It goes without saying that felines are meat lovers, but just how crazy are they about it? Can cats eat canned chicken and is it on the top of their list?
It’s probably out of one’s mind to even consider that these carnivores would skip the opportunity to dip their whiskers into a can of chicken.
However, I know there are some weird and finicky cats out there. Don’t ask me how I know. My furry friend can be funny because sometimes she’ll eat dry kibble instead of wet food that she’s usually crazy about.
She’s extremely spoiled, just like I believe everyone else’s cat is. There’s nothing wrong with it, but this means more cooking for us. She loves chicken but what if you’re out of it?
Can cats eat canned chicken if that’s the only thing you have in the house at the moment? You have to think fast because she’s screaming bloody murder at you because she hasn’t eaten for a whole hour.
You don’t want your princess to suffer from “starvation” so you must think quickly. Is canned chicken safe for my pet?
Can cats eat canned chicken?
If this is the only option you have, then I suggest you don’t get ahead of yourself. It is chicken which means it’s fit for a carnivore’s diet, right?
Well, yes and no. The answer is a bit more complicated because this is canned chicken we’re talking about. This doesn’t mean your pet will end up with an empty tummy, but it shouldn’t be an everyday meal for her.
Canned chicken has both good and bad sides. However, if your cat gets hooked on it, you might get yourself in trouble.
We know how stubborn they can be, so it would be a real pain in the neck. They can beg and beg, and then do some more begging for food.
Let’s weigh out the pros and cons of this and then we’ll determine can cats eat canned chicken safely. Shall we?
What are the health benefits?
Now, we know that felines are obligate carnivores which means they must consume meat in order to survive. But why is this so?
Why are cats made this way? I think it’s enough to grasp the fact that they’re indeed superior to humans; because, aren’t they?
Nevertheless, our furry friends need animal-derived foods in order to keep healthy and fit. Let’s see what makes canned chicken fit for cats to eat.
We know for a fact that chicken, as well as other poultry like duck or turkey, is packed with protein. It’s an essential nutrient for a feline’s body that aids them in numerous ways.
It helps them grow and is important for muscle development. Muscle contractions, as well as tissue growth, also rely on protein.
Without this crucial nutrient, your pet would become underweight and you’d soon see she lacks her usual liveliness. This is because protein is an important source of energy for felines.
Other foods like Brussels sprouts are a good source of protein as well, but remember what we said about cats. They’re carnivores which means they thrive best on an animal-based diet.
What does this mean? Does this imply they can’t eat veggies? They can, but they won’t get the same benefit from plants as they do from the meat.
All in all, you should look out for cat food that’s high in protein. Your vet could certainly tell you more about it.
Next to protein, canned chicken also contains certain amounts of healthy fats and some other nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Healthy, unsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids can really aid your cat’s health. They are important for various bodily functions which keep your furry friend going all day.
Next to protein, they’re an essential source of energy. Omega-3 fatty acids also give your cat’s immune system a boost and keep her skin and coat healthy and shiny.
As for the vitamins and minerals, canned chicken isn’t the best option to get them from. However, it does offer some nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin D, and vitamin C.
These are all beneficial to your pet’s health because they help maintain various body functions. For example, vitamin A is crucial for eyesight. It’s especially important for night vision which cats can’t go without.
Other vitamins like vitamin D help with bone and teeth growth. Her sharp razors will remain healthy because of this essential nutrient.
Both vitamin C and vitamin B play a part in proper immune system function thus keeping your feline friend’s health in check.
Another reason why cats can eat canned chicken is a load of minerals. These include zinc, magnesium, as well as calcium.
These all work together to maintain the strength of the bones, teeth, tissue, and cartilage. Without them, your pet’s health would soon deteriorate, and she’d fall ill very quickly.
Are there any cons to cats eating canned chicken?
I hate to ruin the good news, but they always come with the bad ones. Even though canned chicken has some bad sides to it.
It’s highly processed, so the amount of the good stuff is noticeably decreased. While humans don’t find anything wrong with precessed meat, it poses a potential health hazard to felines.
1. Highly processed food
Canned chicken differs a lot from fresh, cooked chicken. This is because it undergoes some serious processing before it’s put on shelves in the stores.
Unfortunately, the meat quality decreases through this process. In the industry, quantity is always more valued than the quality of the product.
So, while canned chicken has potential health benefits for felines, it doesn’t even compare to fresh, homemade dishes.
2. Salt and other preservatives
This may be some bad news, so brace yourselves. We buy foods that are tasty, but why is canned chicken of such a distinct flavor?
In case you’ve ever wondered, it’s because of salt and other preservatives. These are added to the product to keep it fresh and extend its shelf-life.
Salt is one of the preservatives used to enhance the flavor and prolong the product’s shelf life. While this is appealing to our taste buds, it has an adverse effect on our pets.
In the long run or in large quantities, salt can be poisonous to felines. It can cause them to become dehydrated and experience excessive thirst and urination.
If your pet becomes intoxicated with sodium, she could exhibit signs like diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and tremors.
Other preservatives are only harmful if consumed over time, so you may not be able to see the symptoms right away. Therefore, it’s best to cut down on canned chicken. While cats can eat it, it definitely shouldn’t become their main dish.
3. Highly saturated fats
Even with the number of healthy fats contained within, canned chicken also has a number of saturated fats.
These have the opposite effect, so we might as well call them unhealthy. If you’re wondering why can cats eat canned chicken, but in small amounts, it’s because of these.
They’re known to raise cholesterol levels in the blood. So, if the levels are high, your feline has a higher chance of developing certain heart diseases, as well as stroke.
Besides, high fat and high-calorie foods can be the reason for your pet’s obesity. This may cause a lot of trouble later on.
Arthritis, as well as other inflammations, are bound to happen if your pet keeps putting additional weight. The added stress that is consequentially put on her joints is especially dangerous for an elderly cat.
4. Can cats eat canned chicken because of spices?
This is the troublesome part. Felines aren’t designed to break down spices and table condiments, so she’ll probably have a problem with these.
We love our food spiced and with various flavors. However, our furry companions are on a different team when it comes to this one.
Spices like onions and garlic which are often used in the canned chicken are actually poisonous to felines. This is because they tend to destroy their red blood cells, causing blood loss. As a consequence, your pet may suffer from various types of anemia.
Besides, it also contains certain ingredients like black pepper which isn’t instantly harmful to your cat, but she could definitively live without it.
Therefore, make sure to rinse the canned chicken before she feasts on it. That way, you’ll make the canned chicken slightly more safe for your pet.
Can cats eat raw canned chicken?
The short answer is no. Cats shouldn’t eat raw foods because it could be harmful to them. Although there are various commercials presenting raw foods as the best option for felines, you should always consult your vet first.
While they hold certain benefits for her health, raw food can also be detrimental to your pet. They could possibly contain certain bacteria and germs.
They’re a potential home for parasites and diseases such as Salmonella and E. coli. The same goes with any type of raw meat such as turkey bacon or even chicken wings.
Can cats eat cooked canned chicken then? Of course, they can! If you don’t find cooked chicken, you can always buy a raw one and cook it yourself.
This process with help to get rid of any potential bacteria found in this food. Also, you’ll get rid of the majority of harmful spices.
This may dull the flavor, but regardless, your cat is concerned about the meat and the fat contained in it. Therefore, make sure you always buy your feline friend cooked canned chicken.
To sum up
Can cats eat canned chicken? I hope this question doesn’t bother you anymore and you’ve managed to weigh out the pros and cons of this food.
You know your cat the best so I’m sure you’ll make the right choice for her. Introducing new foods into her diet is a difficult task because you must meet all her dietary requirements.
Canned chicken has both good and bad sides to it. It contains a load of protein, fats, and other health supplements. However, it’s also packed with salt and preservatives which don’t benefit your pet’s health.
That’s why it’s best to offer it as an occasional treat rather than serve it instead of a regular meal. You should always rinse out the chicken to get rid of all the additional spices and sauces that could irritate your pet’s stomach, and in severe cases, cause poisoning.
Cooked chicken is always the better and safer option because raw meats tend to be contaminated with certain germs and bacteria.
Cooking it at a high temperature gets rid of all the possible health hazards. It may not be so appealing to you, but I’m sure your cat will love it either way!