4 min read

Can Cats Eat Duck?


By Adam Lee-Smith

Published: 06/13/2024, edited: 06/16/2024

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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Cat food companies are creating a seemingly endless stream of flavor combos to please your feline friends' palette, from venison to rabbit to goose. But is duck on the dinner menu? 

The answer is yes — cats can eat duck. Duck meat is completely safe for cats and is used in recipes by many cat food brands, including Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, and Nulo. In fact, it's an excellent alternative protein source for cats with allergies to chicken, beef, and turkey

Keep scrolling for info on whether cats like duck meat, the health benefits of duck, how much duck you should feed your cat, and much more!

Do cats like duck?

Yes, cats like duck. While all cats are different, and some are picky eaters, cats generally like the taste of duck. Similar to lamb, duck has a unique flavor that some cats crave, and others will turn their noses up at.

Cats are obligate carnivores — meat contains essential nutrients that cats need to survive. As a result, your house panther will happily chow down on most meats, whether it’s beef, salmon, or duck. Anecdotal evidence suggests that feral cats have even been known to hunt ducks; however, such cases are rare.

roasted duck on a platter - can cats eat duck

Health benefits of duck for cats

Duck is one of the most nutritionally rich poultry meats you can feed your cat. Keep reading for information about the health benefits of duck meat for cats. 


Duck is high in protein — 100 grams of roasted duck meat contains 23.5 grams of protein, according to the USDA. By comparison, 100 grams of various cuts of roasted turkey meat consists of 28.6 grams of protein. 

While duck is lower in protein than turkey or chicken, it still includes all 11 essential amino acids your cat needs to thrive. Amino acids perform numerous vital functions, from maintaining healthy energy levels to supporting normal growth to aiding reproduction. 

It's worth noting that duck is lower in fat than many other popular types of meat used in cat food. For example, some cuts of beef and pork contain over double as much fat as duck.

Omega fatty acids

Fish is considered one of the best sources of omega fatty acids, but duck meat isn't far behind. Duck is an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), have anti-inflammatory properties. They provide immune support and help manage joint-related health conditions like arthritis. Plus, omega-3 fatty acids promote heart, skin, and reproductive health.

Omega-6, especially linoleic acid, is key to skin and coat health, helping prevent dryness, which can lead to dermatitis. It's also crucial to reproductive and skin health. 

B-vitamins, phosphorus, and potassium

Duck meat is an excellent source of key vitamins and minerals for cats, including B vitamins, phosphorus, and potassium. 

Duck meat is rich in niacin (vitamin B3), which helps convert protein, fat, and carbohydrates into usable energy. Choline (vitamin B4) plays a role in nerve function and liver health. 

Phosphorus and potassium are two of the most plentiful minerals in duck meat. Phosphorus is essential to DNA production and growth — it also assists and balances other nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. Potassium is an electrolyte that aids bodily functions like nerve impulses and blood pressure. 

Here's a breakdown of the key nutrients in 100 grams of cooked duck meat:

  • Protein: 23.5 grams
  • Total fat: 11.2 grams
  • Energy: 201 kcal
  • Sodium: 65 milligrams
  • Fatty acids, saturated: 3.95 grams
  • Phosphorus: 203 milligrams
  • Potassium: 252 milligrams
  • Niacin: 5.1 milligrams
  • Choline: 65 milligrams

Source: USDA


How much duck can I give my cat?

Duck meat is a healthy, lean meat that you can incorporate into your cat's daily diet. Many cat food brands offer wet and dry cat foods that use duck as a primary protein source. 

That said, there are a couple of things to consider if you plan on adding duck to your cat's daily diet. Firstly, duck is higher in fat than other poultry, like turkey and chicken, so there may be better choices for felines with weight management issues. 

Secondly, duck is rich in phosphorus, which worsens kidney disease at high levels. Kidney disease in cats can lead to excessive potassium levels (hyperkalemia) — duck meat is also high in potassium. So, it's best to avoid duck if your cat has a history of kidney problems. 

Consult your vet if you have any concerns about feeding your cat duck.

Duck eggs sitting in straw

Can cats eat duck eggs?

Yes, cats can eat duck eggs. Eggs are an outstanding protein source for cats, just like they are for humans. Duck eggs are loaded with many vitamins and minerals, including selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin A, and choline. 

Cats shouldn't eat raw duck eggs for the same reason they shouldn't eat raw duck meat — raw eggs can contain harmful pathogens like Salmonella. 

Can cats eat raw duck meat?

Yes, you can feed your cat raw duck in certain circumstances. Several raw cat food brands, like Stella & Chewy's, Vital Essentials, and Smallbatch, offer duck-based frozen raw cat foods.

While it's safe to feed your feline commercially available raw duck cat food, we don't recommend you feed your cat raw duck prepared at home. Raw duck that hasn't been adequately prepared or passed safety tests may harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli.

Can I feed my cat duck if they're allergic to chicken?

You'd expect if your cat is allergic to chicken, they'd be allergic to duck, too, right? Well, this isn't necessarily the case. 

Duck is a novel protein, and cats are less likely to have a duck allergy than an allergy to other poultry. While chicken and duck may have similar antigens that cause allergies, your cat may not necessarily be allergic to duck if they're allergic to chicken.

The easiest way to discover if your cat is allergic to duck is to perform a food elimination trial. Remove duck from your cat's diet and replace it with another meat if your cat shows symptoms of a food allergy. If the symptoms stop, your cat is likely allergic to duck. Consult your vet for more information on poultry allergies in cats. 

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