Can Cats Eat Bones? Bony Debate?

black and white cat lying on brown bamboo chair inside room

Can Cats Eat Bones? — No, They Can’t

When it comes to the ques­tion of whether cats can eat bones, the answer is a resound­ing no. While many peo­ple may be inclined to offer their feline friends bones as a treat or as a source of enter­tain­ment, it is impor­tant to under­stand that bones can pose seri­ous risks to cats’ health and well-being.

Is It Safe for Kittens to Consume Bones?

Just like adult cats, kit­tens should also not be giv­en bones to con­sume. Kit­tens have del­i­cate diges­tive sys­tems that are still devel­op­ing, and bones can cause chok­ing haz­ards or diges­tive obstruc­tions. It is best to pro­vide kit­tens with appro­pri­ate and safe food options that are specif­i­cal­ly for­mu­lat­ed for their nutri­tion­al needs.

Risks Associated with Feeding Bones to Kittens

Feed­ing bones to kit­tens can result in var­i­ous risks and poten­tial health issues. The sharp edges of bones can cause dam­age to their mouths, throats, or gas­troin­testi­nal tract if swal­lowed or chewed improp­er­ly. Addi­tion­al­ly, bones can splin­ter and lead to chok­ing, inter­nal injuries, or intesti­nal block­ages in kit­tens.

Why Bones are Not Recommended for Cats

The Risk of Choking and Injuries

One of the main rea­sons bones are not suit­able for cats is the risk of chok­ing and injuries they pose. Bones, espe­cial­ly those from cooked meat, can eas­i­ly frag­ment and cre­ate sharp edges that can get lodged in a cat’s throat or cause inter­nal injuries if swal­lowed. This can be extreme­ly dan­ger­ous and may require imme­di­ate vet­eri­nary atten­tion.

Digestive Issues and Obstructions

The diges­tive sys­tem of cats is not designed to han­dle bones effi­cient­ly. Con­sum­ing bones can lead to var­i­ous diges­tive prob­lems, includ­ing con­sti­pa­tion, diar­rhea, or even gas­troin­testi­nal obstruc­tions. These obstruc­tions can be life-threat­en­ing if not addressed prompt­ly.

Potential Bacterial Contamination

Bones, espe­cial­ly raw or improp­er­ly han­dled ones, can car­ry harm­ful bac­te­ria such as Sal­mo­nel­la or E. coli. Cats are sus­cep­ti­ble to these bac­te­r­i­al infec­tions, which can result in severe ill­ness or even death. It is essen­tial to pri­or­i­tize the health and safe­ty of cats by avoid­ing the con­sump­tion of bones alto­geth­er.

Known Health Issues in Cats from Consuming Bones

Feed­ing bones to cats can lead to var­i­ous med­ical prob­lems and symp­toms, includ­ing:

  • Intesti­nal block­ages
  • Chok­ing
  • Inter­nal injuries
  • Con­sti­pa­tion
  • Diar­rhea

What to Do If a Cat Has Consumed Bones?

  • Seek imme­di­ate vet­eri­nary assis­tance: If you sus­pect that your cat has con­sumed bones, it is cru­cial to con­sult a vet­eri­nar­i­an imme­di­ate­ly. They can pro­vide pro­fes­sion­al guid­ance tai­lored to your cat’s spe­cif­ic sit­u­a­tion.
  • Refrain from induc­ing vom­it­ing: Do not attempt to induce vom­it­ing in cats at home with­out pro­fes­sion­al advice, as it can lead to fur­ther com­pli­ca­tions.
  • Fol­low the vet­eri­nar­i­an’s instruc­tions: Fol­low the rec­om­mend­ed treat­ment plan pro­vid­ed by the vet­eri­nar­i­an to ensure your cat’s well-being.

Safe Alternatives to Bones for Cats

Instead of offer­ing bones, there are sev­er­al safe and healthy alter­na­tives that cats can enjoy:

  • Com­mer­cial­ly avail­able cat treats
  • Wet or dry cat food
  • Spe­cial cat-friend­ly chew toys

It is essen­tial to choose options that are specif­i­cal­ly designed to meet cats’ nutri­tion­al needs and avoid any poten­tial risks or health com­pli­ca­tions.


While bones may seem like a nat­ur­al and enjoy­able treat for cats, it is cru­cial to pri­or­i­tize their safe­ty and well-being. Bones can lead to seri­ous health issues, includ­ing chok­ing haz­ards, injuries, diges­tive prob­lems, and bac­te­r­i­al con­t­a­m­i­na­tion. As respon­si­ble cat own­ers, let’s opt for safe alter­na­tives and pro­vide our feline friends with nutri­tion­al­ly bal­anced food and suit­able toys to ensure their hap­pi­ness and good health.