How to cook chicken hearts and gizzards for cats?

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Taurine is important for your cat’s well-being, and this comes from specific parts of animal meat such as chicken hearts. Chicken gizzard could also help add ample nutrition to your cat’s diet as it contains zinc, cartilage, iron, and glucosamine that promote better joint health. In addition, these parts also impart health to your cat’s cardiovascular system. But, is there a right way to cook these animal parts for your cat?

If you are busy or a little lazy 🙂 here are some ready-to-eat chicken hearts.

Before we learn the process of cooking chicken hearts and gizzards, let us learn how they help your cat.

How do chicken hearts help cats?

Hearts and livers from any animal such as chicken, beef, or turkey are deemed to be a rich source of minerals and vitamins for your pet. When you visit your local market, chicken hearts are often paired with chicken gizzards to provide your pet with optimum nutrition. In terms of portion, an ideal serving of chicken hearts is 5 to 10 percent of the total meal.

Should I feed my cat chicken gizzards daily?

Even though chicken gizzards are small in size, the benefits they pack in are surplus. As explained above, they are rich in nutrition and help your cat thrive. However, you must limit the amount of chicken gizzard you can feed your cat as it is loaded with cholesterol. The ideal number is 20 percent of the total serving.

Let us learn the nutritional quotient of 1 cup serving of chicken gizzards and chicken hearts with this table below:

MacrosChicken HeartsChicken Gizzards
Calories268 calories223 calories
Protein38.3 grams44.1 grams
Fat 11.5 grams (3.28 grams saturated fat) 3.89 grams (0.97 grams saturated fat)
Iron 13.1 milligrams 4.62 milligrams
Zinc10.6 milligrams6.41 milligrams

Are chicken hearts and gizzards safe for cats?

Yes, chicken gizzards and hearts are completely safe for cats. Moreover, it provides your cat with quality protein that helps maintain a lean muscle mass and reduce any weight gain issues. However, try to balance other ingredients and organ meat as described above.

How to cook chicken gizzards and chicken hearts for cats?

Since gizzards and hearts are organ meat, some cats might not find them as appetizing as the parts with fat and muscle content. So, it is ideal that you cook these organ meats with the liver to enhance the taste and smell and make it appetizing for picky eaters.

You can serve chicken gizzards and hearts raw as they come. However, it is safer to cook the parts to ensure that there aren’t any harmful bacteria or any other microorganisms that might harm your cat in any way.

Moreover, cooking the organ meat helps break down the texture making it faster and easier for felines to digest. You can also experiment with different textures and flavors to cook something enticing for the pets.

Now, you might wonder if there is any difference between raw and cooked chicken hearts and gizzards. Truth be told, organ meat’s nutritional value isn’t affected by whether it is cooked or not. But you sure need to watch out for any harmful bacteria.

Organ meat also helps improve your feline friend’s eyesight & prevents the onset of blindness or cataracts. Other nutrients such as choline and niacin found in gizzards can help reduce or prevent heart problems. Gizzards are also rich in phosphorus and calcium which is crucial for your pet’s oral health.

Steps to cook chicken hearts and gizzards

When prepared the right way, chicken hearts and gizzards will provide your cat with ample nutrition and a relishing taste. Let us check out the best ways to prepare a recipe with organ meat for cats.

First, remove the organ’s outer layer and wash it thoroughly to get rid of any blood. Next, you can cook the heart and the gizzard as it is or chop them up into smaller pieces. In most cases, it is advised that you chop them up to help your cat chew better, especially if yours is an old cat with weak teeth.

Start by cutting the gizzards and heart half of their original size, or you can chop them into smaller cubes as well. In the gizzards, remove the tough tendons in each of these pieces by pulling away carefully. After you are done chopping up the parts, you can store the pieces in the freeze to be cooked later or mix them up with other meat variants such as bones, muscle parts, and so on to be cooked.

Make sure you boil or microwave the parts properly to ensure it doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria that might hamper your cat’s health.

If you wish to feed your cat raw chicken hearts and gizzards, it is advised that you freeze the parts for multiple days. This will help kill harmful microorganisms such as Neosporum caninum and Toxoplasma gondii. Alternatively, you can also steam the chicken organs to kill any bacterial population present in the same.

For pet parents who don’t have time to prepare an organ-meat-based meal for their cats, a healthy option is the Raw Paws Freeze-Dried Diced Chicken Heart for Cats. This cat treat is free of any preservatives and can be the perfect food topper to provide that added nutrition.

Should a cat with renal problems eat organ meat?

While organ meats are healthy for regular cats, they can be particularly dangerous for cats who suffer from kidney issues and rely on a vet-recommended renal diet. This is especially true for chicken gizzards as they contain a high level of phosphorus.

As pet parents, you also need to consider any existing allergies your cat might have to the nutrients present in the organ meat.


Chicken or other meat organs tend to be very healthy for cats. However, you must check in with your veterinarian before introducing any major dietary changes to your cat. This is especially important if your cat suffers from an existing health condition. Gizzards tend to be chewy, so it is better to serve your cat the cooked and chopped-up version as opposed to the whole raw pieces. Remember not to overdo the quantity to keep your cat healthy and at its ideal weight.

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