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Bone broth is a nutrient-rich liquid that has the potential to boost your cat’s digestion, support his bones and joints, and improve his appetite. Even picky eaters love it which makes it the ideal food topper. Plus, it’s a great way to add moisture to a dry food diet for cats.
Here’s what you need to know about it, what benefits it provides, and how to choose a high-quality product.
At A Glance: Best Bone Broth For Cats To Buy
Want a quick look at the cat foods reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Packed with premium animal protein
- Free from antibiotics and added growth hormones
- Made with 100% human-grade ingredients
- Offer human-grade fresh food for cats
- Affordable add-on to your regular Smalls delivery
- Lightly seasoned with salt
What Is Bone Broth?
You’re probably familiar with the broths and stocks that come in a can or carton, but bone broth is a little bit different. While still prepared by boiling animal bones, bone broth is cooked longer to extract collagen and other nutrients.
Bone broth can be made from a variety of animals including beef, chicken, turkey, and pork but the key to a good bone broth is to use meaty bones that contain bone marrow.
Here Are Some Of The Best Options:
- Knuckle bones
- Joint bones
- Marrow bones
- Chicken feet
- Short ribs
The bones of younger animals are particularly high in collagen-rich cartilage, so veal bones are another excellent option. If you’re making bone broth yourself, ask the butcher at your local grocery store- they’ll even be able to cut the bones into pieces small enough to fit in your stock pot.
Benefits Of Bone Broth
If you’ve ever cooked homemade chicken soup or made broth from your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, you know how tasty bone broth can be. Not only is it full of flavor, however, but bone broth is packed with nutrients and potential health benefits for your cat. Most of these benefits are related to its collagen content.
Collagen is a protein – the most abundant protein in the body, in fact. It is used to make connective tissue, which makes it a major component of bone, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and even skin.
Some Of The Benefits Collagen Can Provide Your Cat Include:
- Improved digestion – Collagen contains amino acids which can help strengthen the protective lining in your cat’s digestive tract. A stronger digestive tract means increased nutrient absorption and relief from digestive symptoms and leaky gut syndrome.
- Stronger joints – By increasing the integrity of the cartilage, collagen helps improve and protect joint health. The collagen in bone broth may relieve the symptoms associated with arthritis in older cats and cats with orthopedic injuries.
- Healthier skin & coat – Collagen plays a key role in skin health, so increasing your cat’s collagen intake may improve skin elasticity and support its natural reparative processes. By encouraging the body to form new collagen on its own, bone broth supports your cat’s skin and coat health.
- Liver detoxification – Rich in the amino acid glycine, collagen support’s your cat’s natural detoxification system: the liver. The liver is responsible for filtering toxins from your cat’s blood so they can be flushed safely from the body.
- Boosted immunity – Collagen is also rich in the amino acid glutamine which helps strengthen the immune system. It plays a key role in cellular repair and stimulates the immune cells, helping your cat recover more quickly from illnesses and improving his defenses against them.
Bone Broth For Cats With IBD
Though all cats can benefit from having bone broth in their diet, it is particularly beneficial for cats with digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In addition to providing nutrients and hydration, bone broth may ease digestive symptoms and strengthen the intestines.
Tips For Choosing A Good Bone Broth
The quality of your bone broth is equivalent to the quality of the ingredients. If you’re considering bone broth as a means of supplementing your cat’s diet, go the extra mile to choose a high-quality product.
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for bone broth:
- Make sure it’s made from real food ingredients like free-range chicken or grass-fed beef.
- Check the cooking time – bone broth must be simmered longer than regular broth or stock to extract the nutrients from the bone marrow.
- Avoid human bone broth recipes that might contain onion, garlic, and added salt.
- Choose a product that doesn’t contain artificial additives like flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Look for bone broth rich in gelatin to ensure high protein content.
- Check for other beneficial nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Look for bone broth products with a short list of ingredients. What you really want is the collagen-rich broth, not a bunch of unnecessary additives or flavoring agents.
As an alternative to purchasing bone broth, you can always make your own.
Simply fill a stockpot with an assortment of meaty bones and cover with water. Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice per gallon of water to help break down the bones and simmer on low heat until the meat falls off the bone.
From there, remove the meat and bone then skim off the fat collected on the top of the pot. Cool the broth completely then transfer to small containers or ice cube trays for storage.
Our Recommendation: Open Farm Bone Broth
Flavors: Harvest Chicken, Homestead Turkey, Grass-Fed Beef
Open Farm offers a wide array of human-grade pet food products including wet cat food, dry cat food, and supplements. Their pet bone broth recipes are made with sustainably sourced, traceable, high-quality ingredients and prepared in human food facilities in accordance with FDA regulations.
All of their bone broths are free from antibiotics, growth hormones, preservatives, and artificial additives. Plus, they don’t contain potentially harmful ingredients like salt, garlic, and onion which are commonly used in bone broth for human consumption.
Let’s take a closer look at this product.
Chicken Bone Broth, Carrots, Pumpkin, Parsley, Turmeric, Cinnamon.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Slow simmered from humanely raised chicken, this collagen-rich bone broth is packed with flavor and essential moisture. This bone broth is completely free from antibiotics and added growth hormones, supplemented only with carrots, pumpkin, turmeric, and cinnamon.
Like all of Open Farm’s products, this bone broth is made with 100% human-grade ingredients. It’s also prepared in small batches to ensure nutritional quality.
Use this bone broth to rehydrate your cat’s favorite freeze-dried raw food or simply to add moisture to a dry or wet food diet. The recommended serving size is two tablespoons per day per 10 pounds of body weight and you can dispense it directly from the pouch into your cat’s bowl.
Can’t decide which flavor to try? Open Farm offers a Bone Broth Bundle for Cats that includes a 12-ounce pouch of each of their three flavors. For additional digestive benefits, you might also try their organic cow or goat milk kefir, both packed with active cultures and live probiotics.
Two More Bone Broths for Cats
Looking for more options? You’ll find plenty of bone broths available on Chewy that are specifically formulated for pets. Check out the additional two picks below:
Water Sufficient for Processing, Beef Bones (Source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Organic Carrots, Organic Celery, Organic Parsley, Apple Cider Vinegar, Black Peppercorns, Bay Leaves, Thyme.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
This homestyle formula is made with high-quality, human-grade ingredients to provide your cat with a nutritious and flavorful bone broth. The main ingredient is, of course, beef bones which come from grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef.
Designed with picky eaters in mind, this beef bone broth from Caru is simmered with organic carrots, celery, and parsley for additional flavor. Because it is a bone broth, however, its nutritional composition consists of 90% protein on a dry matter basis.
Serve this flavorful bone broth as a tasty snack or use it to moisten your cat’s dry food. In the summer, try freezing it in small ice cube trays to provide a refreshing, hydrating treat.
Water, Turkey Bones, Apple Cider Vinegar, Celery, Carrots, Parsley, Thyme, Lemon Juice, Turmeric.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Once you’ve opened a container of bone broth, it’s important to keep it refrigerated and tightly sealed to preserve the freshness. Nulo FreeStyle bone broths are conveniently packaged in 20-ounce pouches with twist-off resealable caps.
Available in three flavors and a variety pack, this bone broth is made with 100% human-grade ingredients including turkey, beef, or chicken bones along with apple cider vinegar and nutrient-rich veggies like celery and carrots. Every formula is free from artificial flavors of any kind.
Nulo FreeStyle bone broths are the perfect way to moisture your cat’s dry food or add a little flavor to entice a picky eater. It’s very low in calories and fat, so you don’t have to worry about increasing your cat’s daily calorie intake by any significant amount.
Chicken Bone Broth, Filtered Water, Salt.
If you’re the kind of cat owner who likes to keep things simple by having your cat food delivered via subscription, Smalls is an option worth considering. Not only does Smalls offer human-grade fresh food for cats, but you can add freeze-dried treats, kibble, or this chicken bone broth pouch to your order with the click of a button.
Smalls’ Bird Broth is simply chicken bone broth lightly seasoned with salt. It’s an affordable add-on to your regular Smalls delivery at just $5 per pouch. Unfortunately, Smalls doesn’t provide much detail about this product. A Customer Service representative was able to provide the ingredients but not the Guaranteed Analysis information.
Whether you’re looking for a simple way to moisten your cat’s dry food or a flavor additive to entice a picky eater to eat, this powdered bone broth is a simple solution.
Start supplementing your cat’s diet today with nutrient-rich bone broth. Slow simmered and packed with flavor, bone broths are a great way to boost your cat’s moisture intake while also providing a healthy infusion of protein and other essential nutrients. Try one of our top three picks for the best bone broth for cats above or try your hand making your own!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is bone broth good for cats?
Yes! Bone broth is rich in collagen, an essential component of bones, ligaments, muscles, organs, blood vessels, and hair. It supports your cat's digestion, immune system, joint health, liver detoxification, and skin and coat health.
Is bone broth good for cats with kidney disease?
It depends. While bone broth may provide your cat with supplemental moisture, it may contain too many minerals like phosphorus and sodium which can be an issue. Before giving a cat with kidney disease bone broth, make sure it is low-sodium and check the phosphorus content.
How much bone broth can I give my cat?
For pets weighing under 20 pounds (like most cats), you can give 1 ounce of bone broth per day - about 2 tablespoons.
How to make bone broth for cats?
Bone broth is simply broth made by simmering meaty bones over a long period of time. To make bone broth, place an assortment of meaty bones in a large stockpot and cover with water. Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water and feel free to add sliced veggies like carrot. Simmer on low heat until the meat falls off the bone then remove the meat and veggies and continue to simmer another 20 to 24 hours. When finished, skim off any separated fat and discard the bones then cool the broth and divide it up for storage.
Where to buy bone broth for cats?
You can find bone broth for pets in most pet stores and online. Shop at Chewy or Amazon, being sure to buy bone broth specifically made for pets. Bone broth intended for human consumption could be made with potentially hazardous ingredients like onions and garlic.