carnivores and raw chicken is safe for cats, feeding your cat raw chicken on a daily basis is strongly discouraged.

In fact, numerous studies warn that raw chicken meat is a source of many bacterial infections. One such study even showed that a cat died from salmonella after eating raw chicken. A recent study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that 3.8% of young chicken samples tested by the USDA were contaminated with Salmonella.

Although extensive measures have been taken by farmers and companies to reduce the presence of Salmonella in raw chicken meat, the risk remains.

Amino Acids in Chicken

Cats need taurine, arginine, methionine, and cysteine for their bodies to function properly.

Raw chicken is not as nutritious and rich in vitamins as high-quality cat food. It lacks an amino acid called taurine, which cats need to protect themselves from various problems such as hair loss and reproductive problems.


Contrary to previous advice, cats can actually get food poisoning from eating raw chicken. Despite having a shorter digestive tract and strong acids, not all cats are 100% immune to pathogens like salmonella. For example, salmonellosis in cats is an infection that can be caused by eating raw chicken meat.

Symptoms of salmonellosis include:

  • diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomit

Your furry friend is also likely looking tired and may be showing signs of rapid weight loss. In this case, you should immediately consult a veterinarian.

Salmonellosis in young and older cats

Older kittens and cats are at a higher risk of salmonellosis due to their underdeveloped or weaker immune systems.


Another disease that can occur as a result of eating raw meat in cats is Listeria.

Listeria is an infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes (a bacterium) commonly found in cattle and poultry meat, water, and soil.

The symptoms of listeria are:

  • diarrhea
  • Vomit
  • Fever
  • fatigue

If left untreated, listeria can lead to the death of the affected cat.

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Tips for safely feeding cats raw chicken

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If you are concerned about the above risks such as salmonellosis or listeria when feeding your cat(s) raw chicken, you can always cook the chicken first.

Of course, just like us humans, different cats prefer different foods. However, cooking raw meat not only kills potentially deadly bacteria but also makes your cat’s chicken taste better. You can also add a little oil, rice, or small amounts of white cheese if your cat likes that.

Overall, we strongly recommend feeding your cat cooked chicken rather than raw. Not only does this mean your cat is not at risk, but as your cat gets older and their immune system weakens, you don’t have to eliminate its favorite meal or treat from its diet.

If you decide to feed your cat raw chicken, be sure to remove any small or sharp bones. It would also be better if you only offered raw chicken as a treat and not as a meal. By only storing small portions of raw chicken, you can minimize the risk of your cat getting sick.

You should also keep in mind that chicken sold in stores is intended for cooking. It would have been prepared and washed with chemicals such as water. To protect your cat, you should buy chicken intended for cats to eat raw. If you have the opportunity, go to a local butcher or farm to buy fresh local poultry: you are getting fresh meat and supporting a local business.

Other solutions include purchasing frozen, raw chicken feed developed and prepared by pet companies. Such meals are salmonella free and safe for your cat.

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Other questions about feeding chicken to your cat

How much raw chicken can I give my cat?

According to our local veterinarians, this is the most frequently asked question about raw-feeding cats.

Every cat is different because they have different activity levels, ages, sleep durations, health conditions, and genetics. Also, the raw chicken that you feed your cat has different nutritional values than what is available to us or others locally, nationally, and internationally.

There are basic guidelines you can follow to feed your cat an appropriate amount of raw chicken. Our policy applies to cats older than one year. Younger, pregnant, and lactating cats and kittens need double the amount of food per kilogram of body weight as they grow and need more nutrients.

Veterinarians generally recommend feeding 2 to 4% of the cat’s total weight per day. So if your cat weighs 10 pounds, 3% of that would be 4.8 ounces per day.

Amounts are approximate. Results are reported in ounces.

To do this calculation yourself, take the cat’s weight in pounds and multiply it by 16 (each pound contains 16 ounces). Then multiply that value by the percentage you want to calculate (e.g. 0.03).

So if your cat weighs 10 pounds, do 10 x 16, which equals 160. So if you want to calculate 4%, calculate 160 x 0.04, which is 6.4 ounces.

After a few weeks of feeding raw chicken using the above formula, re-weigh your cat and adjust the amount of food according to weight gain or loss. The goal is to maintain your cat’s weight.

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Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Bones?

We told you that you can feed a cat raw chicken in small amounts, as long as it’s properly prepared. But can you feed cat chicken bones?

Many veterinarians and experts recommend that cats be allowed to chew delicate bones gently to promote dental health and mental stimulation. Finally, the bones provide nutrients, especially calcium.

Some experts state that raw chicken bones are better than cooked bones because cooked bones can splinter in your cat’s digestive tract. There are currently no digestive studies to confirm this. Therefore, it is safest to follow your vet’s advice. Just call them and ask.

Whether you feed your cat cooked bones or raw bones, you should monitor them carefully to make sure the food is safe and monitor your cat’s subsequent bowel movements. If you notice blood or your kitten has digestive problems, vomiting, bloating, or other issues, consult a veterinarian and stop feeding bones.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Liver?

Humans eat chicken livers, can cats eat them too?

Raw chicken liver is rich in nutrients, even more so than other raw meats. It is also an excellent source of protein, calcium, B vitamins, iron, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and other necessary and desirable nutrients.

Remember that you should only feed your cat raw chicken liver in small amounts. Otherwise, you risk your cat getting diarrhea. You have been warned!

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Necks?

Chicken necks are made from small chicken bones and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.

They are particularly rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. They are an ideal treat for your cat to chew, but please ensure that when eating raw chicken necks, your cat will not have any problems chewing or digesting any part of the chicken neck.

Can Kittens Eat Raw Chicken?

If big cats are allowed, is it safe for kittens to eat raw chicken?

The answer is yes. It’s okay to feed your kitten raw chicken. However, as with adult cats, you should feed them in small amounts, or even better, boiled.

If you feed your kitten raw chicken, you should debone the chicken and feed it in smaller pieces than you would an adult cat.

As with the adult cat section of this article, the main problem with feeding cats raw chicken is that it does not provide the right nutrients for cats, especially kittens.

A kitten needs a balanced diet with all the necessary vitamins and proteins for good growth and development. Your kitten’s veterinarian can help you find raw food for your kitten, but it would be wise to stick to quality cat food that has everything your kitten needs to grow into a majestic and healthy cat.

My cat licked or ate raw chicken. What should I do?

Leaving raw chicken unattended can be especially dangerous if you have a cat. The meat is not prepared for the cat to eat and may be infected with salmonella or other bacteria.

If your cat has eaten or licked raw chicken, you should check her for symptoms of the disease, such as:

  • diarrhea
  • Fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • Vomit

Salmonellosis caused by salmonella can be deadly. Salmonellosis can also be transmitted to humans. As soon as you discover that your cat has eaten raw chicken or other meat, you should consult a veterinarian.

What are the risks of a raw diet for cats?

While there is no harm in feeding your cat raw meat, there are also safety risks to consider.

Parasites and bacteria

Both cats and humans can get sick from contamination with parasites and bacteria that live in raw meat. However, cats have a much shorter digestive tract and higher stomach acid than humans, making it less likely that pathogens or parasites will spend enough time in your cat’s system to make them sick.

Reduce the risk of contamination by purchasing fresh raw meat, disinfecting all surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat, and washing hands thoroughly or wearing gloves when handling it.

Nutritional deficiencies

Home-cooked recipes with raw chicken are less likely to contain complete and balanced portions of nutrients, which increases your cat’s risk of various nutrient deficiencies.

However, with a good understanding of the nutrients a cat needs, a more balanced diet can be achieved. Read more on how to feed your cat a balanced diet in our article.

Remember that good quality raw commercial cat food may be a better option. It has been specially formulated by nutritionists to meet your pet’s needs and is constantly tested to ensure it meets safety standards.


If your cat has eaten raw chicken and you have concerns after reading this article, be sure to consult your veterinarian. Even the smallest worries and concerns should be addressed, even if it’s just a quick phone call to a local veterinarian.