Chicken noodle soup is a comforting soup for winter nights, and anytime you need a pick me up. It’s only natural to want to share that yummy chicken-y goodness with your cat. Before you share your delicious chicken noodle soup with your cat, though, it’s essential to ask yourself one question; can cats eat chicken noodle soup?
Cats cannot eat chicken noodle soups safely. In addition to not being able to digest noodles or vegetables very well, most chicken noodle soups also have ingredients and spices that are toxic to cats and can cause a wide range of health issues.
It’s okay to want still to share chicken-y goodness with your cat, though. We’ll talk about the ingredients in chicken noodle soup that are a problem, alternatives that might work for your cat, and how to make healthier versions your cat can safely enjoy.
Let’s dive in!
What’s In Chicken Noodle Soup
Everyone’s recipe for chicken noodle soup is a little different, but it’s essential to have a common ingredient list to start with for this topic. Here’s a good starting list for some of the most common ingredients in a basic chicken noodle soup:
- Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- Other Seasoning to Taste
As a note, this isn’t meant to be a complete ingredient list, and if you make your chicken noodle soup differently, that’s perfectly fine! Keep reading, and we’ll still probably address why your chicken noodle soup likely isn’t safe for your cat.
Can I Give My Cat Chicken Noodle Soup
Your cat will likely be interested in your chicken noodle soup, but it’s not a good idea to give them any, even just a chunk of chicken or a spoonful of broth.
That’s primarily because of ingredients like garlic, onions, and spices. Garlic and onions, in particular, are toxic to cats, and a lot of other spices are toxic as well.
As a pet owner, it’s important to remember that many of the unique flavors people enjoy thanks to being omnivores were evolved by plants to prevent animals from eating them. Things like onions and garlic are on that list, like any plants that produce capsaicin like hot peppers and cayenne.
Humans are in the minority to safely digest those foods, and cats cannot digest them, and many of those foods are outright toxic.
A full serving of chicken noodle soup, even unseasoned and without the onions or garlic, also isn’t a good idea. That’s because unless you precisely measure the ingredients of your chicken noodle soup for cats, it’s not going to have the right balance of calories and nutrients.
Is Chicken Noodle Soup Safe For Cats
Most chicken noodle soup isn’t safe for cats because of the garlic, onions, and other seasonings commonly used in chicken noodle soup. Even unseasoned soup can be dangerous if you use a store-bought broth or a salted broth because too much salt is hard on your cat’s kidneys.
In general, chicken noodle soup also has many ingredients, like too many vegetables and noodles, that your cat can’t digest and doesn’t need. While that alone doesn’t make it unsafe, it does mean it’s not healthy for your cat to have.
Is Chicken Noodle Soup Bad For Kittens
Yes. Chicken noodle soup is bad for kittens since most kittens have an even harder time digesting the toxins from garlic and onions and a lower tolerance for salt content in their food. Kittens also need really specific caloric content and protein and nutrients to help them grow and develop healthily.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Broth
Chicken broth is a little different from chicken noodle soup. Plain chicken broth without other ingredients is an acceptable food for your cats. It’s not necessarily a good everyday food, but it’s a good treat or something you can use to help your cat stay hydrated when they aren’t feeling well.
Always make sure any chicken broth you are feeding your cat is salt-free, onion and garlic-free, and has minimal other ingredients included. As a hint, chicken stock is usually chicken, vegetables, and seasonings boiled together to make the stock. Chicken broth is more likely to have minimal ingredients and be just chicken and water.
If chicken broth is a regular addition to your cat’s diet, it’s a good idea to make it yourself so that you have more control over the ingredients, so it’s safer.
Is Chicken Broth Good For A Sick Cat
Yes and no. Chicken broth may be a more appealing food to your sick cat, which can help them get more calories and nutrition. That’s important if your cat is losing too much weight because of their illness or if they’re struggling to stay hydrated through the day.
A little bit of chicken broth can also be used to make some foods softer and easier to eat or as a vehicle for medicines and supplements meant to help your cat get better.
However, chicken broth that contains salt, seasonings, or other ingredients may ultimately do more harm than good. It’s imperative to make sure any chicken broth you’re feeding a sick cat is as simple as possible. That way, it’s a nutrient-rich source of hydration and calories, not a potentially toxic addition to your cat’s diet.
Things To Consider
If you decide to include chicken broth in your cat’s diet, it’s still important to make sure they’re getting other good high-quality sources of nutrition.
Cats need lots of high-quality protein, some grains for fiber and limited carb content, and enzymes and other supplements to stay healthy. An excellent diet for your cat will have multiple food sources and types.
Chicken broth also isn’t a substitute for water. Thinned-out chicken broth can help your cat stay hydrated in an emergency, but figuring out ways to help encourage your cat to drink plain water is usually a better source of hydration.
And while chicken broth can be an excellent way to get your cat through a quick stomach bug, it’s always important to take your cat to the vet for a checkup if they’re acting sick.