Can Cats Eat Raw Turkey Necks

Raw turkey necks are the neck bones of turkeys that have not been cooked. Some cat owners wonder if it is safe or healthy to feed these raw poultry bones to their feline pets.

Can cats eat raw turkey necks?” This is a common question for cat owners considering giving their furry companions a more natural, species-appropriate diet. Though they can be an excellent source of protein and other nutrients, raw turkey necks do come with some risks.

While raw turkey necks can provide benefits like dental health and mental stimulation, they may also harbor harmful bacteria like salmonella. Cats have shorter digestive tracts than people, so foodborne illnesses can hit them harder. Overall the risks depend on the individual cat and the safety of the raw meat’s source.

Is Raw Turkey Neck Safe For Cats?

Raw turkey necks are generally considered safe for cats to eat. The raw bones are relatively soft and brittle, so when chewed they tend to crush rather than break into sharp pieces that could cause injury. However, there are some precautions to take. It’s important to supervise cats when eating turkey necks to prevent choking if they swallow large pieces. 

The cat making clicking noise when breathing bones also pose a risk of digestive blockage if the cat doesn’t chew thoroughly. Some experts advise cutting up or partially smashing the bones before feeding. Overall though, raw turkey bones like necks are less hazardous than cooked bones.

What Nutrients Are In Turkey Necks For Cats?

Turkey necks provide many nutritional benefits for cats. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein. Turkey necks also contain glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, phosphorus and other important vitamins and minerals. 

These nutrients support joint health and mobility. The natural glucosamine and chondroitin in particular help alleviate arthritis. Turkey necks are also rich in enzymes that aid digestion. As a tasty chew treat, they help clean cats’ teeth and gums as well. So turkey necks offer well-rounded nutritional value.

Should I Cook Turkey Necks Before Feeding Cats?

Most experts advise against cooking turkey necks to feed cats. Raw turkey bones tend to be soft enough for cats to safely chew and digest. Cooking causes the bones to become brittle and prone to splintering into sharp pieces, which poses a choking/blockage risk. 

Cooking also destroys the natural enzymes and reduces some of the nutritional value. So it’s best to give cats raw turkey necks under supervision, rather than cooking them.

How Much Turkey Neck Can Cats Eat?

Turkey necks should only be an occasional treat for cats, not a dietary staple. As a guideline, cats can eat a partial or whole turkey neck once or twice a week. The portion size depends on your cat’s size and appetite. It’s important not to overfeed. 

Since turkey necks are very rich, too much can cause gastrointestinal upset. Also be sure your cat is still eating a balanced main diet. Moderation is key when feeding high-fat, high-protein treats like raw turkey necks.

Can Cats Have Raw Turkey Necks As Part Of Their Cat Food?

Cats can eat raw turkey necks as part of their diet. Turkey necks provide many nutritional benefits to cats since they are a good source of protein, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the act of chewing on raw turkey necks can help clean cats’ teeth and exercise their jaw muscles. However, raw turkey does carry risks of bacterial contamination, so proper handling and preparation is very important.

What Are The Benefits Of Raw Turkey Necks For Cats?

The main benefits of raw turkey necks for cats include high protein content to support muscle growth and maintenance healthy fats like omega-3s for skin/coat health vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron and B vitamins dental health from chewing action; and mental enrichment. Raw bones also add calcium to the diet which is important for bone health.

Are There Risks With Feeding Raw Turkey To Cats?

Yes, the main risk is bacterial contamination from salmonella, E. coli or other bacteria potentially present on raw turkey. These bacteria can lead to gastrointestinal illness in cats. Another risk is choking if the cat tries to swallow too large a piece of turkey neck.

How To Prepare Raw Turkey Necks For Cats?

To mitigate risks, proper handling and preparation of raw turkey necks is crucial. Wash hands and prep area thoroughly before and after. Rinse turkey under cool water and pat dry. Inspect carefully and discard any turkey that smells bad or has bone splinters. 

Cut necks into smaller pieces if needed. Store raw turkey necks frozen until ready to feed. Thaw in the refrigerator.

What Is The Best Way To Introduce Turkey Necks In Cat Diet?

The best practice is to introduce raw turkey necks gradually mixed in with their regular cat food. Start with small amounts of 1-2 necks per week. Slowly transition to feeding necks 2-3 times a week while monitoring your cat’s stool, energy level and litterbox habits. Stop feeding raw turkey if any issues arise and consult your veterinarian.

Should You Cook Turkey Necks Before Feeding To Cats?

Based on the search results, it is not essential to cook turkey necks before feeding them to cats, but cooking them can make them easier for cats to chew and digest. 

Some sources mention letting cats have raw turkey necks, while others recommend cooking turkey necks to remove bones that could be dangerous for cats if swallowed whole. Overall, cooking appears to be optional but can be done as a safety precaution.

Is It Essential To Cook Turkey Necks Before Feeding Cats?

No, it is not essential to cook turkey necks before feeding them to cats according to the search results. Both raw and cooked turkey necks are mentioned as options for cats. However, cooking them can make them safer and easier to eat by softening bones.

Can Raw Turkey Necks Make Cats Sick?

The search results do not indicate raw turkey necks make cats sick. Some sources mention letting cats have raw turkey necks without issue. However, the bones in raw necks present a small choking hazard if swallowed whole rather than chewed. So cooking is safer but not essential.

What Is The Easiest Way To Cook Turkey Necks For Cats?

An easy method is to cut the necks in half, smash them with a hammer to break up bones, and pan fry or bake them before feeding to cats. This softens bones for safety while retaining nutrition from the raw meat. The meat should be cooked through until no pink remains.

How Long Should You Cook Turkey Necks For Cats?

There is no clear recommendation on cooking time, but turkey necks should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 165°F to eliminate harmful bacteria from the raw poultry. For smashed necks, pan frying or baking for 10-15 minutes is likely sufficient. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to confirm doneness.

How Much Turkey Neck Can I Feed My Cat?

The amount of turkey neck you can feed your cat depends on the size and weight of your cat. For an average sized cat, one turkey neck per day or every other day is typically recommended as a treat or supplemental feeding. 

The neck provides a nice meaty bone for cats to chew, which helps clean teeth. Just monitor your cat when eating turkey necks to prevent choking. Introduce new proteins like turkey slowly.

What Is The Ideal Serving Size Of Turkey Necks For Cats?

An ideal serving size of a turkey neck for an average sized cat is one 2-3 inch section of neck per meal. This provides a good amount of meat and bone without overwhelming your cat. 

The bone in the neck should be raw, not cooked, so it does not splinter. For a larger cat, you could feed a slightly bigger section of neck. For a kitten or smaller cat, offer just part of a neck.

Can Cats Eat Turkey Necks Daily?

While turkey necks can make an excellent supplemental treat, veterinarians typically recommend feeding no more than one turkey neck per day. The meat and bones take longer to digest than muscle meat. Too much bone over time could lead to constipation or mineral imbalances. So turkey necks are great for dental health, but best limited to a couple times a week.

How Many Turkey Necks Should Cats Eat Per Week?

Most experts recommend feeding cats turkey necks no more than 2-3 times per week. This allows enough time for the bones to fully digest while still gaining dental and nutritional benefits. Any more frequently risks digestive upset or mineral excesses building up. Always monitor your cat closely when eating turkey necks as well.

What Are Signs My Cat Had Too Much Turkey Neck?

Signs your cat may have had too much turkey neck or bone include constipation, difficulty defecating, blood in the stool, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. These symptoms indicate irritation, impaction or damage to the digestive tract. Discontinue turkey necks and see your vet if symptoms persist more than 24 hours.

Alternatives To Turkey Necks For Cats

Yes, there are several alternatives to feeding cats turkey necks. Chicken necks are a popular choice as they are smaller and easier for cats to chew than turkey necks. 

Other raw meaty bones cats can eat include chicken wings, chicken and turkey wing tips, lamb necks, pork necks, and beef ribs. All provide similar dental health benefits to turkey necks. It’s best to introduce new proteins gradually to avoid upsetting your cat’s stomach.

What Other Raw Meaty Bones Can Cats Eat?

In addition to chicken and turkey necks, cats can eat other raw meaty bones like chicken wings, lamb necks, pork necks, chicken backs, beef ribs, and game bird carcasses. These all provide dental health benefits and give cats an outlet for their natural urge to chew. 

It’s important the bones are raw, not cooked, so they don’t splinter. And supervise your cat while eating them to prevent choking hazards.

Should I Mix Up Protein Sources For My Cat?

Yes, it’s a good idea to mix up the protein sources you feed your cat. Feeding the same protein constantly can lead to the development of food sensitivities over time. Rotate through novel proteins like rabbit, venison, bison, duck, quail, and llama to provide variety. Introduce new proteins slowly by mixing small amounts with your cat’s regular food at first.

What Are Some Affordable Alternatives To Turkey Necks?

Some affordable alternatives to turkey necks include chicken necks, chicken wings, pork necks, and beef ribs or brisket bones. Buying meat in bulk when it’s on sale and freezing portions can save money too. Check your local ethnic grocers for deals on necks, wings, and carcasses suitable and safe for cats to eat.

Are Chicken Necks A Good Substitute For Turkey Necks?

Chicken necks make an excellent substitute for turkey necks. They are smaller and easier for cats to chew but still provide dental health benefits. Other advantages are chicken necks are usually more affordable and readily available than turkey necks. Introduce slowly if your cat is not used to eating raw chicken bones to avoid digestive upset.

Frequently Asked Question

Is it safe for my cat to eat raw turkey necks?

Yes, raw turkey necks are safe for cats to eat and provide health benefits.

Should I smash or cut up turkey necks before feeding them?

No need to cut or smash raw turkey necks – most cats can handle and fully consume them whole.

How much raw turkey neck can I give my cat?

One 2-3 inch section of raw turkey neck per day is an appropriate serving size.

Can cats have turkey necks as a daily treat?

It’s best to limit raw turkey necks to 2-3 times a week to prevent digestive issues.

What signs indicate my cat had too much raw turkey neck?

Constipation, vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy may signal too much turkey bone consumed.


Cats can safely eat raw turkey necks in moderation. However, proper preparation is important to avoid health risks. Raw turkey necks should be thoroughly cleaned and monitored while your cat is eating to prevent choking. Introducing new proteins like raw turkey slowly is also advised.

Cats can eat raw turkey necks, but pet owners need to take precautions. Clean and supervise during meals. Also, consult your vet before significantly changing your cat’s diet. With some care taken, raw turkey necks can provide cats with healthy nutrition from natural sources. 

Raw turkey necks give cats an outlet for their instinct to chew meaty bones. Just be sure to introduce this tasty treat gradually as part of a balanced homemade cat food diet.

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