Whenever you tuck into a turkey sandwich, your meat-loving feline is probably keen for a bite, and turkey casseroles or soups are just as intriguing. But can cats eat turkey safely?
Chances are you’ve already seen turkey listed as an ingredient in cat food, so you probably suspect the answer is “yes”. But things get a bit more complicated if you’re thinking about offering your cat turkey that is intended for humans. Keep reading to find out when turkey is not a good idea for our furry four-legged friends.
Can cats eat turkey?
Yes, cats can eat turkey. Cats are obligate carnivores which means meat is an essential part of their diet. Turkey meat that’s been simply cooked is a delicious treat for cats and, as long as it’s not offered to them too much or in large quantities, it’s normally a safe option for our pets. But make sure you don’t add any of the usual seasoning and cook the meat as plainly as possible to avoid digestive problems. It’s also worth noting that pre-cooked turkey can also contain seasoning and preservatives that could be dangerous for your cat, and some raw turkey may also have this added already. So always read the label and cook any turkey before offering it to your cat. And only offer a small amount – remember that 90% of your cat’s diet should be their complete and balanced cat food, and treats like turkey should not make up more than 10% of this.
It’s also a good idea to always check with your vet before feeding your cat turkey meat. They will be able to give you the best advice when it comes to how often, and in what form, turkey should be given.
What to avoid when feeding your cat turkey
Cats can eat turkey, but there are a few instances when feeding turkey to your pet can lead to health problems.
Don’t feed your cat turkey if it has been cooked using seasoning
Seasoning should not be part of the recipe when offering cats turkey, as this can be toxic for your feline. If you think your cat may have ingested too much salt or another type of seasoning, get in touch with your vet straight away and monitor your cat for signs including excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, and in severe cases, even seizures are possible
Don’t let your cat have too much turkey skin
Although cats can eat turkey, the skin of this meat is high in fat, and so it should be either avoided or offered in very small quantities as it can result in digestive upset. Also, if your cat is obese, or has underlying health issues, it’s best to avoid foods that are high in fat altogether.
Don’t offer your cat turkey bones
Whether raw or cooked, turkey bones (or any other bones for that matter) can be harmful to cats. Bones can easily splinter and cause injuries in the mouth, oesophagus or even the intestines. It’s always important to remove all bones before offering turkey meat to your cat.Can cats eat raw turkey?
We would always advise against feeding raw cat diets, as these can contain harmful bacteria which can make your cat very ill, or could even be fatal!
Turkey in specially formulated cat food
Cats can eat turkey, but when it comes to the home-cooked version, it’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed by all the dos and don’ts. If you want to offer your cat a delicious turkey dinner, look for high-quality commercial cat foods, which will have recipes created specifically for felines. These formulas are designed to be nutritionally complete and balanced, so your cat will get delicious meat in addition to all the other nutrition they need to support their general health and wellbeing.
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