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Can Cats Eat Fish?

Can Cats Eat Fish?

The short answer: It depends.

The long answer: Cats are true carnivores, which means their diet requires nutrients found only in animal flesh. Though fish is technically a type of meat, cats should not eat it on a daily basis. This is because of the high levels of fatty acids found in them, which can cause vitamin E deficiency and other health conditions.

It is a big no-no for your cat to consume raw fish. These may contain harmful pathogens, which may lead to food poisoning. Plus, the enzyme in raw fish destroys an essential vitamin B1 (thiamine) that cats need. Take note that fish also contains high amounts of histamines that can trigger allergies in some cats. 

When it comes to feeding your cat fish, always make sure that it has been properly cleaned, deboned, and cooked without any harmful additives, seasonings, or flavourings. Salt, garlic, onions, and chives are just a few examples of toxic ingredients. Speak with your veterinarian to find out which types of fish will be suitable for your cat’s age, weight, size, and activity. 

If you want to feed canned tuna to your cat, do it only once in a while. Feeding this to her on a regular basis can lead to malnutrition since it won’t have all the necessary nutrients she needs. Plus, tuna contains high amounts of mercury, which can be harmful to her. Sardines and salmon tinned in spring water are good fish alternatives to give your cat.

What to do if your cat accidentally eats raw fish or cooked fish with seasonings that are bad for her: Observe your cat for poisoning. Symptoms may include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, twitching and fitting, difficulty in breathing, shock, collapse, skin inflammation or swelling, depression, coma, abdominal pain or discomfort, and changes in drinking, urinating, and appetite. If her conditions worsen, call your vet or bring her to the emergency clinic. 

In summary: As long as your cat’s body is agreeable to fish, she can enjoy cooked and unflavoured seafood in moderation. Cats can benefit from the amino acids and omega-3 fish oil found in them. Aside from fish, discover which human food cats can safely consume in our “can cats eat” category.

References:

Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat

Feeding Fish to Your Cat: A Healthy Option

What Should I Feed My Cat?

Poisoning in Cats



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