Fish is one of the most loved kinds of seafood. It is not only tasty but also rich in nutrients. Many cat owners’ favorite dinner is fish, but what about cats? Can cats eat fish too? Can cats eat fish bones, or is deboned fish a better option? Is feeding a fish to cats safe? Do fish contain all the nutrients and essential minerals that a cat needs? Let’s explore the answers to these and a lot more questions.
Can Cats Eat Fish? The Answer
You might have seen in cartoons that cats are crazy for fish. They are always chowing down on fish or drinking milk. But in reality, can cats eat fish? Let’s find out!
Pet cats are pampered a lot. They are fed commercial cat food. It provides all the nutrients cats need and is a balanced diet for felines. On the other hand, fish does not give all the nutrients that furballs need. Sticking solely to fish is not a good idea. Still, you can feed your catfish in small amounts as an occasional treat. So, the answer to your question is that cats can eat fish in moderate amounts.
What About the Raw Fish? Can Cats Eat Raw Fish?
In cartoons, cats are often seen nibbling on raw fish. It indicates that raw fish is safe for cats, but it is not the case.
Feeding raw fish is risky because it can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli. Both these bacteria cause food poisoning in felines. Moreover, raw fish also contains an enzyme known as thiaminase. It destroys thiamine present in the feline’s body.
Thiamine is an essential b vitamin that cats need for proper functioning. If your four-pawed furry buddy doesn’t get it in enough quantity, it can lead to neurological problems and even death. Therefore, avoid feeding raw fish to cats.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Fish?
You have your fishy dinner, but you feel the constant gaze of someone on your food from right beside your chair. Who’s it?
Yes! Of course, It’s your pet cat. She wants you to make her your dinner partner. Will you do so? Can cats eat cooked fish?
Well! Cooked fish contains proteins and is an excellent source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They are suitable for cats’ overall health. Moreover, cooked fish also reduces the risk of thiamine breakdown, making it even safer for cats.
While offering cooked fish to your furball, make sure it is plain, without spices and seasonings. So, keeping all these things in view, you can feed your cat cooked fish. It’s an occasional good addition to a cat’s diet.
Can Cats Eat Fish Bones?
Humans do not prefer to eat fish bones, so what about cats? Can cats eat fish bones? Are fish bones safe for cats?
Well! The answer is no. Cats cannot eat fish bones because they can obstruct the feline’s throat, which leads to a choking hazard. Moreover, the bones can injure the cat’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract, which can cause internal bleeding. If the bones are cooked, these risks increase even more. Therefore, save your cat from this suffering and avoid feeding fish bones to her.
Can Cats Eat Goldfish?
Goldfish is a tiny fish with bright color that you often see in the fish tank. The movements it makes in the tank and the color of the fish attract cats more towards it. Many cats want to play with the fish. Still, some cats want to eat the fish, so your furball would want to swallow the fish down. That’s why the question “Can cat eat goldfish?” becomes necessary.
The answer is yes, cats can eat goldfish, but it is not usually recommended. The small bones present in goldfish can be a choking hazard. They can also injure the feline’s oral cavity and the gut lining while traveling down. Therefore, it is better to give the deboned fish to your furball.
Are Fish Oils Good for Cats?
Fish, especially oily fish, are enriched with fish oils like omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Both fatty acids have a lot of benefits for cats. Some are listed below.
Benefits Of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
- They boost the felines’ immune system.
- In kittens, omega-3 fatty acids enhance retinal function.
- They reduce inflammation.
- They keep the felines’ coats healthy.
- They fight against skin infections.
- These fatty acids also alleviate joint pain and are suitable for older cats suffering from arthritis.
What Are the Health Benefits of Fish to Felines
Fish is a healthy treat for cats, and there is no doubt about it. If you don’t know how good the fish is, read the benefits listed below.
- Fish oil
Fish contains loads of healthy oils that are omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Both these oils impart various health benefits to furries.
- Loaded with proteins
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need animal proteins in their diet. Fish are also rich in proteins which give the felines energy. Fish is a healthy alternative if your fish is not getting enough proteins.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
As already mentioned, fish contains healthy fats. Due to the presence of these fats, consuming fish reduces inflammation.
- Heart health
The oils in fish help keep the heart healthy and properly functioning.
Due to these reasons, fishy treats are considered healthy. Just remember one thing fish do not have all the nutrition that furries need. Therefore, supplement it with commercial cat foods.
What Health Problems/ Risks Does Your Feline Friend Experience While Eating Fish?
Though fish has many health benefits, feeding it to cats also has drawbacks.
- Many cats have food allergies, and fish allergy is one of them. If such cats eat fish, they will have an upset stomach, vomiting, and other ill effects.
- Though smaller fish have small bones that cats can eat easily, still, they can become a choking hazard. So, keep the bones away from the kitty’s reach.
- A significant issue with fresh fish is mercury poisoning. These fish have increased levels of mercury which is a heavy metal. If such fish are ingested frequently, it will disturb the digestive tract, impair the nervous system, and damage the organs, ultimately leading to death.
- Fish from fish cultures are fed antibiotics. It accumulates in their bodies. When you eat such fish, the antibiotic enters your body, causing antibiotic resistance.
- Too much fish intake increases the number of fats. As a result, cats become obese and more prone to health issues.
Therefore, fur parents should only feed fishy treats in moderation.
How to Prepare Fish for Cats?
Here are some simple steps for preparing a fish for your kitty:
- Wash the fish properly.
- Remove the skin and the bones.
- You can bake, boil, or grill the fish according to your kitty’s choice.
- Do not add seasonings, salt, or spices.
- If you are boiling the fish, keep the water plain too.
- Once cooked properly, allow it to cool.
- Now, shred the fish and serve only a moderate amount to your furry.
It would be best if you also took veterinary advice before giving your cats fishy treats.
How Often Should You Offer Fish to Your Cat?
Fish should make only 10% or less of your cat’s diet. Moreover, it should not be fed daily as it is not a complete and balanced diet for cats. Offering fish 2-3 times a week is enough. Do not exceed this limit, or else you and your cat will have to suffer.
Can Cats Eat Fish? — The Bottom Line
Fish is rich in proteins and healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. It is an occasional excellent treat for cats. Many commercial cats and dog food contains fish. They impart many benefits to cats, such as a healthy coat and skin, an immune boost, and the proper functioning of organs. Moreover, fish is also good for cats suffering from arthritis. Contrary to it, in excess, fish can also become risky. Therefore, feed your catfish in moderation.
Can Cats Eat Tuna, an oily fish?
The answer is yes. Cats can eat tuna in adequate amounts. It is rich in proteins and also has low carbs content. Moreover, it is also loaded with healthy fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, etc. They contribute to felines’ skin and coat health. In short, tuna has many benefits and is suitable for cats.
Can My Cats Eat Squid?
If it is plain and properly boiled, yes, only then can your cats eat squid? Like fish, raw squid also contains bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Similarly, it contains a thiaminase enzyme that breaks down thiamine, causing its deficiency. As a result, cats suffer from neurological problems. So, you can’t feed raw squid, but the cooked one is okay in moderation.
Are Canned Fish Like Canned Salmon and Canned Tuna Safe for Cats?
Cats can have it in the case of canned tuna, but the one canned in water without added salts or additives. The tuna is packed in oil or additives that are harsh on cats’ intestines and can cause stomach issues. The exact instructions go for canned salmon as well.
Canned seafood is mostly designed for humans. If you offer them to cats, keep the amount extremely low so that your cats do not get sick.