Can Cats Eat Chicken Gizzards Raw? Safety and Considerations

Can Cats Eat Chicken Gizzards Raw

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their natural diet primarily consists of meat. This often leads cat owners to explore various protein sources to provide a well-rounded and nutritious diet. Chicken gizzards are one such option. However, a common question arises: Can cats eat chicken gizzards raw? In this article, we will explore the safety and considerations of feeding raw chicken gizzards to your feline companions.

The Nutritional Value of Chicken Gizzards

Chicken gizzards are nutrient-rich organ meats that can be a valuable addition to a cat’s diet. They offer several essential nutrients, including:

  1. Protein: Gizzards are a good source of high-quality animal protein, which is crucial for a cat’s overall health, muscle development, and energy.
  2. Vitamins: Gizzards contain essential vitamins such as B vitamins (particularly B12 and niacin), which are important for metabolism and overall well-being.
  3. Minerals: They provide essential minerals like iron, zinc, and phosphorus, which support various bodily functions.
  4. Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid that is essential for cats. Chicken gizzards contain taurine, which is important for heart health and vision.

Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Chicken Gizzards Raw?

While cats are carnivorous animals and have a strong digestive system designed for processing raw meat, there are safety concerns associated with feeding cats raw chicken gizzards:

  1. Bacterial Contamination: Raw poultry, including gizzards, can carry harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter. These bacteria can pose a risk to both cats and humans through cross-contamination and direct ingestion.
  2. Parasites: Raw meat, if not properly sourced and handled, can contain parasites that may infect cats. These parasites can lead to health issues and require veterinary intervention.
  3. Digestive Upset: Some cats may experience digestive upset when introduced to raw meat for the first time. This can include diarrhea or vomiting.
  4. Incomplete Nutrition: While chicken gizzards are nutritious, they do not provide a complete and balanced diet on their own. Feeding only raw chicken gizzards to your cat could result in nutritional deficiencies over time.

Considerations When Feeding Chicken Gizzards to Cats

If you decide to incorporate chicken gizzards into your cat’s diet, it’s important to follow these guidelines:

  1. Cook Thoroughly: To eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination and parasites, it is safest to cook chicken gizzards thoroughly before offering them to your cat. Boiling or baking gizzards until fully cooked is recommended.
  2. Moderation: Chicken gizzards should be given to your cat in moderation as part of a balanced diet. They should not make up the primary portion of your cat’s meals.
  3. Consult Your Vet: Before introducing any new food into your cat’s diet, consult with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on portion sizes and dietary considerations based on your cat’s specific needs and health status.
  4. Raw Diet Caution: If you are interested in feeding your cat a raw diet, it is essential to research thoroughly and consult with a veterinarian experienced in feline nutrition. A balanced raw diet requires careful planning to ensure all nutritional needs are met.


While chicken gizzards offer nutritional benefits for cats, feeding them raw poses potential health risks due to bacterial contamination, parasites, and incomplete nutrition. Cooking chicken gizzards thoroughly and incorporating them into a balanced cat diet may be a safer option. Always consult with your veterinarian before making significant dietary changes for your cat to ensure their overall health and well-being.

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