Cats may be carnivores, but can Maine Coons eat cooked chicken?
Many human foods are safe for your cat to eat, but that doesn’t necessarily make it healthy. So is chicken alright for Maine Coons to eat, and if so, how often can you feed it to your cat?
Cooked chicken is perfectly safe to feed your Maine Coon, but it should not contain spices like garlic or salt. It should be boiled, and not contain any bones. However, cooked chicken should never be given as a substitute for meals, and should only be fed as a treat.
Chicken is perfectly safe to feed your cat, but that doesn’t mean you should give it to them very often! It’s important to learn how to balance your cat’s nutrition, especially if you have a Maine Coon.
Read on to find out the safest way you can feed your cat-cooked chicken, as well as how to provide your Maine Coon with a nutritionally balanced diet.
Can Maine Coons Eat Cooked Chicken?
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world.
These cats originated naturally in the cold state of Maine, where they became popular for their ability to hunt rats and other vermin.
Learn more about these large cats’ origins, in my article Where Do Maine Coon Cats Originate?‘.
In the wild, Maine Coons could survive off of prey like:
- Other Small Animals
Today, however, owners feed Maine Coons carefully formulated cat food that contains all of the protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
Maine Coons are such large and active cats, so they require a great amount of protein to remain healthy.
These cats should have a minimal amount of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of fat.
Since they are carnivores, can cats eat chicken? Yes!
Cooked chicken is a great treat to give your cat every so often, and there are a lot of reasons why it’s actually good for your cat.
Here are just a few of those reasons:
It Is High In Protein
Protein is the most important nutrient for cats, particularly Maine Coons.
Every living thing requires protein for muscular development, energy, and carrying oxygen in the blood.
Protein is especially important in cats because it helps their fur grow, as well as assists their nervous systems.
It Is High In Vitamin B6
Chicken contains a lot of vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine.
This vitamin helps cats’ metabolism, nervous systems, and red blood cells.
It Contains Lots Of Other Nutrients
Chicken is also high in zinc, copper, iron, and vitamin B12, all of which are good for cats.
However, even though chicken is good for cats, it must be properly prepared to ensure your cat’s safety and health.
Too much chicken can result in malnutrition, or even provide too much of one or several nutrients to your cat.
How Much Cooked Chicken Can I Feed My Cat?
Chicken should never count as part of your cat’s regular meals, such as dry food or wet food. Instead, you should count chicken as a portion of your cat’s treats.
Treats should only count for about 20% of your cat’s overall diet.
Overall, cats require between 25 and 35 calories per pound of body weight.
An adult Maine Coon that weighs about 15 pounds, for example, can be expected to eat around 450 calories a day.
This means that they should have no more than about 90 calories worth of chicken per day.
|Cat Weight||Chicken Calories |
Of course, the amount of chicken you can give your cat will vary greatly depending on the individual.
An overweight cat, for example, should eat smaller portions of treats per day, while an underweight cat might need to eat more than average.
Age can also affect how much your cat should eat; kittens need lots of calories to grow, while senior cats usually eat smaller amounts of food every day.
Finally, you might want to feed your cat more or less chicken based on its individual nutritional needs.
For example, treats for a diabetic cat should only make up about 10% of their overall diet.
Can I Feed My Cat Chicken Every Day?
Cats love chicken, but that doesn’t mean you should give it to your cat every day!
Chicken should only be fed sparingly as a treat or supplement, and never as a full meal. Instead, the chicken should only make up a maximum of 20% of your cat’s daily diet.
Technically, you can feed your cat chicken every day, so long as it doesn’t exceed 20% of your cat’s overall diet.
However, it’s best practice to provide your cat with a variety of foods. This provides enrichment and stimulation for your cat and also ensures more balanced nutrition.
Here is a great Maine Coon diet!
Overall, it’s best to only give your cat chicken two or three times a week, instead of every day. That way, your cat can eat different nutrients and have a more balanced diet.
This will also prevent your cat from getting bored of eating the same thing every day.
How To Cook Chicken For Cats
The best way to prepare chicken for your cat is to boil it.
The reason for this is that you do not have to use any extra fats like:
Instead, you can cook it in water or in chicken broth (so long as it does not contain any sodium, garlic, or other additives).
1. Avoid Spices
One of the most important parts of preparing chicken for cats is to ensure that you don’t include any extra spices such as garlic or salt.
Instead, you should give your cat completely plain chicken.
2. Avoid Bones
Secondly, never give your cat chicken with any bones in it!
Chicken bones become brittle when cooked, and can splinter while your cat chews them.
Splintered bones can tear in your cat’s digestive system, leading to severe injury and even death.
3. Lean Meat
It’s best to provide your cat with chicken breast, as it’s the leanest part of the chicken.
If you plan on doing this, then make sure that you remove any skin and trim any fat before cooking it, to ensure your cat is getting high amounts of protein and low amounts of fat and carbohydrates.
4. Cooking The Chicken!
Place the chicken in a pot of water or broth, then cover it and boil it on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, depending on the size and quantity.
Make sure the chicken reaches at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit before feeding it to your cat.
When you cut the chicken open, it should be white all the way through, with no pink. This will ensure there are no remaining bacteria that could make your cat ill.
You can feed your cat chicken fresh, or you can freeze it for a fun, cold treat.
Keep in mind, however, that cooked chicken will only last about three or four days in the fridge.
You should never give your cat old or spoiled chicken, so be sure to check that the chicken is still good before giving it to your cat (source 1).
It is also important to pay particular attention to this list of Important Foods Not To Feed Your Maine Coon Cat to ensure that you do not mistakenly poison your Maine Coon.
What Age Can Kittens Eat Cooked Chicken?
Once your Maine Coon kitten is about 8 weeks old, it will be fully weaned.
This means that it’s safe to start feeding your kitten-cooked chicken at around two months of age.
Since kittens have especially sensitive stomachs, it’s best to only give very small portions of chicken at first.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones?
Even though cats often eat bones in the wild, you shouldn’t feed them to your pet.
There are two reasons why cats shouldn’t eat chicken bones:
The first reason why Maine Coons shouldn’t eat chicken bones is that raw chicken bones can contain pathogens.
Cats in the wild may eat raw meat, but since we humans package and store meat for longer periods of time, there is a higher chance that raw meat contains bacteria.
Bacteria can make your cat ill or even lead to death.
2. Brittle Bones
Secondly, cooked chicken bones are incredibly dangerous to cats.
As we cook chicken, the bones become brittle and are more likely to splinter.
If your cat swallows any part of a chicken bone, it could break and tear at your cat’s intestines, leading to serious injury or even death!
What To Do When A Cat Eats Chicken Bones
Eating chicken bones can be deadly for cats, as they can splinter in your cat’s digestive system and cause tears.
If your cat eats chicken bones, the following immediate action should be taken:
- The best thing you can do is call your vet and get your cat’s professional care right away.
If you suspect your cat has eaten chicken bones, never wait for symptoms of injury to appear before contacting your vet.
By the time you notice something’s wrong with your cat, it could be too late.
Instead, get your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible (source 1).
Boiled Chicken For Cats With Diarrhea
Some cats have naturally sensitive stomachs, and switching to a new diet can result in nausea and diarrhea.
Stress, intolerance to certain foods, and some medications can also lead to diarrhea in cats.
If your cat is experiencing diarrhea, then boiled chicken can be the perfect home remedy!
Boiled chicken for a cat’s upset stomach is an old remedy, but it should only be used if your cat is experiencing mild symptoms of diarrhea that don’t suggest something else is wrong.
For example, if your cat is also lethargic, has a fever, or if their stools contain blood, then it’s time to take them to the vet right away!
If your cat has only been experiencing diarrhea for less than 48 hours and doesn’t seem to have any other worrying symptoms, then you can instead feed your cat boiled chicken with rice.
Chicken and rice are bland foods that won’t further aggravate your cat’s upset stomach. They also help to absorb moisture, which will firm up your cat’s stools.
They’re also soft and easy to digest.
Boiled Chicken Recipe (For Cats!)
Mix equal amounts of shredded, boiled chicken with boiled white rice.
Feed your cat one cup of the mixture per 20 pounds of body weight in lieu of its regular food.
You should only feed this mixture for a maximum of two days, and if diarrhea persists, then you should take your cat to the vet (source 1).
Do Maine Coons Eat A Lot?
Relative to other cats, most Maine Coons eat a lot of food.
This is mostly because Maine Coons are bigger on average than most cats.
The average cat weighs between 7 and 10 pounds, while most Maine Coons can be expected to weigh between 12 and 25 pounds!
Read more about Maine Coon Vs Normal Cat Size in this article I wrote.
Cats require about 25 to 35 calories per pound of body weight every day.
This means that the caloric intake of a Maine Coon can range between 300 to 875 calories per day, which is a huge range!
If you’re concerned about feeding your cat too much or too little, you should consult with your vet to ensure your cat is getting the right amount of food.
This is particularly important since the Maine Coon cat breed is prone to obesity if fed too much.
Maine Coons are also typically more active than the average cat, so they usually require around 30 to 35 calories per pound of body weight per day, rather than 25.
If you give your Maine Coon lots of exercise, such as walks on a leash and harness, and lots of daily playtimes, your Maine Coon will likely need a few more calories than the average cat.
Not sure how to entertain a Maine Coon? … If this problem sounds familiar, our own 20lb male Maine Coon would personally recommend these cool Maine Coon cat toys.
Another reason Maine Coons eat so much is that they spend a lot of time growing.
Whilst most cats reach their full size in around one year, the Maine Coons take about three to five years to reach their full size!
During this growth period, it’s especially important for your Maine Coon to get lots of calories so its growth isn’t stunted.
Do Maine Coons Need Special Food?
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, and their wild origins make many owners wonder if they require a special diet.
Since Maine Coons are slow-growing, taking about three to five years to reach their full size, as well as being highly active, they require more calories than the average cat.
Overall, Maine Coons don’t necessarily require a special diet when compared to other cats, but it is more important that you provide them with the right amount of nutrients.
Here are the dietary requirements of a Maine Coon Cat:
High Amounts Of Protein
All cats, but especially Maine Coons, require high amounts of protein.
Protein provides energy, aids in muscular development, and does so much more to maintain your cat’s health.
When finding food for your Maine Coon Cat, choose something where the first ingredient is a named source of meat, such as:
Overall, there are eleven different kinds of amino acids that are required for your cat to have enough protein:
Moderate Amounts Of Fat
Cats require the fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.
Fat provides energy and allows your cat to:
- Absorb certain kinds of vitamins
- Regulates skin and fur health
- Provides structure to cell walls
- Serves many more important functions in your cat’s body
Low Amounts Of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are still important to a cat’s diet but should be fed in small amounts to avoid weight gain and malnutrition.
Choose food that contains low amounts of:
- Other filler carbohydrates
Keep in mind that many cheap cat food companies use carbohydrates as their main ingredient because it is cheaper to produce and makes good filler content.
However, large amounts of carbohydrates simply serve as empty calories and can lead to weight gain and malnutrition.
Search for a cat food that contains grains and carbohydrates as one of the later ingredients, instead of one of the first ingredients.
Our bodies are capable of producing many vitamins needed to aid in various bodily functions.
However, there are some vitamins we’re incapable of producing ourselves, so we must get them through our food.
This is also the case for cats.
The vitamins that cats require from their food include vitamins:
As well as:
- Folic acid
- Pantothenic acid
Cats also require the following minerals in their diet:
Dry Food Versus Wet Food
It is important to keep in mind the differences between dry food and wet food.
Dry food is typically lower in calories and is better for your cat’s teeth.
Meanwhile, wet food is more flavorful and has a higher caloric and moisture content.
While it is possible to feed your cat a diet of only dry food, it is usually a good idea to feed it some wet food, as well.
Most owners provide their cats with dry food every day and also give them wet food two or three times a week.
If you are overwhelmed by all of the vitamins and minerals your cat needs in its diet, do not worry!
The Association of American Feed Control Officials, also known as the AAFCO, also has a specialty in pet foods.
They have done lots of research on the types and quantities of vitamins and minerals necessary for a cat’s diet.
AAFCO then provides its seal of approval to cat foods that contain the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
Can Maine Coons Eat Normal Cat Food?
Maine Coons can eat food meant for normal cats, but it’s important to purchase high-quality cat foods.
Many cheap brands of cat food use lots of filler content such as corn and other grains.
These ingredients are cheaper but provide about the same amount of calories. However, they are much higher in carbohydrates and therefore don’t provide enough protein.
You should feed your Maine Coon high-quality cat food made with high amounts of protein, a moderate amount of fat, and low amounts of carbohydrates.
While this does mean your cat’s food will be more expensive, it will help to ensure a long life for your furry friend.
Can Cats Each Chicken Breast?
We’ve already covered that cats can eat chicken, but you might be wondering, is it ok to feed my cat chicken breast?
Cooked chicken breast (preferably boiled) is great to feed your cat! It’s the leanest part of the chicken, so it provides your cat with plenty of protein without too much fat.
Can Cats Eat Bad Chicken?
Cats may be able to eat cooked chicken, but can cats eat old chicken?
You should never give your cat bad or old food.
When it comes to human food, a good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t eat it yourself, then you shouldn’t give it to your car!
Cooked chicken will only last about three or four days in the fridge, and about four months in the freezer.
Make sure to check that the chicken is still good before feeding it to your cat to avoid any illness.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Skin?
Cats can eat chicken skin, but it’s not usually recommended.
Below are the key reasons why you should not feed your Maine Coon cat chicken skin (source 1):
- The high amount of oils in chicken skin can make it difficult to digest.
- Chicken skin is fatty and does not add much nutrition to your cat’s diet.
Can Cats Eat Seasoned Chicken?
When it comes to feeding your cat chicken, less is more.
Extra spices and seasoning can actually be dangerous for your cat!
Some of the spices cats can’t eat include:
Overall, you should avoid giving your cat any spices because they will not add anything to your cat’s diet, and could be bad for your cat.
These other foods are also harmful to a Maine Coon.
Can Cats Eat Canned Chicken Breast?
Canned chicken breast is a convenient way to feed your cat chicken that has already been cooked.
However, in many cases, canned meat contains extra sodium.
Make sure to buy canned chicken breast in water that does not contain any extra sodium or spices (source 1).
Can Cats Eat Fried Chicken?
Cats should never eat fried chicken because it contains lots of fat and sodium.
Stick to plain chicken without any seasoning or frying!
Can Cats Eat Chicken Broth?
It’s okay to feed your cat small amounts of chicken broth, so long as it doesn’t contain any onions, garlic, or sodium.
Some people even freeze chicken broth in ice cube trays for a fun treat that’ll keep your cat cool on hot summer days (source 1).
Can Cats Eat Chicken Nuggets?
Cats may be able to eat chicken, but they shouldn’t be eating chicken nuggets!
Chicken nuggets, along with any fried food, are simply too fatty and contain far too much sodium.
Can I Feed My Maine Coon Raw Chicken?
You may be surprised to learn that it’s not a good idea to feed your cat raw chicken.
Cats may eat raw meat in the wild, but it’s actually not good to give them raw meat from the deli.
This is because we humans tend to package and preserve food for much longer than a cat would in the wild, which provides more opportunities for bacteria to grow.
It’s important to boil chicken to kill any bacteria before giving it to your cat. Otherwise, it can end up getting sick and even dying due to foodborne illness.
If you are determined to start feeding your Maine Coon a raw food diet though, you are not alone!
Feeding a Maine Coon a raw food diet doesn’t have to be dangerous if you follow the correct rules and health guidance.
To ensure you don’t endanger your Maine Coon, make sure you read my article on the ‘Best Maine Coon Raw Food Diet‘.
This is an essential read to ensure that you keep your precious big cat safe and healthy.
Cats may be carnivores, but can Maine Coons eat cooked chicken?
If it’s properly prepared, then it is perfectly safe to give your cat-cooked chicken.
Just make sure it does not contain any bones, salt, or spices, and that it has been cooked to the right temperature to prevent any foodborne illness.
Even though chicken is good for cats, containing lots of protein as well as several vitamins and minerals, it should never be given as a substitute for actual meals.
Instead, the chicken should be counted as a treat and should make up no more than 20% of your cat’s daily diet.
Will A Maine Coon Kill Chickens?
Maine Coons are excellent hunters with a high prey drive, and if they have access to a chicken coop, then they can likely be expected to kill chickens.
Can Cats Eat Sweetcorn?
Cats can eat sweetcorn, provided it has been cooked so it is soft enough for your cat to eat. However, because corn is high in carbohydrates, it should only be given to your cat every so often (source 1).
Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are safe for cats to eat. In fact, in small quantities, the water and antioxidants found in this fruit are actually good for cats (source 1).
Do Raccoons Eat Cooked Chicken?
Raccoons are omnivorous, so they eat both plants and meat. These scavengers can and do eat cooked chicken if they can get their hands on it.