Can Cats Get Sick from Eating Raw Chicken? The Truth Unveiled!

Yes, cats can get sick from eating raw chicken due to the risk of foodborne illnesses and bacterial infections. Cats are notorious for their finicky eating habits, but they also have a curious nature that can sometimes lead them to try new and potentially harmful foods.

One such food that comes with risks for cats is raw chicken. While raw food diets have gained popularity among some pet owners, it is essential to understand that raw chicken carries the risk of foodborne illnesses and bacterial infections for cats.

We will explore the potential dangers of cats consuming raw chicken and explain why it is generally not recommended for their health and well-being. Understanding these risks can help pet owners make informed decisions about their cat’s diet and ensure their feline companions stay healthy and safe.

Potential Risks Of Cats Consuming Raw Chicken

Cats can potentially fall ill from consuming raw chicken, as it may contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or Campylobacter. Raw poultry can lead to digestive issues, vomiting, diarrhea, and even serious infections in felines. It’s crucial to cook chicken thoroughly and avoid feeding cats raw meat to ensure their health and well-being.

Eating raw chicken can pose serious risks for cats, including bacterial contamination. One of the main concerns is Salmonella infection, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy in cats. This bacterium is commonly found in raw poultry and can be transmitted to cats through consumption.

E. coli infection is another danger associated with cats consuming raw chicken. E. coli bacteria can lead to illnesses such as gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections in cats. The risk of E. coli contamination increases when raw chicken is not handled or cooked properly.

It’s essential to note that even though cats are carnivores, their digestive systems are not as equipped as those of wild predators to handle raw meat effectively. Cooking chicken thoroughly ensures the elimination of harmful bacteria and reduces the risk of infections in cats.

Symptoms Of Illness In Cats After Consuming Raw Chicken

Vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite are common symptoms that cats may experience after consuming raw chicken. Cats have a more delicate digestive system compared to other animals, and their bodies may struggle to handle the bacteria present in raw meat.

Vomiting: If your cat vomits after eating raw chicken, it could be a sign of bacterial infection or food intolerance. Vomiting is the body’s way of getting rid of something harmful.

Diarrhea: Cats may develop diarrhea after consuming raw chicken due to bacterial contamination or an inability to digest the raw meat properly. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration and should be addressed promptly.

Loss of Appetite: A cat that loses its appetite after eating raw chicken may be experiencing gastrointestinal upset. It is essential to monitor their eating habits and ensure they have access to clean water.

Steps To Prevent Cats From Getting Sick From Raw Chicken

Feeding raw chicken to cats may pose health risks if proper precautions are not taken. To prevent cats from getting sick, it is important to follow proper food handling practices:

  • Thoroughly Cook Chicken Before Feeding: Cooking chicken thoroughly helps eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause sickness. Ensure that the chicken is fully cooked and all juices run clear before feeding it to your cat.
  • Store Raw Chicken Properly: Raw chicken should be stored in airtight containers and kept refrigerated to prevent bacterial growth. It should be kept separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Alternatives to Feeding Raw Chicken: If you are concerned about the risks associated with feeding raw chicken, there are alternatives available. Consider feeding your cat commercially prepared raw cat food, which is formulated to be nutritionally balanced for cats.
  • Cooked Chicken Diet: Another option is to feed your cat a cooked chicken diet. Cooked chicken provides the benefits of lean protein while minimizing the risks of consuming raw meat.

Commercially Prepared Raw Cat Food

Commercially Prepared Raw Cat Food
Benefits and Risks

When it comes to feeding cats a raw diet, commercially prepared raw cat food can be a convenient and safe option. By feeding your cat raw chicken from a reputable brand, you can provide them with a balanced and nutritious meal. Such cat food is formulated to meet the specific needs of cats, containing the right balance of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. The benefits of feeding your cat commercially prepared raw cat food include improved digestion, healthier skin and coat, and a stronger immune system. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with raw food, such as bacterial contamination. To select a quality brand, look for products that are made with high-quality ingredients, are labeled as complete and balanced, and have undergone rigorous safety testing.

Additionally, choose brands that source their meat from reputable suppliers and follow strict manufacturing practices. Reading customer reviews and consulting with your veterinarian can also help you make an informed decision. Remember, proper handling and hygiene are crucial when feeding raw food to your cat. Store it correctly, follow feeding guidelines, and clean your cat’s dishes thoroughly. With careful selection and responsible handling, commercially prepared raw cat food can provide your feline friend with a nourishing and safe diet.

Cooked Chicken Diet

Raw chicken can pose health risks for cats as it may contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or Campylobacter. Therefore, it is recommended to feed cats a cooked chicken diet to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. When preparing cooked chicken for your feline friend, there are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Ensure the chicken is fully cooked, with no pink meat remaining, to destroy any potential bacteria.
  • Remove the skin and bones from the cooked chicken, as these may pose a choking hazard or cause digestive issues.
  • Allow the chicken to cool down before serving it to your cat to prevent burns or mouth discomfort.
  • Consider chopping the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces to make it easier for your cat to eat and digest.

When including cooked chicken in your cat’s diet, it’s essential to consider the nutritional aspects as well. Cats require a balanced diet that includes all the necessary nutrients, such as protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Consult with a veterinarian or a feline nutritionist to ensure that the cooked chicken is part of a well-rounded and nutritionally appropriate feline diet.

What To Do If Your Cat Gets Sick From Eating Raw Chicken

If your cat gets sick from consuming raw chicken, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary assistance. Raw chicken can pose several health risks to cats, including bacterial contamination and the transmission of parasites. Hence, prompt medical attention is essential for your cat’s well-being.

Once you reach out to a veterinarian, they will assess your cat’s condition and suggest suitable treatment options. The vet might recommend fluid therapy as part of supportive care to help your cat stay hydrated and flush out any toxins. Additionally, they may prescribe medication to address any potential infections or gastrointestinal issues caused by the raw chicken consumption.

During this time, it is vital to closely monitor your cat’s behavior and symptoms. By receiving timely veterinary assistance and following the prescribed treatment plan, you can help your furry friend on the road to recovery.


Feeding raw chicken to cats can pose health risks. While cats are carnivores, the potential for bacterial contamination in raw meat increases the likelihood of illness. It’s crucial to consider the safety of both your pet and your family. Providing a balanced and complete diet with cooked or commercially prepared food ensures the nutritional needs of your feline friend are met while minimizing health hazards.

Always consult with a veterinarian for appropriate feeding recommendations to keep your cat healthy and happy.

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