Bengal cats are famed for their love of raw meat.
Although you can definitely feed your Bengal cat dry food (and they will probably scoff it down) chances are what they are really craving is something a bit more “wild”.
But can Bengal cats eat raw chicken?
In this article we are going to find out more.
Is Raw Chicken Safe For Cats?
Raw chicken is unsafe for human consumption – we all know that. Although some cultures do incorporate raw chicken as a delicacy, it is generally one of the highest risk foods for a human to eat raw.
Just about everyone has experienced (or knows someone who has) a run-in with food poisoning after eating raw or improperly-prepared chicken.
But what about Bengal cats?
Is raw chicken safe for Bengal cats?
In order to understand the answer to this question, it’s important to note the following points:
- Bengal cats (like all cats) are obligate-carnivores. Their digestive systems and bodies have evolved to function on meat-based diets.
- In the wild, cats hunt and eat their prey in a raw fashion. When was the last time you saw a wildlife documentary where a cat killed its prey, then proceeded to grill it on a BBQ or heat it up in the microwave?
- Cats are able to eat meat that would likely result in food poisoning in humans.
- Cats have a shorter digestive tract that reduces the risk of bacteria and parasites taking hold. They also have different stomach acids etc.
Therefore, raw chicken is generally safe for cats, and so Bengal cats can eat raw chicken.
The truth is that if your Bengal goes outside and catches a bird or a mouse, it will be eating raw meat too – and most of us don’t worry about that as cats have been catching and eating raw meat for millennia.
Although we have established that Bengal cats can definitely eat raw chicken, there are some safety considerations to make it less likely that any harm will come to your cat.
- If you are going to feed your Bengal raw chicken, make it as fresh as possible. One way to think of this is to not feed your Bengal any raw chicken that you would not cook and eat yourself.
- Be careful when handling raw chicken to feed to your cat – just because you are not eating it, that doesn’t mean you should not follow good “chicken handling” guidelines like washing your hands thoroughly after touching it.
- Factory farmed chicken may have a higher likelihood of harbouring bacteria or parasites than free range or home-raised chicken. Some experts suggest freezing factory farmed chicken for a week (and then thawing) before feeding to your cat.
As you can see, due to their unique physiology that has developed over the thousands of years cats have walked this earth, your Bengal cat can eat chicken.
In fact, many owners swear by a “raw” diet that doesn’t involve an dry Bengal cat food or wet/tinned food (we will write some more articles on this very topic in the near future).
Provided you are sourcing quality chicken that is still fresh (just ask yourself whether you would cook and eat it), then some raw chicken from time to time is a tasy, delicious treat for your cat.