Cats may occasionally eat raw animal bones under close supervision.
Cats are obligate carnivores that need to feed on animal-derived protein to function at their best. By nature, they are natural hunters that are used to catching and eating their prey. When this happens in the wild, eating raw bones is most likely to happen as they chew on the fresh meat.
For domesticated cats, bones from animals (such as chicken and fish) may be fed to your cat as long as they are served raw. With your veterinarian’s guidance and consent, feeding raw bones may provide digestible calcium, which can help with her overall growth and development. Aside from strengthening her teeth, bones, and joints, it can also promote good oral hygiene, strengthen her jaw, and help cleanse her digestive tract. Compared to dogs, cats should only be fed softer and smaller types of raw bones that they can easily gnaw on.
Cooked animal bones, on the other hand, are a big no-no for cats. These can easily break into sharp, fragmented pieces that can become choking hazards or cause tears in your cat’s digestive system. When meats are prepared for human consumption, their bones also become flavoured with ingredients that may be harmful for your cat. Garlic and onions are some examples that can cause immediate toxicity.
What to do if your cat accidentally eats cooked bones: Check your cat’s mouth for any remnants of the cooked bone, and try to remove them gently. Keep a close eye on your cat over the next few days. If she shows any changes such as bloating, vomiting, or appetite loss, contact your veterinarian immediately. Additionally, internal blockage may manifest as diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, abdominal pain or swelling, cold body temperature, crying, and unwillingness to lie down.
In summary: Great for bone, joint, and dental health, soft raw bones can be a great addition to your cat’s diet as long as your vet approves of it. Refrain from giving your cat cooked bones as they can cause serious injury to your cat’s mouth, jaw, and stomach.
Discover which human foods you can safely feed your pet cat through our blog’s “can cats eat” category.