Can I Feed My Cat Boneless Chicken Breast?
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 may have on their pet's health, due to preservatives and possible toxins, in light of recent manufacturer recalls. Take time to research what you are feeding your cat, so it supplies all the necessary nutritional requirements for your pet's health to thrive.
Cooked or Raw Chicken
The chicken meat must be fresh and can be served raw. Parboil raw chicken meat to kill off any surface bacteria. Cats prefer warm food. If your cat refuses the meat straight out of the refrigerator, place it in a zip-tight bag and put it in a bowl of tepid water until it reaches room temperature.
Animal versus Plant Proteins
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. 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.
Feline Nutritional Requirements
Cats are carnivorous creatures. In the wild, they live on a meat-based diet with high moisture content and a small amount of fat. 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 may be necessary to incorporate supplements if you decide to feed your cat only 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 may need to aid the transition to eating a whole chicken breast by grinding the 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 needed 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 are available in frozen whole and pre-ground in some specialty pet stores.