Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? Yes But…

September 21, 2019

Yes, cats can eat chicken bones but only if they are raw, not cooked and small enough for them to manage

I certainly wouldn’t recommend giving your cat an ostrich bone.

Cats are carnivores and hunters by nature. While we have domesticated them, to some extent, I can assure you that if a bird made its way into your house that even the timidest housecat would respond to their predatory nature.

Can Cats eat chicken bones?

Make sure bones are raw and uncooked 

Uncooked bones can splinter off as they are being chewed and cause issues for your cat. The last thing you want to have is your kitty cut their mouth on sharp bones or worse. Cooked bones can also cause damage to your cat's throat and intestines if swallowed and sharp enough.

Make sure the bones are small and come from a bird

I would recommend that these are smaller chicken and turkey bones. Think of a bird that is somewhere around the size of what your cat would naturally hunt in the wild. The smaller the bone, the less risk your cat has of choking or getting bones logged in their stomachs or intestinal tracts. 

Make sure to listen while your cat is eating bones

This one is very simple to do as I’m sure you’ve heard your cat scarfing down kitty chow before. It’s not important that you watch their every move, but listening for odd noises of your cat choking or having difficulty swallowing wouldn’t be a bad idea if this is their first time with raw bones.

Are there any benefits to cats eating chicken bones

In addition to a great source of calcium, bones from chicken are chocked full of essential vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin E

These are all essential for making sure you cat has healthy muscle fibers, well functioning organs and strong bones of their own. 

What if my cat ate a cooked chicken bone?

There are lots of people who have different ideas on feeding cats raw diets but all vets usually agree that cooked bones are a no-go for cats and dogs.

Eating cooked bones can cause some serious harm to your cat.

I also understand that cats are very sneaky, curious and persistent so they may have found their way into the trash or even stolen some food while you weren’t looking.

Here is what to do: 

Pay attention if your cat is having any visual signs of discomfort. If there are bones stuck in the cats throat, you may notice your cat excessively swallowing and licking the roof of their mouth to dislodge any trapped bones. You can inspect their mouth to see if there are any bones you may be able to remove

If your cat begins to vomit, have diarrhea or a sudden disinterest in food, then you need to call your vet for an emergency visit.

Most of the time your cat will be perfectly fine and just needs to be observed for the next few days. If they continue about their normal routines then you shouldn’t have much cause for concern.

What are some of the best bones to give to a cat?

The best bones are chicken drumsticks, wings and neck bones. These are the types of bones that cats naturally eat in the wild and the love sucking out the marrow from these thicker bones. Usually, your cat doesn’t want to ingest the bone, but rather bite and chew on it to get flavor and marrow with nutrients.

Rib bones and tiny bones from the bird's wings are often too small and just like fish bones, they can be very annoying when they stick in your throat. Steer clear of really tiny bones that your cat won’t get much nutrition out of and only the satisfaction of having a hairline bone tickling their throat.

Bones should always be fresh and never seasoned or altered with any seasoning for human consumption. Your cat has the diet of a wild predator. They don’t need spices to enjoy their food.

Wrap Up

Raw bones are a healthy and enjoyable addition to the feline diet. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations on how much raw bone can be fed to your cat and always monitor your cat when going to a new diet.

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