When it comes to my cat’s food, I can be rather adventurous at times. I enjoy figuring out new ways to improve or upgrade my cat’s diet.
That doesn’t mean to start feeding my cat toxic or unhealthy foods like chocolate or raisins but rather food items that can form part of my cat’s natural diet.
Not too long, I started experimenting with chicken gizzards for my cat. I feed it raw to my cat as he’s on a raw meat diet.
Is eating chicken gizzards safe for our cats?
Cats can eat chicken gizzards without any problems, gizzards are high in protein and low in fat which makes them a good addition to any cat’s diet. However, chicken gizzards should be used to substitute main muscle meat in a cat’s diet.
In this article, we will take see what’s the fuss about chicken gizzards and if you should feed it to your cat.
What Is A Chicken Gizzard?
A chicken gizzard is part of the chicken’s digestive tract whose role is to grind up food that the bird eats. You can say that the gizzard works similarly to a stomach in chickens.
Chicken gizzards work in a rather unique way.
Do you notice that chickens always busy pecking stuff off the ground?
It isn’t always good that they are eating, the chicken is also eating tiny bits of dirt and gravel that make their way to the gizzard.
The sediments work like fists to crush the food that the chicken eats when the gizzard contracts.
Here’s an interesting fact.
Contrary to what many think, gizzards are classified as muscle meat like the heart and not organ meat. This explains the rather tough and chewy texture of chicken gizzards.
Gizzards are in fact considered a delicacy in many cuisines around the world and can be served fried, boiled or grilled.
Are Chicken Gizzards Good For Cats?
Chicken gizzards might not have the same popularity as other parts of the chicken but they are very safe for your cat to consume.
Here’s the nutritional value of 100g of chicken gizzards:
Calories: 94 cal
As you can see, chicken gizzards are a good source of animal protein, low in fat and contain no carbohydrates at all.
These are qualities that we want in our cat’s diet.
Chicken gizzards are also rich in nutrients such as:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B
Chicken gizzards are great for your cat’s teeth. They are very fibrous and do a pretty good job at helping to keep your cat’s teeth and gums cleaner.
How Do You Prepare Chicken Gizzards?
If you are planning on introducing chicken gizzards to your cat’s diet, you can easily get them for your local butcher or grocery store.
I find that getting them from the grocery store is more convenient as the gizzards have already been cleaned.
But if you are looking to buy in bulk to save on cost, your local butcher would be a better bet.
Before giving the gizzard to your cat, you need to make sure that is completely clean. Remember that this used to be part of a chicken that contained stones and dirt to crush up its food.
Cut the gizzard in half and wash away everything unpleasant that you find in there under running water.
After that is done, cut away the tough whitish membrane that is stuck on the gizzard.
The gizzards are ready to be served to your cat.
How Do You Cook Chicken Gizzards For Cats?
My cat is on a raw meat diet so I basically give him raw chicken gizzards. But if your cat isn’t used to raw meat or doesn’t like it, you can cook the gizzards first.
The best way to cook gizzards for your feline friend is to either steam or boil them for a short while. Don’t cook it for too long or you’ll destroy all the good nutrients in the muscle meat.
You don’t have to add any additional seasonings or ingredients to the gizzards.
Given that the texture can be too tough and chewy for some cats, you can cut it up into smaller pieces before feeding your cat.
You can give it to your cat as a separate treat or mix it into its canned food depending on what your cat prefers.
How Often Can You Feed Your Cat Chicken Gizzards?
Even though chicken gizzards are considered muscle meat, they should not be used to substitute real chicken meat or whichever meat you are feeding your cat.
You can still feed your cat chicken gizzards daily but they should only form 5-10% of your cat’s total calorie intake.
If your cat consumes 300 calories a day, not more than 30 calories should come from gizzards.
Chicken gizzards are rather high in cholesterol as compared to normal meat which can be unhealthy for your cat in the long run.
What Chicken Organs Can Cats Eat?
One reason why I like feeding my cat chicken is that not only is the meat healthy but there are many other parts of the chicken that you can feed your cat too.
If we are talking about organs, I do feed my cat chicken liver and chicken kidney as well.
Technically chicken hearts are considered muscle meat like chicken gizzard but for simplicity’s sake, I’m just going to include it here.
I know of many cat owners that tend to shy away from feeding their cats organ meats like livers and kidneys due to their toxin-filtering functions.
But toxin levels in these organs are said to be similar to that found in muscle meat.
It is safer to use organ meat from grass-fed or plant-eating animals which tend to have lower toxin levels.
When it comes to feeding your cat organ meat, make sure not to overfeed them. Many cats love the taste of chicken liver due to its high-fat content.
But the liver contains a high amount of vitamin A which can lead to vitamin A toxicity when eaten in large amounts.
A good benchmark would be 5-10% of your cat’s daily calories as well.
Is Chicken Gizzard Or Liver Better For Cats?
I don’t think there’s a winner here when comparing chicken gizzards to chicken liver. They both serve different purposes and can be added to cat food without any issues.
The only thing that you need to be mindful of is the amount of gizzard and liver that you are feeding your cat on a daily basis.
Can Cats Eat Chicken Necks?
Chicken necks are also a suitable treat for cats that are on a raw meat diet. Chicken neck contains a good amount of glucosamine and chondroitin that helps to promote joint health.
One whole neck is too much for a cat on a regular basis.
It would be better to chop it up into quarters and feed your cat a quarter each time and freeze the rest.
I would use chicken necks as a supplementary treat and not something that you should feed your cat on a daily basis.
Please do NOT ever feed your cat cooked chicken necks.
Chicken necks contain a lot of bones that can harden and become brittle. When your cat eats cooked chicken bones, they can break into small sharp pieces and cause internal injury to your cat.