QUESTION: Hi, I have seen something in the local shop called chicken giblets and wondered if they are any good for cat food?
Firstly, what exactly are chicken giblets? For those who have no idea, the word “giblets” is simply an all encompassing name for the edible inner parts of poultry. The name giblets typically includes the heart, the liver, the kidneys and the gizzard. And of course they can be from any type of poultry; ducks, chickens, geese etc.
Sometimes, they are included inside the bird. I remember as a child that they were always in there – wrapped up in a little package. But with modern life, they seem to have become either unwanted or maybe even unsavory to many people? Most of the chickens from large chicken producers do not arrive with their giblets still inside, but they are often obtainable from smaller butchers or even local farmers.
It is worth seeing if you can find a source of giblets, because they are a great way of providing the vital “organ” part of a raw food diet for your cat. And of course they come in a really convenient size that is easy for your cat to eat, so there is very little preparation involved for the owner.
We all know what the heart, liver and kidneys are, but what on earth are the chickens’ gizzards? Well, the gizzard is the muscle that grinds up the bird’s food prior to it entering the digestive system, sort of like a second stomach. My local shop actually sells chicken gizzards separately. Apparently they are quite a delicacy with some of the ethnic groups of people.
My Ragdoll Cats absolutely ADORE chicken gizzards. Tiffanie, who is normally a very genteel and composed cat, goes absolutely crazy when she gets them. I don’t know why, because it can take them up to half an hour to get through a large gizzard because they are so incredibly tough! I have absolutely no idea how people manage to eat them, they must have to cook them for hours and hours. I do actually dice the gizzard up – just because they are incredibly rubbery that some of the cats give up on trying to eat them. Chicken gizzards are an exceptionally good food for cats, as is tripe for a dog.
Here are some photos of a couple of my girls having some delightful raw organ meat: