Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? Is It Safe? 

There’s no limit to what cats can eat. They can catch a bird, feast on its flesh, and eat the bones as well. This must make you wonder: can cats eat chicken bones?

Cats are carnivores (wild or domestic), so they should eat chicken bones with no problems. Chicken bones contain calcium, which is responsible for your cat’s strong bones and glowing fur.

However, your cat can die from eating chicken bones. Cooked chicken bones are brittle and soft. They can easily break down, get stuck in your cats’ throats and choke them to death.

Meanwhile, when wild cats eat bird bones, they’re safe because the bones are raw. Raw bones don’t break easily.

Therefore, we recommend you feed your cat only raw bones. If you feed them cooked chicken bones, supervise them as they eat just in case they choke.

Benefits Cats Can Get From Raw Chicken Bones

Raw chicken bones are a yummy treat for your cat. They contain calcium, which makes their bones strong and their teeth and gums healthy. To make sure your cat gets enough calcium, you can feed them uncooked bones. This is of particular importance if they’re calcium deficient. 

The proper way to feed your cat raw chicken bones is by giving them smaller, appropriate pieces they can gnaw and chew with no difficulty. You can also grind the bones into smaller pieces if they’re having difficulties eating them as a whole.  

The Risks of Serving Cats Cooked Bones

You might kill your cat if you feed it cooked bones. Cooked bones can cause your cat to choke since they’re brittle and easily break into smaller chunks.

cat eating on a bowl outdoors

If your cat consumes too much cooked bone, it might suffer from a blockage, which no fur parent wants to happen to their pet.

Cooked bones can also break your kittens’ teeth. Once they get stuck, there’s no way to get them out without surgery. This can cause a lot of problems for you and your kitten.

Additionally, your cat might suffer from constipation If it eats too many cooked bones.

Sometimes they can also cause internal damage by penetrating the intestines. Cooked bones can break into sharper parts due to their brittle nature. 

Things To Consider Before Feeding Chicken Bones to Your Cat

Are you feeding your cat raw or cooked chicken bones?

Cooked chicken is brittle and can break into smaller pieces. The pieces are dangerous and can choke your kitten or cat.

If you plan to feed them with cooked chicken (which we don’t recommend), monitor them as they eat and after they complete their meals.

Make sure that the raw chicken you’re feeding them is safe and free of bacteria. Give them a well-sized bone that they can easily gnaw and chew.

You can also opt for ground bones. They should have no problem eating ground bones.

If you’re considering feeding your cat chicken bones, consider their age. Give kittens ground bones instead of full-size bones as they grow. 

If you have a dog, don’t let it fight your cat over chicken bones. This might lead to an accident, so feed them separately. Read our article on why do dogs dislike cats.  

How to Feed Raw Chicken Bones Safely to Your Cat

The best way to feed raw chicken bones to a cat is by ensuring that the bones are fresh. Fresh bones are free of bacteria. If they contain bacteria, your cat might become sick.

hands extended to a cat

Make sure you give your cat small pieces of bones at a time. The bones should be of an appropriate size so they can chew and gnaw without difficulty.

You should also be around to supervise your cats as they eat. This is necessary since you will be around to save them if they choke. When you are feeding your kitten, giving ground-up bones instead of whole ones is the most sensible thing you can do. If your cat develops bad breath due to bones, give them cat bad breath treats

What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats Chicken Bones?

First, look to see if they haven’t swallowed the bone yet. If they still have the bone in their mouth, remove it. Now all you have to do is monitor your cat for the next few days or for at least 10-24 hours.

As you wait, look to see if your cat is experiencing bloating, lack of appetite, and vomiting. If you don’t see any of the signs, then it means your cat is safe and sound.

It will take some time for the cat to pass the food. So don’t worry.

However, if you notice any of the signs, it means your cat might be in trouble and needs your help. If this is the scenario, talk to your vet. Your vet will tell you the next step. 

Want to learn more? Read our article on how to stop cats from clawing furniture.  

How Long Does a Cat Take To Pass a Chicken Bone?

If your cat is in good health, it should take 10 to 24 hours to digest a chicken bone. Ground bone requires less time to pass. If you notice your cat is taking too long to pass a chicken bone, check for any signs of bloating, diarrhea, or discomfort. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.

Alternative for Chicken Bone 

There are cats that love bones and those that won’t even touch them. You’ll need an alternative for chicken bones if your cat doesn’t like them.

cat with food bowl staring up with his tongue out

We recommend Bone Meal or MCHA powder. A bone meal is a powdered chicken bone.

Both are great alternatives to chicken bones. The only variable is price. Bone meal is pretty affordable compared to MCHA powder. Bone meal contains calcium, phosphorus, and all the important minerals your kitten needs to live a healthy life. They make Bone meals from cooked chicken bones.

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Bones Can Cats Eat?

Cats can eat both raw and cooked bones. However, if you’re feeding your cat cooked bones, supervise them as they eat. Cooked bones are brittle and break easily and can harm your cat.

What Bones Can Cats Not Eat?

We don’t recommend cooking bones for cats. This is because cooked bones are soft and can easily break into smaller pieces. The small bones can then choke your cat. Cooked bones can also cause blockages and constipation.

Can Chicken Bones Cause Cat Death?

Chicken bones can kill your cat as they break into small sharp pieces. These pieces can pierce your cat’s throat and lead to death if you don’t act quickly. They can also pierce and impair the intestine. This can harm your kitten in ways you can’t imagine.

Final Thoughts

Should you feed your cat chicken bones? Absolutely! They are carnivorous naturally. Chicken bones contain calcium, which is healthy for your cat.

However, we recommend you feed your cat raw chicken bones. But be careful with raw bones. If they’re not fresh, they might contain bacteria that can harm your cat.

Don’t feed your cat cooked chicken bones as much as possible. They’re brittle and can choke and hurt your adorable kitten. Make sure you supervise your cat if you feed them cooked chicken bones.

Check for signs like bloating, constipation, or discomfort after feeding your cat chicken bones. If your cat continues to experience any of these signs after 24 hours, consult a vet.

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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