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Can Cats Eat Bones? Essential Safety Tips for Pet Owners 

Can Cats Eat Bones

Can cats eat bones? This question often puzzles cat owners as they seek to provide the best nutrition for their feline companions. Understanding whether bones can be a safe and healthy part of a cat’s diet is crucial for their well-being. 

With their unique dietary requirements and enigmatic nature, cats require careful consideration when it comes to their diet. The question of “Can cats eat bones?” not only reflects the concern of cat owners for their pets’ health but also highlights the importance of understanding the nuances of a cat’s nutritional needs. This exploration aims to clarify whether bones benefit a domestic cat’s diet, balancing their natural predatory instincts with the realities of living in a domestic environment.

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Can Cats Eat Bones?

Cats are carnivores, and their natural diet consists of meat. Wild cats hunt and devour tiny creatures such as mice, squirrels, rabbits, insects, and birds. Cats consume raw meat naturally, so you won’t be surprised to find this includes organs, flesh, intestinal contents, and even bones.

Understandably, many cat parents think they should follow their pets’ natural feeding schedule. Thus, the most apparent solution is biologically appropriate raw food (B.A.R.F.). While the B.A.R.F. diet can assist your feline pet, the hazards outweigh the benefits. Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli are dangerous bacteria found in raw food. These microorganisms have the potential to produce a fatal infection. Cross-contamination is also possible, which means your feline buddy is not the only one at risk.

Because indoor cats do not chase their prey, they will not consume dead animals. Raw food for your cat is sourced from the human supply chain. The bones you acquire from the butcher shop may be too big for your cat, posing a choking threat depending on the source.

Poultry bones are the sole appropriate alternative, but you should handle them cautiously. Only use wing and neck bones. The chicken neck includes cartilage, a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine, both beneficial to joint health.

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

Cooked chicken bones are toxic to cats because they become soft and brittle after cooking. They splinter quickly and can become lodged in your cat’s throat, causing them to choke. Cooked bones provide more than just a choking hazard. They can cause internal bleeding in your cat’s mouth, throat, and esophagus, which can be fatal if not addressed soon.

It’s also bad to give your cat leftover bones. Many human goods, such as onions and garlic, are harmful to cats, so keep your lunch leftovers away from your cat.

Bones to Avoid

When considering incorporating bones into a cat’s diet, it’s imperative to be aware of the types of bones that should be categorically avoided to prevent health risks. Understanding which bones are potentially harmful is as important as knowing the benefits of the safe ones.

Cooked Bones

One of the primary rules when feeding bones to cats is to avoid cooked bones of any kind. Cooking causes bones to harden and become more brittle, increasing the likelihood of them splintering when chewed. These splinters can cause serious internal injuries, including perforations in the digestive tract, which can be life-threatening.

Large Bones

Bones from larger animals like cows or pigs are generally too hard for cats and pose a significant risk of dental fractures. Cats, especially domestic ones, do not have the jaw strength to chew these larger bones safely, and attempting to do so can lead to dental damage.

Can Cats Eat Bones

Bones with High-Fat Content

Bones with a high amount of marrow or attached fat can cause gastrointestinal issues in cats, including pancreatitis and obesity. Cats have specific dietary requirements, and too much fat is not suitable for their health.

Small, Brittle Bones

Small bones, such as those from birds, can be hazardous if they are brittle. While some smaller bones, like chicken necks, can be safe when raw, others might easily break into sharp pieces, posing a choking hazard or causing internal injury.

Bones Treated with Preservatives or Seasonings

Any bones treated with preservatives, seasonings, or other additives should be avoided. These substances can harm cats and cause digestive upset or more severe health issues.

Fish Bones

Fish bones are particularly dangerous due to their small size and sharpness. They can easily get lodged in a cat’s throat or cause injury to the mouth or internal organs.

How Can Cats Eat Bones?

Because bones can benefit your cat’s health due to their high protein and calcium content, you should include them in your cat’s diet. Chicken bone broth is the most secure and flavorful alternative. Beef and pork may also be used in soups and broths.

Bone broth or soup is a great way to add moisture to your cat’s meal. It is critical to highlight that they should not be seasoned. Most spices in your kitchen are not ideal for feline intake since cats cannot adequately digest plant-based items.

If your feline buddy dislikes wet food, soups, and broths come in handy—dip cat biscuits in bone broth to offer moisture to your kibble-loving kitty.

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