What Happens If Cats Eat Bones?

Are you a cat owner who has thought about giving your furry feline friend a bone to chew on? While bones are common treats for dogs, it’s important to understand the risks and potential complications of giving them to your cat. As natural carnivores with excellent teeth for gnawing, cats may seem like they would enjoy bones, but the truth is that not all bones are safe for them to eat.

Cooked bones, especially small and brittle ones, can splinter and cause choking or even pierce your cat’s digestive system. This could lead to serious gastrointestinal problems ranging from constipation to blockages that require surgery. However, raw bones with soft, edible marrow can help clean your cat’s teeth and provide vital minerals like magnesium and calcium while stimulating their immune system.

Before giving any type of bone to your cat, it’s always wise to consult with your veterinarian. They can advise on the right type, size, and quantity based on your cat’s age, size, and overall health. So in this blog post, we’ll explore what happens if cats eat bones and how you can keep your feline friend healthy by choosing the right treats for them. Let’s dive in.

Types of Bones: Raw Meaty Bones vs. Cooked Bones

What Happens If Cats Eat Bones-2

Feeding bones to your cat can be a great way to supplement their diet and promote healthy teeth and gums. However, it’s crucial to understand the differences between raw meaty bones and cooked bones to keep your pet safe and healthy. Here are five sub-sections explaining the key differences:

Raw Meaty Bones:

Raw meaty bones are bones that still have meat, connective tissue, and cartilage attached to them. These types of bones are soft and pliable, making them easy for cats to chew and digest. Raw meaty bones are also an excellent source of calcium and other essential nutrients that cats need for optimal health.

Cooked Bones:

Cooked bones should never be fed to cats due to the cooking process making them harder and more brittle, which can cause them to splinter when chewed. These splinters can get stuck in a cat’s throat or digestive system, causing serious health problems such as choking, intestinal blockages, or even perforations in the stomach or intestines.

Small Bones:

Small bones such as chicken wings or fish bones should never be given to cats under any circumstances as they can easily get stuck in their throat or digestive system, leading to choking or blockages.

Weight-Bearing Bones:

Weight-bearing bones such as beef femurs or marrow bones are not recommended for cats due to their density and hardness, which can cause tooth fractures or blockages if swallowed whole.

Caution with Raw Meaty Bones:

Even though raw meaty bones are generally safe for cats, they should still be fed with caution. Large bones such as beef femurs can pose a risk of tooth fractures or blockages if swallowed whole. Additionally, always supervise your cat while they are eating bones and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about their safety or nutrition.

In conclusion, feeding your cat raw meaty bones is a safer option than cooked or weight-bearing bones. However, it’s essential to choose appropriate sizes and supervise your cat while they eat to prevent any potential health risks.

Health Risks Associated with Eating Bones

While bones may seem like a natural and healthy treat, they can cause serious harm to your cat’s health.

One of the most significant risks of feeding cats bones is the danger of splintering. Cooked bones, in particular, are brittle and can easily splinter into sharp pieces that can puncture or scratch your cat’s throat, mouth, and intestines. These injuries can lead to internal bleeding and infections, and if a large piece gets stuck in the digestive tract, it can cause constipation or even bowel obstruction.

But it’s not just cooked bones that are dangerous. Even raw bones can cause dental problems like broken teeth, gum injuries, and oral infections. These issues can cause severe pain and discomfort for your cat and may even lead to bacterial infections that pose a life-threatening risk.

While smaller bones like those found in fish or chicken wings may be less harmful than larger ones like beef or pork bones, it’s still not recommended to feed your cat any type of bone as they are not a natural part of their diet.

Instead of feeding your cat bones, prioritize their health and safety by providing them with high-quality cat food that meets their nutritional needs. If you want to give them something to chew on for dental health benefits, opt for specially designed dental treats or toys instead.

Potential Complications from Eating Too-Large Bones

It’s important to recognize that feeding your cat bones can be a risky business, especially if the bones are too large. As a cat expert, I’m here to give you an in-depth look at the potential complications that can arise from your cat eating too-large bones.

The first and most significant risk is when your cat swallows a bone that is too large. This can cause an obstruction in their digestive system, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and severe discomfort. In some cases, surgery may even be necessary to remove the bone and relieve the blockage.

But that’s not all – the sharp edges of the bones can also tear or lacerate your cat’s digestive tract. This can cause internal bleeding and infections, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. It’s essential to monitor your cat’s behavior after they have eaten bones and look out for any unusual signs or symptoms.

Another potential complication is when cats consume cooked bones. Cooked bones are more brittle and prone to splintering, which can cause serious damage to the digestive system. The splinters can puncture the intestines, leading to peritonitis, a severe inflammation of the abdominal cavity.

To keep your feline friend safe and healthy, it’s crucial to avoid feeding them too-large or cooked bones. Instead, opt for nutritious cat food and dental treats specially designed to promote their oral health.

But what should you do if you suspect your cat has eaten too-large bones? Keep an eye on their behavior for any concerning symptoms such as vomiting or lethargy. If you notice anything unusual, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Splintered Bones and Cuts in the Mouth, Throat, or Intestines

It’s important to note that cats can be curious and adventurous creatures, prone to exploring and tasting everything in sight. Unfortunately, their inquisitive nature can lead them to eat things they shouldn’t, such as bones. While it may seem harmless to give your cat a bone to chew on, the truth is that splintered bones and cuts in the mouth, throat, or intestines can pose a serious risk to their health.

Cooked bones are particularly problematic as they’re more likely to splinter than raw bones. These small pieces of bone can become lodged in your cat’s mouth or throat, causing them pain and discomfort. Worse still, they can puncture the lining of their throat or intestines, leading to internal bleeding or infection. The resulting pain can be excruciating for your furry friend and may require surgery to remove the lodged bone.

Cuts in the mouth, throat, or intestines are a common occurrence when cats eat bones. Such cuts are not only painful but may also lead to bleeding and infection. They can also make it difficult for your cat to eat or drink properly, causing dehydration and malnutrition.

If you suspect that your cat has eaten a bone and is experiencing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination and diagnostic tests to determine if there are any blockages or injuries caused by bone ingestion.

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your cat safe from the dangers of bone ingestion. Always keep bones out of reach of your cat, including those from chicken, fish, and other meats. Providing them with a balanced diet that includes all necessary nutrients can also help reduce their desire to eat bones in the first place.

Symptoms of Bone Consumption in Cats

Cats are known for their curious and adventurous nature, but their love for exploring can sometimes lead to consuming bones. While bones may seem like a tasty treat, they are actually indigestible and can cause serious harm to our feline friends. If you suspect your cat has consumed bones, it’s crucial to be aware of the symptoms that indicate bone consumption.

Gastrointestinal issues are among the most common symptoms of bone consumption in cats. Vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation are likely to occur when bones cause blockages in a cat’s digestive tract. These symptoms can cause discomfort and potential health complications, making prompt veterinary care essential.

In addition to gastrointestinal issues, cats may also experience pain or discomfort when consuming bones. This can lead them to display signs of distress such as restlessness, whining, or meowing. They may also exhibit a lack of appetite or refuse to eat altogether if they are experiencing discomfort from bone consumption.

Another potential symptom of bone consumption in cats is the development of oral injuries. Sharp fragments from splintered bones can damage a cat’s mouth or throat as they try to swallow them. This can result in cuts, lacerations, or puncture wounds in the mouth and throat, which can be painful and require medical attention.

As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to keep bones out of reach and provide a balanced diet for your furry friend. Safe alternatives to satisfy your cat’s natural urge to chew include toys and treats made specifically for feline consumption. If you suspect your cat has consumed bones, seek veterinary care promptly. Early treatment can help prevent further complications and ensure the best possible outcome for your beloved pet.

Prevention Strategies for Cat Owners

As much as we love our curious and adventurous feline friends, it’s important to keep them safe from potential dangers like eating bones. That’s why implementing prevention strategies for cat owners is essential.

Firstly, feeding your cat a well-balanced diet is crucial. As obligate carnivores, cats require a diet rich in animal protein. Quality food that meets their nutritional needs will decrease their desire to search for other sources of nutrients and reduce the likelihood of them scavenging for bones.

In addition to providing nutritious food, it’s important to avoid giving your cats table scraps or human food containing bones. Chicken, fish, and meat bones can easily splinter and cause severe damage to the digestive system.

Supervising meal times is another effective prevention strategy, especially if your kitty has a habit of stealing food or scavenging. Slow-feed bowls or puzzle feeders can also help prevent them from gobbling down their food too quickly.

It’s also important to keep dangerous items out of reach of your cat. Disposing of chicken bones properly and securing trash cans are crucial steps in minimizing the risk of bone consumption. Additionally, keeping an eye on your kitty while they’re outside can prevent them from coming across hazardous objects.

By implementing these prevention strategies for cat owners, we can ensure that our furry friends stay healthy and happy. Bone consumption can lead to serious complications, but with a nutritious diet, supervised meal times, and keeping dangerous items out of reach, we can minimize this risk.

Alternatives to Feeding Your Cat Bones

Feeding them bones can actually pose serious risks to their health. Fortunately, there are many safe and nutritious alternatives that can provide your cat with essential nutrients.

One of the best alternatives is to provide your cat with a balanced diet that includes calcium-rich foods. This can include canned or dry cat food with added calcium, as well as fresh sources of calcium like dairy products, canned fish with bones, and leafy green vegetables. By choosing these options, you can rest assured that your cat is getting all the nutrients they need without any potential harm.

Another alternative is to offer your cat chew toys or dental treats that promote healthy teeth and gums. These treats not only satisfy your cat’s urge to chew but also provide important nutrients for their overall health. Plus, they make great rewards for good behavior.

For those who are extra concerned about their cat’s dental health, regular brushing can work wonders. It prevents dental problems that may lead to the need for bone-based diets in the first place. You might even find that your cat enjoys the bonding experience of being brushed.

Veterinary Care for Cats Who Have Eaten Bones

Our feline friends are known for their inquisitive and playful nature. However, sometimes their curiosity can lead them down a dangerous path, such as eating bones. If you suspect that your cat has ingested bones, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately to avoid any serious health issues.

Upon arrival at the vet’s office, the first step in treating a cat that has eaten bones is to stabilize their condition. This may require administering intravenous fluids or medication to manage pain and inflammation. The veterinarian will also conduct x-rays or ultrasound to assess the extent of any damage caused by the bones.

If the bones have caused any internal damage to the intestines or other organs, surgery may be necessary to remove the bones or repair any damage. Alternatively, the vet may perform an endoscopy to remove the bones from the digestive tract.

After treatment, your cat will need time to recover and may require a special diet or medication to manage any ongoing digestive issues caused by the ingestion of bones. It is crucial to follow all instructions provided by the veterinarian to ensure your cat makes a full recovery.

Preventing your cat from eating bones is key to avoiding potential health issues. Here are some tips for keeping your furry friend safe:

  • Always keep an eye on what your cat has access to and keep potentially dangerous objects out of reach.
  • Feeding your cat a balanced diet with all necessary nutrients can help reduce their desire to eat inappropriate objects.
  • Consider providing your cat with safe and appropriate toys and chews to satisfy their natural urge to chew and play.


In conclusion, it’s important to recognize the potential hazards of feeding bones to your beloved cat. Although raw meaty bones can provide essential nutrients and promote dental health, cooked bones pose a significant risk due to their tendency to splinter and cause choking or internal damage. It’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before giving any type of bone to your cat and choose appropriate sizes while supervising meal times.

To safeguard your feline friend from the dangers of bone ingestion, consider implementing preventative measures such as providing a well-balanced diet, avoiding table scraps or human food containing bones, and offering chew toys or dental treats that promote healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, keep dangerous items out of reach of your curious cat and seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect they have ingested bones or are experiencing symptoms related to bone consumption.

Remember, bone ingestion can lead to severe gastrointestinal problems that may require surgery. By taking proactive steps towards ensuring your cat’s safety and health, you can help prevent these potentially life-threatening situations.