Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? Is Raw Chicken Safe For Cats?

Russell Cargill

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? 

You want to avoid feeding your cats any large bones from the chicken such as a drumstick for example. Smaller bones such as chicken feet shouldn’t be a problem but it’s still recommended to avoid if possible. 

Once your kitten has weaned off their mothers milk, and they begin to eat solids there is no reason why you can’t feed them trimmings of raw chicken or raw meat. 

Keep the chicken pieces small and bone free to avoid any choking dangers. As they get older you can slower introduce them to small bones. 

It’s worth mentioning that a kittens diet is quite different to that of an adult cat. They require more protein and calories while needed specific vitamins and minerals. 

If not done right, a strict raw meat diet could mean your kitten misses out on a vital ingredient or suffer from nutrient deficiencies. 

A strictly raw meat diet is actually quite a controversial topic among the cat community.

One thing we can all agree on is that our cats safety is our number one priority, so please do your research if you choose a complete raw food diet. 

You can read about the best kitten foods here.

Important Nutrients for Cats

Cats are fine tuned animals and require specific nutrients to keep their amazing bodies functioning properly. 

The most important ingredient for cats is protein. It’s been studied that cats get the majority of their energy from protein alone. 

Along with a good source of protein, they need cysteine, taurine and arginine to function at their best. They can only get these amino acids from foods they consume which is why a cats diet is so important. 

Below is a list of all the important nutrients a cat will need to live a healthy life. A cats wild will consist of all the nutrients they need but, you might be surprised to find that these can also be found in a good quality dry food. 


  • Vitamin A: strong immunity and improved vision,
  • Vitamin D: balances calcium and phosphorus 
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): healthy metabolism and nerve impulse transmission.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): breakdown of larger molecules for energy production.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): healthy skin and healthy GIT.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): improved immunity.


  • Like vitamins, minerals are also essential to all mammals. Minerals contribute to enzyme formation, pH balance, nutrient utilization, and oxygen transportation.
  • Iron: maintains blood levels.
  • Calcium: milk production, bone growth, and muscle contraction.
  • Magnesium: absorption of vitamins and minerals.
  • Sodium: nutritional supply to cells.
  • Chloride: maintenance of alkali balance

Feeding Cats Raw Chicken

Take care of the following things when feeding cats raw chicken.

Bacteria of different types are present in all kinds of raw materials. Bacteria can grow on the outer layer of raw chicken.

Using fresh meat that a human could consume is a safe and easy way to make sure there is no bad bacteria within the meat. 

Vets will advise feeding your cat raw chicken free of bones to avoid your cat swallowing small chunks of bone.

These small chunks of bones if swallowed could cause serious injuries or present a choking hazard to your cat. 

While wild cats would easily chew through the bones of small birds, our domestic friends can find it slightly more challanging especially if they have never eaten meat before. 

Is Raw Chicken Recommended For Cats?

This isn’t a straight forward unfortunately as ultimately it can come down to personal preference. 

One major benefit cat owners like about a raw food diet is that they get to control exactly what it is their cat is eating. 

At times commercial cat food can contain ingredients pet owners don’t want their cat consuming or at the very least ingredients they’re not familiar with. 

The fact is, there are some really low quality cheap cat foods on the market that simply aren’t up to scratch for cat owners which leads them to take matters into their own hands. 

with the proper education or research, it’s quite easy to provide your cat with all the nutrients they need from a raw food diet. 

To add fuel to the fire, a raw diet would closely resemble what a wild cat would eat. In-fact some studies have shown that a raw meat diet can increase immunity in cats. 

It can help them avoid some diseases and can even improve behavior in some cats.

Below are some other benefits feeding raw meat to your cat can have:

• Improved digestion

• Decrease in shedding and hairballs 

• Energy boost

• Improved coat

• Dental health will be improved 

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Bones?

Raw chicken bones can provide some essential nutrients that your cats need and love. A good natural diet for cats will include calcium and this can be found in the bones of prey or chicken. 

Small bones that break easy are best for you cat and they can even promote great dental hygeine. There is a myth that cooked bones will break or splinter and cause serious harm to your pets. 

This has yet to be proven however, if you’re personally worried about it stick with raw bones. Observe your cat eating the bones the first few goes to make sure they are capable of eating them. 

Vets also will recommend looking at your cats stool after they have eaten bones to make sure there is no blood or issues digesting and passing the bones. 

It’s gross I know but, you want to be on the safe side. 

It’s worth noting that some vets you talk with won’t recommend you feed your cats any bones. It really depends who you talk with and their point of view. 

Feeding your cat any bones can come at a risk and at any point if you think your cat is having any trouble digesting or eating bones immediately stop them and get them to your local vet asap.  

Can My Cat Eat Raw Chicken Necks?

Chicken neck bones are small and brittle and your cat should have no problem chewing through them. 

Turkey necks are also suitable for you cat and contain healthy vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. 

Although your cat should have no problem eating chicken or turkey neck, it’s suggested that you still keep an eye on them to make sure they are able to digest them and chew them properly. 

Can My Cat Eat Raw Chicken Liver?

There are a lot of micronutrients found in chicken liver that your cats can benefit from. In-fact, it can often be the first thing wild felines would choose to eat. 

Raw chicken liver can be added into your cats diet along side dry food to help create a complete diet. Liver is rich in B vitimins, protein, magnesium, iron and much more. 

Keep in mind your cat won’t need to eat a lot of liver in one sitting. Feeding them too much liver could result in diarreha or an upset stomach. 

I suggest only feeding your cat liver once or twice a week. 

Can My Cat Eat Other Chicken Organs?

Over feeding your domestic cat with organs or liver can actually create problems. 

Another organ you could consider to feed your cat is chicken or turkey hearts. These muscles contain a high amount or taurine and are perfectly fine for your cat to eat. 

Don’t over do it though, and if you are unsure what to do consult with your vet first. 

Can My Cat Eat Raw Chicken? Summary

In simple terms yes, cats can eat raw chicken. There are drawbacks to eating a lot of raw meat for domestic cats including organs. 

I use raw chicken as an occasional treat or snack. Raw meat contains many good nutrients that our cats need such as copper, iron and many more. 

There are plenty of reasons to consider a completely raw diet for your cat, just make sure you consult with your vet and do plenty of research. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Don’t panic, if the chicken was fine for human consumption then your cat will be perfectly safe. If they have eaten or licked chicken you suspect to be “off” then keep an eye on them for any of the following symptoms. 

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of energy

If these symptoms persist, take your cat to your local vet. 

Do cats prefer raw or cooked meat?

Cats can be fussy, it’s worth experimenting what your individual cat prefers. Both raw and cooked meat is fine for cats to eat. 

What meat is bad for cats?

As cats are cornivores most meat will be good for them. You won’t to avoid any processed meats however as these can upset your cats digestive system and can be toxic. 

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