Cats are carnivorous animals who typically depend on meat protein for their regular growth and development. But can kittens eat raw meat? Well, while cats do enjoy feasting on meat from other animals, they should do so only after a certain age. Younger kittens generally do not have the metabolism and capacity to digest raw meat. Hence, pet parents should start a raw diet for kittens only once they turn 3 to 4 weeks old.
Is raw meat good for kittens?
Although cats relish their portion of raw meat, feeding it to kittens is a totally different topic. Since kittens are still at a developing stage, they are more sensitive and need additional care. Yet, feeding raw meat to kittens is not an unheard practice. However, uncooked and unprocessed raw meat often carry harmful microbes which may hamper the kitty’s health. Hence, it is not recommended to feed raw meat to kittens.
Why can’t kittens eat raw meat?
While there is no evidence that raw meat offers more nutrition than other types of cat food (and vice versa), here are two reasons why kittens shouldn’t eat raw meat:
- Infectious bacteria
Raw food is not recommended for cats because it contains bacteria like Salmonella and listeria. These bacteria can make both the pet as well as caregivers sick. And it is no news that food-borne diseases can at times be fatal.
- Bone pieces
Raw meat often contains small bone pieces and that can be dangerous for the kitten. These pieces can cause intestinal blockage. In fact, they can even cut the insides of your pet’s digestive system. Moreover, bone pieces can also fracture the cat’s teeth. If your cat is an aggressive chewer, feeding raw meat with bones could even break your feline friend’s tooth.
Alternatives to raw meat for cats
Now, as a cat parent, you might assume that home-cooked food is the best choice for your cat. However, it is a daunting and time-consuming process. You will have to understand cat’s feeding needs to ensure that it meets the daily nutrition quota. Along with protein, our feline family member also needs essential micronutrients like iron sodium, chloride, magnesium, etc. Hence, going for wet cat food products and kibbles is a feasible option. It saves you the effort of cooking food every day while also offering complete nutrition to your pet. Let’s explore the benefits of feeding wet cat food and kibbles to your cat:
Wet cat food
- It contains 78% moisture; hence, wet cat food keeps dehydration at bay.
- Since wet cat food is made using animal protein, it offers essential amino acids like taurine to cats.
- Cat food brands like IAMS understand a cat’s nutritional needs. Hence, you do not have to worry about your pet’s diet being high on carbs.
- Micronutrients are essential for a healthy immune system. Therefore, wet cat foods are loaded with chloride, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins, etc.
- Kibbles work well with dispenser toys; hence, they can be used to provide mental stimulation.
- Since this type of cat food is dry and crunchy, it reduces plaque and tartar build up.
- Kibbles have a better shelf life and are easy to store as well as serve.
- If your cat is malnourished, this high-calorie food will help your pet gain the necessary weight and energy.
Note: Get in touch with your vet to make sure you feed the right quantities of both wet and dry cat food to your pet.
At IAMS, we offer dry cat food and kibbles that are made with premium-quality meat like chicken, tuna, and salmon. Along with being rich in protein, our range of cat food is also loaded with essential vitamins and minerals for cats.
What should you do if your cat eats raw meat?
If your cat accidently eats raw meat, take it to your vet as soon as possible. Cats exhibit the following symptoms every time they eat something their system doesn’t accept:
- Lack of appetite
Frequently asked questions
- What happens when my kitten eats raw meat?
- Is raw food safe for kittens?
- Can I feed my kitten raw meat if it is fresh?
- Can kittens eat raw chicken?
If a cat eats raw meat, it can lead to food-borne diseases, digestive issues, and tooth fracture.
No, raw food is not safe for kittens as it often contains infectious bacteria and small bone pieces that can cause fatal health problems.
Since kittens are still at a growing stage, their immune system is not strong enough to fight harmful bacteria present in raw meat. Hence, it is not recommended to feed any kind of raw meat to kittens.
No. Kittens shouldn’t eat raw chicken as it can cause severe health problems. Since cats are carnivores, they require animal protein for sustenance. Hence, cat parents should opt for wet and/or dry cat food that are developed to support your pet’s overall health.