Cats love to eat. They are always excited to try new things, be it commercial cat food or some bug, like cricket, on the lawn. But due to their sharp teeth and hunting nature, they are especially fond of having bones.
That is why you might have noticed your kitty pal does not spare anything when you feed him raw chicken bones. But does the same goes for the ducks too? Can cats eat duck bones?
Let us get into the depth.
Can Cats Eat Duck Bones?
No, cats cannot eat duck bones. Although duck bones are not toxic to cats, unfortunately, the disadvantages they pose outweigh the positives. These drawbacks may be severe in some cases, jeopardizing the overall health and well-being of cats.
Therefore, it is not a good idea to feed cats duck bones.
Why Are the Downsides of Feeding Your Cat Duck Bones?
1. Big Size
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of cats having duck bones comes from the size of the bones: cats are a bit smaller for eating large-sized bones. So, eating duck bones pose a risk of damaging cat teeth. If the cat were able to break the bone, the splinters would pose a risk of choking and injuring the intestinal tract.
Though your cat is likely to gnaw at the meat only and leave the bone, if she does not, she can easily damage her teeth. Similarly, if your cat suffers from some periodontal disease or has rough-shaped teeth, the risk of teeth fracture may increase.
Choking hazards and cuts to the intestinal tract are the main concerns of cats chewing at large duck bones. Unlike smaller chicken bones, cats biting off a large chunk from a duck bone is quite a possibility.
Such large chunks can wreak havoc on the food pathways in cats, as bone splinters may cause blockage. In such circumstances, immediate vet attention becomes a necessity.
2. Infectious Diseases
If raw duck bones are fed, the chances of cats getting infections increase manifold because of the presence of different microorganisms on them. Unfortunately, since raw meat may contain common pathogens such as salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and E. coli, a cat is at risk of ingesting these pathogens and developing infectious diseases.
A cat that is unlucky enough to get such infections may have the following impact on her health:
- Extreme fever
- Loss of hunger
- Weakness and lethargy
3. Gastrointestinal Issues
The digestive system in cats is quite sensitive. Moreover, if a cat already suffers from digestive issues, it would become tough for her to consume and pass hard duck bones easily. If the digestive system fails to break down the components effectively, problems like constipation may occur.
4. Duck Allergies
Though duck allergies are not common in cats, they are a possibility.
It occurs when the feline immune system identifies duck meat or bones as some foreign object rather than a food item and wages a war on that. Consequently, the following signs may appear in cats:
- Bad stomach
- Itching and hair loss
- Severe pain
- Swollen patches on the body
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Weight loss
Is There Any Benefit of Cats Eating Duck Bones?
Duck bones contain minerals, chondroitin, amino acids, and glucosamine. Collectively, they cause a reduction in inflammation, correction of several joint problems, good digestion, and maintenance of the immune system.
Individually, minerals, mostly calcium, are vital for the long-term support of bones, teeth, and intracellular activities. Similarly, chondroitin and glucosamine are vital for better mobility, while amino acids are especially beneficial for the overall functioning and healthy cat pregnancy.
Did You Know?nlike chicken and other birds, which are 100% white meat, the duck breast is considered red meat while the legs are white.
Feeding soft bones regularly might replace cat dental cleaning. It can keep a check on plaque build-up, which can harden over time, leading to several dental issues. Likewise, chewing on such hard items can sharpen the teeth further.
How to Feed Duck Bones to Cats?
If you decide to proceed with duck bones for your cat, try making a broth or soup instead of placing the whole bone as it is in front of her.
Moreover, to avoid any sort of choking or teeth issues, you can grind bones into powder. This would not only remove the risk of choking and teeth damage, and intestinal tract injuries.
To be on the safe side, take the help of the following checklist before proceeding with duck bones for your feline pal.
What to Do if Your Cat Consumes Duck Bones?
Obviously, if your cat goes unwell after having duck bones, you need to contact a vet ASAP. However, to check if anything has gone wrong and what appropriate actions you must take, follow the procedure below when your cat finishes eating.
- Check the Breath: Make sure that your kitty has swallowed the bone all the way down to her stomach and that there is no piece or splinter stuck. You can confirm this by checking her breath. If it is normal and as usual, she is fine.
- Prevention: Do not let your cat eat any more duck bones than you have designated for a day. If you notice that your cat is experiencing breathing difficulties even before consuming the whole piece, stop feeding her more bones.
- Immediate Medical Attention: As soon as your cat starts exhibiting any change in behavior or signs of sickness, you should take her to a veterinarian. Sometimes even a slight delay in getting pets to immediate medical attention proves fatal.
Conclusion: Can Cats Eat Duck Bones?
No. Eating duck bones can put cats at risk of severe health issues, including teeth damage, choking, infections, and allergies. Though duck bones have a lot of healthy nutrients for cats, you should not experiment with duck bones for your cat and just stick to chicken bones.