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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.
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.
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:
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.