Can Cats Eat Turkey? The Truth About Feline Nutrition

10/14/2023 - 2 Comments

If you desire to give your cats a special treat this holiday season, you may wonder about sharing some turkey with them.  Can cats eat turkey? How much can you give them? You must know how to properly provide this meat to your felines to ensure their health.  This article will explore these questions in detail. It's time to scroll down to get the answers. Let's get started!

Can Cats Eat Turkey? Is Turkey Good for Cats? 

Can cats have turkey? The answer is Yes! You can feed your cats turkey, but there are several things to consider.  In fact, turkey is an excellent protein source. Several commercial cat food manufacturers add this food as one of the main ingredients.  If you provide this meat for your feline friends, remove bones, excess fat, and skin. Turkey's bones may crack and pose choking hazards or harm your pet's digestive tract.  Furthermore, don't add seasonings like onion, garlic, and other spices because these ingredients can cause digestive issues. Also, cook it thoroughly.  You can feed your felines plain and thoroughly cooked turkey, but it shouldn't be a main treat. Instead, offer your pets commercial cat foods. They are designed to provide vital nutrients for felines.  If you wonder about adding this meat to your cat's diet as an occasional treat, consult your vet first. These experts can advise you on frequency and portion sizes to suit your cat's nutritional requirements.  In general, turkeys bring many health benefits for your feline friends if you feed them in moderation as an occasional treat.  It's worth noting that this food can also have some potential risks. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of giving your cats this food!

Health Benefits

Feeding your cat turkey can provide numerous health benefits. From improved digestion to better eye health, this meat is an excellent source of nutrition for felines.  Improved Digestion Turkey is an excellent source of protein for cats. It is also low in fat and easy for your pets to digest. Furthermore, this food also contains amino acids. This nutrient can help maintain healthy digestion. Stronger Immune System Turkey contains nutrients like zinc and selenium that help support a robust immune system in cats.  These nutrients can protect the body against infections and other common health issues. Hence, providing your cat with this meat can help keep them healthy and prevent illnesses. Healthy Skin and Coat Turkey contains omega-3 fatty acids and protein. These substances are essential for healthy skin and coat. Therefore, adding this meat to your cat's diet can help reduce skin irritation and dryness and promote a lustrous coat. Better Eye Health Feeding your feline friend's turkey can help maintain healthy eyes and prevent eye-related health issues. Turkey is rich in vitamin A. It's vital for maintaining good eye health in cats. This nutrient can protect the eyes from damage and improve vision.  Weight Management If your cat is overweight, feeding them turkey may be a good option. This lean meat is low in calories and fat. Generally, turkey can help your cats lose weight and maintain a healthy weight over time.

Can Cats Eat Turkey? Is Turkey Good for Cats

Potential Risks

Is turkey bad for cats? This food is not toxic to your pets but may pose some potential risks if overfed. While this food can be a tasty and protein-packed treat for felines, it is essential to know the hazards involved. Bones Turkey's bones can pose a significant risk to cats. Bones may splinter and cause choking, intestinal blockages, or digestive tract perforation.  Even small and soft bones like those found in this food can cause serious harm to your cat. Thus, you must remove all bones from this meat before giving it to your furry friends. Seasonings Many people season their turkeys with herbs, spices, and other harmful ingredients to cats. Onions, garlic, and chives may add flavor to the meat. But they can damage your cat's red blood cells and cause anemia.  Besides, seasonings like sage and thyme can cause digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Fat Content Turkey skin and dark meat contain a lot of fat and can cause cat digestive problems.  Consuming too much fat can cause pancreatitis - a painful pancreas inflammation. Your cats may experience symptoms like abdominal pain and diarrhea. Removing the skin and sticking to lean white meat is essential if you feed your cat this food. Allergies Cats can develop allergies to certain foods, including turkey. Cats' food allergy symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, itching, and skin irritation.  If your cat shows signs after eating this meat, stop feeding it immediately and consult your veterinarian.

Potential Risks

What Parts Of Turkey Can You Feed Your Cats? 

Before feeding your cats pieces of turkey, you must know which parts they can eat safely. 

Breast Meat

The breast meat of turkey is a lean source of protein that is safe for cats to eat. It is also easy to digest. So it's ideal for felines with sensitive stomachs.  However, you must remove the bones and cook the meat thoroughly. Cooked bones can splinter and cause serious harm to your cat's digestive system.

What Parts Of Turkey Can You Feed Your Cats


Giblets are the organs of a turkey, including the liver, heart, and gizzard. These parts are safe for cats to eat, but only in moderation.  The liver contains vitamin A. Meanwhile, the heart and gizzard are excellent protein sources. However, you must always cook giblets thoroughly and serve them in small amounts to prevent digestive upset.

Skin And Bones

You should never feed the skin and bones of a turkey to a cat. The skin contains fat and can cause digestive issues and even cat pancreatitis.  The bones may splinter and cause serious harm to your cat's digestive system. Removing the skin and bones before feeding it to your cat is essential.

Skin And Bones

How to Safely Feed Your Cat Turkey? 

Turkey is a good protein source to be a part of your cat's diet. However, you must know how to serve this meat to avoid health risks to your cats.

Choosing the Right Type of Turkey

When feeding your cat turkey, it is vital to choose the right type. Plain turkey is the best option.  Avoid giving your cat turkey with seasonings or additives, as they may be dangerous to your cat's health. Also, ensure the meat is boneless, as bones can cause choking or intestinal issues.

How to Safely Feed Your Cat Turkey

Preparing Turkey for Your Cat

If you plan on feeding your cat cooked turkey, ensure it is thoroughly cooked and free of any seasoning or stuffing.  Also, remove the skin, as it contains many fats that can harm your cat. When feeding raw meat, ensure that it is fresh and stored correctly.  Wash your hands and clean any surfaces coming into contact with the raw turkey to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

Moderation is Key

While turkey is a fantastic source of protein for felines, you should only give it in moderation. Too much turkey can cause digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and obesity

Moderation is Key

Should Cats Eat Raw or Cooked Turkey?

Some cat owners believe that feeding raw turkey to their pets is better than a cooked one because it is more natural and provides more nutrients.  However, raw turkey can be dangerous for felines. It may carry harmful bacteria - salmonella and listeria and cause serious health problems and even death.  Raw turkey bones will splinter and cause choking or internal injuries. Hence, avoid feeding raw meat to your pets. Cooked turkey is a safer option for cats than raw one. Cooking kills harmful bacteria and makes the meat easier to digest.  It is vital to prepare this food properly. Avoid adding seasoning or spices, as they can be toxic to cats. 

Should Cats Eat Raw or Cooked Turkey

Can Cats Eat Turkey Bacon? 

No! While turkey bacon may seem like a healthy and safe alternative to traditional bacon, it is not recommended for cats.  These pets are obligate carnivores. It means that their bodies are designed to digest and process meat.  While turkey bacon is made from meat, it is still a processed food item that can cause feline digestive issues. Also, the fat content in this food can lead to obesity and pancreatitis.

Do Cats Like Turkey? 

While every feline is different, many cats enjoy the taste of turkey. They are obligate carnivores and need an animal-based protein diet to stay healthy.  Turkey is a fantastic source of protein for cats. Besides, it's also a lean meat that can help with weight control. 

Do Cats Like Turkey

How Much Turkey Can Cats Eat? 

When it comes to feeding cats turkey, the key is moderation. A small amount of cooked, unseasoned meat can be a healthy treat for your pets.  However, it should not make up a significant portion of their diet. Experts recommend that treats not exceed 10% of a cat's daily calorie intake.  Therefore, a few pieces of turkey meat are more than enough to satisfy a cat's cravings without causing any harm.

How Often Should You Feed Your Cats Turkey? 

Turkey is a terrific source of protein for your cats. This nutrient is essential for their growth and overall health. However, feeding your cat the right amount of turkey is crucial to avoid health issues.  You should provide your pets with this meat in moderation and not make it a regular part of their diet. Experts suggest feeding your cat turkey only once or twice a week. Never overfeed your feline friends. This food is high in protein. Too much of this substance can lead to digestive problems. Overfeeding can also cause obesity, diabetes, and arthritis. 

How Often Should You Feed Your Cats Turkey

In A Nutshell

Cats can safely eat turkey if it's boneless and free of seasoning or spices.  It's also essential to feed it to your cat in moderation, not as a substitute for their regular cat food. Do you have any concerns related to your pet's diet? Consult your veterinarian!

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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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