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Can Cats Eat Chicken Nuggets? What You Need To Know

Picture this: you’re eating some dinner one night, and your furry friends gather around you. Those sweet eyes are hard to resist, but you wonder if it’s safe to feed them human food. What to do?

Well, it depends on what’s in your meal. If it’s all healthy food with few spices that can harm pets, it’s okay to serve them a few pieces.

But what happens when you have some chicken nuggets? Is it okay for cats simply because it has chicken? The best answer is maybe. While cats love plain cooked chicken, chicken nuggets have other ingredients that can affect their health and well-being in the long run.

So keep this in mind as you consider sharing your last pieces with feline friends. In this article, you can learn if it’s okay to feed cats chicken nuggets or not.

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Is It Okay to Feed Cats Chicken Nuggets?

It’s hard to tell the fundamental ingredients in that bag of chicken nuggets. So, while you might not experience any side-effects after a 6-piece McNuggets, the same doesn’t apply to cats. Therefore, caution is vital when giving them even the tiniest piece.

Feline digestive systems differ from humans in numerous ways, so what you enjoy isn’t always going to be ideal for pets. Chicken nuggets are delicious but remember they contain lots of seasoning that’s not suitable for cats. Some even wind up vomiting and feeling lethargic after consumption.

Yes, chicken nuggets contain chicken, which cats love, but that’s not all that comes with each bag. Other ingredients that create this dish aren’t meant for felines. Also, there are lots of calories in each bag. Given how small cats are, these calories become too much for their bodies to handle.

Honestly, even a whole piece of the chicken nugget can prove too much for them to handle. Therefore, if you must share, cut a small piece and only feed that. Store the rest away out of reach. A small piece won’t harm the cats, but it won’t cost much to keep an eye on if it triggers any food allergies.

Remember to peel off the top layer of the chicken nugget and give the flesh only. The bread part has lots of unhealthy oils since chicken nuggets are deep-fried fast foods. Also, ensure you feed the cat a healthy feline diet and not the chicken nuggets only.

close up chicken nuggets
Image Credit: Pixabay

Are Chicken Nuggets Safe for Cats?

While it’s okay to feed cats a little chicken nugget, safety remains a big concern for many fur parents. Truthfully, if you can avoid feeding cats chicken nuggets, that’s the best decision. Remember, these are human foods loaded with many ingredients not recommended for cats.

Even if the cats don’t have an adverse reaction to the chicken nuggets, the long-term effects aren’t out of the question. Cats are prone to cardiovascular diseases that can lead to untimely death. Consuming too much processed and deep-fried food is a significant contributor to such conditions.

Frankly, too many chicken nuggets aren’t good for you, so imagine how they affect your cats. It’s better to keep them on a healthy feline-friendly diet than add foods that lead to long-term side effects.

Yes, you can peel off the bread and feed cats the chicken inside. But, it still has large amounts of spices and oils plus additives and preservatives.. These are harmful to your cats. Even you shouldn’t take in so many artificial preservatives and additives.

Preservatives have adverse effects that damage the cat’s kidneys. It can quickly turn from bad to worse, with cats developing renal failure later on. With that in mind, eating lots of chicken nuggets isn’t safe for cats.

Finally, consider the amount of salt in these fast foods. The fact is too much salt harms cats and can contribute to long-term kidney issues. It’s why cat food only contains a small amount of sodium chloride. Now consider that 100gms of chicken nuggets contain 557gms of salt. That means even a tiny piece fed to fur babies has too much salt.

What are Chicken Nuggets Made From?

Chicken nuggets do contain chicken meat as the main ingredient. However, that’s not all. Chicken nuggets contain many other ingredients, which you should note before feeding them to cats.

First, there’s the ground chicken breast that’s shaped into nuggets. After that, the nuggets get batter coatings to create the famous bread casing on chicken nuggets. The batter consists of wheat flour, salt, pepper, spices, and eggs.

Following the batter are breadcrumbs before the nuggets are dipped into the hot oil. The oil cooks the chicken nuggets until they turn golden brown. Cats aren’t big fan of this oil since it’s not meant for the feline digestive system.

Also, note that manufacturers add preservatives and additives to prolong the shelf-life of chicken nuggets. While the plain chicken was good for cats when cooked alone, the final chicken nuggets have too many harmful ingredients.

A combination of the ingredients can trigger severe food allergies. It’s why you must monitor the cat after feeding a small piece. If you notice any side-effects, don’t feed it again. However, if the situation goes from bad to worse, visit an animal hospital immediately.

trays of chicken nuggets
Image Credit: Pixabay

Can Cats Eat Chicken?

It’s safe to say that chicken nuggets are better as a snack once in a while than a meal for feline friends. But does that mean you shouldn’t feed them chicken at all?

Yes, cats can eat chicken. They love it! Chicken has so much nutritional value for your fur babies and is an excellent source of protein. However, how it’s prepared plays a crucial role in its nutritional benefits.

For instance, chicken nuggets are dipped in spices and coated with bread crumbs. After that, they end up in hot oil. While the initial chicken was good for cats, the end product causes more harm than good, as seen earlier. It contains too many other ingredients, preservatives, and additives not meant for feline consumption.

On the other hand, raw chicken isn’t as safe for cats either. It can easily trigger food allergies or cause cat poisoning. Frankly, raw chicken can cause bacterial infections in cats. It would be best if you never fed cats any raw meat because it contains salmonella.

Therefore, cook the chicken meat first before allowing your fur friends to rip it apart. In case they sneak a few raw pieces while you’re not looking, keep an eye on them. Take note of any change in behavior and vomiting. These are early signs of cat poisoning and require an immediate visit to the vet.

Still, cook the chicken separately for cats excluding any seasoning and additives that can cause adverse reactions. You can bake or roast it without needing to add oils and spices to make it palatable. Cats will enjoy it even without any ingredients added to the chicken.

cat eats a piece of chicken_Irina Kozorog_shutterstock
Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

Human Foods that Cats Can Enjoy

Start with a bit of brown rice. As a whole grain, it benefits your cats’ digestive system. Besides, it has healthy portions of fiber that aids in digestion. Add to that a bit of fish that’s rich in omega 3. Fish supplies your feline friends with these healthy fats and other crucial nutrients.

Additionally, you can share some avocado with your fur babies now and then. Cats love avocados and find them just as nutritious as you do. That’s why you might find one nibbled on when you leave it on the fruit basket.

Lastly, try some green vegetables. If you have any green indoor plants, it’s not uncommon to find your cats eating them. That’s a sign that their current diet lacks fiber, making them crave green plants. So give them small portions of leafy greens like spinach.

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Conclusion

Chicken nuggets are human food. But, cats are drawn to the smell and will get closer, hoping for a bite. You can take off the bread coating and feed them a little chicken.

However, since it has lots of cooking oil, spices, preservatives, and additives, feed the cat only a tiny piece. Otherwise, check out other healthy human food you can give as snacks while sticking to a healthy feline diet.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay