Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? Everything You Need To Know

10/13/2023 - 2 Comments

Cats are natural-born hunters, and their primal instincts guide their preferences. That's why many pet owners consider raw feeding.  Yet, can cats eat raw chicken? This question sparks curiosity among pet owners seeking to provide the best nutrition for their feline friends.  If you have the same concern, you are at the right place! This article will help you explore the potential benefits and precautions of feeding raw meat to cats.  Let's check it out! 

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? 

Yes. Cats are obligate carnivores, while raw chicken resembles their natural diet. However, giving this food to your pets has both benefits and risks.  


Is raw chicken good for cats? Yes. Feeding raw meat offers certain health benefits, such as improved digestion and enhanced immunity:

Improved digestion 

Cats can digest and absorb nutrients from animal tissues easily. Moreover, raw chicken has natural enzymes that break down proteins and other nutrients in their foods, making them easily digestible. 

Enhanced immunity

Raw chicken is not the direct source of improved immunity in your feline buddies. However, it has a high content of vitamins and minerals. When consumed, these nutrients will maintain a robust immune system in your pets.  Furthermore, raw meat can eliminate bad breath. You can also feed it to your cats as a way to reduce specific ailments, like obesity.  


Cats have a digestive system that can handle harmful bacteria in raw chicken. However, they may still face harmful effects after eating raw meat. 


In fact, about 4% of young chickens get infected by salmonella; therefore, it can result in gastrointestinal issues in cats. If your pets are unlucky and eat some, they will experience these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Appetite loss 


Listeria contamination in raw chicken can lead to Listeriosis. This healthy issue comes with symptom severity ranging from mild to severe, such as: 

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

Amino acids 

Cats need essential amino acids, like methionine, cysteine, arginine, and taurine, to maintain their proper bodily functions. Specifically, taurine is crucial for your pets to avoid problems like reproductive issues and hair loss. Sadly, it's what raw chicken lacks.  

Nutritional deficiency

Raw chicken may contribute to nutritional deficiencies because it contains lower levels of essential nutrients and vitamins than commercial cat foods.  Moreover, your four-legged buddies can't get enough fat for their development from raw meat. Without beneficial fat tissues, your pets' organs will become weaker. 

Hindrance in vitamin absorption

Biotin helps cats break down protein and keeps their thyroid and adrenal glands working properly. Unfortunately, avidin in raw chicken may stop their bodies from absorbing biotin.  On the other hand, cooked chicken has a lower content of avidin. Hence, your cats can eat it safely.  In some cases, eating raw chicken won't immediately affect your pets. They will soon show symptoms of nutritional deficiencies, such as weight loss or appetite loss. Once you notice the changes, check their daily diets for the reasons.  In other cases, infected raw meat will result in severe effects soon. And the best thing you can do now is to take your cats to the vet for medical assistance. 

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken

How To Safely Feed Raw Chicken To Cats? 

Since raw chicken has some benefits for cats, you still want to feed it to your lovely pets. But before you try, check the following tips first:

Check with your vet

Before introducing a raw chicken diet to your cats, consult with your vet. He can provide guidance based on the specific needs and overall health of the feline. You may ask him about any potential risks. 

Select high-quality chicken

Choose fresh, high-quality meat from a reliable source to protect your cats. It's necessary to look for organic and human-grade products to minimize contamination. 

Remove the bones

Bones may pose a choking hazard or cause internal injuries. Hence, feeding boneless chicken is a safer approach. 

Follow hygiene and food handling practices

Practice proper hygiene when handling raw chicken to prevent bacterial contamination. It sounds complicated, but you just need to bear in mind these things:

  • Wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken. 
  • Clean the utensils and surfaces that you use to prepare the meat. 
  • Store raw chicken at a cold temperature, at least 40 degrees. 

Control how much raw chicken to feed your cats 

Cats differ in their age, activity levels, health condition, and genetics. As a result, their requirement for raw chicken will be different.  So how much raw chicken to feed your pets? Vets suggest you offer about two to four percent of a cat's body weight daily.  To calculate the right amount of raw chicken for cats, please follow these steps:

  • Multiply the cat's weight (in pounds) by 16 (because a pound equals 16 ounces).
  • Multiple the result by the desired percentage, like 3% or 4%. 

For example, if the cat weight ten pounds, the amount of raw chicken he should consume a day is: 10 x 16 x 4% = 6.4 (ounces) After following this formula for a few weeks, weigh your pet again. If there is any significant fluctuation, adjust the serving size of raw chicken. 

Aim for a balanced diet

Raw chicken shouldn't be the sole part of a cat's diet. In fact, you need to give your pets a balanced and varied diet with multiple sources of nutrients, such as vegetables, organ meat, and supplements.  Besides, while some cats seem fine with a raw chicken diet, others won't have the same experience. Thus, monitor your pets' health, watch for any adverse reactions after eating raw meat, and visit your vet regularly to ensure their overall health. 

How To Safely Feed Raw Chicken To Cats

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Liver? 

Yes. Raw chicken livers are even richer in nutrients than raw meat. The high calcium, protein, copper, iron, magnesium, copper, and vitamin B makes them an excellent snack for your cats.  However, despite the nutritional value, raw chicken livers should be a tiny part of a cat's diet. If you overfeed, your pets will experience diarrhea. 

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Liver

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Bones? 

Yes. Some experts say that breakable bones can offer dental health benefits and mental stimulation to your feline friends. These bones are also a natural source of calcium.  Some people believe that raw chicken bones are better for cats than cooked ones. When cooked, the bones may splinter inside their digestive systems.  Regardless of your choice, it's crucial to closely observe your cats' reactions after eating the bones. Also, check their bowel movements. If you notice any signs of blood, vomiting, or digestive problems, contact your vet immediately.  Besides, if you want to feed raw chicken bones to your cats, remember to break them into tiny pieces. Otherwise, they will experience choking hazards.  

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Bones

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Necks?  

Yes. Raw chicken necks provide a rich source of minerals and vitamins, such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Hence, they can serve as an ideal treat for your cats.  However, it's important to monitor your pets while they are eating the chicken necks. They may have difficulties chewing and digesting their food.  Moreover, every cat is different. So, you need to ensure that your pets can handle their new foods properly. If you notice any issues, ask your vet for help. 

Can Kittens Eat Raw Chicken? 

Yes. However, you have to be more careful when feeding your kittens because their digestive systems are sensitive.  Generally, kitties can eat raw chicken in moderation. Yet, remember to debone the meat and cut it into small pieces.  Kittens need a well-balanced diet with the proper amount of proteins and vitamins for their development. Hence, checking with your vet before introducing them to new foods is better.  In addition, kittens often prefer high-quality commercial cat foods. These specially formulated products can meet their nutritional requirements. 

Do Commercial Cat Foods Contain Raw Chicken? 

Yes. Since raw chicken contains a wide range of beneficial nutrients for cats, you can find them in many commercial raw cat food recipes. The most common ingredients used in those products are raw organ meat and muscle meat. They offer a high content of protein and calcium.  Besides, raw grounded bones are available in commercial cat foods because they ensure an adequate supply of phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. Commercial raw cat foods must be among the most common choices for cat owners. However, you need to check the label carefully for any allergen warnings. If you have any doubts, contact the food company for further clarification on the specific ingredients. 

Do Commercial Cat Foods Contain Raw Chicken


So can cats have raw chicken? Yes, because it provides certain benefits, such as improved immunity and digestive system. However, when infected, the meat will cause multiple health issues in cats.  If you want to feed raw chicken to your pets, only buy high-quality products. Also, practice proper hygiene when handling the food.  Hopefully, this guide has helped you with raw feeding in cats. Remember that healthy feline companions will be your ultimate goal, and responsible choices will help them thrive.  Thank you for reading!

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About Billy Nguyen
I'm Billy Nguyen, currently CEO/Founder Cat Images, with over 3 years of experience in cat care and training. I hope the knowledge I share brings useful value to promote your pet care effectively.

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