Can I Give My Cat Chicken Bones?
Can cats have chicken bones? Dogs are well-known for their love of bones, but they aren’t the only ones fond of chewing the remains of their kills.
Although cats are often portrayed as the polar opposites and archenemies of the canine species, they enjoy gnawing on a bone just as much. Some cultures see bones as a culinary delicacy, but most avoid them in their cuisine as little more than a nuisance.
In these cases it would be a terrible waste just to throw the bones in the trash when your cat is clearly so fond of them. Besides, handing them out as a treat might prevent your cat from breaking into the trash again.
The dangers of chicken bones has established itself as a modern feline legend. Cats are true carnivores, meaning that they derive all their nutrition from consuming other animals.
Can I Give My Cat Chicken Bones? Answer: Raw Bones Only.
Their digestive systems are designed to process a diet of animal carcasses which includes the raw meat, organs, tissues, vegetable matter contained in the intestines of the prey, and raw bones. Feeding your cat raw chicken bones should therefore be no problem. They will happily gnaw the ends of and suck up the bone marrow. In fact, raw bones will add important nutrients to their diet and promote healthy teeth and gums.
Bones for Cats
The raw bones should be fresh and preservative-free, because some preservatives can cause vitamin deficiencies that could ultimately turn out to be fatal. Salmonella is often present in fowl, so make sure the bones you feed your pet are as fresh as possible to reduce the chances of infection. Chicken bones that are suitable for cats are the wings, necks, and drumsticks. Make sure they are big enough so that they cannot be swallowed whole by your feline friend.
Big marrow bones are best avoided too, since they may damage their teeth on them. Even though they are equipped to digest the bones it is always a good idea to supervise your cat while they eat raw bones. Also, too many bones may cause your cat to become constipated so try not to give them to your cat more than once or twice a week. Condiments such as onions and garlic are toxic to cats, so only provide raw chicken bones that have not been spiced or marinated.
Cooked Bones are Dangerous
A cat, despite how it is cuddled up on the couch, is evolutionarily speaking still a wild animal which is why it is able to process raw bones without difficulty. However, cooked bones pose a serious threat to their health as they may splinter while they gnaw away at them. Once cooked, the bones become brittle and can easily splinter when they chew on them. Splinters can lead to internal damage or even intestinal blockage. Both can be fatal and would require surgery to fix, so be very careful not to let your cat eat cooked bones.
Cat First Aid
Stealthy as they are it is difficult to keep a permanent watch on a cat. They are experts at hiding and getting into places they are not welcome, so it may be the case that they get their claws on some cooked chicken bones. Just as when eating anything else, there is always a chance that a cat may choke on a snack. Cats will be distressed and paw at their mouths when choking. Their tongue may also turn pale or blue. Contact the veterinarian immediately, but in the meantime you can try and remove the object yourself.
First restrain the cat, be as firm as you need to because after all their life may depend on it. Tilt the head upward and use your thumb and index finger to open the mouth. Pull the tongue out gently and try to dislodge the object using your fingers. If the cat struggles too much or you cannot remove the object pick it up by the hind legs and shake it vigorously. If this fails to dislodge the object place your palms under the last ribs and bring them together quickly a few times.
Cats Like It Raw
The myth that raw chicken bones are dangerous to cats is busted, but cooked chicken bones continue to be dangerous to our furry friends. Raw bones actually have nutritional value to cats and are not more dangerous than any other food. Cooked bones can splinter and cause internal damage, so keep them away from the cat. In either case there are plenty of safe snacks available for your cat to give them something to chew on.