Can Cats Eat Turkey?

Last Updated on November 20, 2021 by Julia Wilson

Can cats eat turkey?

Yes, turkey is safe for most cats to eat. Turkey is high protein and low fat, however as it is not nutritionally complete so should only be given as an occasional treat.

What cats can’t eat turkey?

  • Unweaned kittens
  • Cats who are on a food elimination trial, which is a specific diet given for 6 weeks with no other meals or treats to evaluate for food allergies
  • Cats on a prescription diet to prevent or manage a health condition

Check with your veterinarian before you feed turkey to a cat on a prescription diet as it may aggravate some medical conditions, or impact the effectiveness of the prescription diet.

What type of turkey can I give to my cat?

Raw or cooked mince, breast and thigh meat are all safe to give to cats. Uncooked turkey necks are good for dental care but never feed cooked bones as they can splinter and damage the gastrointestinal tract. Turkey skin is okay in very small quantities, but avoid large amounts as it is high in fat and salt.

Can cats have turkey gravy?

It is better not due to its high salt and fat content. Gravy can also contain additional ingredients toxic to cats.

Turkey safety

  • Remove uneaten turkey after 20 minutes.
  • Supervise cats when eating raw turkey bones or necks.
  • Always ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh drinking water.
  • Remove fat from the meat, too much fat can cause pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Only give a small amount (one or two slices).
  • Do not feed cooked turkey on the bone to a cat as the bones can splinter and cause broken teeth, trauma to the mouth or gastrointestinal tract or a blockage.
  • Only feed turkey that is within its use-by date.
  • Do not give turkey stuffing to cats as it contains onions and garlic which are toxic.
  • A small amount of skin is safe, as long as it doesn’t contain garlic.

If you notice your cat develops gastrointestinal symptoms such as flatulence, vomiting or diarrhea, discontinue. Some cats can be sensitive to changes in diet.

Key points

  • Turkey is safe for cats to eat in small amounts
  • It is high protein and low fat
  • Never feed cooked turkey bones, which can splinter and cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract
  • Do not feed stuffing, which contains onion and garlic, which are toxic to cats
  • Speak to your veterinarian before you feed turkey to a cat on a prescription diet
  • Turkey should not replace a cat’s normal diet, as it is not nutritionally balanced