We’ve all seen a cat snatch a bird and then devour it like it was the first time they’d seen food in weeks. This type of behavior can be misleading when it comes to feeding your cats bones from your last chicken dinner. How can they eat a bird, leaving only a few feathers behind, when we’ve all heard the warning about feeding them chicken bones? The explanation is simple. Raw bones are good, cooked bones are bad!
Feeding your cats cooked animal bones is bad
When we cook fish or chicken (or any other animal with bones), the bones change their composition and become dangerous for cats to eat. Cooked bones become brittle, causing them to splinter. If your cat is lucky enough not to get one of the splinters stuck in their throat, the bones can cause intestinal damage if swallowed. Think back to the first time you got a fish bone stuck in your throat. The fear probably still lingers. Unfortunately, your cat won’t look at a bone and think “I wonder if this is raw or cooked.” They’re simply going to see and smell something delicious and go to town. You need to protect them from themselves. Their appetite and love of treats will outweigh any experience they may have had with cooked bones in the past.
Feeding your cats raw chicken bones is good (to an extent)
Even cats can get too much of a good thing. Raw animal bones have some health benefits for your cat. They are a great source of minerals, most notably calcium, which is important to keep your cat’s bones strong and their fur healthy. If you cat has a calcium deficiency, raw bones may be an easy way to get them a little extra calcium.
But, as with anything, make sure you don’t toss every single raw bone to your cat. First of all, cats aren’t a garbage disposal or a composter; they are living creatures, and too much of a good thing can have negative health consequences, like obesity. For all the minerals that raw bones can provide our cats, they also come with fatty marrow that can raise the calorie count significantly, leading to an overweight pet.