Can Cats Have Raw Chicken? Insights On Feeding Your Feline Raw Meat

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Can cats have raw chicken?” is a question many ask. Wild cats eat raw food in nature, but house cats often eat the food we buy. Some cat owners like giving their pets raw chicken, bones, and liver as part of a new diet trend. People wonder if raw chicken is safe and good for cats.

With many proponents suggesting that feeding chicken to cats aligns with their primal instincts, the discussion about its safety and advantages continues.

Can Cats Have Raw Chicken?

Yes, cats can have raw chicken. Being strict carnivores, cats can benefit from including raw chicken. However, there are considerations to ensure safety and proper nutrition.

Nutritional benefits of raw chicken for cats

Cats are strict carnivores, so their bodies are designed to derive nutrition from animal-based sources. Chicken contains essential proteins, amino acids, and fats that can benefit feline health.

Feeding your cat raw chicken, especially parts like raw chicken liver, can be a rich source of nutrients not always present in commercial cat foods. Including raw chicken in a prepared raw diet can provide variety and be closer to what nature intended for them.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?
Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?

Potential risks and considerations

While chicken is safe for cats, not all parts or preparations are equal. Raw bones, for instance, can pose choking hazards or splinter and cause internal injuries. There’s also the risk of bacterial contamination if the chicken is not handled or sourced correctly.

Additionally, relying solely on a single type or amount of raw chicken might lead to nutritional imbalances. Some experts even recommend alternating between raw and cooked chicken to ensure the cat gets a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Feeding Your Feline Raw Meat: What You Need To Know

When finding the answer to the question “Can cats have raw chicken?”, it’s essential to navigate the process with knowledge and caution.

  • Choosing the right cuts and parts of the chicken: While cats may enjoy various chicken parts, it’s crucial to pick the right cuts. Like other raw meats, some parts of chicken may pose risks, like the raw chicken necks. Always be discerning about what you give your cat to ensure safety.
  • Importance of freshness and hygiene: Chicken isn’t always safe just because it’s raw. Raw meat can carry bacteria, emphasizing the need for freshness. When feeding raw chicken, it’s vital to ensure it’s fresh and handled hygienically to reduce potential health threats.
  • Potential bacterial risks and parasites: There are certain risks of feeding your cat raw chicken. Raw meat may also host harmful bacteria and parasites, which can affect your feline’s health. Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, and Listeria are common bacteria in raw chicken. And some kinds of parasites that you also need to be aware of are Toxoplasma gondii, Echinococcus tapeworms, and Roundworms.

Awareness and precaution are crucial when choosing to introduce raw elements into their diet.

Advantages Of A Raw Diet For Cats

Raw diets, including chicken, have gained traction among cat owners for several reasons. While ensuring that raw chicken is safe before offering it to your feline friend is essential, many have observed the tangible benefits of feeding raw chicken to their cats.

Advantages of a Raw Diet for Cats
Advantages of a Raw Diet for Cats

Better coat and skin health

Feeding cats fresh raw chicken breast and other raw meats can lead to a shinier and healthier coat. Many commercial raw cat food brands, which contain raw chicken, often promote benefits related to coat health. The natural fats and oils in chicken sold in commercial stores help maintain the skin’s moisture, reducing dandruff and itchiness.

Enhanced energy and vitality

Chicken is low in carbs, making it an excellent cat energy source. A diet where raw chicken is low in fillers and high in protein aligns with a cat’s natural carnivorous needs. When a cat eats raw chicken, owners often notice an uptick in their playfulness, alertness, and overall vitality.

Digestive benefits

Cats evolved to eat raw meat, and their digestive systems are tailored to handle it efficiently. Offering raw chicken to your cat can lead to more regular bowel movements and less stomach upset. Raw diets, including those with chicken, tend to be more easily digestible than some heavily processed foods.

Alternatives To Raw Chicken In A Feline Diet

While the debate about whether a cat can eat raw chicken continues, alternative ways exist to incorporate chicken into your feline’s diet without feeding it raw.

Cooked chicken

  • Pros: Cooked chicken meat, when prepared without any seasonings or oils, offers a safer option for your domesticated cat. It eliminates the risks associated with the harmful bacteria found in raw chicken.
  • Cons: Cooking can reduce certain nutrients that a cat needs. Additionally, cats should not be allowed to eat cooked chicken bones, as they can splinter and cause internal injuries.
You can give your cats cooked chicken
You can give your cats cooked chicken

Commercial raw food blends

Many pet food manufacturers offer commercial raw food blends, some containing raw chicken. These are often formulated to provide a balanced diet for cats. They may contain parts rich in nutrients, like raw chicken necks and liver. Often, you can purchase frozen raw chicken blends, ensuring freshness upon thawing.

  • Pros: These blends are balanced, ensuring your cat gets all its nutrients. The freezing process also reduces the risk of bacteria.
  • Cons: Not all commercial raw food blends are of equal quality. It’s essential to research and choose reputable brands.


Is it OK to give my cat raw chicken?

Yes, cats can consume raw chicken. In the wild, cats naturally eat raw prey. However, ensuring the chicken is fresh and free from harmful bacteria or parasites is vital. Always source high-quality chicken, handle it with proper hygiene, and store it correctly to minimize potential risks.

What happens if my cat eats raw chicken?

If it’s fresh, they’ll enjoy its nutritional value. Contaminated chicken could cause symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. If such signs appear, consult a vet.

How much raw chicken should I feed my cat?

The amount of raw chicken you feed your cat depends on size, age, and overall health. Generally, adult cats require about 2% to 4% of their body weight in raw food daily. For instance, a 10-pound cat might eat between 3.2 to 6.4 ounces of raw chicken daily.

Is raw chicken better than cooked chicken for cats?

Both raw and cooked chicken have their pros and cons. Raw chicken offers enzymes and nutrients but has a contamination risk. Cooked chicken is safer from bacteria but loses some nutrients. Choose based on your comfort and your cat’s needs.

Can cats get worms from raw chicken?

Yes, cats can get worms from raw chicken if the meat isn’t properly inspected, handled, or prepared.


Feeding our feline friends involves making choices that weigh both benefits and risks. The question, “Can cats have raw chicken?” has garnered much attention. While there are clear advantages to including raw chicken in their diet, such as improved vitality and closer alignment with their natural predatory inclinations, there are also potential hazards every cat owner should be aware of when they’re eating raw chicken.

Choosing the best way to feed our beloved pets ultimately rests on being well-informed and making decisions that prioritize their health and well-being. As responsible cat owners, it’s crucial to gather all available information, understand the implications, and then make a decision that we believe is in the best interest of our feline companions.

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