Can Cats Eat Chicken Wings? Health Benefits & What to Avoid

Can Cats Eat Chicken Wings?

Cats are inherently meat eaters. That includes the housecat as well as his wild cousins like the lions, leopards, cheetah, pumas, etc.

The fact that chicken constitutes meat qualifies it as part of a cat’s natural diet. But as you may already know, chicken meat comprises various organs and components. Examples include the skin, head, neck, wings, breast, drumsticks, legs, heart, liver, and even blood.

All the components of chicken are potentially beneficial to cats to the extent that they contain meat, which constitutes a cat’s primary diet. However, certain chicken parts, such as the head, neck, wings, and legs, may pose risks due to their high presence of bones. And that takes us back to our main question, can cats eat chicken wings?

Cats can eat chicken wings. Like other chicken parts, chicken wings are rich in protein and other essential minerals that cats might benefit from. In fact, chicken wing is beneficial to cats whether served raw or cooked.

Is it safe for cats to eat chicken wings then?

Chicken wings may be chockfull of nutrients that cats naturally require in their diets. But there are risks to beware of while feeding these parts to your feline housemate. Bones are the biggest danger of chicken wings to cats. Not only do bones present choking hazards, they could also tear through your cat’s digestive tract, resulting in severe internal hemorrhage.

If you’ve always wondered whether you can feed chicken wings to your cat or not, this article is for you.

Read on as we unpack all the benefits and risks of chicken wings for cats, and how best to share this delicacy with your meowing companion.

Can Cats Have Chicken Wings? Health Benefits of Chicken Wings for Cats

As we’ve just mentioned, cats can benefit immensely from eating chicken wings.

The obvious reason to consider feeding chicken wings to your cat is that cats are obligate carnivores. Obligate carnivores are animals whose primary diet comprises lean meat.

The fact that meat is already a key component of your cat’s diet means the animal will likely enjoy chicken wings. In fact, chicken is among the most common foods that pet owners use to wean their kittens.

Chicken wings are also high in protein. Most nutritionists actually rank chicken among the best non-vegetarian protein sources.

Now, protein may benefit your cat in several ways. Most notably, the nutrient forms the building blocks for muscles and tissues. Protein deficiency in cats can result in a host of chronic conditions, including muscle wastage, bone degeneration, and multiple organ failure.

The following are other potential health and nutritional benefits of chicken wings for cats.

Benefits Of Chicken Wings For Cats

1. Chicken Wings May Aid Weight Loss

The high protein levels in chicken wings is not only useful in the formation of building blocks for muscles and tissues.

Protein is also famous for its ability to enhance the feelings of fullness. This can help to avert unhealthy weight gain.

2. Chicken Wings May Promote Healthy Bones

Chicken wings are loaded with useful minerals that may promote bone health, including calcium and phosphorus.

The food also contains selenium, a powerful antioxidant known to prevent degenerative bone diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis. Selenium may also improve thyroid function and fertility.

3. Chicken Wings May Boost Testosterone Levels

Chicken wings are rich in zinc, a mineral known to regulate testosterone levels while also boosting sperm production.

Therefore, supplementing your cat’s diets with chicken wings might help to increase their fertility. That’s especially useful if you’re a prolific cat breeder.

4. Chicken Wings May Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Just like us, our feline friends suffer from various forms of stress and anxiety. The most common ones include separation anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, this is another area where a diet of chicken wings may come in handy.

Chicken wings boast several nutrients that are great for combatting stress and anxiety. Notable ones include tryptophan, vitamin B5, and magnesium.

5. Chicken Wings May Improve Your Cat’s Heart Health

Chicken wings contain another important B-vitamin, vitamin B6. Studies have shown that vitamin B6 may prevent heart attacks by lowering the levels of homocysteine, one of the major risk factors for heart attack.

In addition to vitamin B6, chicken wings are also high in niacin. Niacin helps to reduce cholesterol, which is another component associated with increased risks of heart attack.

6. Chicken Wings May Boost Your Cat’s Immunity

Chicken soup has been used in folk medicine for years to relieve common respiratory infections like cold and flu.

The hot steam generated by cooked chicken wing soup might help to clear nasal and throat congestion. On the other hand, the thick fluid in the broth coats the throat to keep off microbes from invading the respiratory lining and possibly causing infections.

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Risks of Chicken Wings to Cats

Chicken wings may boast plenty of health and nutritional benefits for cats. But these components can also induce life-threatening adverse effects. Bones are the biggest danger of feeding chicken wings to cats.

For starters, chicken wing bones can prove difficult for cats to digest. Attempting to swallow the bones undigested or half-digested could cause asphyxiation. You can tell that your cat is choking from chicken wing bones if he exhibits the following signs;

  • Opening the mouth wide and twisting or shaking the neck as if attempting to swallow something
  • Dilating the pupils
  • Pacing and other signs of stress

Chicken wing bones may also splinter and cause lacerations to your cat’s gum or digestive tract. Depending on the extent of the damage, you could be looking at severe internal hemorrhage. And without timely interventions, internal bleeding can offer a pathway through which pathogens get to your cat’s bloodstream, causing sepsis.

The following are common symptoms of internal hemorrhage in cats;

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Labored breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort and/or swelling
  • Orthostatic hypotension – low blood pressure due to persistent blood loss
  • Hematochezia – blood in poop
  • Hematuria – blood in pee

Note that there may be additional symptoms if the bleeding results in sepsis. Either way, intestinal hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent interventions. In most cases, your cat will need to undergo a surgical procedure to correct the damage.

Besides choking and internal bleeding, ingesting bones may also cause gastrointestinal blockage. Constipation and appetite loss are the tell-tale signs of intestinal blockage. The cat may also exhibit symptoms of abdominal discomfort.

Can cats chew on chicken wing bones?

Cats cannot chew effectively on chicken wing bones.

That begs another question, can cats choke on chicken wings?

As we’ve mentioned several times, cats can choke on chicken wing bones. The choking risks increase with the size of bone swallowed.

Can cats poop out bones?

Cats are blessed with powerful digestive juices that can break down bones. However, the efficiency with which a cat’s stomach can digest bones depends on the quantity consumed.

So, what happens if a cat eats too much chicken wing bone? Can a cat pass a chicken wing bone?

It’s unlikely that cats will poop chicken wing bones. The bones will either be digested fully in the animal’s stomach, or they’ll get stuck in his intestine, causing blockage.

Are chicken bones bad for cats to eat?

Yes, chicken bones are bad for cats because they can asphyxiate your cat. Worse yet, the bones can cause internal bleeding and intestinal blockage.

Can cats die from eating chicken wings?

Based on the numerous risks of chicken wing bones for cats highlighted above, you could now be wondering, can a chicken bone kill a cat?

Cats can die from eating chicken wing bones depending on the resultant symptoms. For instance, it may only be a matter of hours for your cat to succumb to blood loss caused by internal hemorrhage.

So, can cats eat chicken wing bones?

Cats should avoid chicken wing bones. The best way to serve chicken wings to your cat is to debone the wings first.

Can cats eat boneless chicken wings then?

Yes, they can. Boneless chicken wings are safer for cats as they present minimal choking hazards.

Other risks of chicken wings for cats depend on how you prepare and serve the wings to your kitto.

The following sections delve deeper into the benefits and dangers of raw versus cooked chicken wings to cats;

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken Wings?

Raw chicken wings offers numerous benefits to cats over and above cooked chicken wings. But it also presents some dangers.

Benefits of Raw Chicken Wings to Cats

1. Raw Chicken Wing Is Nutritionally Denser Than Cooked Wings

Chicken wings (and any other animal-based foods for that matter) are generally more nutritious if served raw than cooked. Cooking can destroy or render ineffective some of the nutritional elements in chicken wings.

That said, it’s important to note that raw chicken wings alone aren’t nutritionally sufficient for cats. Your cat will enjoy all the essential nutrients in chicken by consuming a decent amount of all the other components, including the heart, liver, breasts, etc.

So, while chicken wings are more nutritious for cats if served raw than cooked, the wings shouldn’t be the only chicken parts that your cat eats.

But that also begs the question, can I give my cat a whole raw chicken wing?

Cats should eat virtually all parts of a chicken and not just the wings. However, this doesn’t mean you can serve a whole raw chicken to your feline friend. An entire piece of raw chicken is way too much for your cat to eat, regardless of his age, size, or breed.

2. Raw Chicken Wing Is Good for Your Cat’s Jaws

Raw chicken wings may improve your cat’s oral and dental hygiene.

Besides boasting minerals known to support bone health (such as calcium and phosphorus), the actual process of chewing raw chicken wings can help to exercise your cat’s jaws. It also makes the animal’s jaws more flexible.

However, it’s still important to exercise caution while feeding raw chicken wings for cats teeth. Keep the portions small to minimize choking risks.

3. Raw Chicken Wing Can Stimulate Your Cat’s Natural Instincts

It’s no secret that animals like cheetahs, leopards, and lions love to consume their prey fresh and raw. This may often have us wondering, can indoor cats eat raw chicken?

Now, the housecat may have lived with humans for hundreds of years. But he still identifies with his wild cousins in various aspects, such as dietary adaptations.

Like wild cats, domestic cats are usually more excited about raw food than cooked foods. That’s especially if the raw food in question is meat.

So, do cats like raw chicken wings?

Yes, they do. And that’s precisely because cats are more adapted to eating raw meat than cooked one.

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Drawbacks of Raw Chicken Wings to Cats

1. Raw Chicken Wing May Be Tough

Although cats are naturally given to eating raw meat, raw chicken wings may prove a bit too tough for your feline friend.

The meat in raw chicken wings tends to be harder to rip off and may get stuck between your cat’s teeth, causing discomfort.

2. Raw Chicken Wing Tends To Be High In Fats

Chicken parts vary in their levels of fat and cholesterol. The breasts are considered the healthiest parts due to their significantly lower amounts of fat and cholesterol.

Unfortunately, chicken wings can be worryingly high in fats.

Consuming fat-laden foods can induce unintentional weight gain. Worse yet, fatty foods are risk factors for various chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It’s worse for cats with preexisting conditions like pancreatitis and irritable bowel disease (IBD).

3. Raw Chicken Wing May Be Contaminated With Pathogens

As with any raw meat, raw chicken wings may present risks of contamination. The wings could harbor various harmful parasites, including salmonella, listeria, E. coli, and campylobacter.

The good news is that a cat’s stomach contains powerful digestive acids that can denature most of the pathogens in raw meat. However, ingesting these organisms in high amounts can still trigger gastrointestinal complications.

Can cats eat raw chicken wing bones?

Raw chicken wings may offer several benefits to cats. But we cannot say the same about raw chicken wing bones, which present choking hazards.

Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken Wings

Cats can eat cooked chicken wings. But as we already hinted earlier on, there are benefits and risks of feeding cooked chicken wings to cats.

Benefits of Cooked Chicken Wings to Cats

1. Softer To Chew

Cooking softens chicken wings, making them easier for cats to digest.

This minimizes the risks of chicken wing meat getting lodged between your cat’s teeth, causing discomfort.

2. Free From Pathogens

Another reason to consider giving your cat cooked chicken wings is that cooking destroys any pathogens that could be harboring raw food.

With cooked chicken wings, you’ll never have to worry about the risks of ingesting salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful pathogens that usually contaminate raw foods.

Drawbacks of Cooked Chicken Wings for Cats

1. Higher Risks of Choking and Gastrointestinal Lacerations

Cooking may help to tenderize chicken wings. However, it also makes the bones in chicken wings even softer and more prone to splintering.

That only increases the risks of choking as well as intestinal lacerations and blockage.

2. Lower In Nutrients

Cooking chicken wings helps to kill most (if not all) of the harmful parasites in these wings.

But in the process, cooking may also destroy some of the nutrients usually present in raw chicken wings.

It’s also important to note that the cooking method used makes a huge difference in terms of whether you can share chicken wings with your cat or not;

My Cat Ate Chicken Bone

Can cats eat fried chicken wings?

Frying involves the use of fat, which consequently makes fried chicken wings bad for cats.

Can cats eat spicy chicken wings?

Most spices are considered harmful to cats. Onion and garlic are especially toxic. Even a tiny amount of either spice can trigger a blood disorder in cats called Heinz-body anemia.

So, cats shouldn’t eat spicy chicken wings unless you can vouch for the safety of the spices used.

Can cats eat barbecue chicken wings?

Barbecuing often involves curing food using salt and spices. Just like spices, cats do not require salt in their diets.

Overexposure to salty foods can cause sodium-ion poisoning, a disease known for its adverse effects on the kidney. That makes barbecued chicken wings bad for cats.

Can cats eat baked chicken wings?

The biggest problem with baked chicken wings is its dryness. Dry foods can cause dehydration in cats. It’s worse considering that cats are not big drinkers.

Besides, baked chicken wings may also include ingredients that cats shouldn’t eat, such as salt.

Can cats eat frozen chicken wings?

Frozen chicken wing is safe for cats provided that it contains all cat-safe ingredients.

However, you’ll need to warm the chicken before giving it to your cat. Cold foods are notorious for causing tooth sensitivity.

Can cats eat boiled chicken wings?

Boiling is the safest way to cook chicken wings for cats. Just be sure to boil the wings in plain water, without adding fat, salt, or spices.

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What Happens If A Cat Eats A Chicken Wing?

It’s not unusual to find a pet parent wondering, ‘my cat ate chicken wing bones, will he be okay?’

A lot of things can happen if your cat eats chicken wings. However, the biggest risks to watch out for include choking, internal hemorrhage, and intestinal blockage. All these complications result from the high bone density in chicken wings.

We’ve already pointed out the tell-tale signs of ingesting bones in cats. Perhaps what needs emphasizing is that the severity of the symptoms will depend on the quantity of chicken wing consumed.

If you suspect that your cat has eaten chicken wing bones, the best course of action is to schedule a trip to your vet.

Also, ensure your cat never eats chicken wings unsupervised. Maybe you’ve always been wondering, is it alright for my cat to eat leftover chicken wings?

Leftover chicken wings are bad for cats. That’s because they contain pre-crushed bones, which present even bigger risks of intestinal lacerations.

Other Frequently Asked Questions on Chicken Wings and Cats

What’s the best way on how to feed chicken wings to cats?

The best way to feed chicken wings to cats is to debone the wings first. You can then offer the wings to your feline friend raw or cooked.

If giving your cat raw chicken wings, be sure to wash the wings properly to eliminate any pathogens. And if feeding him cooked chicken wings, boil the wings in plain water without adding any fat, salt, or spices.

Most importantly, keep the portions small.

Can I feed my kitten a chicken wing?

Kittens can also enjoy chicken wings provided that it’s deboned and served in small portions. However, this only applies to kittens that have already been weaned.

How often should you feed chicken wings to your cat?

You should only feed chicken wings to your cat as an occasional treat.

So, Can I Feed My Cat Chicken Wings?

Chicken wings are yummy, nutritious, and even beneficial to cats if fed moderately. Just be sure to debone the wings first to minimize the risks of choking, blockage, and internal hemorrhage.

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Maria is the Founder and Senior Editor at She is a lifelong feline enthusiast, self-educated pet care nerd and adores cats of all shapes! Currently parent of 2 adopted cats. She loves iced coffee, playing guitar and cat-cuddling! .

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