Can Cats Eat Chicken Nuggets? (2023 Guide)

Chicken is a good source of animal protein. Even, Gray Richter, DVM from Montclair Veterinary Hospital states that “cats are carnivores, so giving animal protein is a must for cat’s good health”.

So, what about chicken nuggets? There are chicken foods too. Right?

Well, the answer to that question is a yes and no and involves lots of concerning points.

But before going for details, Let’s check the short answer to this query.

Can cats eat chicken nuggets?

No. Even cats love to eat chicken nuggets, you should not give them to your cat. The ingredients used to make chicken nuggets (other than the chicken) are extremely toxic in long-term use.

Are there any precautions to consider before giving chicken nuggets to a cat?

Yes, of course. There are lots of precautions that you need to take care; before even considering giving them.

chicken nuggets compounds

Typically, chicken nuggets consist of two major parts.

  1. Out topping layer
  2. The inside chicken meat part

The unhealthiest part is the outer topping layer. It has lots of food flavors such as;

  • Sodium Phosphates
  • Enriched Flour
  • Bleached Flour
  • Niacin
  • Reduced Iron
  • Thiamin Mononitrate
  • Riboflavin
  • Folic Acid
  • Yellow Corn Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
  • Sodium Aluminum Phosphate
  • Monocalcium Phosphate
  • Calcium Lactate
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Autolyzed Yeast Extract
  • Wheat Starch
  • Natural Flavoring
  • Safflower Oil
  • Dextrose
  • Citric Acid
  • Cornstarch
  • Canola Oil
  • TBHQ
  • Dimethylpolysiloxane

The composition of these chemicals is pretty bad. To be honest, these are not good for even humans. Yeah, for us.

It’s super bad for your cat and kitten.

Therefore, if you even consider giving them to your furry ball, then remove the outer topping layer and just give the inside meat section.

There is one more thing to add. The inside part – the meat section, is not only pure chicken meat.

 It is a mixture of bone fragments, intestines, and blood vessels. So overall nutrition composition could be changed from pure chicken meat.

What happened if you overfeed chicken nuggets to your cat?

If your cat happened to eat a bag of chicken nuggets at once, then you need to be careful.

It could trigger some ingestion problems and can lead to some kind of serious health problems.

So, keep an eye on your cat for at least 24 hours. Most of the time, it could be normal.

cat eating chicken nuggets

However, if your cat shows any behavior change, consult your vet as soon as possible.

If it’s just one or two chicken nuggets, then your cat will be fine. Do not worry.

Chicken nuggets compound?

Chicken nuggets are mostly filled with synthetic ingredients rather than natural ones.

So, their nutrition profile does not provide good benefits. It mostly adds extra toxicity to your cat’s body.

the way of making chicken nugget

The way of making chicken nuggets is shown in this video. It says that these companies use more fresh items.

But in reality, no one knows the whole truth behind the back door.

The following table shows all the major nutritional elements in chicken nuggets. The data was derived from UND Dining services.

Nutrition ProfileAmount per 5 servings (80g)

As you can see in the table, the only nutrition component that will help your cat is protein.

But, it’s really a bad idea to use chicken nuggets to increase the protein amount in your cat’s body. It will increase other toxic element concentrations alongside protein.

chicken nugget not good for kittens

Nevertheless, there are unknown chemical compounds used in the different brands to add their unique tasty to the chicken nuggets.

The long-term use of these compounds is a really debatable topic even for human use.

Advantages/Disadvantages of chicken nuggets as a meal for cats

From my point of view, chicken nuggets will not add any advantage to your cat’s meal package.

If you are a person who is addicted to quick foods, like these… then you may have chicken nuggets quite frequently.

That means you could probably feed those for your cat too. If you do that up to today, now it’s time to change that.

What you were doing is, slowly making your cat sick. The unfortunate thing is, the illnesses that could arise from this kind of food are not curable.

chicken nugget and cats

It could be cancer or other deadly illness.

Further, the chicken nuggets cook with vegetable oil. The way of cooking chicken nuggets increases the oil concentration inside the meat part.

So these oil makes them high in fats and eventually raise clogged arteries and slow blood circulation in cats (with long-term use).

Nevertheless, these fast foods will make your cat gain unhealthy weight which will further reason for lots of future problems.

The proper way of giving chicken nuggets to your cat

If you are still determined to give some to your cat, then this is the best way that you could follow.

  • Take the chicken nugget and remove its outer coating.
  • Then feed the inner meat section.
  • Do not feed more than two or three.
  • Most Important: Do not feed chicken nuggets to your cat more than 2 or 3 times per month.

Also, remember never to feed expired chicken-related products to your cat.

Chicken nugget feeding related problems

Cats and kittens shouldn’t typically eat fatty foods. In fact, given the abundance of synthetics and preservatives in our food, it’s possible that none of it is healthy for humans. Cats frequently get cardiovascular conditions, which can be fatal. The main causes of these diseases are processed foods and deep-fried food.

Maintaining a healthy diet for cats is preferable to adding foods that have negative long-term impacts.

My cat ate a chicken nugget? What should I do?

If your cat has eaten a chicken nugget, it is important to monitor them for any signs of digestive upset or other symptoms. Most of the time, there won’t be any problem at all (If its a small amount).

Chicken nuggets are not nutritionally complete or appropriate for cats, and they may contain ingredients that are not suitable for their digestive system.

If your cat is showing any signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it is best to contact your veterinarian for advice.

can cats eat mcnuggets?

It is not recommended to feed cats McNuggets or any other human fast food. Cats have specific nutritional needs that can only be met by a balanced and appropriate diet, and feeding them foods like McNuggets can lead to digestive upset, obesity, and other health problems.

can cats eat chicken tenders?

Chicken tenders in limited amounts are OK, but they should not be used as a regular meal substitute, according to PetMD. Chicken tenders should also be as “bare” as possible, with no oils or spices, as these might irritate your cat’s stomach.

Final Thoughts

Chicken nuggets are a terrible idea for your cat. Do not feed your cat with chicken nuggets. However, it will not do much harm to your cat if chicken nuggets were given once or twice time per month.

Personally, my advice is to avoid these junk foods as much as possible. 


Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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