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Can Cats Eat Canned Chicken? Or Can They Cause Problems?

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Can cats eat canned chicken? After all, chicken is chicken; it has the same nutrition! But, what if it doesn’t?

Just like many pet parents, if you also wonder, “can cats have canned chicken” well, the short answer is yes. It is the source of protein that promotes their healthy heart. It is great for her vision, gives nutrients like calcium which is great for strong bones, folic acid helps to get shiny fur, and potassium.

But, cat canned chicken is only harmless till it is feed in the right amount because it contains high salt that can cause kidney problems.

can cats eat canned chicken

Can Cats Have Canned Chicken?

The short answer is yes, cats can safely eat Canned Chicken but don’t overuse it. In fact, you do not have to cook the canned chicken before feeding it to your felines. It is a good source of protein, promotes a healthy heart and good eyesight. However, high content of sodium can harm her health.

The highlight point is you have to feed her a considerable amount only because not all things included while making canned chicken is completely healthy for her. Like it has a higher content of sodium which can lead to health problems for your cat.

can cats have canned chicken

Although chicken is fortified with protein and is one of the popular bird food, when it comes to cats, you must know their body needs meat and flesh as they cannot just cope with just vegetables because they are carnivorous animals.

Human Grade Canned Chicken V/S Wet Cat Food with Chicken

Human Grade Canned Chicken V/S Wet Cat Food with Chicken

Dr. Donna Solomon[1], Veterinarian and Owner of Animal Medical Center of Chicago recommend a canned diet for the average adult healthy cat with the following composition — greater than 50 percent of the calories ingested should be from protein, less than 10 percent daily calories from carbohydrates, and at least 30 percent of their daily calories from fat.

Average Daily Energy Needs (CALORIES PER DAY)

5 lb10 lb15 lb20 lb
Kittens (after weaning)200
Lean Domestic Cat170280360440
Overweight Domestic Cats180240280310
Exotic (wild) Cats100 – 480170 – 810230 – 1,100200 – 1,360
Pregnant/Nursing Cat
(4 kittens /4 kittens at peak lactation)

*1 Calorie =1 kilocalorie =1,000 calories.

Well, you can feed her Purina Fancy Canned Chicken Wet Food in moderate amounts; its smell will lure your cat and is nutritious. Fleshes are chopped into small sizes that help for easy digestion and keeps her stay active; also, it is a good quality food brand.

If you are planning to include canned chicken in your cat’s diet for the safe side, you must introduce her slowly. This is because anything new in her diet can lead to diarrhea and nausea too!

So, the short answer to can cats eat canned chicken is yes, but without fail, you must additionally check the substance used inside. Because not every canned chicken is completely healthy. A few may include inappropriate substances.

Can Kittens Eat Canned Chicken?

Yes, kittens can eat canned chicken; it is healthy for their body. It includes potassium, magnesium sulfate, zinc, calcium phosphate, folic acid, which is great for a kitten’s well-being.

If you buy chicken canned food, it will appeal to the pallet of your kittens and cats. Plus, lack of moisture in her body won’t be an issue, and it eases her chewing process too!

However, you must not feed your kitten canned chicken daily because it also includes sodium! And regular intake of sodium can lead to health problems in kittens.

How Often You Can Feed Cats Canned Chicken?

If you wish to give your cat canned chicken, then it is important that you give her in small quantities and not daily.

is canned chicken good for cats

Even though canned chicken includes balanced nutrients, but it also involves a high quantity of salt, which is not good for her health, and if you daily feed her this, it may develop a serious health condition.

So, the rule of thumb is a small quantity of canned chicken can give your cat a larger life!

Well, you can consider giving her canned chicken as a treat or supplement. But, for well being of a cat, it is a good idea that you also involve other food too like homemade meat, beef, bones, etc.

What Happens if You Feed Your Cat Canned Chicken?

In case your cat is affected by some sought of kidney issue is such situation if she eats canned chicken, it can make her sick. As we have said earlier that the level of sodium in canned chicken is high, and a high intake of sodium will increase massive protein quantity in their urine, thus that can create kidney problems.

Feeding canned chicken to your cat for a prolonged time can make her overweight. As it is delicious, and she may overeat that most of the time. However, this might not happen with all the cats, but if your cat is fond of food, then be prepared.

When Is Canned Chicken Bad for Cats?

To know when canned chicken may get bad for cats, you have to check the manufacturing date mentioned in the back of the canned food.

Almost every canned chicken can last up to a year, but it can vary from one brand to another. Some use high additives and sodium, which helps to keep food fresh for a long period.

Other than that, when you open the seal of canned chicken, you can store it for a week and not more than that to give your cat.

We know once you unseal the pack, you cannot serve a whole chicken to your cat at one go as it is not healthy. Therefore, you can store it in the fridge for not more than a week because after that, bacteria can develop and can cause unnecessary health problems.

Ingredients to Keep In Mind

So far, you are aware of the question can cats eat canned chicken or not but do you know what ingredients you have to keep in mind while purchasing canned chicken for cats?

cat eating canned chicken

Foremost important, you must always check the label of the cat food, not just canned food. It is for all the things which you make your cat feed. This will help you to calculate their daily nutrients needs too.

List of ingredients to avoid in the cat canned chicken:
1. High quantity of sodium (because unfortunately, all canned will include sodium)
2. Filler Food ( wheat, corn) by-products
3. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
4. Rendered fat
5. Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
6. Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
7. Ethoxyquin
List of ingredients to include in the cat canned chicken:
1. Protein
2. Carbohydrates
3. Fats
4. Vitamins and Minerals
5. Amino Acid


Can I give my cat canned chicken breast?

Yes, you can feed your cat canned chicken breast. It is a great protein source, and felines require a good amount of protein to keep them healthy.

Chicken breast is lean meat that means it has low calories and fat count. That is why it tends to be gentle on their stomach.

Is canned meat good for cats?

Wet canned meat is a good option as it also includes moisture which helps in the easy chewing process and won’t keep them thirsty. However, to keep your feline hydrated, the best thing to do is give them wet food and water.

It also maintains her urinary tract but, you cannot ignore the fact that it should qualify your cat’s science daily diet chart and what ingredients are used inside.

Should I boil canned chicken before serving it to my cat?

There is no need to boil canned chicken as it is already cooked, but you can rise it with water if you want. Because it contains high sodium, despite it will not wipe off the entire sodium, but washing it in water may remove some portion of salt.

Is canned chicken better than cat food?

Although canned chicken is tasty, and your cat may love to have it in her meal, but it is not better than cat food. Because it contains high sodium for better shelf life, and this can create health problems for your cat.

It is highly recommended to go for raw meat options, include bone and other body organs in her diet, as it contains real and more nutrients.

The Endnote!

Well, cats can eat canned chicken if you give her in a moderate amount. But you should also check the ingredients used in it as it can be a good source of food but not balanced food.

Although it is fortified with protein, it includes calcium and important nutrients, but you must avoid giving her daily as it can cause obesity and increase kidney problems due to a high sodium concentration.

So, what is the conclusion? Can cats eat canned chicken or not? Well, for that, you just read above to know the reasons in more detail.

Approved by Veterinary – Anthony Brooks, DVM!


  1. Taste preferences and diet palatability in cats. (n.d.). Taylor & Francis.
  2. (2013, December 1). Current knowledge about the risks and benefits of raw meat–based diets for dogs and cats. AVMA.
  3. Canned Food Transition for Cats Addicted to Dry Food. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2022, from
  4. (2022, July 22). What To Know About Feeding Your Cat Prescription Food. VMBS News.