I know a guy who swears by feeding his cat a diet of Cornish hens. He says it keeps the cat healthy, vibrant, and full of energy. I’m not sure if there’s any truth to that, but I do know that cats can eat Cornish hens.
While a lot of people think that cats are obligate carnivores, they actually are not. This means that cats do not require a diet that is purely meat-based in order to survive and be healthy. In fact, cats are able to extract nutrients from plant-based sources of food.
So, can cats eat Cornish hens? Yes, they can! Cornish hens are a good source of protein for cats, and they also contain other nutrients that are essential to a cat’s diet, such as taurine. Just make sure to cook the Cornish hen before feeding it to your cat, as raw poultry can be dangerous for them to eat.
In this blog post, I’ll cover everything you need to know about feeding Cornish hens to your cat, including the nutritional benefits and any risks associated with it. So, if you’ve been wondering whether or not Cornish hens are a good food for cats, read on to find out more!
What are Cornish Hens?
Cornish hens are simply young chickens that have not yet reached sexual maturity. Smaller than standard chickens, these birds were originally bred in Cornwall, England.
Today, they’re popular for their low fat content and delicate flavor. Because of their size, Cornish hens are typically roasted whole. When preparing Cornish hens, it’s important to truss them so that their legs and wings stay close to their bodies.
This helps ensure even cooking. Cornish hens are typically done when their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the benefits of cooking Cornish hens is that there’s very little wasted meat; almost the entire bird can be eaten.
In addition, because each person gets their own hen, there’s no need to worry about fighting over the drumsticks! If you’re looking for a simple yet impressive meal, Cornish hens are a great option.
Is It Dangerous to Feed Cornish Hens to Cats?
No, there are no dangers to feeding Cornish hens to cats. In fact, many veterinarians recommend them as a healthy source of protein for cats. The key is to cook the hens thoroughly to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Undercooked chicken can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats, so be sure to cook the hens until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also remove the skin and bones before feeding them to your cat to avoid any choking hazards. All in all, Cornish hens are a perfectly safe food for cats – just be sure to prepare them properly.
Benefits of Feeding Cornish Hens to Cats
Veterinarians sometimes recommend feeding Cornish hens to cats who need to gain weight. While this poultry is a bit lower in fat and calories than chicken, it is still an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
And, compared to some of the commercial diet alternatives available, feeding your cat a Cornish hen is likely to be more cost-effective (and calorie-controlled) than free-feeding or admitting her to a feline weight loss program at your Veterinary hospital.
Here I’ll go over some of the specific benefits of feeding Cornish hens to cats:
#1. Helps to Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the main benefits of feeding Cornish hens to cats is that it can help them maintain a healthy weight. As I mentioned before, Cornish hens are lower in calories and fat than chicken, so they’re a good option for cats who need to lose weight or who are prone to obesity.
A study published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition found that a diet containing Cornish hens helped overweight cats lose weight and maintain their ideal body condition.
If your cat is struggling to lose weight, talk to your veterinarian about whether or not a Cornish hen diet might be right for her.
#2. Good Source of Protein
Cornish hens are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for cats. Protein helps to build and repair muscle tissue, as well as support a healthy immune system.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that diets high in protein can help reduce the risk of age-related muscle loss in cats. So, if you’re looking for a food that will help your cat maintain her muscle mass as she ages, Cornish hens are a good option.
#3. Supports a Healthy Immune System
As I mentioned before, protein is essential for supporting a healthy immune system. In addition to protein, Cornish hens are also a good source of zinc, which is another nutrient that’s important for immunity.
Here I’d love to share a statistics:
According to the National Institute of Health, zinc is involved in over 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body, and it plays a role in immune function, cell growth and division, wound healing, and more.
A deficiency in zinc can lead to a weakened immune system, so it’s important to make sure your cat is getting enough of this nutrient.
#4. Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to being a good source of protein and zinc, Cornish hens are also a good source of other vitamins and minerals that are important for cats. These include vitamins B6 and B12, as well as niacin and phosphorus.
All of these nutrients play important roles in the body, and they’re essential for a variety of different functions.
For example, vitamin B6 is involved in energy metabolism, while vitamin B12 is important for red blood cell production. Niacin helps to maintain healthy skin and nerves, and phosphorus is necessary for the development and maintenance of bones and teeth.
As you can see, Cornish hens are a nutritionally complete food that can provide your cat with a variety of important vitamins and minerals.
#5. May Help to Reduce the Risk of Disease
In addition to all of the other benefits I’ve mentioned, feeding Cornish hens to your cat may also help to reduce the risk of disease.
A study published in the Journal of Animal Science found that diets containing Cornish hens can help to reduce the risk of feline inflammatory bowel disease. Feline inflammatory bowel disease is a condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract, and it can be very serious. Symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, and more.
If your cat has feline inflammatory bowel disease, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about the best way to manage it. While there’s no cure for the disease, a diet containing Cornish hens may help to reduce its symptoms and improve your cat’s quality of life.
As you can see, there are many reasons to feed Cornish hens to your cat. If you’re looking for a nutritionally complete food that can provide your cat with a variety of health benefits, Cornish hens are a good option.
How Much Should You Feed a Cat Cornish Hen?
The amount of Cornish hen you feed your cat will depend on their age, weight, and activity level. Kittens and adult cats should be fed two to three times per day.
Senior cats may only need one or two meals per day. Kittens and active adult cats need more calories than sedentary adults.
You should consult your veterinarian to determine how many calories your cat needs each day and how much Cornish hen to feed them at each meal.
It’s also important to choose a high-quality diet that meets your cat’s nutritional needs. Your veterinarian can help you choose the best food for your cat.
How Often Can You Feed a Cat Cornish Hens?
The short answer is that it depends on the cat. Some cats can eat Cornish hens every day, while others should only have them occasionally.
The best way to determine how often to feed your cat Cornish hens is to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to give you tailored advice based on your cat’s individual health and dietary needs.
In general, however, it is generally safe to feed a cat Cornish hens once or twice a week.
So if your cat enjoys this tasty treat, there is no need to hold back. Just be sure to monitor their overall intake of calories and fat to ensure that they remain healthy and fit.
7 Tips for Feeding Cornish Hens to Your Cat
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when feeding Cornish hens to your cat:
1. Go for the White Meat
Yes, dark meat is delicious. But when it comes to feeding Cornish hens to your cat, it’s best to stick with the white meat.
Dark meat contains more fat than white meat, and it’s also higher in calories. If you’re concerned about your cat’s weight, opt for the leaner white meat instead.
2. Remove the Skin
The skin on a Cornish hen is also high in fat. So if you’re trying to reduce your cat’s intake of fat, be sure to remove the skin before feeding it to them.
To remove the skin, simply use a sharp knife to remove it from the meat. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to do it for you.
3. Cut Into Small Pieces
Cats are small creatures with small mouths. So it’s important to cut the Cornish hen into small pieces before feeding it to them.
This will make it easier for them to eat and will also help to prevent choking. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
4. Avoid Seasonings
Seasoning the Cornish hen may make it tastier for you, but it’s not necessary (or recommended) when feeding it to your cat.
Cats have a very different sense of taste than humans, and they may not even be able to taste the seasonings that you add.
In addition, some seasonings can actually be harmful to cats. So it’s best to avoid them altogether.
5. Avoid Bones
Bones can be a choking hazard for cats. They can also splinter and cause internal injuries. So it’s best to avoid feeding them bones altogether.
If you do feed your cat a Cornish hen, be sure to remove the bones before giving it to them. You can use a sharp knife to cut the meat away from the bones.
6. Feed in Moderation
As with all things, moderation is key when feeding Cornish hens to your cat. This tasty treat should only make up a small part of their overall diet.
Too much Cornish hen can lead to weight gain and other health problems. So be sure to monitor their intake and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
7. Watch the Signs of Allergies
Some cats may be allergic to poultry. So it’s important to watch for signs of an allergic reaction when feeding Cornish hens to your cat for the first time.
Common signs of an allergic reaction include itchiness, redness, swelling, and gastrointestinal problems. If you notice any of these signs, stop feeding them Cornish hens and consult with your veterinarian.
The Bottom Line
Cornish hens make a delicious and nutritious treat for cats. Just be sure to feed them in moderation and avoid any bones or skin.
If you have any concerns, consult with your veterinarian before feeding Cornish hens to your cat. They will be able to advise you on the best way to incorporate this tasty treat into your cat’s diet.