You may already know that cats can eat raw chicken. What about chicken broth though?
Hailed as the ultimate cozy remedy for colds and generally feeling under the weather, a warm cup of chicken broth does wonders for us humans. Just imagine yourself with a steaming cup, nestled in front of your favorite TV show.
Can your cat experience the same benefits? Can you give them chicken broth when they are feeling ill, and will it help them?
Can Cats Have Chicken Broth?
Cats can have plain chicken broth as it is very healthy for them. As long as you make it yourself and don’t add any salt or herbs to it, giving your cat a portion of broth is perfectly fine.
You can even make chicken broth a part of your cat’s everyday diet. It’s not too high in calories, so you won’t have to worry about weight gain, but it is full of nutrients that will keep your cat healthy.
Make sure you don’t add any salt to the chicken broth you make for your cat. Cats can’t eat salt in higher quantities, and their regular food already contains all the sodium they need. An overdose can lead to some very serious health complications, so refrain from adding any seasoning (herbs and spices included) to your cat’s broth.
Store-bought chicken stock is not a good choice, as it will be full of potentially harmful additives. Stick to the home-made kind.
Can Kittens Have Chicken Broth?
Yes, kittens can have chicken broth, but only after they have been weaned. Give them no more than a couple of tablespoons at a time as you start to introduce solids into their diet.
Chicken broth is extremely beneficial for kittens, as it promotes bone and joint growth, so your little furball will grow up to be strong and active. It will also help their immune system and make their coat shiny and lush.
Is Chicken Broth Good for Cats?
Chicken broth is very healthy for cats. It can ensure they are staying hydrated and getting plenty of delicious nutrients that will improve their immunity, benefit their joints and bones and keep their coat shiny.
Chicken broth is also good for digestion, and can even help a finicky cat eat food they would normally ignore, if you pour the broth over it. Here’s why chicken broth is good for cats:
Protein and Amino Acid Intake
Cats are obligate carnivores, and as such, they need plenty of protein and amino acids in their diet. Chicken bones are rich in collagen, glycine, and conjugated linoleic acid, all of which are great for their health.
Glycine helps digestion and promotes joint health, and it can also improve the functioning of a cat’s liver.
Collagen is a part of muscles, ligaments, bones and tendons. While we (and our felines) produce a certain amount, adding more to our diet is incredibly beneficial. In cats, it makes for shiny coats, healthy skin and strong muscles.
Conjugated linoleic acid is good for a cat’s immune system, and promotes faster recovery. Your cat is less likely to be ill when consuming plenty of CLA.
Joint and Bone Health
Chicken broth is also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, which improve joint health. They are a part of animal cartilage, which is what you make the broth with. Both of these amino sugars are particularly beneficial for older cats who are more likely to suffer from arthritis.
Calcium and phosphorus are also found in chicken broth. The combination of these two minerals helps build strong bones. They are especially important for growing, active kittens.
The bone marrow from the chicken bones you put in the broth will strengthen your cat’s immune system. They will be able to combat illnesses better, and they will feel much better and stronger in general.
Chicken broth is also a great way to help your cat recover from a cold. Cats can’t eat honey, but you can soothe their throat and help them get over a bug with broth.
Cats are known for not drinking enough water. While their wet food provides some hydration, they do still need to drink something. Chicken broth can be the perfect solution, as cats tend to like it much more than water. Since it smells of meat but still mainly consists of H2O, your cat is more than likely to lap it up.
Cats need to stay hydrated since they eat a lot of protein, and their kidneys need plenty of liquid to process the toxins that come with it.
You can also give your cat tea, as long as it does not contain any caffeine and is made with cat-appropriate herbs only.
If your cat is not feeling well and is refusing to eat and drink, chicken broth can help them get back on their feet sooner. If they have an upset stomach or loose stool, it can help them stay hydrated without causing any further upsets.
Older cats who are not keen on eating can often be persuaded to give their food a try if it’s covered in chicken broth too. It will add some nutrients to their diet.
Of course, if your cat is ill and refusing to eat, you first need to check with their vet what the underlying cause is. If you know they have just vomited a hairball and are feeling a bit sorry for themselves, the chicken broth can be a nice soothing medicine for their digestive system.
If you don’t know what is causing your cat’s lack of appetite, take them in for a checkup just to be sure they are okay. Cats can go without water for around 12 hours before they start to get dehydrated, and they can go without food for a couple of days, but you don’t want to wait that long before you try to figure out what is preventing them from eating and drinking.
The collagen and gelatin that chicken broth is rich in strengthen the lining of a cat’s intestines, so they will experience better digestion. If your cat has a stomach susceptible to upsets, giving them chicken broth on a regular basis can ease their symptoms.
How Often Can I Give My Cat Chicken Broth?
You can give your cat plain chicken broth every day. Kittens should have it less often, about once every couple of days.
You can give your cat a small bowl of chicken broth separately, or you can pour it over their wet or dry food. Try different methods out and see what your feline likes best.
Don’t forget that chicken broth is not a replacement for water, so you still need to have a bowl of clean, fresh, cool water readily available at all times.
How Can I Safely Give Chicken Broth To My Cat?
You need to be mindful of several points when giving you cat chicken broth:
- Only give your cat home-made chicken broth. The store-bought kind will be full of additives and sodium that are not good for your cat.
- Don’t add any seasoning to the broth: just simmer the chicken and the bones in water.
- Remove all the bones from the broth before offering it to your pet.
- Let the broth completely cool before serving it.
How to Cook Chicken Broth For Your Cat
Here is how you can make your own feline-approved chicken broth:
- Fill a pot with water.
- Add raw chicken and chicken bones and turn the stove on. Make sure all the bones are completely submerged. You can leave the meat on the bones, but you can cook with the bones alone.
- Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to break the bones down. Your cat won’t taste it, but it will make the broth more nutritious.
- Turn the stove up to medium heat, cover the pot and let the water boil.
- Let the broth simmer for six hours at least after it has come to the boil. The longer you leave it, the better it will be.
- Strain the liquid to remove any bones.
- Let the broth cool completely before giving it to your cat.
You can make the broth in larger quantities and freeze some of it for later use. It won’t lose any of its nutritional value, and it will save you a lot of time. If you freeze it in ice cubes, you can take one or two out whenever you want to offer broth to your cat.
Let it defrost naturally, and reach a room temperature before you give it to your cat.
Wrapping It Up
Your cat will love having chicken broth. It’s super tasty and healthy, and it can greatly benefit your feline friend.