Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? 

You just finished your dinner and you have leftover bones.  Your cat looks at you.  Should you give your cat these bones?  They would eat them in the wild, right? Can cats eat chicken bones?

Before throwing your cat a chicken bone, let’s take a look at the benefits and the dangers.

A Bit About Chicken Bones

There are various sized bones out there and bones from various parts of the animal’s body.  Consider smaller bones such as chicken wings, ribs and necks or Cornish hen. Bones are rich in minerals, including calcium, and provide a good tooth and gum workout to eat.

Animals in the wild know the benefits of the bones and eat regularly.  People are being encouraged to make bone broth for all the minerals.

A warning about bones: they can splinter easily and can have sharp edges.  They may get lodged in your cat’s digestive tract if not consumed properly or if the wrong bone is fed.

What Do Chicken Bones Contain?

Bones offer a great source of minerals; including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. To function and be absorbed properly, magnesium, boron, copper, molybdenum, potassium, sulphur, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, D and E, must accompany calcium.  This is why supplements may not work properly for a cat.

Things To Consider About Chicken Bones…and Cats 

Bones, especially from chicken and turkey, can splinter and possibly become stuck in a cat’s throat. Bones also have sharp edges that can block or pierce a cat’s intestines during digestion.  Bones should be raw, as they do not splinter as often as cooked ones do.  Raw bones also contain calcium phosphate, which is important to keep in a ratio with the calcium your cat consumes.

A bone may pass through the digestive system without causing any problems, but if it does get stuck, it may not be apparent for a few days. Surgery will likely be needed to correct the blockage. It’s important to keep a close eye on your cat for a few days after eating bones. If your cat vomits, has diarrhea, has no interest in eating or your cat’s stomach appears swollen, then you should immediately call your vet.

Bones are not only full of good nutrients – they also give your cat good dental hygiene by massaging the gums and making the cat use its side teeth to eat.  Chewing is good to prevent tartar and plaque build up.

So, Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? 

The experts are divided on this answer, but with proper care, your cat can be thrown a bone.

If you want to feed your cat bones for the abundant minerals and dental benefits, consult your vet first.  It’s best to start your cat on bones when it is young or a kitten.  If the cat doesn’t chew properly, the chewing action may actually damage its teeth.

Watch the size of bone you give your cat. Chicken wings, ribs or neck or are recommended for size.  Also, do not cook the bones as they may splinter easier.

The most important thing: always supervise your cat when eating bones and watch for signs of blockage a few days later.

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About the author

Lucy Swinton

I am cat mad...I have 4 cats of my own and have looked after cats for as long as I can remember. I am passionate about healthy cat food and contribute towards this site to share my knowledge with as many people as possible. Enjoy!