What Meat Can Cats Eat Raw?

When it comes to feeding our feline friends, many of us have questions about what is safe and healthy for them to consume. One common question is whether or not cats can eat raw meat. After all, cats are known for being carnivorous creatures and it seems natural that they would want to chow down on some raw meat. However, it’s important to understand the potential risks and benefits of feeding your cat raw meat before making a decision.

First, let’s start by discussing the benefits of feeding your cat raw meat. One of the main benefits is that raw meat is a natural source of nutrition for cats. It contains all of the nutrients that cats need to maintain a healthy diet, including protein, fat, and essential amino acids. In fact, many experts believe that a diet consisting of raw meat is the most biologically appropriate for cats.

Raw meat can also be beneficial for cats with certain health conditions. For example, if your cat has allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients in commercial cat food, a raw meat diet may be a good alternative. This is because raw meat is often more easily digestible and may be less likely to cause digestive issues.

Now, let’s talk about the potential risks of feeding your cat raw meat. One of the main concerns is the risk of bacterial contamination. Raw meat can be contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, which can cause serious illness in both humans and animals. It’s important to handle raw meat safely and properly to minimize the risk of contamination. This means washing your hands and any surfaces that come into contact with the raw meat, as well as properly storing and thawing it.

Another potential risk of feeding your cat raw meat is the risk of bone splinters. Cats can sometimes accidentally swallow small bones, which can cause serious injury or even death. It’s important to be cautious when feeding your cat raw meat and make sure to remove any small bones before giving it to them.

So, what meat can cats eat raw? There are a few types of meat that are generally considered safe for cats to eat raw:

  1. Chicken: Chicken is a common choice for a raw meat diet, as it is easily digestible and high in protein. Just be sure to remove any bones before feeding them to your cat.
  2. Turkey: Like chicken, turkey is a good source of protein and is generally safe for cats to eat raw. Again, be sure to remove any bones before feeding them to your cat.
  3. Beef: Beef is another safe choice for a raw meat diet, as long as it is lean and free of bones.
  4. Fish: Some cats may enjoy a little bit of raw fish as a treat, but it should not be the main component of their diet. Fish can be high in mercury and other contaminants, so it’s important to feed it in moderation.

Not all cats will be interested in eating raw meat, and it may take some trial and error to find a type of raw meat that your cat enjoys. If you do decide to feed your cat raw meat, it’s important to do your research and consult with a veterinarian to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your specific cat.

In conclusion, raw meat can be a healthy and nutritious option for cats, as long as it is handled and fed properly to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination and bone splinters. Some safe options include chicken, turkey, beef, and fish (in moderation). Always consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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