Cats can eat a lot of things, but they are most excited when they receive meat because they are obligate carnivores. Cats don’t like anything else more than meat, be it chicken, fish, beef, turkey, etc.
Every time I cook fish or chicken, my cat, no matter in which corner of the house she sleeps, it will come to me, meowing, to give some to her too.
In general, if the cat does not have certain health problems (for example, an allergy to animal protein) it can consume chicken skin or chicken meat from the age of a few months (over 20 weeks of age) – this will ensure that your cat has a somewhat formed immune system that can fight certain pathogens. It is preferably to cook the chicken skin by boiling or baking before serving it to your cat. Unlike chicken meat, it should be given in moderation because it is fatty and in addition to digestive problems, it may also increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, etc. If you want to give your cat chicken meat, it is best to be cooked (boiled or baked) because it can contain certain bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause some serious gastrointestinal problems.
Cats like chicken skin because it smells and tastes like meat. Also, cats have a thing for fat.
Even for human consumption, chicken skin is recommended to be eaten in moderation because it contains most of the fat found in a chicken (75%). It is said to increase cholesterol levels and blood pressure and even lead to the development of heart diseases.
Regarding the diet of a cat, chicken skin can be added to it, but only in small quantities. It must not be raw or fried in oil; it is recommended to cook the chicken skin by boiling or baking it – without spices, oil, garlic, or onion. Think that feral or wild cats also consume the skin when they eat a bird they hunted, so it is part of their basic diet. Plus, we are convinced that some types of cat food you find on the market contain chicken skin as one of their ingredients.
All you need to do is to make sure that your cat does not get too much fat in its diet because, in the long run, it can harm its organism.
The weaning of a kitten begins at the age of 4 weeks and can continue until 8 weeks of age. During the weaning process, the kitten gradually passes from maternal dependence to social independence. Normally, kittens should be nurtured by their mother, especially in the first 24 hours of life. From the first days, the cat’s milk contains the antibodies that the kittens need and that they can only accumulate during this period. Weaning is the process by which newborn kittens pass from their mother’s milk to solid food that they chew on their own.
The introduction of solid food can begin when the kitten’s eyes are wide open and orient well, and when the kitten can sit well on its feet without being unbalanced.
When it comes to raw chicken skin or meat it is best for the kitten to have over 20 weeks of age; that is when its immune system is properly developed to fight against certain pathogens.
Now, if you want to give your kitten (over 8 weeks of age) a little piece of cooked chicken or skin, it’s no problem. Just remember that chicken skin is high in fat, which can harm your cat.
It is known that the digestive system of a cat is different from that of a human or a dog. They have a shorter digestive tract and a more acidic stomach pH. Many pathogens found in meat can pass without causing problems to your cat. In other words, cats can tolerate raw chicken skin or chicken meat, but if they suffer from certain diseases or have a compromised immune system they can be susceptible to serious digestive infections that can be life-threatening, such as those caused by Salmonella spp., E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, etc. For these cats, it is most recommended to cook the meat beforehand.
Another problem that occurs when feeding your cat raw chicken is cross-contamination. If the chicken meat is contaminated, by handling it you risk getting sick yourself or other people in the household. It is recommended not to feed your cat raw diets if there are immune-compromised people in your home.
That is why it is best to avoid endangering your health, your family members, or your cat’s health by cooking the chicken meat.
Chicken skin is very oily, cooking it in oil (fried) all you will do is to add more fat. Fried chicken skin is not recommended for consumption by cats, not even by humans, due to its high-fat content.
As for chicken skin cooked by boiling or baking, it can be given to your cat from time to time as a treat, without salt or other spices, oil, garlic, or onions.
Nothing happens if a piece of skin has fallen on the floor and your cat came quickly to eat it. In the worst case, it can cause a digestive problem, which can be manifested by vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, etc. If you notice that your cat is vomiting or has a soft stool a few minutes after eating cooked chicken skin, it is best not to give it to it in the future, because it is clear that its organism does not tolerate it very much.
Usually, smoked meat has a high content of salt and other additives (sulfites), which makes it contraindicated in being served to cats. The same goes for smoked chicken skin.
As for grilled chicken skin and meat, they can be eaten by your cat only if they are not greasy and without spices.
Whether you choose to boil or bake the chicken skin or chicken meat – both of which are the best ways to cook them– keep in mind that the internal temperature should reach over 160 – 165°F/70 – 74°C – at this temperature bacteria such as Salmonella spp. and E. coli are killed.
Fried chicken, like chicken skin, is contraindicated in being served to cats due to its high oil content. The chicken meat will be eaten boiled or cooked, without salt, oil, garlic, or onion.
Do not wash the chicken meat before cooking because you risk spreading bacteria everywhere in the sink and contaminating other foods. The best way to kill bacteria is to cook the meat.
A cat should consume a balanced diet, and not just plain chicken skin or meat, whether cooked or not.
It is preferable to avoid giving chicken skin to your cat. But if the cat still asks for it, a small strip once in a while, it won’t hurt your cat.
As for the Chicken (preferably cooked), it can be served whenever you cook it, but be without oil, salt, onions, or garlic – it could represent a meal one day, but not every day.
If you have a kitten, remember that they start eating solid food around the age of 8 weeks. If we are talking strictly about chicken skin or chicken meat, think that they have much smaller stomachs than an adult cat and will get full a lot faster. So, do not give the kitten chicken until after the age of 20 weeks if you want to give it raw, so that its immune system is somewhat developed. As with adult cats, avoid serving fried chicken skin or meat; cooked or baked are just good and can be eaten from the age of 8 weeks! But also, without salt, oil, garlic, onions, and not in large quantities, because they should be considered treats not a whole meal.
The good thing about canned chicken is that it doesn’t have to be cooked- the cans are placed in a boiling water bath to kill bacteria and seal the lid.
Canned chicken is generally safe to eat, but it’s best to always read the label because many cans are full of other substances that may be inappropriate in your cat’s diet. Usually, canned chicken contains chicken meat, water, flavoring (salt, sodium phosphate, modified corn starch, chicken broth). If it has a lot of salt in its composition (salt is used as a preservative), it shouldn’t be served to your cat. But some canned chicken on the market is low in sodium or salt-free, which makes it a better option to feed your cat.
If you’re left without food for a day, a can of chicken may be a good meal, but don’t make it a habit. In other words, your cat should not live on canned chicken, but you can use it to supplement their diet when used correctly.
Chicken fat, cooked or not, is best avoided when offered to cats, as it can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
There are all kinds of treats on the market for cats that are made from chicken (for example, dehydrated chicken strips). These will be a delight for cats! It is recommended that the serving be done in moderation and not to replace a whole meal.
If your cat loves skin or chicken and constantly begs for them, you can give it a bit from time to time, and in time try to replace the chicken skin with something healthier, such as dehydrated chicken strips. The behavior of begging in cats can be corrected if you don’t pay attention to it when it happens; don’t even look at your cat. It may sound harsh, but is the best way. Whenever your cat begs and you give it a piece of chicken skin, you actually reward it for its behavior.
Cooked chicken skin can be offered as a treat from time to time if your cat loves it. Because it also contains fat, there may be cases when eating chicken skin can cause gastrointestinal problems in your cat.
Neither chicken skin nor chicken meat should represent a whole meal.
The safest chicken meat is the one that is boiled or baked at temperatures above 160 – 165°F/70 – 74°C, without salt, oil, onion, or garlic.
If you are tired of your cat begging for chicken skin or chicken meat, the most recommended, by feline behavior specialists, is to stop paying attention when your cat starts to beg. You can also replace chicken skin with healthy treats such as dehydrated chicken strips.
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