Cats are pretty smart, but their appetite can make them consume unsuitable foods. Cats cannot distinguish between raw and cooked meat and often eat both. But is raw chicken the same as cooked chicken? Can cats eat raw chicken?

You should not give the raw chicken to your cat as it can lead to infections or illness. Raw chicken contains harmful bacteria and parasites that infect a cat’s digestive system, resulting in symptoms like stomach ache, difficulty passing stool, and lack of energy. You can give your cat processed or commercialized chicken instead. 

DO NOT FEED your gecko these things!
DO NOT FEED your gecko these things!

Is Chicken Bad For Cats?

This depends on the chicken you are getting for your cat. Feeding raw chicken to cats can result in several issues and becomes increasingly problematic if it isn’t fresh. Raw, stale chicken harbors salmonella that can make your cat sick. Raw chicken also contains other bacteria that can disrupt your chicken’s digestive system. 

Apart from the obvious hygiene issue, raw chicken may not suit a domestic cat’s appetite. While wild cats can ingest chicken bones and raw chicken, pet cats are used to cooked foods and processed meat. Changing their diet can result in stomach aches. 

Raw chicken contains smaller splinters that can obstruct your cat’s throat or gut. While some cats can digest bones, others experience tears or blockages. This can lead to stomach aches, vomiting, irritability, lethargy, and difficulty in passing stool. 

Sometimes, these cats may even need surgery to get the chicken bones out of their system. Raw chicken also lacks many essential vitamins and minerals that are integral for your cat’s healthy growth and sustenance. So it is better to avoid it altogether. 

Is Chicken Healthy For Cats?

High-quality chicken is rich in nutrients and can help boost your cat’s immune system. Here are some essential nutrients that good-quality chicken contains:

  • Proteins: Like humans, some extra protein can help build stronger cat muscles. Moreover, it helps assist and build essential tissues of the body. Protein is also vital for healthy teeth and bones. 
  • Vitamin B: This boosts up the energy of the cat and also helps it achieve optimum brain health.
  • Omega-6: This helps maintain the healthy coat and skin of the cat. Additionally, it helps build stronger and more resilient cat muscles. 
  • Selenium: Selenium helps boost the immune function of the cat. It also contributes to a healthy thyroid and good fertility. 

However, remember that all these benefits are only reserved for good quality or processed meat. Feeding your cat raw, unclean or old chicken can result in health issues.  

How Much Chicken Should I Feed My Cat?

When it comes to chicken or other treats, the simple rule of thumb is to keep the amount less than 10% of the total calorie intake of the cat. When given in adequate amounts, chicken can be a great source of protein and help maintain your cat’s appearance. Additionally, a limited number of treats help keep your cat active and enthusiastic all day. 

Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken?

Cooked chicken removes excess fats from the skin and thus provides greater nutrition to cats. Additionally, cooked chicken does not contain parasites or bacteria that can hamper the cat’s digestive system.

Can I Feed My Cat Chicken Every Day?

You can give a small amount of chicken to your cat daily; however, according to experts, it should not replace other steady meals. This is because chicken lacks specific vitamins and minerals your cat needs for healthy growth. Feeding only chicken every day can result in several nutritional deficiencies. 

If you are thinking of giving your cat chicken daily, choose plain boiled chicken. Boiling removes excess fat off the chicken, ensuring your cat doesn’t gain weight. Breast meat is also preferable since it does not contain any bones. You can also mix the chicken with plain rice. This will entice your cat to eat even when it is ill or suffering from some pain. 

Benefits Of Feeding Chicken For Cats

Cooked chicken contains several essential nutrients vital for your cat’s healthy growth. It is a rich source of protein that helps maintain bone and muscle health. Moreover, it ensures healthy teeth.

Additionally, chicken contains B6, omega6, and fats. All these nutrients are essential to boost your cat’s energy. 

Why Is Chicken Bad For Cats?

Some safety risks are associated with feeding your cat chicken. Here are some prominent issues that your cat can face.

Parasites And Bacterial Infection

Chicken can easily get infected by parasites or bacteria. This becomes an even bigger risk when the chicken is raw and old. Moreover, cats have sensitive digestive tracts and have high acidity levels in their stomach, making them more vulnerable. Pathogens and parasites can stay inside the cat’s system, making them sick. 

Nutritional Deficiency

Raw chicken or even cooked chicken lacks certain nutrients. If your cat’s diet depends on only raw chicken, it might make your cat experience certain deficiencies. Adding other food items rich in vitamins and minerals can enhance your cat’s overall health. 

Related Questions

Can Cats Eat Chicken Breast?

Chicken breast is a feline favorite and one of the foods cats most enjoy. Chicken breast is an excellent protein and B6 vitamin source when cooked or steamed. Moreover, since chicken breast does not contain bones or splinters, it poses no risk to your cat. You can try removing the skin of the lean meat to ensure a better meal for your beloved cat. 

Can Cats Eat Chicken And Rice?

Your cat may get bored of eating chicken every day. So, flavor up the cat’s meal by adding boiled rice to it. Try adding small, chopped pieces of meat to the rice. Alternatively, add broth to the rice to make it more flavorful. 

Can Cats Eat Chicken Necks?

You can feed your chicken with raw chicken wings and necks from an early age. It helps with teething and maintaining dental hygiene. Ensure to introduce raw chicken necks at around 8 weeks, or your cat will refuse the food entirely. 

Can Cats Eat Chicken Skin?

Although cats can eat chicken skin, it is not recommended for daily usage. Chicken skins are rich in oils and can add to the cat’s weight. Moreover, the oils are harder to digest since cats have a sensitive digestive system. If you want to give chicken skin to your cat, make sure it is free of any seasonings, salt, garlic, or onions. 

Can Chicken Make Cats Sick?

Eating raw chicken can make cats sick, especially if the bones get stuck in a cat’s throat. Hence, give your cat cooked chicken in small quantities. 

Can Cats Eat Chicken Hearts?

Chicken hearts are not only suitable but highly recommended for cats. They can be given in small pieces or as treats to add texture and variety to your cat’s meat. 

Is Chicken Safe For Cats?

Since cats thrive on proteins, it makes chicken safe for cats. Cooked chicken, turkey, beef, and lean deli treats can help your cat get a balanced diet. However, there is a catch; raw meat or chicken bones can be counterproductive and cause significant disease in your cat. 


  • Domestic cats have a sensitive digestive system and should not be given raw chicken.
  • Raw chicken contains harmful bacteria and parasites that can infect the cat’s digestive system. 
  • You can give your cat cooked, processed, or commercialized meat for a more balanced and safe diet. 

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