Cats, as obligate carnivores, do well on a diet high in protein and based on meat. But, as we’ve seen, a lot of people get the different kinds of meat and feeding methods mixed up. A lot of people are on the fence about eating chicken liver.
Questions like “can cats eat chicken liver?” bombard veterinarians and seasoned pet owners. What, if any, benefits or dangers do cats face from consuming chicken liver?
It could be because of the reputation the meat organ has garnered. Detoxifies the human system.
Toxin filters are not trusted as a food source because of this natural skepticism. But if you read the reviews of a few professionals, you’ll learn that the meat comes from a trustworthy source and is therefore packed with nutrients.
Confused once more? Let’s find out if chicken liver is safe for cats to eat.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Liver?
Cats can, within reason and from reliable sources, safely consume small amounts of cooked liver.
Chicken liver, which is on the list of human foods cats can eat, is an excellent choice for dieters because it is high in protein and low in calories. Does it seem too good to be true? Yes, I guess so.
Although it is very tasty to cats, it is not a suitable substitute for a varied diet. Cats, however, eat only what they find appetizing, so they may choose to finish the liver and leave the rest of their meal undigested.
If cats only ate liver, they might not get enough of the nutrients they need and might even have too much of one, specifically vitamin A.
The former is responsible for a number of hypervitaminosis A-related health problems. Lethargy, weight loss, and abnormal bone growth are just some of the symptoms of vitamin A toxicity.
Health Benefits of Feeding Chicken Liver to Your Cat
Why Should Cats Eat Chicken Liver?
Cats typically get the majority of their protein from meat, but that’s not all they need.
Healthy development also depends on a wide variety of other nutrients, including fats, some carbohydrates, and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Chicken is an excellent source of protein and fat, and its muscle meat and organs are common ingredients in commercially prepared pet foods.
If the liver is suspected of being a toxic waste dump for the poisons it filters out of the blood, purchasing it from a reputable supplier should put those fears to rest.
Nutrient Profile of The Chicken liver
Chicken liver is a great source of the vitamins A, B12, C, and E that your cat needs. Furthermore, it is a great source of essential nutrients like fatty acids, amino acids, choline, iron, copper, and selenium.
Vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin) are also present in this food, which is great for keeping your cat in tip-top shape.
|Nutritional Analysis (Per 100g) of Raw Chicken Liver|
|Vitamin C||17.9 mg|
|A Case for B-12||16.6 µg|
Our cherished furballs need each of these nutrients to stay healthy and happy.
Proteins and amino acids provide both energy for daily tasks and building blocks for various biological compounds, as described in a booklet on the cat’s nutritional needs published by the National Research Council of the National Academies.
Fatty acids contribute to the structural and functional role of feline cells, and they also make the food more palatable to our furry little friends. The nutrient is responsible for the silky smooth skin and lush fur of the cats.
Next, vitamins play an important part in maintaining optimal health in cats. Vitamin A plays a pivotal role in the development of the fetus and adult cat, as well as in the promotion of growth, vision, and immunity.
Vitamin E protects the feline body from oxidative damage, and vitamins B6, B12, and Niacin help her body use its enzymes to their full potential.
Hemoglobin synthesis, and oxygen delivery throughout the cat’s body, relies on the essential mineral iron.
The beautiful variety of coat, eye, and paw colors on your cats is the result of copper’s role in iron metabolism and the formation of blood cells, connective tissues, and the pigment melanin.
Even in trace amounts, selenium is important for a healthy immune response and protection from oxidative stress.
Choline is essential for a number of bodily processes, including fat metabolism in the liver, proper nerve and muscle function, and mental acuity.
Risks Associated With Feeding Your Cat Chicken Liver
Chicken liver has so many health benefits for cats that it seems impossible that it could hurt her in any way.
However, as the old adage goes, “too much of a good thing is bad.” Cats are known to have health problems after being fed an excessive amount of chicken liver, despite the organ’s reputation as a “super food” due to its high nutrient density and low caloric content.
Hypervitaminosis A, also known as vitamin A toxicity, is a serious health condition associated with eating too much food rich in vitamin A.
Milk and raw chicken/pig/beef liver have long been linked to the disease in cats.
The disease can have devastating effects on the cat’s bones and mobility, and it usually manifests itself after a long period of excessive consumption (months to years).
It results in abnormal development of the occipital (skull) bone, spinal column, limb joints, shoulders, and pelvis, among other areas.
In adult cats, this condition causes painful and restricted movement due to bone lesions. Kittens, on the other hand, have their development and growth slowed by the disease.
Raw or cooked chicken liver for cats?
Chicken liver can be fed to cats in a variety of forms, including raw, cooked, alone, or in combination with other meats like beef chunks.
Chicken livers, after cooking:
- Clean and trim the fat from the livers.
- Put the livers in a pan of boiling water.
- Cooking time is approximately 5-10 minutes at a simmer.
- Once the livers have stopped steaming, drain and set them on a plate.
- Put in a container that’s more appropriate
Chicken livers, once cooked, can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
What about other chicken pieces?
Chicken legs, wings, and breasts are all safe for cats to eat. Raw or cooked meat can be fed to the animal.
I’ve used cooked chicken to coax a sick cat into eating in the past because it’s so tasty to felines.
When a cat is nursing his digestive system back to health after an illness or surgery, his veterinarian may recommend a bland diet. As it is relatively inexpensive to prepare, most cats seem to enjoy and digest boiled chicken breast.
Your cat’s teeth will thank you for feeding it chicken necks. About twice a week in the mornings, I give my cats necks. Chicken necks and other cooked chicken bones are toxic to cats.
The dry, brittle nature of cooked chicken bones makes them dangerous for your cat to ingest.
Don’t leave meat out for more than 20 minutes, and never give your cat food that you wouldn’t eat yourself.
How to cook chicken for your cat
The chicken can be steamed, boiled, or baked. Do not season or flavor the meat in any way. The chicken can be cooked either whole or in pieces. Cooking time for a whole chicken will be longer than for chopped chicken.
For boiling, fill a pot with water (enough to cover the chicken by an inch), bring to a boil, add the chicken, immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. If you’re giving him boiled chicken, you can also give him some of the cooking water from the pan.
How to Feed Chicken Liver to Cats?
While it may be tempting to show your cat some extra love by feeding it table scraps, doing so is not recommended.
Give your cat a small serving of boiled chicken liver without any added salt, oil, herbs, or seasonings. You can save yourself the trouble and provide your cat with a healthy snack by purchasing a high-quality chicken liver cat treat.
Anemia, stomach upset, and damage to red blood cells are just some of the problems that can result from feeding your pet liver cooked with onions, garlic, or chives.
Serving it raw in an effort to mimic what their wild counterparts might eat is also not a good idea. It’s true that cats sometimes eat raw prey and may especially enjoy the kidney first, but that’s not the case here.
There are many opportunities for contamination in the distribution chain that ends with your raw chicken. Harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli could be among the contaminants.
Some commercially available cat foods do claim to include raw meat in their recipes, but the meat has been pasteurized through methods like flash freezing to protect against harmful microorganisms.
How Much Chicken Liver Can Cats Eat?
Since it does not meet the criteria for a balanced diet specifically designed by trained veterinarians for the cat, chicken liver is essentially a treat. So, it could only be given a very infrequently sized portion.
According to surveys of professionals, estimates range from 10% to 15%. This means that the chicken liver appetizer should only account for that specified share of the meal.
The best way to limit your pet’s exposure to the treat’s fattening effects is to spread it out over several days and only give it to them occasionally.
If your cat is eating a commercially prepared diet, then the chicken liver in his or her diet shouldn’t cause any problems. You should consult your veterinarian before beginning.
Final Words: Can Cats Eat Chicken Liver
Chicken liver treats, either home-cooked or store-bought and flash-frozen, are safe for cats to eat. It’s a super nourishing meal packed with protein, fatty acids, and choline, which is especially important for cats.
However, permitting it frequently or providing larger servings can have negative health effects, such as vitamin A toxicity.