Cats are inherently carnivorous animals. They cannot resist eating meat which is why chicken is an all-time favorite food for cats. As we know, a chicken comprises different parts such as a head, skin, wings, drumstick, legs, and organs like heart, liver, kidneys, etc. All these parts contain nutrients beneficial for cats. But consuming some of these parts may pose a health risk to your feline friend.
It is then common to wonder which parts of a chicken are safe for a cat. For instance, can cats eat chicken wings? Should you feed raw chicken to your cat, or it should be cooked?
The answer is, yes, chicken wings make it to the list of human food that cats can eat. They are full of nutrients and are a rich source of proteins. Yet, there are certain things you need to consider before feeding chicken wings to your kitty.
To help you out here, we have tackled this issue and provided detailed answers to your questions related to your feline fellow’s food.
So, let’s dive in.
Is it Safe for Cats to Consume Raw Chicken Wings?
Raw chicken wings are safe for cats with a strong immune system. Chicken wings have flexible bones, which are softer and easier for a cat to chew and digest. So, it is perfectly safe for a cat to consume raw chicken wings. They are beneficial for the cat’s oral health because eating raw chicken encourages jaws’ exertion, making them strong and healthy. They also help remove plaque and tartar build-up, keeping your cat’s teeth and gums strong and healthy.
If, however, your cat’s immune system is not strong, it is better to avoid feeding her raw chicken wings. This is because raw chicken may carry Salmonella bacteria and can make your cat sick.
What About Cooked Chicken? Is it Safe for Your Kitty?
It is safe to feed cooked chicken to your cat but not the bones. Care should be taken when feeding cooked poultry to your kitty because a cooked bone is more threatening for your kitty than an uncooked one. This is because when a bone is cooked, the heat makes it brittle and hard. When a cat munches on a cooked bone, it splinters into shards which can tear and puncture a cat’s gut and other internal organs.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? Are they Safe?
Can cats eat chicken wings with bones? Apparently, eating chicken bones would be safe for a cat because they are carnivores. But this is not the case. A chicken bone, especially when cooked, can be a choking hazard for a cat.
Below, we have listed some of the potential hazards for a cat eating a chicken bone.
A chicken bone can become lodged in a cat’s airway, making it difficult for her to breathe. Another possibility is that a small chicken bone can get stuck through the roof of a cat’s mouth. A cat may not be able to remove it, which can make her uncomfortable and also injure the soft tissues of her mouth. This may make your cat unable to close its mouth. If you suspect your cat may have got a chicken bone stuck across her mouth, call your vet.
Blocking or Tearing the Gut
Another potential harm a chicken bone can cause your cat is a blockage or tear in her gut. This can be life-threatening, and your cat may require major surgery to remove it. As mentioned earlier, cooked chicken bones are more dangerous than raw bones because bones become hard and brittle after cooking. They can possibly crack into sharp slivers, damaging and puncturing a cat’s internal organs.
It is a commonly known fact that raw chicken bones carry harmful bacteria like Salmonella that can make your cat sick. These bacteria are also known as Zoonoses, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans. If a cat becomes infected with these bacteria, it can suffer from food poisoning. Their saliva and feces shed these bacteria long after they have recovered. This can also pose a risk to humans that may come in contact with infected cats.
How Often Can You Feed Chicken Wings to Your Cat?
So, can cats eat chicken wings? Yes, they can. But how much is too much, and how often can you let your cat consume chicken wings and other poultry products?
Most cat owners prefer feeding their cats raw chicken twice a week. It is, however, important to mention here that you shouldn’t feed your cat chicken two days in a row. Instead, keep a gap of 2 or 3 days in between. Loaded with calcium, too much chicken can lead to constipation and other digestion problems in cats. Additionally, meat alone is not enough for a feline’s daily dietary requirements.
Health Benefits of Feeding Chicken Wings to Your Kitty
As meat is a key component of a feline’s diet, there are numerous health benefits of feeding chicken or chicken wings to your kitty. It is a high source of protein which is essential for bone development and muscle strength.
Some other health benefits of chicken wings are as listed below;
- Can cats eat chicken wings if they are obese? Yes, they can. Chicken wings are high in proteins and also better for weight loss. Proteins are known for their ability to give a feeling of fullness. Due to this reason, proteins help to prevent unhealthy weight gain.
- Chicken wings are a healthy source of minerals, selenium, calcium, and phosphorus. These minerals are essential for healthy bones and improving fertility. Selenium is also known to improve thyroid functionality. Apart from this, selenium is also helpful in preventing bone diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
- Chicken wings are loaded with zinc. This mineral is known to help boost testosterone levels and the production of sperm. Thus, chicken wings help increase a cat’s fertility.
- Poultry items are also a high source of nutrients that are good for combating stress and anxiety. Chicken wings are a good source of tryptophan, vitamin B5, and magnesium.
- Apart from minerals and proteins, chicken wings are high in vitamins such as vitamin B6. These vitamins are essential to keep a cat’s heart healthy. They also have niacin which helps to keep cholesterol under control and prevent heart attacks.
The Best Way to Introduce Chicken Wings to Your Kitty
Before you try feeding chicken wings to your feline fellow, there are certain things you should look at.
If you want to add chicken to your kitty’s diet, it is important to start early and get her body used to it. You should start giving small pieces of chicken wings when your feline is still a kitten so she can learn how to properly chew the bones. If you have a kitten and are not sure how much she should eat, here is a Kitten Feeding Chart. This would help new kitten parents understand the dietary requirements of kittens.
It is a general rule to consult a vet before trying anything new on your cat. If you want to start feeding her something new, it is best to talk to your vet before that.
Start with Fresh Chicken Wings
It is advisable to introduce fresh chicken wings to your feline without any preservatives or artificial flavors. Foods with preservatives can result in nutritional deficiencies.
So, can cats eat chicken wings? Yes, they can. The health benefits of eating chicken wings outweigh the hazards. These poultry products are loaded with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, niacin, selenium, and zinc. These nutrients play an important role in keeping a cat healthy and strong.
It is, however, important to be careful while feeding chicken wings to your feline as there are some health hazards involved. To be on the safe side, it is advised to debone the wings, so there is no risk of your feline choking on them.
Extra care should be taken if you are feeding cooked chicken wings to the kitty. The bones of a chicken can become hard and injure your cat’s mouth or get lodged across her air canal. This can be a life-threatening situation as it can lead to asphyxiation.
If you suspect your feline fellow has helped herself to a chicken bone and there is something unusual about her, immediately seek medical help. A vet may advise you to observe your cat and suggest other ways that can ensure your kitty is fine.
Furthermore, if you find your cat not breathing properly, vomiting, foaming at the mouth, is food aversive, or is showing other subtle signs of sickness, you should right away take her to a vet’s clinic and get her checked to rule out the possibility of anything serious.
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