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Can Cats Drink Bone Broth? Vet-Approved Nutritional Facts & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

bone broth in a pan

Can Cats Drink Bone Broth? Vet-Approved Nutritional Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet) Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Bone broth has become a very popular topic of conversation for pet owners. It is being touted as a more natural way for cats to get key nutrients. Some people even claim that drinking bone broth brings cats back to their wild roots and can give them a lot of health benefits. Is that true? Can cats drink bone broth and is it healthy for cats?

The answer is, in most cases, yes cats can drink bone broth, but the health benefits are not uniform across the board. Bone broth is a byproduct of animals that is used in human cooking and can be given to cats in certain circumstances. However, not all cats can drink bone broth. Cats with certain diseases should absolutely not drink bone broth.

This article will break down all of the key information so that you can make an informed decision about your particular cat and see whether bone broth is right for them.

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What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a liquid that is created by boiling animal bones and other connective tissues. Heating the animal parts breaks them down and infuses the water with the nutrients and components that are naturally found in the bones. Bone broth is also sometimes called stock. Chicken stock is made from boiling chicken bones. Beef stock is made from boiling cow bones. You can make stock from any type of bone that you want.

Bone broth is commonly found at the grocery store and is used in cooking of all kinds. Humans have been making bone broth since the beginning of time as the animal parts were often boiled to help break them down or to make stews, soups, and other staples.

Beef & Pork Bone Broth
Image Credit: PJjaruwan, Shutterstock

Benefits of Bone Broth

So, what about bone broth for cats? If you use bone broth from animals that cats would typically eat in the wild, like chicken bone broth or turkey bone broth, then the cats will get some natural nutrients from this warm liquid. There is some debate about the efficacy of adding bone broth to feline diets, but in most cases, it will not hurt the cat to supplement their diet with some bone broth.

Bone broth is becoming a popular topic for pet food naturalists. The movement to feed animals more natural foods instead of basic kibble is producing a lot of buzz and competing claims online. What exactly are the benefits of bone broth? The data is mixed.

Bone broth is perfectly safe for most cats (but not all) and will give them nutrients like calcium, iron, and potassium. Bone broth also contains high levels of fat and proteins. Your cat might enjoy these added benefits of bone broth as a supplement to their diet.

Bone broth should be avoided if there is any added seasoning such as salt, garlic, or other spices. As with any new food, it has the potential to cause GI upset such as diarrhea or vomiting.

Bone Broth Can Improve Hydration in Cats

Some cats, when they get old or have certain types of diseases, will stop drinking as much water as they should. Bone broth can help remedy that problem.

Adding a little bit of bone broth to water to flavor it can help cats that have stopped drinking start to drink again. This can be very beneficial for cats that need more water in their diet to continue being healthy. In these cases, bone broth has a very helpful and effective use that can help cats stay active and healthy.

Avoid Bone Broth for Cats with a History of Kidney Disease

Despite the natural components of bone broth, it should not be fed to all cats. The high protein content of bone broth can seriously aggravate cats with kidney disease. You might not even know your cat has kidney disease, so it is always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before making any serious changes to your cat’s diet.

Cats with kidney disease should eat a low-protein diet. This is because the loss of protein through the kidneys is highly inflammatory. You might think you are giving your cat a healthy addition to its diet, but you could be putting undue strain on its kidneys.

The extra stress put on bad kidneys can cause kidney disease to progress much faster and can even lead to death in extreme cases.

A Healthy Diet for Cats

Despite what some people claim online, cats still need a diet that is mostly comprised of well-balanced commercial food. Whether you feed your cat wet food or dry food, cats need a balanced diet of professional food made for house cats. A cat should not live on a diet of things from around the kitchen like bone broth and cooked chicken alone. Veterinarians and professional nutritionists have spent years and millions of dollars developing healthy cat foods that are specifically designed to keep your cat happy and healthy.

Before switching your cat to a more natural diet consisting of things like bone broth and other household foods you should consult with your veterinarian to make sure it is safe. We already mentioned how bone broth can worsen kidney issues in cats, so it is always best to change your cat’s diet in conjunction with a visit to your primary veterinarian for the best information and results.

happy cat
Image Credit: islam zarat, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Bone broth is a very common cooking stock that has been in use for thousands of years. Your cat might like it too. Cats love the flavor of bone broth, and it is high in proteins. However, not all cats need a high-protein diet to be healthy.

Choosing whether or not to give your cat bone broth should be done with your veterinarian to make the best and safest decision possible.


Featured Image Credit: Alp Aksoy, Shutterstock

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