Is Bone Broth Good for Cats? Pros, Cons, and How to Make It

Ultimate Guide to Bone Broth For Cats

Looking for extra nutrition for your feline friend? Look no further than bone broth.

This article tells you everything you need to know about bone broth for cats and offers a simple recipe you can make today. 

Before we get started, I want to be transparent and mention that I make and sell my own Chicken Bone Broth Powder. It is a product made for humans, but works as a fantastic meal topper for cats as well.

cat eating wet food

With that out of the way let's get started!

Cat Food Bone Broth Primer

Bone broth has thousands of years of human use. Now it's being used for all types of pets including cats.

But what is it? Oddly enough, it is exactly what it sounds like: bones, connective tissues and other animal parts thrown into a pot and cooked for hours until it breaks down nutrients into the liquid.

The term 'bone broth' is an umbrella term used to describe any bone-based soup or stock which contains beef, chicken or pork etc.

Some recipes also include vegetables, herbs and spices. The entire mixture is simmered in water for 8-24 hours.

Health Benefits of Bone Broth For Cats

The benefits of bone broth for cats include hair growth, anti-inflammatory benefits, crucial vitamins and minerals for longevity, increased appetite for picky eaters, recovery and joint health.

Let's briefly touch on each of these.

Vitamins and Minerals For Their Immune System

Cats need a variety of nutrients, so bone broth is a perfect choice for them. Broth contains many vitamins and minerals from bone marrow which can help your cat feel better when they are sick and restore immune function.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

The mild anti-inflammatory component of chicken broth may help cats fight off upper respiratory tract infections. It also has potent detoxifying effects for felines and humans.

Hair Growth and Shedding

There are benefits are not limited to nutritional needs-- it can also help with health problems and shedding in cats

Cats Need Meat Based Protein

Cats require meat as an important part of their diet and bone broth (without grains) is the most appropriate food for them. Animal sources provide our cats with plenty of amino acids, proteins, and other nutrients.

Perfect for Picky Eaters And Digestion

Bone broth can be a great way to boost appetites and hydration for older cats. It has a delicious flavor that is new to cats, which increases the likelihood of cats eating it in addition to water.

cute cat with a bone

Recovery

Bone broth is great for cats and dogs recovering from major operations. The nutrients in bone broth are easily digestible. It includes glucosamine, glycine, proline, collagen and potassium that help with cartilage healing and detoxification.

Supple Joints

According to some studies, increasing glycine in the diet may help cartilage regeneration, integrity and osteoarthritis treatment in humans and pets.

Glycine is the main protein found in collagen. You get 3 g per serving in a quality product that has 12 g protein per cup.

Is Bone Broth Safe for Cats?

Bone broth is safe for cats because it provides animal protein rich in amino acids like glycine, proline, glutamine and glucosamine. These powerful proteins are safe and can't be overdosed on.

That being said, there are a lot of subpar quality products on the market that are not real bone broth.

Cats should not eat products that have harmful ingredients like 'natural flavors,' yeast extracts, added sodium, fillers or preservatives.

The other thing to think about is that bone broth is a tasty treat and can lead to overeating.

Cats are more susceptible to the issue of overeating, so make sure you keep your feline friend's intake in check!

It is always a good idea to monitor your cat's response while introducing it into their diet.

Do you have another pet? Learn about bone broth for dogs.

What is the Best Way to Serve Bone Broth to Cats?

Bone broth should be served to cats as a meal topper or plain by the bowl instead of water.

For a meal topper, you can simply mix it with your cats regular meals and stir it all together to make a gravy.

picky cat looking for a treat

Remember that cats are carnivores, so they will most likely love it. You can serve it to them as a special treat at first.

1. Serve as a Meal Topper With Food

You can offer it as a special treat by adding it to food no occasion to see how your cat reacts to it.

1-2 tbsp of liquid is a great place to start to see how your cat likes to it.

If you are using a powder or dehydrated form, then simply add 1-2 tsp powder on top of your pets food with a bit of water to mix it in.

See how your cat looks and performs over the day to decide if you should increase the dose or note. Also check their bowel movements to make sure nothing has changed.

2. Put it in Their Water Dish

Adding bone broth to your cats water will encourage them to drink more. It also gives them hydrating electrolytes to stabilize their energy.

Simply mix 1 tbsp powder with hot water to mix it properly, let it cool then add it to your furry friends water dish.

For liquid versions you can just add 3 tbsp to the water.

Make sure you don't serve it too hot. Cats prefer their food to be body temperature, so it may not need to be served cold or warm.

You can serve bone broth to your cat with quality freeze-dried food as well as any other type of food you like.

3. Freeze It For Convenient Use

Freezing bone broth means that you can keep it fresh for up to 12 months. I recommend you prepare it first, then pour it into ice cube trays to freeze.

Once frozen, you can pop the cubes into a ziploc bag for single use. When you're ready to serve, simply grab a broth cube and add it to your pets water dish and let it melt.

Should You Buy Bone Broth Or Make It At Home?

If you want to make the bone broth at home, it is a process to make it but also to find the key ingredients.

Bones are notoriously difficult to find... if you want quality ones. And if you do find them, you'll be surprised at the cost.

Most people don’t want to make their own so instead buy it ready-made from a grocery store or online.

Bluebird Provisions is the best brand available online. They ship directly to your door in Canada and the USA and are available on Amazon Prime.

If you want to buy one, you must check for the ingredients used and quality of sourcing. This will ensure your cat will have not any adverse reactions.

There are man common cat allergens, so be sure to do your research. And if you want to make your own, you can use the simple recipe below.

Cats can become addicted to the taste of bone broth, so make sure they're not overeating too much.

Bone Broth Recipe for Cats

The great thing about making bone broth for cats is that it really doesn't have to be complicated.

You can grab some bones and cheap cuts of meat, simmer it on your stove, slow cooker / crockpot or instant pot.

This recipe is intended for cats and small animals and is super easy to make. Once complete, it is cooked and ready to eat, with no extra preparation required.

Following these directions, you'll have a nutritious beverage for your cat in a day.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs bones (beef, fish, lamb or chicken or a mix of them).
  • Optional add ins: 2 carrots

beef bones to make broth with

How to make bone broth for cats

  1. Add bones to a large pot, dutch oven, slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  2. Add 12 cups of water to pot.
  3. Bring pot to a boil over high heat.
  4. Skim your bone broth 2-3 times over the first hour as it begins to boil, then reduce heat to a rolling simmer. Usually between medium and low.
  5. Cook it for 4-12 hours on your stove / slow cooker or 60 minutes in your Instant Pot.
  6. The longer you cook it for, the more health benefits your pet will get as bone broth will become more concentrated.
  7. Once you're finished cooking, strain your liquid in a mesh strainer to remove any food solids.
  8. Some bones, especially cooked bones, can splinter and cause major GI problems for a cat. So strain it well.
  9. Store in the fridge for up to 7 days or the freezer for 6 months.

Best Bone Broths for Cats

The best bone broth for cats is homemade, but if you do not have time to make it at home, there are options available online.

It is a huge hassle and not to mention, more expensive than buying a pre-made option. Especially when you account for your time.

Chicken bone broth is perfect for most cats (unless they're sensitive to chicken). Bluebird Provisions makes a powder version using just water an non-gmo, pasture raised chicken bones.

No onions or garlic or added filler ingredients that they may be sensitive to.

chicken bone broth in pouch form for cats

It's made the way you would at home, following a low and slow simmer to get 12 g protein per serving.

You can easily add a tsp at a time to your cats meals as a topper. Even the fussiest felines gobble it up like you've never seen.

It's packed with collagen, glycine and glucosamine to strengthen your cat's immune system and keep their joints supple and strong.

How much bone broth should I give my cat?

Start your cat on 1 tsp bone broth powder per day and see how they feel after 3 days. For liquid versions, this equals about 3 tbsp.

It is best to mix it in with their regular food. Check if they are eating it quickly and enjoy it. Also check their bowel movements for anything different.

On occasions, cats will get a bit looser stool when first switching to bone broth. This is because the gelatin and amino acids are helping clean out their digestive system. Learn more about bone broth and poop.

You can slowly add more over the coming days and weeks as your cat's digestive system gets used to it.

Make sure you are choosing the right bone broth for your cat, with 100% water, good quality bones and natural ingredients.

Bone Broth for Cats With IBD

Cats with IBD can benefit from bone broth. In fact, it's an important part of your cat's diet if he or she has inflammatory bowel disease.

It helps hydrate cats suffering from vomiting and diarrhea because it is full of hydrating electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and chloride. There is also natural sodium in perfect balance.

It also may relieve digestive symptoms and strengthen the intestines because of glycine. A potent potent amino acid used to treat IBD, Crohn's and colitis in humans.

Are there any side effects of bone broth for cats?

The side effects of bone broth for cats are generally mild, but they can include diarrhea and soft stools. These usually go away on their own as your cats gut and digestive system gets used to the soothing effects of it.

If you have a cat with IBD, it's best to speak with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes.

How often can I give bone broth to my cat?

You can give bone broth to your cat daily. Just be sure to start with a small dose of about 1 tsp for powder and 3 tbsp for liquid versions. Mix it in with their regular meals and see how they like it. If they are feeling good and enjoying it then you can increase it to 1 tbsp powder or 6 tbsp liquid in their meals.

What is the best soup for cats?

The best soup for cats is a meat based soup like bone broth. It's a simple way to add more nutrition into your cat's diet without changing her entire food plan. There are plenty of reasons why you should be making bone broth for your cats, but it's difficult and timely to make on your own.

Can cats eat chicken bones?

Cats cannot eat chicken bones because they are too brittle and sharp. Chicken bones also splinter easily, which can cause a blockage in the digestive tract or perforate the stomach. If your cat has been eating chicken, don't give him any chicken bones.

 

Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your veterinarian for advise on any of this.

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"Amazing!

Great taste and texture. Will be purchasing this again. Works great on its own for sipping and also in soup!"

Adrienne L