Can cats eat raw turkey giblets? If you have a cat that seems to enjoy the taste of raw meat and are considering giving your cat some raw turkey giblets, it’s vital first to understand whether this kind of meal could be safe for your furry feline friend. We also discuss some nutritional benefits of giving your cat raw turkey giblets and possible downsides to consider. Let’s take a look at the facts!
Is it Safe for Cats to Eat Raw Turkey Giblets?
Are you trying to figure out whether or not your cat can eat turkey giblets? The answer to this question is more complicated than you might think, and it depends on a few different factors that can affect how your cat would react to eating raw turkey giblets. Here’s what you need to know about raw turkey giblets and your cat, from the safety of raw turkey giblets to how to feed them to your cart!
What are turkey giblets?
If you’re unfamiliar with giblets, they refer to all of a turkey’s non-meat organs (liver, heart, and gizzard). They can be found packaged in vacuum-sealed bags at most grocery stores. Be sure to ask your butcher to include them when purchasing your fresh bird (it’s easy enough to tell them precisely what you need).
Of course, if you opt for a frozen turkey, they will usually come packaged with giblets. Some people choose to cook and eat them themselves (such as those who raise their turkeys), but these are typically considered exclusive pet food items.
Why do people feed them to their cats?
People often wonder whether it’s OK to feed cats raw turkey giblets or not. While they may be OK for dogs, they can harm your cat. Cat owners are often tempted to give their cats raw turkey because they see how much their dogs love it and think that, since it’s natural, it must be suitable for their pet.
But there is a big difference between what’s safe for a dog and what’s safe for a cat. And although many people love feeding their pets tasty treats—especially during holiday time—if you want your furry friend to live a long and healthy life, you should keep them far away from these dangerous foods!
Are they suitable for your cat?
Cats may be carnivores, but they don’t need to eat only raw meat. Some foods out there will improve your kitty’s health and digestion, mainly if you feed him a raw diet. Instead of feeding him those cat treats containing little more than potato and additives, try adding giblets—the neck, heart, liver, and gizzard—to his next meal.
In most cases, you can do so without worry; these delicacies are usually safe for felines to consume as long as they’re adequately prepared. Here’s what you need to know about cooking turkey giblets for cats
Why Not Feed Them to Your Cat
Most pet food manufacturers list turkey giblets as an acceptable, if not preferable, alternative to other types of animal protein. But feeding your cat raw turkey giblets is not without risk. If you’re thinking about adding them to your cat’s meal plan, keep in mind that it might make her sick or cause her to have a bad reaction.
To find out why to read on our whole take on raw turkey giblet safety for cats and why it’s best to avoid feeding these parts of poultry (or any other pets) to cats.
When Can Cats Eat Turkey Giblets
Like most raw meats, turkey giblets should not be fed to cats daily because they contain high amounts of protein called purines. When too much purine is consumed, it can lead to a condition in cats named hyperuricemia.
The main symptom of hyperuricemia is increased uric acid levels in your cat’s blood and urine, which can cause kidney problems. This can even lead to death if left untreated. Therefore, you are only recommended to feed your cat raw turkey giblets once every two weeks or less.
How to Cook Turkey Giblets for Cats
There’s a difference between raw turkey giblets and cooked giblets. Raw turkey giblets are high in phosphorus, making your cat sick if fed in large quantities. On the other hand, cooked turkey giblets offer nutrients such as Vitamin B6, protein, and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
If you decide to give your cat some cooked turkey giblets, try mixing them with food containing plenty of water to ensure your pet gets enough hydration.
Possible Side Effects of Feeding Your Cat Raw Turkey Giblets
Although uncooked turkey giblets can be a tasty treat for your cat, there are some risks. Feeding your pet raw turkey giblets could cause him to experience stomach upset or diarrhea. However, if you buy organic giblets or clean and cook them thoroughly, they might make good treats.
If you want to try feeding your kitty raw turkey giblets, opt for organic versions from a trusted source. Make sure you boil or fry these first to ensure that any bacteria is killed off and your pet doesn’t become ill from his snack time.
What To Do If Your Cat Has A Reaction to Eating Turkey Giblets
First, don’t panic. Chances are your cat will be fine—even if she does have an adverse reaction to turkey giblets. If you’re worried about your pet, try taking her to see your vet immediately; she can run tests and advise you on how to proceed.
Luckily, most cats seem to handle eating raw turkey giblets just fine, so once you’ve determined that there isn’t an immediate problem with ingesting them (like a severe allergic reaction), feel free to feed them as you usually would!
Your cat’s digestive system
If you’re familiar with your cat’s anatomy, you know her stomach is acidic and small, so she probably shouldn’t eat giblets.
The general rule for cats and raw meats is that it isn’t right for them if it doesn’t fall off a bone in two seconds flat. (Cats are carnivores and their teeth reflect that.) However, raw meats can be beneficial if carefully considered—for example, some advocate incorporating a small amount of raw turkey into cats’ diets.
Uncooked meat isn’t recommended.
Unfortunately, I’ve got some bad news for you. While your furry friend may be begging for a bite of that gizzard, it’s not something they should eat. Raw poultry is fine in small amounts but isn’t good because of concerns over parasites and salmonella.
While freezing poultry kills any potential bacteria and parasites; there’s still a risk involved if you don’t know where your meat is coming from or how it was handled before it got to you. Plus, raw meat can also upset their stomachs. That doesn’t mean your cat can never have heart, though—it just means you’ll need to ensure it’s cooked thoroughly or freeze-dried before feeding them.
Cooked meat can be a healthy addition.
Just because giblets aren’t meant for humans doesn’t mean they can’t make an excellent meal for your cat. While it’s not a good idea to feed them raw, cooked meat—including chicken liver, beef heart, and turkey giblets—can be a healthy addition to your cat’s diet.
If you prepare these food items properly and keep an eye on your kitty’s health, feeding him some chicken gizzards or turkey neck won’t kill him. And it just might mean fewer trips to his regular vet. Please talk with your veterinarian about how much is safe for your kitty before giving it a try.