Skip to Content

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Can Cats Eat Chicken Nuggets – Is It A Good Snack?

Chicken nuggets are a delicious treat for you, so it’s probably no surprise when your cat shows a little more interest in bite-sized meaty food. You’re not the first cat owner to wonder if a little chicken nugget now and then might be okay for your cat, and you certainly won’t be the last. So, can cats eat chicken nuggets?

Cats cannot eat chicken nuggets.  Chicken nuggets contain breading, preservatives, and unsafe seasonings that can be harmful to cats in large amounts. 

Yeah, it’s a little disappointing. Don’t worry, though; there are plenty of other foods your cat can safely enjoy. But first, we’ll jump into the most important point, the safety of chicken nuggets when it concerns your cat. 

Are Chicken Nuggets Safe For Cats

No, chicken nuggets usually aren’t safe for cats. Even if your cat has eaten some and not had a bad reaction in the past, that doesn’t mean that chicken nuggets are a safe option now. For one thing, the breading on chicken nuggets is seldom good for your cats.

For another, the chicken and breading both typically have spices and preservatives used to improve the flavor and keep the chicken from going bad. Unfortunately, many of the most common spices, like garlic and onion powder, are toxic to cats and can be very harmful.

Additionally, preservatives that are safe for human consumption aren’t necessarily safe for your cats. While they might not present an immediate problem, there’s always a chance that the preservatives will stress your cat’s liver or kidneys.

Since cats already have a hard time staying hydrated enough for healthy kidney function, it’s best to avoid anything that might stress the organ further.

Lastly, chicken nuggets almost always have a high amount of salt-baked into the chicken and breading. Too much salt is bad for your cat because it stresses their kidneys and isn’t a big part of their natural diet. The small amount of salt found in some cat foods is acceptable, but the amount in chicken nuggets is too much for your feline friends. 

Can Cats Have McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets

McDonald’s chicken nuggets might be delicious for some people, and your cat might seem more interested in this kind of chicken nuggets than others, but they still aren’t safe. In fact, since McDonald’s chicken nuggets are fried in oil, they can be worse for your cats than home-baked versions. 

McDonald’s chicken nuggets also have seasoning and preservatives that are potentially problematic for your cats. 

Like any fast-food restaurant, there are also times when McDonald’s will change their recipes. That could make your cat seem more interested in the chicken nuggets (and other food!) even if they weren’t very interested before. It’s worth keeping an eye on your cat anytime they are around fast food just in case they decide this is their chance to try some people’s food. 

Can Cats Eat Breaded Chicken

This question gets a little more difficult than just talking about chicken nuggets. Technically, if you’re making breaded chicken yourself and don’t add seasonings or spices that aren’t safe for your cat, your cat can eat breaded chicken. 

Assuming you keep the breading to a cat-safe variety (no herbs or spices) and use relatively minimal breading, you probably won’t be giving your cat too many extra carbs either. 

However, that doesn’t mean that this is a good food choice for your cats or that you should be feeding them fried chicken off your plate.

It’s also important to remember that almost all store-bought breaded chicken will be seasoned and salted in a way that isn’t safe for your cats to eat. Like most people foods, fried chicken, breaded chicken patties, and chicken tenders aren’t suitable for your cat. Even if they don’t show any immediate adverse reaction, the seasoning and excess salt in those foods will stress their organs and can cause problems over time. 

So, if you make it at home, feed it in small amounts, don’t use seasoning, and use minimal cat-safe breading, then your cat can probably try a bite or two of your breaded chicken. 

Can I Feed My Cat Chicken

Yes! Chicken is a fantastic food source for your cats. It’s high in protein and has a fat content that’s acceptable for your cat. It’s relatively easy to digest and a common ingredient in most cat kibbles and wet food.

Since there is a risk of contamination and health risks, it’s recommended only to feed your cat chicken that’s been thoroughly cooked without added fats or seasonings. Of course, some people feed their cats raw chicken, either as part of an entirely raw diet or as a treat.

If you choose to feed your cat raw chicken, it’s essential to monitor them for signs of food poisoning. Raw chicken can cause a variety of severe illnesses in both people and cats. If your cat starts showing signs of food poisoning, it’s essential to get them to a vet as soon as possible to make sure they stay adequately hydrated and have as much supportive care as possible to keep them comfortable.

It’s also important to remember that raw chicken can potentially introduce toxoplasmosis to your cat. While cats usually don’t suffer any disease symptoms, it can be dangerous for you, especially if you’re pregnant or if your cat isn’t entirely litter box trained

Can Cats Eat Seasoned Chicken

While some seasonings are technically safe for cats, most of them aren’t. Even cat-safe seasoning is only safe in small amounts. So, no, we don’t recommend seasoning chicken for your cat to eat. 

What Kind Of Chicken Can Cats Eat

Cats can eat all unseasoned chicken. White meat, dark meat, and organ meat are all safe for your cat to eat.

Cooked chicken bones are not safe for your cat to eat, so make sure you take any chicken meat off the bone before serving it to your cat. It’s also essential to make sure you aren’t serving chicken with whole bits of cartilage still attached to the meat. The cartilage itself isn’t the problem, but it can be a potential choking hazard for your cat. It’s better to serve it chopped into smaller pieces or to make a broth from cartilage and bones as a treat for your cat.

Bone broth and other chicken products made without seasoning can also be a safe addition to your cat’s diet. Just make sure you’re not overfeeding your cat with additional chicken treats and broth additions. Make sure to keep chicken balanced with other parts of your cat’s diet regarding both calories and nutrient content. 

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that your cat can be allergic to chicken. Chicken allergies are common to all breeds of cats, including mixed breed cats and rescued feral cats. Since chicken is a prevalent ingredient in kibble and wet food for cats, it’s essential to make sure you always check the ingredient lists before serving a new food.

Even foods flavored with other proteins, like lamb and rice mixes, often have some chicken because it’s an affordable way to boost the protein content.

If your cat has had a bad reaction to chicken in the past, it’s a good idea to ask your vet about allergy testing to determine if your cat has a chicken allergy. Your vet may also refer you to a veterinary dermatologist depending on the exact symptoms of their allergy.

Fortunately, some treatments are available for chicken allergies in cats, so your cat may not always have to live with their allergy.

It’s also essential to think about the source of your chicken if you’re considering feeding chicken to your cats as a significant part of their diet. Some store-bought chickens have already been pre-seasoned or brined to help improve the flavor after cooking.

Even regular frozen chicken at the store can sometimes be seasoned. Always look at the ingredient list before feeding any chicken products to your cat. Don’t feed your cats chicken that has been seasoned, especially if the exact seasonings used haven’t been listed in the ingredients.