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Is it ok to feed my cat [5 months] one chicken liver daily?

I feed her as follows

  • 1 wing
  • 1 gizzard
  • 1 liver
  • 1 heart

All cooked.

2
  • Keepers of small feral cats in Brazilian institutes and zoos use to give chicken necks daily, with skin. Better even ask a vet, but they are doing well.
    – canelo
    Nov 27 at 2:28
  • Hey @canelo I'm not sure if you saw my reply on your answer (not sure why ur answer was removed) but : necks are good meaty bones but I can't feed them because I cook the food (to avoid contamination) and cooked bones are dangerous. But thanks a lot for your suggestions.
    – Roo Tenshi
    2 days ago
25

Do NOT feed your cat chicken liver daily.

Liver contains a lot of vitamin A, which is possible for cats to overdose on. This is called vitamin A toxicity. The toxicity will slowly build up over time, so consumption of foods very high in vitamin A should be limited overall, and not just limited to not eating too much in one meal.

Furthermore, I would be concerned that feeding your cat such a diet could lead to nutritional deficiencies, so unless you have done the research, it is just better to feed your cats catfood which has been proven to have the correct nutrition for cats.

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  • 1
    just because it has "a lot" does not mean it's enough to become toxic... Air contains "a lot" of oxygen, yet it's not toxic for example.
    – jwenting
    Nov 26 at 8:53
  • @jwenting if you actually read the resource I linked to, which talks specifically about cats overdosing on vitamin A from chicken liver, you'd see that it says chicken liver should only be 5 percent of the weekly diet at most, and clearly feeding the cat a liver every day is quite a bit more than that.
    – Kai
    Nov 26 at 17:15
  • @jwenting that is a really bad example. The oxygen in the air is in no way dangerous because you're inhaling just a tiny amount at any given time which the body knows how to process completely in that time frame. You're not inhaling "all the air" at once. If you're hyperventilating or breathe in oxygen-saturated air over a long time, that is when it becomes dangerous. The point is, liver once in a while is fine because you give the cat enough time to process all the vitamin A. OP wants to feed liver "every day" and that is the problem.
    – QBrute
    Nov 26 at 17:16
  • Ok, 1 liver is too much. But how much is good? I know you said 5% and I should be able to calculate from daily consumption but is there a rough guide to how much is enough /day or /week? As for the deficiency, I know they lack calcium but I can't feed her raw bones (contamination). I feed her fish once every 2 weeks. I give her boiled egg from time to time. And I will add yogurt. Is that good enough or I'm still lacking something?
    – Roo Tenshi
    Nov 27 at 10:36
  • 1
    I will add other information I didn't include in the op. I feed other stuff but not occasionally. Like, chicken brain, kidney, pancreas (or spleen not sure). But all of that is not regular. I feed it from time to time when it's available. That's why I didn't include it in the post.
    – Roo Tenshi
    Nov 27 at 10:49
39

It is absolutely not advised to feed cats home cooked food because there's a very high risk of malnutrition.

Cats evolved to eat 8 - 12 small animals like birds, mice, rats, hamsters and other rodents, maybe the occasional lizard and sometimes even bigger animals like rabbits or chickens daily. They eat the entire prey raw, including skin, claws or talons, small bones (in case of mice and small birds the entire skeleton), cartilages, guts, the brain and other internal organs. The only exception I know of are feathers and the gall bladder.

If you feed your cat home cooked meat, the cat lacks all the minerals and nutrients contained in the tissue that wasn't included because we humans usually don't eat them. Feeding a cat is a very tricky balancing act that requires much care, scientific research and experience. Commercial cat food producers have all of that, you probably don't.

Malnutrition is a very slow and invisible process. By the time your cat shows any symptoms, it may be misdiagnosed or have already done irreversible damage to your cat's health. Please stop cooking food and start buying commercial cat food instead.

If your cat is obese or has a risk of kidney stones and/or UTIs, you should feed wet food instead of kibbles and chose a food with low grain content (for more information read Grain-free Options for Preventing Struvite Crystal Formation).

Please read the following questions and answers for more information about the pitfalls of home-cooked cat food: How to make home cooked food appealing and tasty to cats? and Can we feed our cat with a mix of home-cooked and specialized food?

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    I don't think the statement "low grain content is considered healthier" is actually supported by research. It has become rather a fad to advertise pet food as "grain free," which owners assume is better because grains aren't part of a natural diet, but it's often the case that grains are simply replaced with other ingredients that are technically not grains, but often still high in carbs, such as peas or potato. Furthermore, cats can of course end up being sensitive to these other ingredients too, just as they could be sensitive to grains.
    – Kai
    Nov 24 at 19:24
  • 3
    @Kai as far as I'm aware, grain content is proven to increase the risk of urinary stones, especially in male cats. It's true that there are no further proven benefits of grain free foods. I'll try to make that clearer in the answer.
    – Elmy
    Nov 25 at 5:49
  • @Kai grains for cats are just filler with no nutritional value. It's worse than cooked meat as cooked meat, though maybe deficient in some nutrients at least has proteins and fats the cat can digest. Grain does not.
    – jwenting
    Nov 26 at 8:51
  • 3
    @jwenting What most people don't suspect (and probably don't know) is that cats can digest carbohydrates very well. Probably as well as humans, which means that cat foods with high grain content is too nutritional for them, resulting in obesity and diabetes. However, cats are obligatory carnivores, which means that they absolutely require meat to draw essential nutrients from, which they cannot get from plant-based food. More info and some scientific papers can be found in: What are the effects of sugar in cat food?
    – Elmy
    Nov 26 at 13:25
  • 1
    Also, what tissue are you referring to? I will add other information I didn't include in the op. I feed other stuff but not occasionally. Like, chicken brain, kidney, pancreas (or spleen not sure). Fish. Boiled eggs. But all of that is not regular. I feed it from time to time when it's available. That's why I didn't include it in the post.
    – Roo Tenshi
    Nov 27 at 10:48

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