On average Americans eat around 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving alone, not to mention all the cookouts, sandwiches, roasts, salads, burgers and other turkey treats consumed throughout the rest of the year.
We also know that turkey is incredibly vitamin-rich, providing a lean source of protein helping to support muscle maintenance and growth.
We love the taste of turkey and it’s good for us, so it’s no wonder we want to share those benefits with our feline friends.
Of course, it’s always a good idea, when feeding cats anything aside from high-quality cat food, to know if a food is safe for them to eat. Below, we have the answer to the question; can cats eat turkey? We have also collected helpful information on turkey products, safe consumption of turkey and other animal products for cats so that you feel completely clued up on the topic, for the benefit of your kitters health:
Can Cats Eat Turkey?
Kitties are obligate carnivores, which means that their natural diet is mainly animal protein based, with a very small amount of fat and carbohydrates. For that reason, turkey is an excellent lean protein treat for cats to enjoy.
When Turkey Is Unsafe For Cats To Eat
If a cat is eating a little turkey as a treat it should be cooked through and free from any seasoning. It should also have cooled down to a safe temperature.
Always ask a vet for advice on feeding a cat a raw meat diet!
Can cats eat raw turkey? Yes, they can in principle, but from the supermarket, it can contain salmonella, listeria and other nasties. A raw diet for a cat is something to be considered carefully if you are looking for a good feline-friendly grain-free diet, or more natural diet for your cat. It should always be discussed with your vet. Salmonella can cause weight loss, vomiting, fever and other nasty symptoms so if you do suspect your can has eaten undercooked turkey meat and has salmonella, do contact your vet.
If attempting a raw diet do it with your vet’s guidance and do it slowly, to allow your cat to get used to it.
Turkey bacon is not a healthy food for cats!
It is also natural to wonder; can cats eat turkey bacon? Amongst other fatty types of turkey like turkey skin, turkey burgers and nuggets, cats should not be consuming turkey bacon. These types of turkey are fatty and bad for your cat. They may even cause tummy upset.
Your cat doesn’t have to miss out on thanksgiving though
Cooking a turkey up for thanksgiving? You probably want to know, can cats eat turkey giblets, or can cats eat turkey bones? Some people do feed their cats turkey bones, but most vets recommend against it because even a small bone can choke your cat or cause an issue in their digestive system. Turkey giblets, unless cooked, should not be given to a cat. If you cook them and cut them into small pieces, your cat could have a small amount as a treat. However, large amounts should be avoided as giblets can contain a lot of waste from the food animal.
All that being said, your cat is definitely allowed fully cooked, cooled turkey meat from the carcass for their very own Thanksgiving feast! You might even want to put some unseasoned steamed carrots, or cooled boiled egg in their dish too!
A visit to the deli can benefit kitty
Lastly, if you’re wondering, can cats eat deli turkey? It all comes down to the type you’re consuming. If it is highly processed then it is not good for your cat. If it is fresh and free from flavours and seasonings then your cat can safely eat the deli turkey.
In terms of other supermarket foods, you may wonder; can cats eat ground turkey? Unfortunately, ground turkey that has been cooked is not healthy for cats. It is a mixture of turkey skin, fat, and meat potentially mixed with additives, making it very unhealthy for cats to eat.
Turkey Meat Isn’t Enough
Although your cat can eat fresh, cooked, seasoning-free turkey meat, it isn’t enough to make up their whole diet. It is always best, unless you work closely with your vet or have animal qualifications, to feed your cat tried and tested balanced cat food as their main diet. This ensures they get all the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive day to day.
For a healthy treat, though, plain turkey meat is a really great option compared to more calorific cat treats. You can also get it freeze-dried so it lasts longer in the cupboard.
The Bottom Line: Plain Turkey Is A Great Treat Every Now And Then
Now, when you wonder, can cats eat turkey? You will know that they can eat unseasoned, cooked, cooled turkey as a healthy treat every now and again. As a general rule, cats should have a great cat food right for their age, health and breed. If you’re ever unsure, consult your vet for advice so that you know you’re giving your cat a diet that keeps them thriving.