Can Cats Get Sick From Raw Meat?

Raw cat food is said to be beneficial and aids your cat’s health in various ways. However, due to some risks related to feeding raw, such as cross-contamination, people are worried that their cat may fall sick.

Can cats get sick from rat meat? In this article, we discuss whether your cat can fall ill from consuming raw meat and how to reduce any risks.

can cat eat raw food

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Can cats eat raw meat?

Yes, cats can eat raw meat and a raw meat diet is beneficial for your cat’s health. For example, a raw diet will help increase your cat’s water intake as it has a high moisture content. This can be great for kittens who don’t drink enough water.

Nevertheless, one of the main reasons why people get worried about feeding their feline raw meat is the risk of cross-contamination. 

Both cats and people can become ill as a result of parasites and germs found in uncooked meat. 

Because cats are carnivores, their teeth are designed to shred raw flesh. As long as the raw meat is prepared properly, cats can rip through fat, muscular tissue, and even bones.

Moreover, cats’ digestive systems have evolved over the years, which means it is built to tolerate raw meat. 

Can cats get salmonella from raw chicken?

While humans should avoid eating raw chicken, cats can consume it since they have a small gastrointestinal system, which allows meat to move through their digestive system more quickly.

Because of their fast digestion and acidic stomach contents, germs do not have enough time to thrive, resulting in a lower risk of food poisoning.

If they do get sick after eating raw chicken, bring them to the veterinarian for a check-up.

Can cats eat raw beef mince?

Because cats' systems are built to absorb nutrients best from animal proteins, ground raw beef is safe for them. Plus, it is very delectable to cats! 

Raw beef mince is a high-protein food. It also contains various beneficial vitamins like vitamin B, E, K and D. Feeding cats raw beef hamburgers is one way of whetting their appetite by alternating different types of raw meats while providing them with a nutritious meal. 

Can cats eat raw fish?

Fish is suitable as a snack, but not daily. There are two explanations for this. The first is that fish is heavy in fatty acids, which can cause vitamin E deficiency in cats when consumed in large amounts. 

The second reason is that fish can contain a lot of mercury, accumulating in your cat's system if you give it fish regularly. Mercury is hazardous to felines because it can cause problems to your cat’s digestive system and kidneys.

Vitamin B in your cat's system can be destroyed by enzymes found in raw fish. Therefore, it's recommended to feed different types of raw meat instead.

On the other hand, you can feed your cat raw salmon or canned sardines. Salmon is a type of fish high in protein, omega three fatty acids, and minerals that are beneficial to cats, but it, like tuna, should not be the primary source of nutrition for your cat. 

Salmon can cause cats to get hooked to them, and they may begin to shun their regular diet in favour of these more exotic delicacies. As a result, salmon should only be given as a special treat to your cat.

Are raw eggs good for my cat?

Eggs are a high-protein food that is also easy to digest. They also include vital amino acids that help your cat maintain a lean and muscular physique. This vitamin-rich meal also contains minerals such as iron, copper, and zinc and vitamins B12, D, and B6.

How often should my cat eat a raw meal?

As a cat gets older, its eating patterns will alter. As a result, their dietary requirements will change as well. The weight and health concerns of your cat will also influence what and how often they should eat.

Adult cats can be fed smaller meals spread out throughout the day, so feed it at least three or four times. 

On the other hand, food should be provided to kittens at least four times each day as they will need more nutrients for growth and development.

Scheduling your kitty’s feeding so that it is fed multiple meals a day will help to decrease begging tendencies and also leads to better digestion as they will have more time to digest their food. 

When in doubt, consult a professional. Your veterinarian will be able to answer any questions you have about how much raw food to feed your cat.

How to reduce the risk of my cat getting sick from raw meat?

As discussed above, raw diets for cats do come with certain risks. Lucky for us, we can learn how to reduce the risk of our felines getting sick from consuming raw meat. Here’s what you can do:

Learn how to safely handle raw meat

One of the most important things to get knowledgeable about is how to handle raw meat properly. Most of the problems related to raw feeding are due to cross-contamination.

Hence, here are a few tips you can follow to handle raw cat food correctly:

  • Always use meat that is as fresh as possible from a trustworthy supplier.
  • Thoroughly clean anything that has come into contact with the meat after using it.
  • Store and freeze the raw meat properly until you feed it to your cat.
  • Wear gloves when preparing the meat.
  • Use metal or glass plates or bowls to serve raw foods. Scratches on plastic might lead to the growth of germs.

Buy pre-made raw meals

If you’re busy or not comfortable making a raw meal by yourself, you can always opt for the safer alternative to buy pre-made raw cat food.

This is because these meals are made by professionals who carefully make them fresh, nutritious, and safe to consume by your kitty.

So, you can try out PetCubes’ Raw Cat Food. Our meals are made with fresh ingredients that are both nutritious and easy to prepare. 

Ensure the raw meat is fresh

When it comes to raw feeding, you need to take extra care of the freshness of the meat that will be included in your cat’s meal. 

So, next time you go out to buy raw meat for your cat, purchase fresh human-grade raw meat from sellers that have passed the hygiene standards set by the government, such as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification.

What raw meat can my cat safely eat?

Here are a few examples of raw meat that cats can safely eat:

  • Chicken 
  • Beef 
  • Salmon 
  • Venison 
  • Duck 
  • Lamb 
  • Wild kangaroo 

Learn more about what raw meats are good for your cat and their benefits.


Don’t be afraid of trying out a raw diet for your cat, as the risks that come with feeding raw can be solved with a bit of effort from you and advice from your veterinarian. So, give this diet a try and see how it helps your cat in the long run.

Reviewed by: 

Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.