Cats can eat certain kinds of sardines, depending on its ingredients and how it is prepared.
Sardines are a type of oily, forage fish from the herring family, Clupeidae. They are typically sold in cans filled with liquid such as oil (sunflower, olive, and soybean, to name a few), brine, tomato sauce, and water.
Cats can safely eat a few pieces of canned sardines that come with water. The ones packed in oil must be washed, while sardines in brine and tomato sauce must be avoided completely. Brine is a highly concentrated water solution of common salt, which is not good for cats. Tomato sauce, on the other hand, may be seasoned with sugar, garlic, and onion—all of which are harmful for your pet.
Raw sardines should also be avoided at all costs since harmful bacteria such as salmonella, clostridium, listeria, and vibrio may be found in them. When eaten, these pathogens can result in digestive issues, food poisoning, and serious neurological problems. The best sardine option to feed your cat would be frozen unflavoured ones that you can cook on your own without unnecessary oils and seasonings.
How to feed sardines to your cat: Boil your frozen sardines. Chop them finely or pulse in a food processor to make easy-to-eat fish paste. For canned varieties, choose sardines in spring water. Read the label to make sure there are no toxic ingredients for your cat. Feed sardines two or three times a week with your veterinarian’s approval.
Here are three ideas for sardine treats your cat will love:
- Top a piece of chopped sardine over your cat’s meal.
- Try this homemade meatloaf using water-tinned sardines.
- Bake addictive Sardine Catnip Crunchies for your kitties!
In summary: When sourced and prepared correctly, eating sardines weekly may benefit your pet cat. Sardines can be served as an occasional meal or snack, providing nutrients such as protein, vitamin B12, and omega 3 fatty acids.