Cats belong to the ancient line of hunters. As such, they are by nature obligate carnivores. Meat and meat by-products are undoubtedly an absolute necessity for any carnivore, including cats. However, is it okay to give your feline friend chicken bones?
Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? Yes, your cat can eat chicken bones. However, not all types of chicken bones are suitable for your feline friend. Whereas raw chicken bones are a real delicacy to cats, cooked bones are NO, NO.
There is a huge difference between giving your cat cooked bones and raw bones. Raw bones are highly nutritious and beneficial to your feline pal. But, on the contrary, cooked bones are a high risk to your can.
Let’s discuss this further.
- What Are The Benefits Of Feeding My Cat Raw Bones?
- What Type Of Raw Bones Should I Feed My Cat?
- How Can You Safely Feed Raw Bones To Your Cat
- What Are The Dangers Of Cooked Chicken Bones To Cats
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding My Cat Raw Bones?
Raw bones make an excellent treat for your feline friend. They are rich in not only nutrients but also other benefits.
Here are some of the benefits of raw bones to your cat:
They Are Rich In Nutrients
Raw bones are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They contain potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium.
The bone marrow is also a rich source of iron and blood cells.
Of all these minerals, calcium is particularly useful to your feline pal. Here is why;
1. It acts as an amplifier for the other nutrients such as vitamins A, D, and E. It also helps to amplify other minerals such as zinc and copper.
2. It helps your cat’s body to ingest and make use of nutrients easily. The assimilation of these nutrients helps your cat’s bones, muscles, brain, and organs.
Calcium is an essential part of your cat’s diet. According to research, its deficiency can lead to:
- Coat and skin problems
- General body weakness
- Broken bones
- Heart arrhythmias
Feeding your feline friend raw bones helps to cater for its calcium needs. It also helps to safeguard your cat from the above-mentioned health complications.
Raw Bones Are Good For Your Cats Oral Health
Because cats do not brush their teeth, it will be prudent for you to help your cat achieve the same. The easiest way to do this is by giving your cat raw bones to chew.
When your feline friend eats or chews a bone, it gets rid of all food residue accumulated in the teeth. Moreover, it removes any plaque on the teeth.
Preventing the accumulation of plaque protects your cat from gum disease, bad breathe, and caries.
Eating or chewing bones also has a massaging effect on the cat’s gum. This is similar to what you feel when you brush your teeth using a toothbrush.
The massaging effect also helps to strengthen your cat’s teeth and gums.
In the long run, chewing bones will prove to be ideal for your cat’s oral health. As such, it will save you from frequenting the vet due to gum diseases.
What’s more, chewing bones does more than entertain your feline pal. It helps to strengthen their teeth. As such, you will have significantly assisted your cat in taking care of its teeth.
What Type Of Raw Bones Should I Feed My Cat?
Make sure you choose the right type of chicken bones for your cat to gnaw and chew. Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the best raw chicken bone.
Choose Chicken Bones That Are Of Appropriate Size
The bones you give your feline friend should not be too big. Instead, get bones that can fit comfortably into the cat’s mouth.
Chicken wing bones are usually the perfect size for your feline friend. They fit comfortably in the cat’s mouth, thus makes chewing effortless.
Avoid giving your cat large marrow bones. These ones can harm your cat’s teeth or even break them.
You Can Feed Your Cat Ground Bones
You can easily get this from any butcher or meat department near you.
Simply go there and ask for meat dust. This is the meat dust formed when the butcher is cutting meat into small pieces. It is a combination of meat and bone and looks like pasty ground meat.
Note: Use meat sawdust sparingly on your cat.
Continue to follow your vet’s advice on your cat’s diet at all times.
Feed Your Cat Fresh Bones ONLY
This is critical when choosing bones for your cat. The bone should be fresh, and the connecting meat must not be rancid. The bones should also be free from any preservatives.
If your cat continually ingests preservatives, it might suffer from vitamin deficiency. These may lead to other health complications.
Although a cat’s gastrointestinal tract is short and digests food fast, it can still contract food-borne diseases.
The most common bacterial infection is Salmonella. According to research, this disease causes gastroenteritis and septicemia in cats.
Its symptoms in cats include:
- Skin disease
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Weight loss
- Abnormally fast heart rate
- Mucus in stool
- Swollen lymph nodes
You need to be on the lookout when feeding your cat bones. If you see any of the following signs, it is advisable that you stop feeding them bones immediately and consult your vet.
- Whole bone sin their stool
- Excess gas
How Can You Safely Feed Raw Bones To Your Cat
Introducing raw bones to your feline pal is a good idea. However, remember to take it one step after another as you observe all the precautions.
Cats are sensitive to diet changes. As such, here are a few tips to help you introduce raw bones safely.
Consult Your Vet
Your vet is a professional on a cat’s diet. Avoid making diet changes without consulting. After looking at your cat’s history, your vet will advise appropriately whether this is the best choice.
Do not give anything to your cat that is not vet approved. This is even more critical if your cat has medical conditions.
Choose The Right Size Of Bones
Avoid raw bones that are either too small or too big. Small bones are a great risk; your cat can easily swallow them. If swallowed, they are likely to be stuck on your cat’s track and cause problems.
The best bones to give to your feline friend are necks, chicken wings, and drumsticks.
Supervise Your Cat
Avoid leaving your cat alone when chewing. Although this may look weird, you need to watch your cat as it eats bones.
Being around allows you to intervene promptly in case of anything going wrong.
Avoid giving raw chicken bones regularly to your feline friend right from the start. Instead, allow your cat to first get used to them with time.
A cat’s digestive system takes time to digest bones fully. Therefore, if you feed them bones at close intervals, it might, in most cases, lead to constipation.
You can start by feeding them either once a week or even less often than that. As time goes by, you can gradually increase the frequency.
What Are The Dangers Of Cooked Chicken Bones To Cats
There are several reasons why giving cooked chicken bones to a cat is a big no.
Let’s discuss a few of them.
They Are Brittle Hence Splinter Easily
Bones become soft and brittle after you cook them. Consequently, they can easily splinter, making them dangerous for consumption by your cat.
Cooked bones tend to snap into small shards, which can easily get logged in your cat’s throat, choking it. Splintered bones can also cause cuts on your pet’s digestive tract and lead to internal bleeding.
They Can Cause Obstruction
By virtue of being less flexible, cooked chicken bones can get stuck in your pet’s throat or elsewhere. This can be life-threatening to your feline friend.
They Can be Covered In Toxic Ingredients
Most of the time, we season chicken when we cook it to enhance the flavour. This may make it tastier for us, but not for the cat.
Some of the ingredients and spices we use for seasoning are toxic to cats.
Such good examples are garlic powder and onion powder. These are not only among the most common spices but also the most toxic to cats.