Can cats eat chicken liver?
Yes, chicken liver is safe for cats to eat, bt in moderation. It must only make up a small percentage of your cat’s diet — 5 % at most and only once or twice a week. Liver contains many nutrients which are essential to good health. However, the liver stores vitamin A and cats who consumes moderate to large amounts are at risk of vitamin A toxicosis.
Another risk factor is that liver is highly palatable to cats, and some can quickly become addicted to it and start to refuse other types of food. Aside from the dangers of vitamin A toxicosis, liver is not nutritionally balanced or complete. Cats who stop eating are at risk of hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease), a life-threatening disease which occurs when cats (especially those who are overweight) go without food for several days. The body sends fat to the liver as an alternate source, which overwhelms its ability to function.
Benefits of chicken liver for cats
Chicken livers contain several nutrients, which include iron, folic acid, vitamins A, B, C and D, copper and protein.
Raw or cooked chicken liver for cats?
Cats can eat chicken liver either raw or cooked; on its own or mixed in with other meat such as beef chunks.
Cooked chicken livers:
- Wash livers and remove any fat
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the livers
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until cooked
- Drain and place on a plate until the livers have stopped steaming
- Transfer to a suitable container
Cooked chicken livers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
What about other chicken pieces?
Cats can eat chicken breast, thighs, necks. The meat can be fed raw or cooked.
Cooked chicken is highly palatable to cats, and I have used it myself to encourage a sick cat to eat.
Veterinarians often prescribe a bland diet for your cat if he is recovering from an illness, particularly relating to his gastrointestinal tract. Chicken meat is usually recommended as it is bland, easy to digest and most cats love it.
Chicken necks are great for your cat’s dental hygiene. I give my cats necks 2-3 mornings a week. Never give your cat cooked chicken bones, including necks. Cooked chicken bones become very dry and brittle and can easily splinter inside your cat’s mouth or gastrointestinal tract.
Remove uneaten meat after 20 minutes and don’t feed anything that you wouldn’t eat yourself if it’s too old for you, it’s too old for your cat.
How to cook chicken for your cat
Chicken can be boiled, steamed or cooked in the oven. Do not add seasoning or herbs to the meat. Cook the chicken whole or cut up into pieces. Chicken that is whole will take longer to cook than chopped chicken.
Bring a pot of water to the boil (just enough water to cook the chicken), add chicken, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. When feeding boiled chicken, you can add a little of the pan water to his food bowl along with the cooked chicken.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, place chicken in a steamer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked.
Preheat oven to 180-200C, line a baking dish with baking paper, add chicken, bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked.
Once cooked, allow cooling for a few minutes.
I have given my own cats leftovers from a roast chicken, but make sure it isn’t overly seasoned and remove all bones. I don’t recommend feeding your cat fried chicken.
Can I feed other types of liver to my cat?
Yes, you can also feed beef or lamb liver to your cat, but the same rules apply. No more than 5% and only once or twice a week.