White meat is a significant part of the human diet. Poultry is the second most-consumed meat in the world by humans. So it is not a surprise that your cat wants a little piece of your chicken or turkey. Cats are natural predators and innate carnivores. Unlike dogs, you cannot make a cat live on a vegetarian diet. Wild or stray cats are known to hunt mice and small birds (remember Tom and Jerry?), and they are happy to eat scraps from our tables as well, especially meat. But you must know that cats process food in a very different way than us, and even though they love to eat anything with a meaty presence, they cannot digest everything that they eat. A lot of food that humans eat may be beneficial for your cat, but some of it can be toxic too.
White meat is beneficial for your cat but must be used in moderation, and supplemented with other ingredients such as vegetables. Due to its various dietary benefits, white meat is often one of the primary ingredients in quality cat foods available in the market, such as Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Tuscany canned cat food with white meat. It has a perfect nutritional balance of white meat, rice, and green vegetables.
But there are a few things you must know about white meats before you can think of feeding it to your cat.
Nutrition From White Meat
Cats love to eat all kinds of white meat, be it turkey, chicken, or any other. White meats are usually an excellent source of protein with very less amount of fat. White meat also has low levels of sodium. Cats need very low amounts of sodium in their diet. That is why it is not a good idea to feed your cat too much salt. Feeding white meat to your cat will keep it satisfied and also help in building strong muscles. Because cats are innately predatory, they have a genetic need to maintain strong muscles.
While meats are also a great source of various vitamins and minerals. They are rich in vitamin B12 or selenium, which is necessary for building immunity against diseases. White meats also contain vitamin B6 and phosphorus, which are both required in your cat’s diet. Vitamin B6 helps in neurological and pathological health. Phosphorus has many benefits, such as strengthening bones and preventing liver and kidney-related diseases.
Even though white meat is beneficial for cats, it needs to be prepared appropriately for your cat’s consumption. You should feed white meat to your cat in moderate amounts. It must be free of any dressings, oils or seasonings. The addition of oil or seasoning can cause discomfort to your cat’s gastric system. Even the fat should get trimmed out, as too much fat in your cat’s diet can lead to pancreatitis. Both onion and garlic are toxic to cats, so you might not want to feed it some of your chicken stew or turkey roast.
White meat should always get supplemented with other types of foods such as grains and vegetables. Since cats are picky about what they eat, you might have to experiment with a few before you land on one it likes. You can try different foods, such as:
- Whole grains
- Green peas
Raw White Meat
A lot of people wonder if it is safe to feed raw white meat to their cat. If you are one of those people, you may want to refrain from doing that. According to many pet groups and societies, raw meat can be very dangerous for the health of your cat. Raw poultry might contain harmful bacterias like salmonella and E.Coli, which can even prove fatal to your cat.
Consumption of raw meat can also cause parasitic diseases like toxoplasmosis. Cats in the wild might have developed immunity to these diseases, but your cat has not. So it is better to cook white meat thoroughly before feeding it to your feline friend. You also might want to avoid feeding it bones. Cats in the wild love to chew on bones, but they might be a choking hazard for your delicate darling cat. Bones can get lodged in their throats or damage their digestive organs.
Veterinary doctors suggest that white meat can make up to 30-35% of a cat’s everyday diet. It is necessary to balance white meat with ingredients that supplement its nutritional value. Introducing your cat to new kinds of food might be a challenge, so include poultry in the recipes, and cats will enjoy eating those. It might even purr next to you and convey its love.