Most pet parents have questions about what’s safe for their cat to digest, and bones are at the top of that list. Whether you’re feeding your kitten a raw diet that includes bones or your cat just got into those chicken wing bones leftovers on the table, you’ll want to know everything about those chicken bones.
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Let’s Talk About Cats
First, we should all know that cats are obligate carnivores. This means that in the wild, they do eat small animals, fish, and insects because meat is necessary in their diet. In the wild, the cat would eat every piece of the animal, including the bones, to get lots of nutrients. When you feed your cat raw meat then, you get them very close to this natural way of eating.
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More About Chicken Bones
Chicken bones are rich in minerals like calcium, while providing a great tooth and gum massage to prevent plaque build up. They can even provide lots of mental stimulation when your cat is chewing!
Type of Bones
Bones certainly have a lot of health benefits for your cat, but only if you know the right type to give your kitty. There are lots of bones out there from multiple parts of the animal’s body. When you feed your cat bones, you’ll want to go for smaller bones like wings, ribs, or necks. This is because bones can splinter easily with their sharp edges. If you give your cat a bone too big, it can get stuck in the digestive tract.
What’s in a Chicken Bone?
Bones have lots of great minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. For those nutrients to be absorbed properly however, the rest of the vitamins within the bones are required. Your cat will even get iron from the bone marrow.
Raw bones have more calcium phosphate in them than cooked bones, but of course they don’t splinter as easily either. They’re perfect for obligate carnivores like cats. Cats love chewing on them so much because of their natural instincts! The fact that they help teeth, gums, and are filled with nutrition is an added bonus too.
The thin bones of chicken and turkey especially can splinter and get stuck. Bones also might have bacteria on them, but what else should you look out for? If your cat has swallowed a chicken bone whole, you’d want to read on to know more too!
Bones can easily splinter and become stuck, ending up in your cat’s throat or in their intestines. To prevent this, make sure the bones are raw. Cooked bones are much more likely to splinter because they are more brittle. Even if you prepare the chicken into smaller pieces, just cutting up the bones can make them splinter. That’s why you should never feed your kitty bones right from your plate.
Signs of a Problem
Bones can pass through your kitty’s system without any sort of issue, but if there is a problem, you won’t be able to tell for a few days. More than likely, your cat will need surgery. If your cat has eaten bones by accident, keep a close eye on them for the next few days. On the off chance that there’s any vomiting, diarrhea, your cat has no interest in eating, or their stomach looks swollen, call your vet immediately.
So Should I Give My Cat Bones?
In the end, experts are a little divided when it comes to this one. For the most part though, your cat will be fine. Vets have often said that the most they have to do is help a cat with vomiting and diarrhea, with 9/10 cats having no issues at all. Just watch the size of the bone you give your cat and keep them raw. Always supervise your kitty too and watch for any warning signs just in case. If anything at all seems wrong, go to your vet to be sure.
Feeding your Cat
Since we’re talking about feeding chicken bones, let’s talk a little about giving our cats chicken meat. You can feed your cat either cooked or raw chicken meat.
Sure chicken is pretty cheap, but it’s also a great protein. It may not be best to give your cat the chicken off your plate, but there are many great cat food options containing chicken as their primary protein.
Many people subscribe to the raw diets for their pets, and maybe that’s why you’re wondering about the chicken bones. Raw chicken does have higher nutritional value, with natural enzymes that are lost when the chicken is cooked.
Be cautious though, since there is a higher risk of ingesting bacteria with raw food. Keep it frozen before feeding it to your cat, and don’t just leave it out.
If your cat happens to ingest chicken bones, take a deep breath because they should be fine. That’s great news! For the most part, you can feed your cat bones without a problem. You just need to be aware of the type of bone and whether it’s cooked or not. You can even go for a raw diet, but always remember to take your cat to the vet if there are any problems.