Can Cats Have Chicken Broth?

Why You Should Make Chicken Broth a Regular Part of Your Cats Diet 

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If you landed here you’re probably asking ‘can cats have chicken broth ?’ The simple answer is Yes! Read on to find out more about chicken broth, and the benefits of giving chicken broth to your cat. As well as a tasty chicken broth recipe guide.  

This is my cat Yoshi. He comes to give me cuddles and warm me up when I have a cold in the winter, and as a reward he gets to share my lovely warm chicken broth. 

What is Chicken Broth?

Chicken Broth Soup

Chicken broth is a variation of bone broth which humans have been making since time immemorial. It is believed that bone broth was made by our ancestors as early as 500 B.C. During the 18th century, the British were noted for their fondness of sipping ‘beef tea.’  The Chinese, on the other hand, have long been known to eat bone broth.

Chicken broth is made from chicken bones simmered in water. It may also include vegetables such as carrots.  This is a low-calorie treat that can be used in preparing soup, sauce, and gravy. Containing parts of the bone such as the cartilage, collagen, and marrow, it delivers a powerful and healthy punch for humans.

 

Is Chicken Broth Safe for Cats?

But what about our feline friends? Is it okay to give them chicken broth?

After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that chicken broth is good for our furry friends. We all know how dangerous chicken bones can be when chewed by cats. But when simmered into broth, those bones can deliver nutrients to our pets that only a few cat foods can.

I have also discovered that chicken broth is good for the liver and joints of cats. It can also boost their digestion and improve their immunity. More on those benefits later in this article.

However, there is something about the preparation of chicken broth that you should be aware of. I believe you’ve seen chicken broth products on the shelf. Or perhaps seen chicken broth sold online. Would these products be safe for cats?

Short answer no: it would be better to serve homemade chicken broth instead. Commercially-available chicken broth is not exactly safe for our pets.

Why Your Cats Should Only Have Home Made Broth 

I’ll give you several reasons: one,  ready-made chicken broth typically contains excessive amounts of salt which is harmful to cats. Consuming large amounts of salt can lead to cats excessive urination. Plus a whole heap of other problems if high salt intake is continued. 

Two, onion may also be present in commercially-available chicken broth. Like salt, it is not safe for cats. It contains sulfoxides and disulfides which can damage red blood cells of cats. It can also cause anemia. In fact, onion has larger quantities of those chemicals than garlic, which is another food that is toxic to our feline friends.  Symptoms of onion poisoning in cats include lethargy, pale gums, and anemia.

Third, there are concerns that chicken broth contains high amounts of lead which can result in lead poisoning. One study published in the Medical Hypotheses journal in 2013 suggested that broth made from organic chicken and boiled in tap water has high levels of lead. But scientists have shot down those concerns, pointing out that the research had a small sample size.

So, what’s the verdict about giving chicken broth to cats? As I have mentioned, I suggest giving our feline friends homemade chicken broth instead of commercially-available bone broth. By doing so, you can be assured that the ingredients used are safe for your pets. The only real downside is that you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time cooking the broth.

 

Why Give Chicken Broth to Cats?

Chicken broth may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words cat treats, but can cats have chicken broth? Yes! My research has made me realize that this food does offer many health benefits to our feline friends.

Check out the following benefits of chicken broth for cats:

Detoxify the liver

Chicken broth is rich in the amino acid called glycine. It helps remove toxins that have accumulated in the liver.

Promotes healthy joints

Chicken broth has high amounts of collagen, a type of protein that is essential to healthy joints. It serves as a building block for the bones, joints, and cartilage of cats. Chicken broth is also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate which are compounds that promote healthy joints. Those compounds, in fact, are often used as ingredients in arthritis-relieving supplements for humans.

Improves the digestive tract

Collagen also plays a role in boosting the digestive tract of cats. It strengthens the intestinal lining and this prevents bacteria from seeping into the bloodstream.

Improves the immune system

Chicken broth has bone marrow which aids in the transport of oxygen to the cells. This, in turn, boosts the immune system of a cat and helps our furry friends to resist illnesses.

The Benefit of Hydration

Chicken broth is water based, so it also provides the cat with ample hydration. This is very beneficial for cats as they consume a diet of meat, and their kidneys process a lot of protein.  

The practicality 

Giving chicken broth to cats is also practical, especially if your cat is fussy with food.  You will likely agree with me when I say that chicken broth is delicious. The taste of chicken broth appeals not only to humans but also pets like cats and dogs.  

The smell of the bones and meats simmered in chicken broth is particularly enticing to cats. Finicky cats will find the smell of soup tempting and hard to ignore. Moreover, chicken broth is not only appetizing and delicious for cats; it is also packed with nutrients that your finicky pal may be missing out on.

Easy for Elderly Cats to Consume 

Elderly cats may also benefit from being served with chicken broth. While they have a decreased sense of smell which leads to reduced interest in eating, senior cats may appreciate the taste and of chicken broth. This food is also easy to digest which make it more appealing to older cats.

Perhaps more important is that chicken broth is easy to administer. I like to give it as a standalone meal for my pet. But you may also include it in your cat’s meal by mixing it in.

 

How to Prepare Homemade Chicken Broth?

Now you may be asking yourself: ‘how do I prepare homemade chicken broth for my cat?’ Cooking homemade chicken broth is easy although you will have to devote a lot of time doing it. The rule of thumb is that the longer cooking time, the better. This should let you get full nutrition out of those chicken bones.

But don’t believe those stories of spending more than 24 hours cooking chicken broth. I have realized one doesn’t have to spend that much time cooking chicken broth because poultry bones can break up rather easily. Or at least faster than cow bones.

Aside from carrot, there are other ingredients you can add to homemade chicken broth. I recommend adding dried Astragalus root slices. It is an herb widely used by the Chinese for boosting the immune system.

You may also add raw apple cider vinegar to the broth. This type of acidic liquid can draw out the minerals from the bone. Lemon juice words too. 

 

Cooking Chicken Broth Step by Step:

  1. Place raw or cooked bones in a pot full of water.
  2. Add two teaspoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for every gallon of water.
  3. Slice in some carrots to enhance the flavor of the broth. 
  4. Put the lid on and set the slow cooker to low.
  5. Simmer on low heat until all meat residue have fallen off the bones. This should be done in 8 to 10 hours.
  6. When finished, get a strainer and pour the broth through it.
  7. Skim off the fat then remove and discard the bones.
  8. Allow the broth to completely cool down. You can then transfer it to a small container for easy freezing. I use ice cube trays for quick and easy storing of the broth.

Good luck in keeping the broth away from your pet, though, as the yummy scent of the food should likely have him hovering around the kitchen.

You can serve this by pouring it over his dry cat food. Or spoon it over canned cat food like gravy. Frozen chicken broth may also be served as a popsicle for your cat to lick. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to serve this delicious and nutritious cat food.

 

So Can Cats Have Chicken Broth? Yes! 

Chicken broth is a safe and nutritious meal for our favorite pets. This delicious treat for cats is also packed with many nutrients that can improve your pet’s health. It can be just what the vet ordered for a finicky eater.

I would discourage you, however, from serving ready-made chicken broth to your cat. It may have ingredients that are toxic to your cats such as sodium and onion. Preparing and serving homemade chicken broth is a lot safer because you can ensure that the ingredients used are all safe and healthy for your beloved pet.

Hi, I’m Lucie, welcome to my website! Life simply wouldn’t be complete without cats… I’ve had a cat in the family for over 30 years now, plus I care for them as qualified vet nurse in a busy animal hospital. You can read more about me here.