Can Cats Eat Turkey? Is Turkey Safe for Cats?

Last Updated on: September 21, 2020

Can cats eat turkey? This is a question that often comes up as we approach thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving dinner is the largest meal of the year, and loads of delicious foods make up the feast. The main event is obviously the delicious succulent turkey. But can we feed any of this to our pets?

There may be leftover pieces, or you might want to put out a special bowl of thanksgiving turkey cat food. Well, I am happy to say that turkey is safe for cats to eat.

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Benefits of Turkey for Cats

Out of all the ingredients laid out for the thanksgiving feast, turkey is what your cat will enjoy eating the most.

As you may already know, cats are carnivores, so the turkey on the table is the most natural food for your feline to eat. Cats need protein from meats such as turkey.

Meat also provides essential nutrients for cats, and chemicals such as taurine, (that cats are unable to produce within their own bodies) come from meat-based diets.

As you would expect there are a number of quality cat food products available that contain turkey as their main ingredient. One we recommend is Nutro Max Cat Turkey & Giblets.

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Precautions of Feeding Turkey to Cats

Back to your thanksgiving meal. While it is fine for your cat to eat any leftover turkey, you should be careful to remove the bones first. Cooked bones can splinter and cause havoc with your cat’s insides. You probably don’t need me to elaborate.

Furthermore, a bone that is on the large side may get stuck in the throat causing breathing difficulties.

While a cat will instinctively crunch through bones when they eat them, you do not want to take the chance. A cat can obviously digest the bones of mice or a small bird; a turkey bone is very different, however.

If for some reason you would like to feed your cat raw turkey, you should be very careful that no contaminants are in the meat. Cats can react to raw meat the same way as we do if harmful bacteria have set in. Always proceed with caution if experimenting with a raw cat food diet.

Another simple precaution when feeding your cat turkey is to do so in moderation. Do not go overboard, (some nice cuts of the thanksgiving turkey is great – they don’t need it every day though). Also, you should avoid giving them the fatty bits, your cat will put on weight that way.

Furthermore, beyond the scope of the large turkey cooked for thanksgiving, you should avoid the sliced cold cut turkey you can pick up in packets at the supermarket. These are high in sodium and preservatives and have a fraction of the goodness you are getting from the thanksgiving meal. There’s no place for processed meats in your cat’s diet.

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Thanksgiving turkey yes, but you should probably cook it first and make sure to avoid the bones. Stay away from the fatty bits and do not feed your cat too much.

As for the processed cheap cold cuts, they are not particularly healthy for you, and the same goes for your cat. Best left alone.