Feeding your cat boneless chicken breast is a healthy option for incorporating animal proteins into its diet. Many pet owners are concerned about the long-term effects commercial cat foods might have on their pet's health, due to preservatives and possible toxins, and are looking for the best food for cats. Take time to research what you are feeding your cat, so it supplies all the necessary nutritional requirements to create the best diet for cats. Chicken breast alone is not enough, but can be part of a healthy diet.
Best food for cats
Cats lack the specific enzymes needed to utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins. Proteins from animals contain a complete amino acid profile necessary for your cat's health. For instance, small amounts of taurine is necessary for your cat's eye health and is one of the amino acids missing from plant proteins. Serving chicken breast as a protein is a healthier choice than dry food that contains plant-based proteins because it contains all the amino acids a cat needs, including taurine, provided the meat is not extremely overcooked.
The chicken meat must be fresh, human grade, and should be served almost raw — but not entirely. It's important to parboil raw chicken meat to kill off any surface bacteria. Also, the chicken should be plain — no oils, herbs, onions, or seasoning. Also, cats prefer warm food. If your cat refuses the boiled chicken straight from the refrigerator, place it in a zip-tight bag and put it in a bowl of tepid water until it reaches room temperature.
Best diet for cats
Cats are carnivorous creatures. In the wild, they live on a meat-based diet with high moisture content and a small amount of fat. However, domestic cats do not process meat the same way their ancestors did, so entirely raw chicken breast from the grocery store isn't a good idea. Note that commercially produced raw diets are different, because the meat is either flash-frozen or high-pressure pasteurized to eliminate dangerous bacteria.
Along with animal protein, cats require calcium, taurine, and essential fatty acids for balanced nutrition. A diet too high in carbohydrates can cause feline diabetes. It might be necessary to incorporate supplements if you decide to feed your cat mostly chicken. Check with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate treatment for your cat. Always provide plenty of fresh water to maintain a healthy urinary tract.
Ground versus whole chicken breast
If you are switching your cat from a dry or canned commercial food, you might need to aid the transition to eating a whole chicken breast by grinding the parboiled meat. Choose free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free whole chicken, and grind the meat yourself using safe food handling practices. You can include the bones when grinding the meat, or strip them out beforehand. Bones provide a source of necessary calcium.
Wash your hands, the cutting board, appliances, and containers thoroughly to prevent cross-contamination with raw meat juices. Ground meats are riskier for bacterial growth than serving whole pieces. Human-grade and pesticide-free pet foods, including chicken-based, are available in frozen whole and pre-ground in some specialty pet stores. Note that raw chicken products can not be left out for picky kitties to come back to later.