Soup for cats: Three nutritious recipes to nourish your feline friend

Cat licking soup off a spoon
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is soup for cats a real thing? You better believe it is! While the best dry cat food or wet food is likely your usual choice when filling your cat’s food bowl, soup can be a delicious and nutritious way of adding some variety to your fur friend's diet.

Great for detoxifying the liver, aiding digestion and giving the immune system a boost, it’s also brilliant for joint health and the rich flavor profile can be beneficial for dealing with dehydration in cats by encouraging a cat to drink more. 

We find feline-friendly soup dishes are particularly popular with adult and senior cats who have food sensitivities or who find chewing a challenge due to dental issues. Just be sure to avoid commercial soups that have been formulated for us humans as these tend to be high in sodium and contain potentially toxic ingredients.

While we don’t recommend feeding your cat a daily serving of soup as a replacement for standard cat food, it can make a wonderful addition to their diet. Below, we share three of our favorite safe and satisfying soup for cats recipes that are budget-friendly and packed full of nutrients.

Note: Please do not use any onion or garlic in any soup that you make for cats, as this can be harmful to them. You’ll also want to avoid salt and pepper. For more info, read our guide to five human foods that are poisonous to cats.

Our favorite soup for cats recipes

cooked chicken stock with vegetables and aromatic herbs in a stockpot and in a mug at the background, ingredients on a stone kitchen worktop, horizontal view, close-up

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Homemade chicken soup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes



  • Water
  • 2 chicken legs with skin and bone
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery


  1. Finely chop carrot and celery.
  2. Fill a pot with water, and add vegetables and chicken legs.
  3. Bring to the boil, and let simmer for 90 minutes.
  4. Fill mason jars or freeze in ice cube trays for easy one portion serves. 
  5. Refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for six months.

Tip: Serve a single small portion (¼ cup) on its own or mix with the best wet cat food or raw food

2. Beef and vegetable broth

Bone broth in a mason jar with soup pot and beef bones in behind

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 24 hours


  • Beef bones
  • Water
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice per gallon of water
  • A mix of cat-friendly vegetables, such as carrots, beans, and peas


  1. Place the beef bones in a pot and cover with water.
  2. Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice per gallon of water. This will help the bones to break down and release their minerals.
  3. Stir in your choice of chopped vegetables.
  4. Simmer on a low heat until all the meat residue has fallen off the bones.
  5. Remove meat and vegetables.
  6. Let the bones simmer for another 20 hours.
  7. When cooking time is up, skim off the fat, and remove and discard all bones. Let the broth cool completely before freezing.

Tip: In the warmer months you can serve broth popsicles straight out of ice cube trays for a refreshing treat. Alternatively, why not try spooning the broth over dry cat food to add some moisture?

3. Catnip soup

adult red cat sits on a table where a cook in a black uniform prepares food in a cast-iron skillet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes


  • 1 cup of prepared chicken soup from recipe 1
  • 3 tablespoons of dried or fresh catnip


  1. Heat the chicken soup on the stove until it’s gently simmering. 
  2. Add the catnip, and let it infuse until it has given the soup a greenish tinge. 
  3. Cool to drinking temperature, and serve ¼ cup of the soup in a shallow bowl, or pour over wet or dry cat food.
  4. Store the remainder of the soup in the refrigerator

What are the benefits of cat soup?

Cat soup that has been made from animal bones offers a ton of healthy and wholesome benefits to your kitty. Here are just a few:

1. Detoxifies the liver

Beef and chicken broths are rich in an amino acid called glycine, which helps remove toxins stored in the liver.

2. Promotes healthy joints

Bone broth has high amounts of collagen, a type of protein that helps protect your cats bones, joints, and cartilage. It’s also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, two compounds often found in supplements taken by humans with arthritis. Older cats with arthritis, or any cat with weak bones, will benefit from consuming cat soup.

3. Aids digestion

Collagen can also help strengthen the lining of your cats intestinal lining and digestive tract, preventing the bacteria from undigested food from seeping into the blood stream.

4. Improves the immune system

Bone broths contain marrow, which helps transport oxygen to your cats cells, increasing their resistance to illness.

5. Boosts nutrition

Full of nutrients, and tasty too, cat soup is also easily digestible, making it ideal for cats with sensitivities, or those who are unwell who may not otherwise get all of the nutrition they need. 

Are you struggling to entice your kitty to eat, whether it’s soup or something else? Then be sure to check out our guide of things to check when your cat’s not eating which has a wealth of great advice from our vet.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.