Is It Ok To Give Raw Chicken To Cats?

As a proud cat owner, you want to provide your feline friend with the best possible nutrition. Raw chicken is often considered a healthy option for cats since they are carnivores and require meat as their primary source of nutrients. But is it really safe to give raw chicken to your furry companion? Let’s explore this topic and find out if it’s OK to feed your cat raw chicken.

Cats love protein, and raw chicken is an excellent source of it. Not only does it provide essential amino acids, but the bones in raw chicken can also help clean your cat’s teeth, promoting better dental health.

However, before you start serving up raw chicken to your kitty, there are some things you need to know. Raw chicken carries harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli that can cause illnesses in both cats and humans. Therefore, handling raw chicken requires extra caution, including proper storage and preparation techniques.

Despite the potential risks associated with feeding your cat raw chicken, many pet owners still choose this option due to its natural benefits. As long as you take necessary precautions and follow food safety protocols when handling raw chicken, feeding it to your cat can be a healthy choice.

In conclusion, while giving raw chicken to cats can be beneficial for their health, it’s crucial to handle it carefully to avoid any potential health hazards. By taking the necessary steps for proper preparation and storage of raw chicken, you can safely give your feline friend the nutrition they need without compromising their well-being or yours.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Raw Chicken to Cats

The debate over whether feeding raw chicken to cats is a good idea is a hot topic in the feline health community. While there are some potential benefits to this diet, it’s also important to consider the risks.

Let’s start with the pros of feeding raw chicken to cats. As obligate carnivores, cats require a diet high in protein and fat. Raw chicken provides these essential nutrients in their most natural form, without the added preservatives and fillers found in commercial cat food. Additionally, chewing on raw bones can help clean a cat’s teeth and prevent dental issues such as tartar buildup and gum disease.

Some cat owners also claim that feeding their cats a raw diet can improve their coat quality and reduce skin allergies. However, it’s important to note that these claims are not scientifically proven and may vary depending on the individual cat.

On the flip side, there are potential risks associated with feeding raw chicken to cats. One of the biggest concerns is the risk of bacterial contamination such as salmonella or E.coli. These bacteria can be harmful not only to cats but also to humans who come into contact with contaminated food or surfaces. Additionally, it can be difficult to ensure that a cat is getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals in the right amounts when feeding a raw diet.

Another issue to consider is cost and convenience. Raw diets can be more expensive and time-consuming to prepare than commercial cat food. It’s also important to have a good understanding of feline nutrition to ensure that your cat is getting all the necessary nutrients.

Most veterinarians do not recommend feeding raw chicken or other raw meats to cats due to these potential risks. Instead, they suggest feeding a nutritionally balanced diet that meets the cat’s specific needs.

If you are considering feeding your cat a raw food diet, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian first to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your cat’s individual needs. They can help you formulate a balanced meal plan and provide guidance on how to minimize the risks of bacterial contamination.

Potential Risks Associated with Feeding Raw Chicken to Cats

Raw chicken can harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, putting both you and your cat at risk for serious illness. Here are some potential risks associated with feeding raw chicken to cats:

Bacterial contamination: Raw chicken is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These bacteria can cause severe illness in both cats and humans, leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Washing the chicken before feeding it to your cat won’t eliminate the risk, as bacteria can be found on both the surface and inside the meat.

Parasites: Raw chicken can also contain parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause toxoplasmosis in cats. This infection can lead to lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite in cats and can also be transmitted to humans. Pregnant women and individuals with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk for complications from toxoplasmosis.

Choking hazard: Consuming bones from raw chicken can pose a choking hazard for cats if not removed properly. Bones can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as constipation or digestive tract perforation. It’s important to note that cooked chicken bones are also dangerous for cats, as they can splinter and cause similar issues.

Nutritional Benefits of Feeding Raw Chicken to Cats

Feeding them raw chicken might just be the answer you’re searching for. Raw chicken is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for the overall health and wellbeing of cats.

Firstly, raw chicken is an incredible source of lean protein, which is crucial for cats as they are obligate carnivores. The essential amino acids found in raw chicken help maintain healthy muscles and organs in your furry companion. Additionally, incorporating raw chicken into their diet can help your cat maintain a lean body mass, which is vital for their overall health.

Raw chicken also contains several essential nutrients that are vital for your cat’s health. Vitamin B6 aids in the production of red blood cells and supports the nervous system function. Niacin helps with energy metabolism, while phosphorus plays a crucial role in bone health, kidney function, and maintaining a healthy pH balance in the body. Selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Feeding your cat raw chicken can provide many nutritional benefits that can help promote optimal health and wellbeing. However, it’s important to ensure the chicken is fresh and properly prepared to avoid any risk of foodborne illness. It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist before making significant changes to your cat’s diet.

How to Safely Feed Your Cat Raw Chicken

Feeding your cat a raw diet is a great way to provide them with essential nutrients and protein. However, it’s important to do it safely to avoid any potential health risks. Here are some tips on how to safely feed your cat raw chicken.

Source high-quality chicken

It’s important to purchase high-quality chicken from a reputable source. This means looking for fresh, free-range, and organic chicken to ensure it is of the highest quality.

Proper storage

Raw chicken should be stored separately from other foods in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent any bacterial growth.

Handle with care

Always use separate cutting boards, utensils, and dishes when preparing the raw chicken to avoid cross-contamination with other foods. It’s also recommended to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling the raw chicken.

Cut into small pieces

Before feeding the raw chicken to your cat, cut it into small, bite-sized pieces and remove any bones or cartilage. This will make it easier for your cat to digest and prevent choking hazards.

Monitor your cat’s reaction

It’s important to monitor your cat’s reaction to the raw chicken, as some cats may have an adverse reaction or be allergic to chicken.

It’s also important to keep in mind that feeding your cat a solely raw diet may not provide all the necessary nutrients they need for optimal health. It’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian or professional animal nutritionist before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet.

Alternatives to Feeding Raw Chicken to Cats

The debate on whether feeding raw chicken is safe or not can leave you feeling confused and uncertain. Don’t fret. There are several alternatives to feeding raw chicken to your cat that can keep them healthy and happy.

Firstly, you can opt for high-quality commercial cat food that is specifically formulated for your cat’s nutritional needs. These foods contain a well-balanced mix of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that can keep your cat healthy and active. Look for brands that use high-quality protein sources such as chicken, turkey, or fish and avoid brands that contain fillers or artificial ingredients.

Secondly, cooking the chicken before feeding it to your cat is another great alternative. Cooking eliminates any harmful bacteria and makes the meat safer for your cat to consume. However, it’s important to note that cooking can reduce some of the chicken’s nutritional value and change the texture and taste of the meat.

If you prefer a raw diet for your cat but are concerned about the risks associated with raw chicken, you can consider feeding them other types of raw meat such as beef, lamb, or rabbit. These meats are also natural sources of protein and can provide essential nutrients without posing the same health risks as raw chicken. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Moreover, there are commercial raw food diets available that are specifically formulated for cats. These diets typically contain a mix of ground meat, bones, organs, and other supplements to provide your cat with a balanced diet. However, it’s crucial to choose a reputable brand that uses high-quality ingredients and has undergone testing for safety and nutritional adequacy. Your pet’s health is too important to take any shortcuts.

Tips for Preparing a Nutritionally Balanced Diet for Your Cat

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

Obligate Carnivores

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require a meat-based diet to maintain optimal health. While some cats may enjoy plant-based treats, their bodies are designed to digest and absorb nutrients from animal protein. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with a diet that is high in animal protein.


While chicken can be a good source of protein, it should not be the only protein source in your cat’s diet. For a balanced diet, it is important to offer a variety of different meats like beef, lamb, and fish, as well as organ meats such as liver and kidney. This will ensure that your cat is getting all the nutrients they need.

Commercial Cat Food

Choosing high-quality brands that use whole meat as the first ingredient and avoid fillers like corn, soy, and wheat can be an excellent option for cat owners who prefer convenience. Make sure to choose food that is appropriate for your cat’s age, health condition, and activity level.

Raw Chicken

Raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter that can make both you and your cat sick. Cooking the chicken thoroughly can help reduce these risks. Additionally, feeding your cat a diet that consists solely of raw chicken may not be nutritionally balanced.

Consult with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist

If you prefer to prepare your cat’s meals at home, it’s important to work with a professional to ensure that the diet is nutritionally complete. Homemade diets can be challenging to balance, especially if you’re not familiar with feline nutritional requirements. Consulting with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist can help ensure that your cat’s diet is well-rounded and meets their specific needs.


In conclusion, the question of whether raw chicken is suitable for cats is not a simple one. While it can offer vital nutrients and protein essential for your feline’s overall health, there are potential dangers to consider such as bacterial contamination, parasites, and choking hazards. Therefore, if you opt to feed your cat raw chicken, it’s crucial to handle it with care by sourcing high-quality chicken, storing it correctly, cutting it into small pieces and keeping a close eye on your cat’s reaction.

However, there are several alternatives to feeding raw chicken that can keep your furry friend healthy and content. These include high-quality commercial cat food that provides all the necessary nutrients tailored to their nutritional needs or cooking the chicken before feeding it to them. You could also consider other types of raw meat like beef or lamb.

When creating a nutritionally balanced diet for your cat, remember that they are obligate carnivores and require various meats and organ meats in their diet. It’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist who can ensure their diet is well-rounded and meets specific requirements.

Ultimately whether you choose to feed your cat raw chicken depends on personal preference and willingness to take necessary precautions.