Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones? (5 Menacing Symptoms)

As a cat owner, you may find yourself under temptation to give your kitty chicken bones from time to time. But you may also have concern on whether that is a safe thing to do. This would lead to the frequently asked question: can cats eat chicken bones? To find the answer to that and other related questions, read on.

So, can cats eat chicken bones? The short answer is yes, cats could eat chicken bones, as long as the chicken bones are raw. If your cat ate raw chicken bone, you have nothing to worry about. It can be very dangerous for cats to eat cooked chicken bones. In fact, if your cat ate cooked chicken bone, you would be having an emergency on your hands.

 

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

A more fundamental question would be: can cats eat bones in the first place? And the answer is ‘yes’. Cats, being obligate carnivores, have the ability to eat bones.

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones
Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones – cat ate cooked chicken bone

So, can cats eat chicken bones? The simple answer to that question is ‘yes’—as long as the bones are raw. Raw chicken bones can be a good source of minerals, especially calcium, for your kitty. You can also be sure that the cat will enjoy chewing on the raw chicken bones. And the bones can be good at cleaning and ‘exercising’ the cat’s teeth.

On the other hand, can cats eat chicken bones that are cooked? The answer in this case is ‘no’. A big no. Chicken bones that have undergone cooking can be very dangerous to cats. To be sure, given a chance, a cat will gladly gnaw on cooked chicken bones. But such bones are certainly not good for the feline. You therefore have reason to be very concerned upon discovering that your cat ate cooked chicken bone.

 

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Bones?

In other words, can cats eat chicken bones that are uncooked? The answer is ‘yes’. Cats can eat raw chicken bones. In fact, most experts would recommend that you give your cat raw chicken bones from time to time. For instance, you can check contributions to ‘can cats eat chicken bones Reddit’ thread forum. You then will see an obvious trend. That is a trend where ‘cat experts’ assert that cats can/should eat raw chicken bones from time to time.

Ideally, the raw chicken bones given to cats should be of a size that the cats can comfortably chew on.

Of course, there are exceptions. There are those who would be wary of giving your cat chicken bones if you also happen to keep chickens. Giving chicken bones to the cat under those circumstances may lead the cat to start viewing the chicken as prey. In other words, it may give the cat a taste for chicken meat, with potentially bad results.

Thus for people who also keep chicken, the topic of cats and chicken bones can be a complex one. In that case, there is usually one underlying question. This is the question: can cats eat chicken bones without starting to view chicken as prey? Many of the people who keen both cats and chicken would rather not take chances.

Another question may arise: can cats eat chicken bones that are raw on a daily basis? In other words, can cats eat chicken bones that are raw routinely? Most experts would advise against this. They would instead advise in favor of only giving your cat chicken bones once in a while, as a treat.

 

Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken Bones?

The simple answer here is ‘no’. Cats shouldn’t eat cooked chicken bones. There are two risks that come with cats eating cooked chicken bones. The first risk is that of the chicken bones splintering inside the cat, thus causing injuries. Cooked chicken bones are very prone to such splintering. The second risk is that of the chicken bones causing obstructions in the cat’s gastro-intestinal tract. Both would be very dangerous situations for the cat.

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Thus if your cat ate cooked chicken bone, that would be a difficult situation to deal with.

You may ask: can cats eat chicken bones that are cooked (in small quantities) without running risk of harm? Given the complications that are involved, it is a chance you’d rather not take.

Indeed, you should just check contributions given to the ‘cat ate cooked chicken bone Reddit’ forum thread. Most are pessimistic. That is because the outlook for a cat that ate cooked chicken bones is frankly not good.

It really doesn’t matter what type of cooked chicken bone the cat ate. If the cat ate chicken thigh bone that had undergone cooking, the outlook is poor. It is as poor as it would be if the cat ate cooked chicken wings or cooked chicken leg bones.

 

What Happens if Your Cat Eats a Chicken Bone?

First, we have to answer the more fundamental question: can cats eat chicken bones? Or to be more precise, do cats eat bones like dogs? Only then would we be in a position to understand what happens if your cat eats a chicken bone. The answer to that ‘fundamental question’ is that cats can eat chicken bones. They may not eat bones like dogs (because cats are smaller animals). But they do have capacity to eat bones.

What actually happens if your cat eats a chicken bone depends on one thing. It depends on whether the bone had undergone cooking or it was raw. If the chicken bone was raw, probably nothing will happen. Raw chicken bone is good for cats. But then again, if it is a new item in the cat’s diet, it may cause some slight stomach upset.

Thus, if it is the first time the cat ate chicken bone diarrhea may be witnessed for a short while. There could be other signs of stomach upset. Otherwise the cat should be alright.

It is a different matter altogether if your cat ate cooked chicken bone. In this case, the cat could suffer digestive tract injuries or obstructions. Both are very high risk conditions.

So, when all is said and done, can cats have bones? The answer is ‘yes’ – if the bones are raw. Raw chicken bones for cats are harmless, and in fact beneficial. But the moment the chicken bones undergo cooking, they become dangerous to cats.

In a nutshell, if your cat eats a raw chicken bone, nothing major will happen. But if your cat ate cooked chicken bone, you need to watch out for possible adverse effects.

 

Can Cats Choke On Chicken Bones?

In other words, are chicken bones bad for cats with regard to choking risk? The answer is ‘yes’. There is a small risk of cats choking on chicken bones. That risk is higher if the chicken bones have undergone cooking, and are therefore less flexible. Incidents of cats chocking on chicken bones are rare, but it is something that does happen.

The people who ask the main question we are dealing with (can cats eat chicken bones) usually have one concern. That is the concern about their cats choking. So, just to be sure, can cats eat chicken bones and end up choking on the same? Well, there is a risk of cats choking on chicken bones, but it is a small risk. It becomes a bigger risk if the bones are cooked, and hence more brittle/less flexible.

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Possible effects of cat eating cooked chicken bones · Cat could choke on the bones

· Bones could splinter, injuring the cat’s digestive tract

· Bones could cause obstructions in the cat’s digestive tract

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones
Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

Can Cats Chew on Bones?

The simple answer to this question is ‘yes’. Cats can chew on bones. Being naturally carnivorous, cats have the ability and instinctive desire to chew on bones.

A related question: can cats digest bones? And the answer to it is again in the affirmative: cats do have the ability to digest bones. But the bones need to be raw.

While cats also have the ability to digest bones that have undergone cooking, such bones can nonetheless cause serious problems. They can cause serious problems in the cats’ digestive tract. That is right from the mouth (where they can cause injuries) to the large intestines (where they can cause perforations).

 

Will Cooked Chicken Hurt My Cat?

Chicken that has undergone cooking will not necessarily hurt your cat. But you have to be sure that it is shorn of all bones. If you give your cat cooked bones, you would be putting her at very great risk. So ensure that the cooked chicken you give to your cat is shorn of all bones. Further ensure that spices/additives like onions and garlic are not used in cooking the chicken. These can harm the cat. Also ensure that the chicken has no salt…

Now there is a good chance of any chicken that has undergone cooking containing onions or garlic. That is especially the case if it was meant for human consumption. There is also a good chance of any chicken that has undergone cooking containing salt. Further, there is a chance of there being some bones in any chicken that has undergone cooking. It is for these reasons that most experts are against giving chicken that has undergone cooking to your cat.

So, can cats eat chicken wings that are cooked? The answer, from what we have said, is ‘yes’ – so long as the cooked chicken wings are shorn of bones. And so long as the chicken wings have no salt, onions or garlic. The reality is that almost all chicken wings prepared for human consumption are likely to contain one of those things. That is why they are not ideal for cats.

 

How Do I Know If My Cat Ate a Chicken Bone?

The symptoms of cat eating chicken bones are hard to pick out. That is because they are non-specific. They include things like diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, bloating and bone particles in the cat’s stool. Much of course, depends on whether the cat ate a cooked or raw chicken bone. If the cat ate chicken bone that had undergone cooking, the symptoms would tend to be more pronounced. Conversely, if my cat ate raw chicken bones, there may even be no symptoms.

You may ask: can cats eat chicken bones that have undergone cooking and still suffer no symptoms? Well, that is a possibility. But then again, things could go horribly wrong. It is not a risk worth taking.

Of course, there are other situations where you can reasonably suspect your cat of eating a chicken bone. For instance, if you left a chicken bone in your trash can, and came back to find it absent. In that situation, if only you and the cat share the house, you have reason to be suspicious.

 

What are the Symptoms of a Blockage in a Cat That Ate a Chicken Bone?

Initial symptoms of a blockage in a cat that has eaten a chicken bone include diarrhea and repeated vomiting. Thus if my cat ate chicken bones and is throwing up repeatedly, I would have reason to suspect blockage.

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If the blockage persists, you may see the cat’s belly start to swell/bloating. At this point, the cat would have lost appetite and would be very lethargic. As the problem continues to take its toll, the cat is likely to develop a fever. It may eventually go into shock. Beyond this point it is very easy to lose the cat.

The moment you see any of the symptoms of blockage in a cat that ate chicken bone, take action immediately. Take the cat to the vet immediately. Don’t take chances: this is a very risky situation for  the cat.

 

How to Prevent Cat From Eating a Chicken Bone Again

The most important thing is to ensure that you dispose of the chicken bones properly. This is a question of disposing them somewhere your cat can’t reach them. You should dispose them in a such a manner that even feral cats can’t reach them. By the way, you may ask, can feral cats eat chicken bones that are cooked? And the answer is ‘no’. Just as domestic cats can’t safely eat chicken bones that have undergone cooking, feral cats can’t.

As an animal lover, you should have concern about the feral cats that may come across bones in dumping sites.

You could even consider applying cat repellants where you dump the chicken bones. The idea would be to ensure that the cats don’t venture there: let alone feed on the dumped/disposed chicken bones.

 

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones That are Cooked Accidentally?

Yes. In spite of your best efforts at disposing off the cooked chicken bones properly, cats can still find them. You should nonetheless do your best to minimize that possibility of cats eating cooked chicken bones accidentally.

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones
Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones – cat ate cooked chicken bone

 

Final Verdict

So, when all is said and done, can cats eat chicken bones safely? The answer is ‘yes’ as long as the chicken bones are raw.

If your cat eats chicken bones that have undergone cooking, you need to observe him closely. Be on the lookout for any signs of digestive tract injuries caused by cooked chicken bone splinters. Also be on the lookout for any signs of digestive tract obstruction caused by the cooked chicken bones. If you observe any such signs, take the cat to the vet hospital promptly.

 

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