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Can Cats Eat Venison? Benefits and Risks (Answered 2023)

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Can Cats Eat Venison? (Benefits/Risks)Are you considering feeding your beloved cat venison? You’re not alone! Recent studies suggest that over 77% of pet owners are now looking for novel proteins to incorporate into their pets’ diets. Venison is a nutritious meat source with plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent option for cats, who are obligate carnivores.

However, there may be potential risks associated with feeding cats venison, so let’s take a closer look at some benefits and safety concerns when adding this type of meat to your furry friend’s meal plan.

Key Takeaways

  • Venison is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it suitable for cats’ carnivorous nature.
  • Gradually introduce venison to monitor for sensitivities and consult a vet for allergies and treatment options.
  • Cats thrive on high-protein, animal-based diets, and rotation feeding with venison provides dietary variety and reduces the risk of developing allergies.
  • Feeding raw diets, including raw venison, poses risks and may not meet feline nutritional requirements, so it is important to consult a veterinarian before deciding.

Benefits of Feeding Cats Venison

Benefits of Feeding Cats Venison
As a cat owner, you may be interested in feeding your cat venison as a novel protein source. Venison is rich in vitamins and minerals and is suitable for your cat’s carnivorous nature.

Novel Protein Source

You can consider venison as a novel protein source for your cat’s diet to provide some dietary variety without compromising nutrition. Venison is nutrient-dense, with essential vitamins and minerals. When introducing venison, start with small portions to monitor any digestion or allergy issues.

Cook venison thoroughly and watch for signs like itching or swelling. Rotate venison with other proteins as part of a balanced diet. Raw venison poses safety risks, so consult your vet on appropriate home-cooked or commercial raw diets for your cat.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

While venison isn’t lacking in vitamins and minerals for Fido, eating undercooked Bambi might just give your kitty an out-of-this-world tapeworm infestation. Look beyond its novelty protein status, friends, venison packs essentials like riboflavin and thiamine too.

We’re talking about a solid micronutrient makeup to balance fatty acids, support metabolism, and maintain your cat’s shiny coat. But don’t get blasé on food prep! Undercooked venison risks nasty bacteria and parasites.

Cook thoroughly, introduce slowly, and watch for allergic reactions. With care, venison makes a nutritious treat.

Suitable for Carnivorous Nature

Pet parents must recognize venison’s suitability for felines given their carnivorous nature. As obligate carnivores, cats thrive on high-protein, animal-based diets. Venison provides the nutritional profile cats need, with its vitamin, mineral, and protein content aligning with their physiology and metabolism.

Venison sustains vital carnivorous diet requirements. However, be mindful of gastrointestinal sensitivities. Gradually introduce venison, assessing stool quality. Overall, venison aptly nourishes a cat’s carnivorous disposition.

Risks and Safety Concerns of Feeding Cats Venison

Risks and Safety Concerns of Feeding Cats Venison
Feeding your cat venison can provide health benefits when done safely, but there are also risks to consider. Raw or undercooked venison may contain harmful bacteria, so be sure to cook it thoroughly and avoid giving your cat medium-rare venison.

Watch for signs of possible allergies or stomach upset when first introducing venison.

Bacterial Contamination

Raw venison can be a bacterial minefield for your darling furball. Here are 5 key risks of bacteria in raw venison:

  1. Salmonella and E. coli contamination from handling and processing.
  2. Listeria bacteria thrive in refrigerated raw meats.
  3. Toxoplasma gondii parasites in venison can cause toxoplasmosis.
  4. Campylobacter bacteria lead to gastroenteritis.
  5. Raw food bowls can harbor bacteria and spread to humans.

When it comes to raw venison, don’t let harmful bacteria make your cat sick. Cook venison thoroughly and handle it carefully for your cat’s health and safety.

Proper Cooking Methods

You’d be wise to bake that venison well before letting kitty take a bite. Cooking venison thoroughly in the oven at 350°F for at least 30 minutes ensures any bacteria is killed. Grilling can be unreliable for eliminating contaminants completely. For maximum safety, venison should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Never feed cats rare or raw venison to avoid digestive issues or parasitic infections.

Potential Allergies and Sensitivities

Watch for any signs of allergy your cat may have to venison, like itching, hair loss, or swelling, and consult the vet if needed, since antihistamines or corticosteroids could help.

Monitor for these common allergy symptoms if feeding venison:

  • Itching or scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Facial swelling

Avoid using medication during rotation feeding so you can identify the specific allergenic protein causing a reaction. If symptoms persist, consult a veterinarian as your cat may require allergy testing and venison should be removed from their diet.

Careful observation when introducing new proteins is key for dietary management of allergies.

Signs of Venison Allergies in Cats

Signs of Venison Allergies in Cats
Venison allergies can cause your cat to excessively itch, lose hair, or develop swelling. If you notice these symptoms in your cat after feeding it venison, consult your veterinarian right away about possible treatment with antihistamines or corticosteroids.

Itching, Hair Loss, and Swelling

If your cat develops itching, hair loss, or swelling after eating venison, have a vet examine them since these may signal an allergy. Treatment often involves identifying and avoiding the allergen. Your vet can prescribe medications like antihistamines or corticosteroids for symptom relief.

Dietary diversification using novel proteins may help. Consult an animal nutritionist about rotation feeding if your cat has food sensitivities.

Relief is possible with vigilant monitoring and care.


  • Itching
  • Hair Loss
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting

Treatment Options:

  • Antihistamines for itching
  • Corticosteroids for hair loss
  • Novel Proteins for swelling
  • Rotation Feeding for vomiting

Vigilant monitoring and care with your vet can provide allergy relief for your cat.

Consulting a Veterinarian for Treatment

See your vet right away if your cat shows allergy signs after eating venison. Their itching, hair loss, and swelling may indicate a food allergy or intolerance. Your vet can prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids to relieve allergy symptoms while advising safer alternatives to raw venison.

Though a novel protein, uncooked venison poses risks. Consult a veterinarian before making major dietary changes for your cat. Adhere to their guidance for introducing dietary variety without compromising your cat’s health.

Rotation Feeding and Dietary Variety

Rotation Feeding and Dietary Variety
You can provide your cat with dietary variety by using a rotation feeding approach, while ensuring adequate nutrition. Avoid giving allergy medication during the venison rotation period to help identify if venison is an allergenic protein for your cat.

Consider quality rotation diets from Addiction Foods that are formulated to avoid nutritional compromise.

Benefits of Rotation Feeding With Venison

You’ll find that rotation feeding with venison gives your cat more dietary variety without compromising nutrition. Rotation feeding with novel proteins like venison allows your cat to experience new flavors and textures while still meeting their nutritional needs.

Make sure to introduce venison gradually and watch for any signs of intolerance. Rotating proteins reduces the chances of developing allergies to any single ingredient.

Identifying Allergenic Proteins

  • Watch for telltale signs of venison allergies, such as itching and hair loss, during rotation feeding; up to 10% of pets develop food sensitivities.
  • Look out for:
    • Gastrointestinal signs like vomiting or diarrhea.
    • Skin issues such as hives, rashes, and ear infections.
    • Signs of anaphylaxis like swelling and wheezing.
  • Keeping detailed feeding records can help identify problematic ingredients. Consult your veterinarian if you suspect an allergy.

Addiction Foods for Rotation Feeding

You have Addiction Foods for rotation feeding so your cat can enjoy dietary variety without compromising nutrition. Rotation feeding helps manage food allergies by regularly changing protein sources. Addiction Foods offers balanced, single-protein recipes like Venison & Apples to prevent ingredient intolerances.

Rotating novel proteins, including venison, provides nutrients while minimizing exposure to potential allergens. Thoughtfully rotating proteins with Addiction Foods can support your cat’s long-term health.

Pros and Cons of Raw Meat-Based Diets for Cats

Pros and Cons of Raw Meat-Based Diets for Cats
Exploring raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) for your feline companion, you’ll encounter various considerations. While proponents suggest potential health benefits like improved coat quality and energy levels, it’s important to note that there’s a lack of objective evidence supporting these claims.

Additionally, ensuring the completeness and balance of raw diets for cats can be challenging, and it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully when considering such dietary choices for your pet.

Potential Health Benefits

You can dramatically boost your cat’s health by feeding them raw venison, with one study showing a whopping 80% drop in urinary tract infections for cats on raw food diets.

  • Higher protein content than commercial cat foods
  • Improved coat quality and shine
  • Increased energy and athletic performance

Feeding raw venison provides many potential nutritional and health benefits for cats. The nutrients are more bioavailable without the high-heat processing of commercial pet foods. Venison’s natural enzymes and antioxidants remain intact too. Overall, a species-appropriate raw diet can prevent various diseases and keep cats thriving.

Lack of Objective Evidence

Despite claims of improved health, there isn’t strong scientific evidence that raw meat diets offer significant medical benefits for cats. While some cats show improved coat, energy, and reduced health issues on raw diets, there’s a lack of clinical trials and peer-reviewed research demonstrating objective benefits.

More empirical data from controlled studies is needed to validate the purported benefits of feeding raw.

Raw Diet Claims Scientific Evidence
Improved coat quality Limited data, needs more research
Increased energy Anecdotal reports only
Fewer allergies No clinical trials confirm this
Better digestion No objective findings yet
Longer lifespan Requires controlled studies

Scientific research and clinical trials are vital to establish the validity and safety of raw meat diets for cats. Without rigorous empirical evidence, the benefits remain speculative. We need robust data before recommending raw diets as broadly beneficial for feline health.

More studies are warranted to elucidate the impacts of raw feeding.

Completeness and Balance of Raw Diets

Assessing the nutritional completeness of homemade and commercial raw food diets for cats remains challenging, with over 93% of recipes evaluated in one study falling short of feline nutritional requirements.

Conducting a comprehensive nutritional analysis prior to feeding is essential, as imbalanced diets can have serious health impacts. When formulating raw diets, carefully select ingredients to meet minimum protein, fat, vitamin, and mineral levels for your cat’s life stage.

Consult with a veterinary nutritionist to develop balanced recipes or analyze commercial options to support your cat’s overall health. Regular lab work helps monitor nutritional status. Support digestion with appropriate fiber and probiotics.

Safety Issues and Risks Associated With Raw Diets

Safety Issues and Risks Associated With Raw Diets
Preparing raw meat diets for pets comes with several safety risks and concerns. Your pet’s compromised immune system can be further weakened by pathogens lurking in uncooked meats, which veterinary associations strongly discourage feeding due to the danger posed to your pet’s health.

Weakened Immune Systems

Okay, let’s connect the previous subtopic on the pros and cons of raw meat diets for cats to the current subtopic of weakened immune systems:

Raw diets pose greater risks for cats with compromised immunity. Their vulnerable immune systems have a harder time fighting off bacteria that may be present in uncooked meat. Extra care should be taken for immunocompromised cats, as they’re more susceptible to foodborne illnesses from raw diets.

Infection concerns are valid, so consult your vet before feeding raw to a cat with health issues.

Pathogenic Bacteria in Raw Pet Food

You’re putting your pet at risk by feeding them raw meat. Uncooked proteins harbor bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, which can overwhelm your dog or cat’s immune defenses and cause symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and even kidney failure.

Cooking meat thoroughly kills bacteria and helps protect your pet’s health. While venison can be delicious when prepared safely, feeding it raw is a recipe for disaster.

Veterinary Associations’ Position Statements

You’d want to consult those position statements discouraging raw diets before risking your cat’s health.

  • AVMA discourages raw diets due to safety risks.
  • AAFP recommends against home-prepared raw diets.
  • FDA warns about risks of pathogenic bacteria.
  • WSAVA does not endorse feeding homemade raw diets.
  • CVMA warns raw diets may increase the risk of illness.

As you can see from leading veterinary guidelines, raw diets remain quite controversial for feline nutrition due to legitimate health concerns.


Just as humans benefit from a balanced diet, cats need the right mix of nutrients to stay healthy. Feeding venison to cats can provide them with a novel protein source, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

However, there are safety concerns to consider when feeding cats raw venison, such as bacterial contamination, potential allergies, and parasites.

Proper cooking methods and rotation feeding can reduce the risks of feeding venison to cats. In the end, it’s up to the pet parent to decide what’s best for their furry friend, but it’s important to consult a veterinarian and be aware of the risks associated with raw meat-based diets.

With the right precautions, cats can enjoy the benefits of venison without risking their health.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.