You may go out of your way to ensure your cats are well-fed as a pet owner. But this task can be complex. Cats are naturally drawn to different food items like chicken bones. However, most cat owners are unsure about feeding it to their cats. So, can cats eat chicken bones?

Chicken bones are not recommended as meals for cats as they are hard to digest and can get stuck in their throat or gut. This can lead to infection or illness with vomiting, lethargy, and irritability and may require surgery in severe cases. 

Are Chicken Bones Good For Cats?

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Chicken bones are rich in minerals, particularly calcium. Although they come with some risks, feeding your cats chicken bones can help build their muscles and their bones. Moreover, chicken bones help cater to any calcium deficiency that your cat may be experiencing. Research also indicates that raw chicken bones help make the cat’s fur healthy and smooth. If you want to feed your cat raw chicken bones, give it bones that are appropriately sized for their mouth. It should be big enough for the cat to nibble and gnaw on, but it shouldn’t be too large. Similarly, the bones must not be so small that your cat swallows the entire bone, which could cause obstructions. 

Are Chicken Bones Bad For Cats?

When cats smell something good, they won’t stop and think about whether the food is cooked, steamed, or raw. Cooked or steamed chicken bones are bad for cats. Cooking the bones decomposes the hard skin, making it brittle and fragmented, which can splinter and cause lacerations. Since cats cannot differentiate between safely cooked chicken and cooked bones, avoid keeping cooked bones near them.

What Happens If My Cat Eats Chicken Bones?

It is rare for a cat to swallow the chicken bone without experiencing any illness. Ingesting chicken bones can cause diarrhea, or worse, a severe muscle ache. 

If your cat cannot digest the chicken bone properly, it could get stuck in its throat or gut. This could create a tear, a blockage, or both. You should contact your veterinarian as soon as you see symptoms like: 

  • A bloated tummy
  • Not eating or drinking
  • Vomiting
  • Fecal incontinence 
  • Seeming uncomfortable
  • Showing lethargy
  • Howling or showing anger

What To Do If My Cat Ate Cooked Chicken Bones?

The first step is to take your cat to the veterinarian immediately. They will ask you to check your cat’s stomach to see where the bone is, its size, and your cat’s breathing. Depending on your answers, your veterinarian will ask you to bring the cat to the clinic or monitor it at home. 

If the case is severe, the vet will do X-rays at the clinic to check your cat’s abdomen. But in either case, following the veterinarian’s advice is the most critical thing you can do. 

If you cannot reach a veterinarian, here are some tips to help you home monitor your cat:

  1. For starters, get hold of some bland food like a canned gastrointestinal diet. It will help the cat digest the bone quicker. Additionally, the gastrointestinal diet helps cushion and protect your cat from sharp edges of the bone as it moves through the gut.
  2. Dehydration is another common symptom experienced by cats. You must ensure that your cat drinks as much fresh water as possible to digest the bone and maintain hydration.
  3. The last thing to do is to monitor your cat’s stools at all times. Check the stool to see whether bone fragments have passed through their feces. If your cat cannot pass feces, try rubbing its tummy to help fasten the process. 

If home monitoring is proving insufficient, and your cat is still unable to pass stool, take it to the vet again. If your vet suspects a tear or a blockage, they may recommend surgery. The surgery will help remove the bone but will also require a lot of post-care and hospitalization. 

How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Digest A Chicken Bone?

Even though bones are difficult for cats, they can sometimes digest them with other food items. It usually takes 10 to 24 hours to move through the digestive tract when your cat eats something.

Symptoms Of Cat Eating Chicken Bones?

If the chicken bone gets stuck in their throat or gut, it can result in a tear or blockage. As a result, the cat may experience tummy aches and lethargy. In extreme cases, your pet cat may vomit or refuse to pass any stool. Some other symptoms include irritability and frustration. 

Can Cats Eat Ground Chicken Bones?

You may think ground chicken bones are edible and can be given to cats, but we highly advise against it. Ground chicken bones contain traces of bacteria and cause constipation. They can also infect the digestive system of the cat. 

Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken Bones?

Cooked chicken bones can be a nightmare for you and your cat, so avoid them at all costs. When you cook the chicken bone, its skin gets fragmented, resulting in smaller splinters that can get stuck in the cat’s throat and require surgery. 

Related Questions

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Bones?

Chicken bones can get stuck in your cat’s throat or gut, leading to severe illnesses. Moreover, raw bones contain bacteria and parasites that can make your cat sick. However, if you want to feed your cat raw chicken bones, ensure to give bones that are appropriately sized and cleaned.

Can Feral Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

When it comes to feral cats, chicken bones are not a bad option. They can be a great source of protein and minerals. Wild cats can easily ingest bird and chicken bones. Since they live out in the open, they are used to eating more unrefined foods. 

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Thigh Bones?

Thigh bones are relatively larger and are not recommended for your cat. They can break your cat’s teeth and may cause obstructions of the passageways.  

Can Cats Eat Small Chicken Bones?

Small chicken bones are the most dangerous. On ingesting, they snap into smaller shards which can get stuck in your cat’s throat, making it choke. 

Can Bengal Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

No, Bengal cats can not eat chicken bones unless they are wild or used to living out in the open. 

Can Domestic Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

Domestic cats are used to cooked or processed meat and can not adapt to chicken bones. They also have sensitive digestive tracts that get infected if exposed to raw meat. Hence, veterinarians don’t recommend giving domestic cats chicken bones. Go for commercialized and processed chicken instead. 

Can Cats Eat Fried Chicken Bones?

Fried or cooked chicken bones can break down into smaller pieces and get stuck in your cat’s throat. So avoid giving your cats any fried chicken bones. 

Can Kittens Eat Chicken Bones?

Kittens do not have a well-developed digestive system. They will not be able to digest any chicken bones. Instead, you can give your kittens small pieces of processed chicken in their diet.  


  • Cats are drawn to chicken bones.
  • Cooked Chicken bones are harmful and quite dangerous for cats.
  • While raw chicken bones have some benefits, eating chicken bones can lead to symptoms of vomiting, irritability, stomach ache, and frustration in cats.
  • If a chicken bone gets stuck in your cat’s throat or gut, your veterinarian might have to perform surgery to remove the bone. 

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