Bone Broth Benefits for Cats

Last Updated on April 15, 2020

Have you ever considered giving your cat bone broth as a treat? Most cat owners haven’t but a lot of dog owners are picking up on its benefits lately. Bone broth is a great mineral and vitamin-packed drink that can act as a nutritional supplement for cats when given regularly. Not only is it cheap to make, but it also has so many wonderful benefits!

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is made by simmering bones to release all the vitamins and minerals into the water creating a light and nutritiously packed beverage. The bones are then drained out and discarded. Typically, this is eaten as a soup (usually chicken) but some people prefer just the broth as a drink.

The science behind chicken soup curing a cold actually has to do with the old-fashioned way of making chicken soup which included simmering the bones within the broth. Not a fan of being in the kitchen? The Honest Kitchen has an instant powder mix for cats and dogs! It comes in chicken, beef, and turkey flavors as well.

How Can This Benefit My Cat?

The benefits of eating or drinking the broth for us humans is very similar to feeding it to your cat. Because this food is rich in minerals, it is especially good for older cats as it not only supports healthy joint tissue but keeps their immune system strong. Here are some of the best benefits bone broth can give to your cat:

  • Joint Health

Bone broth is abundant with glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin. These three key nutrients help mend, repair, and keep joints healthy. Older cats will benefit from this because it lowers the risk of bone fractures, arthritis, and sprains.

  • Digestive Health

Gelatin is another nutrient found in bone broth that will repair leaky gut, control bacteria, coat the walls of the digestive tract, and keep things moving. This is good news for cats of all ages as it will keep the digestive tract healthy and happy without the need of having to find specific foods or vitamins for them to supplement their daily diet.

  • Liver Health

Glycine is known for aiding the liver to self-detox and when low in the body, it enables the liver to fully flush itself. Bone broth is loaded with glycine which will help keep your cat’s liver functioning properly to fight off the ill effects of stress, toxins, parasites, antibiotics, vaccines, and so much more.

Other benefits include:

  • shinier, thicker, and healthier fur
  • smooth skin (no more dry skin!)
  • healthier vision and teeth
  • fewer colds, bugs, and flues
  • eases or eliminates allergies
  • stronger immune system
  • more energy
  • aids in weight loss (for cats who are overweight)
  • less likely to contract a UTI or “crystals”

Most bone broth recipes include onions, garlic, and sometimes chives. If your bone broth recipe calls for any of those ingredients, do not include them. The best bone broth for your cat will have nothing but liquid. If you plan on making it for you and your cat to enjoy, remove some of the broth before adding any kind of allium (onion species) and put it aside for your cat.

How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

Every cat is different. Some will love bone broth, some will like it, and some will snub it. If you want to get the benefits but your cat is not a fan, you can add a few spoons to their wet food. However, if you feed your cat a dry only diet (which is not healthy) adding the bone broth to the dry food will make it a better meal. If your cat enjoys it on its own, just let them drink a small amount of it daily or every other day. A good measurement would be 1/4 to 1/2 of a cup. Depending on the ingredients, it can have a lot of salt so the more salt there is, the more it should be limited. The bigger your cat, the more they can enjoy. Do not feed to kittens until they are 6 months old as the gelatin can cause diarrhea.

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23 thoughts on “Bone Broth Benefits for Cats”

  1. Surprisingly my senior cat does not seem to like the home made chicken broth. Instead she only likes the crunchy Dry food.
    Anyone knows why?

    • Thanks for your comment, Alicia. As cats age, they can lose their strong sense of smell. A cat that loses this will often snub a lot of foods they should enjoy or normally would enjoy. The reason is that a cat’s appetite and drive to eat something is heavily reliant on its sense of smell. Bone broth can be purchased in powder form (you just add in water) for cats and should be more fragrant and appealing to her.

  2. Thank you for this!!! I have a sweet older girl who has been rapidly losing weight from kidney disease but otherwise is so seemingly healthy … i see the comments from others on how it helped their little ones so i will give it a try… she has nothing to lose, and “everything to gain!”

  3. We have an elderly cat with kidney disease so we only feed senior food (both wet pouches and dry). I understand he mustn’t have too much protein. Are there any issues with the protein in bone broth we need to be aware of?

    • Thanks for your comment Lizzie. The issue with kidney disease is that not every case is the same. Some cats do fine on low protein diets while most others waste away. Cats require high levels of protein to keep their bone and muscle mass healthy as well as their other vital organs functioning. Protein typically is not the issue here in and of itself but the quality of the protein and the ratio of protein to carb content in the food. Phosphorus is one of the biggest things you want to lower for a cat with kidney disease. Unfortunately, bone broth is high in phosphorus. A cat with kidney disease will not be able to filter out the phosphorus and this is the main reason kidney disease gets progressively worse in cats over time.

    • Lizzie, I’m not a vet or animal nutritionist, but also have an older cat with chronic kidney disease. She was wasting away, getting weak, vomiting a lot, and clearly not feeling well. I tried giving subQ fluids but she fought it so much it wasn’t worth it. About 4 months ago I stopped the prescription kidney diet and switched her to a diet of homemade chicken bone broth (I simmer rotisserie chicken bones 9 hours in the crockpot with a splash of apple cider vinegar), roasted chicken, and a bit of Pitcairn’s healthy powder. I figured I would just be making her as comfortable as I could as she declined. To my (and my vet’s) complete surprise, she is back to a normal weight, looks great, is active and engaged, eats well, and has regained her strength. I can’t say how her kidneys are doing but overall she is much healthier and happier.

      • I can agree with what Lisa said. I have a 6 year old that has kidney disease, we thought we were going to lose her last year. She has turned completely around. The vet couldn’t even believe she was the same cat. She went from 7lbs and refusing to eat to 12+ and happy, healthy, and very food motivated.

      • Thank you!!! My 16 year old is doing “great” except losing alot of weight from kidneys failing… drinking alot of water and im starting this TOMORROW! Hope your kitty is doing well!

      • Thank you! Im going to start this tomorrow for my sweet girl with kidney disease … shes lost alot of weight recently but is otherwise “fine”. 🙏

      • Hello
        My kittie has also lost a lot of weight and has kidney disease. We feed her the specific renal Veterinary wet food . I’d like to try the chicken broth. Can you share the recipe? And the process? Thanks

  4. Thanks for the tip, Meranda. I tried Buster’s Brew bone broth tea and my pets love it. I still like to make my own batch of bone broth for them here and there, but it’s a lot of work and I don’t always have the time.

  5. There are some great products out there. I order a bone broth tea made for pets from Buster’s Brew. A few other companies do something similar, but I’ve been sticking to what I got originally because they like it a lot.

  6. bone broth, also regular broth, helps my kitty stay interested in eating her wet food and boiled meats. she also eats dry food. adding broth to her foods stabilized her eating habits and she gained weight right away. i have a skinny cat who isn’t a big eater, so i was desperate. broth added to her foods turned out to be a godsend.

    • Thanks for your comment Amber. It will not be an issue at all. The key to preventing crystals is to increase liquid consumption. Most cats who develop crystals are on dry only diets. Because the broth is a liquid, it will help.

      • Thanks for your comment Eydie Adams. We should all be drinking spring or filtered water at this point, tap isn’t so healthy. Reverse Osmosis water removes natural fluoride and minerals which can cause teeth and bone issues in both humans and pets so it isn’t recommended to be the only water source. Spring (true spring) water is ideal.

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