If I could have just one type of meat for the rest of my life, it would be chicken. Or chicken breast to be exact. I’ve always been a fan of chicken due to its clean taste and stringy texture.
If there is one other individual that can outeat me when it comes to chicken, it would be my cat. He loves chicken as much as me. In fact, that is the only meat that he eats both cooked and raw.
If your cat likes chicken, how much chicken should you feed your cat each day? The amount of chicken to feed your cat each day largely depends on your cat’s age and activity level. An adult should be eating about 20-25 calories per pound of body weight. Kittens and younger eat can eat more than that.
Let us take a closer look at how much chicken to feed your cat and the best way to prepare it for your cat’s meal.
Your Cat’s Natural Diet
If you are a new cat owner or have had many cats in your life, the fact that our cats will always be obligate carnivores will never change.
Cats, unlike dogs, need protein from animal meat to survive. A diet that is high in carbs like fruits or banana bread will make your cat sick in the long run. Dogs have more leeway when it comes to eating carbohydrates but they too require a high amount of animal protein in their daily diet.
Another difference between cats and dogs is that cats are one of the best hunters in the animal kingdom. Everything about their body is designed to help locate, chase and kill prey.
You won’t see your cat spending time in your garden nibbling on carrots and turnips. He will be hunting whatever is eating your vegetables.
Is It OK To Feed My Cat Chicken every day?
Yes, it is definitely ok to feed your cat chicken every day. In fact, it is something that I highly encourage over dry food or kibbles.
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Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of 100g of chicken breast:
This would make chicken breast about 94% protein and saturated fat about 3%. The rest would be from trace minerals and nutrients.
And compare against 100g of your standard dry food or kibble:
As you can see, feeding your cat 100g of dry food vs 100g of pure chicken meat has a huge difference in nutritional value. Not only is dry food high in calories but it is low in protein.
If you are currently feeding your cat dry food, I would very strongly encourage your to transition your cat to good quality canned food or wet food or a raw meat diet.
Your little feline friend needs good quality meat daily to be healthy. If our cats weren’t domesticated, they would be busy hunting out in the forest or grasslands.
Can Cats Have Lots Of Chicken?
When it comes to feeding my cat, I don’t go by any formula or measurement. I just feed until my cat is full. Before you start rolling your eyes in disapproval, let me explain.
As mentioned above, cats need meat to survive which means that their bodies are highly efficient when it comes to using animal protein as an energy source. Whatever protein that the cat eats gets converted to energy and is not stored as fat in the body.
The reason why many cats on dry food tend to be overweight is largely due to the high carb and fat content which are stored in the body. This leads to feline obesity which can cause diabetes and heart disease.
One word of caution is that when not all meats are made equal when it comes to your cat’s diet.
When cats eat chicken in large quantities, it is healthier than feeding them meat like beef and lamb in the same amount. This is due to the higher levels of saturated fat in red meat. Although cats do metabolize animal fat a lot better than humans, I still prefer to mimic a diet that is as natural as possible.
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Feral or wild cats will normally hunt small critters like mice and rabbits which is considered white meat. You sure as heck won’t see a cat trying to take down a cow or sheep unless it has already been killed by another bigger predator.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t toss in the occasional red meat for your cat. It is good for them and helps to add some variety.
If you need a figure to go by, you can start off by feeding your cat about 20 calories per pound of body weight. This number isn’t set in stone and will require some trial and error based on your cat’s feedback.
How Much Chicken To Feed A Kitten?
If you have a kitten on hand, you need to understand that you have an eating machine in a cat suit. Kittens are known to have a voracious appetite due to their rapid development.
You can expect your kitten to be eating a lot and at least three times a day until it hit 6 months of age. In fact, if you are caring for a very young orphaned kitten, they can eat every few hours. Kittens should not go without food for too long or they can start to get weak and develop other health issues.
Kittens should eat at least 300-500 calories a day. A good weight gain would be about a pound a month for the first 6 months. If your kitten isn’t hitting the bare minimum of calories daily or isn’t gaining weight, you need to take it to the vet.
It might have intestinal parasites or other health problems which is affecting its health.
You should also include some organ or muscle meat like chicken gizzards for your cat. They contain a good range of minerals and vitamins that can benefit your cat.
At what Age Can Kittens Eat Cooked Chicken?
Do not feed chicken meat to kittens until they are about three to four weeks of age. Kittens that are younger need a specialized milk formula for their diet.
Once your kitten is ready for solid food, you can start off with boiled chicken before slowly transitioning to raw chicken.
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Make sure that the chicken pieces are small enough for your kitten so that it doesn’t become a choking hazard.
How To Prepare Raw Chicken For Cats?
If you are looking to feed your cat raw chicken, it can be as easy as just throwing your cat a piece of chicken thigh or breast and let the beast in your cat take over.
For me, I will first debone the chicken and cut up the chicken into smaller pieces for my cat. you can choose to feed your cat larger chunks if it likes to rip the meat.
My cat had most of his teeth removed due to his FeLV so I will either feed him small pieces or grind up the meat for him.
A good benchmark when feeding your cat raw is to feed it 3-4% of its body weight in raw meat.
When preparing the meat, make sure that your hands are clean and do not leave the food out in the open for too long. I throw away whatever is left over after 1.5 hours to prevent any sort of food contamination.
Keep the chicken meat in the freezer and only thaw what you need in the fridge the night before.
If you want to learn more about feeding your cat a raw meat diet, you can check out our ultimate guide here.
Is It Ok To Feed Cats Cooked Chicken?
Yes, it is perfectly ok for your cat to eat cooked chicken. But only let your cat eat boiled chicken. Do not feed your cat any chicken that is fried, grilled or smoked.
Only boiled or steamed chicken works best for your cat’s diet.
One very important point to note is to never feed your pet cooked chicken bones or any bone that is cooked for that matter. Cooked bones can are very brittle and can splinter easily. These splinters can cause serious damage to your cat’s throat and digestive system.
Always feed your cat raw bones
The saying “You are what you eat” applies not only to humans but to our cats as well. Feeding your cat a nutritional and balanced diet is a good way to ensure that it leads a long and healthy life.