You might have seen in cartoons and animated movies cats eating fish. Even when preparing fish curry or any other fishy meal, your cat will always be in the kitchen, demanding fish. Many cat owners do not think much and give them raw fish. Let’s see, can cats eat raw fish? Is it a good or lousy treat for your feline friend? Read on to know more about cats and this human food poisoning!
Can Cats Eat Raw Fish? The Answer
Cats are obligate carnivores. 90% of their diet consists of animal meat. Fish is also a type of meat, so many pet parents think it fulfills their nutritional requirements. Unfortunately, this concept is wrong. Fish is not a nutritionally complete food source.
If we come to raw fish, adding it to your feline diet is risky as it contains harmful bacteria. They cause food poisoning. Moreover, raw fish poses the risk of thiamine deficiency in furballs. It has an enzyme called thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine in cats’ bodies. This ultimately leads to thiamine deficiency which further causes neurological problems.
So, the answer to the question is NO. Raw fish is bad for the cat’s health; avoid feeding it to your hungry little monster.
Can Cats Eat Raw Fish Skin?
Raw fish skin, like the flesh, contains a thiaminase enzyme that destroys thiamine. The raw skins also sometimes contain toxins that cause breathing issues and paralysis in furballs.
If the raw fish skin is in contact with contaminated flesh, consuming it also leads to food poisoning. Therefore, it is better to throw the skin away. If the skin is pathogen and toxin free and you don’t want to throw it away, first cook it properly. It is best not to add any flavoring agent; feed it to your four-pawed furry companion.
Can Cats Eat Raw Fish Bones?
As far as the raw bones of smaller fish are concerned, they do not cause any harm to felines. They enjoy it more than their owners. But if you are feeding the raw bones of big fish like tuna, then they can be a choking hazard. Moreover, they can splinter and cause injuries in your furries’ mouth and digestive tract. So, the answer is not a clear-cut yes or no. You can feed small fish bones to cats but avoid feeding the raw bones of large fish. Also, take veterinary advice before introducing raw fish bone into a feline’s diet.
Is Canned Tuna Safe for Cats?
Canned tuna comes in two forms: brine solution or oil. The one in brine contains too much salt. Such a high amount of sodium chloride causes salt poisoning. Its symptoms include high blood pressure, frequent urination, excessive thirst, lack of muscle coordination, and seizures.
On the other hand, canned tuna in oil contains too much fat. When consumed frequently, it adds extra calories to the cat’s diet. As a result, your cat gains weight and becomes obese, leading to many other health issues.
It is okay to feed canned tuna as a rare treat to your furball. She will not suffer from any health problems. Just make sure your feline does not consume it daily or more frequently.
Can Cats Eat Sardines?
Can cats eat sardines? It is a common question for almost all cat owners. Sardines are smaller fish that make cats crazy. They are not only a tasty treat, but their nutritional quality is relatively high too.
Sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and protein. All these nutrients keep your feline healthy. Therefore, the answer to your question is yes. Cats can eat sardines. But remember one thing. No matter how nutritious a meal is, if cats overeat, it causes more harm than good. So, feed sardines in moderation to your little cuties.
What About Fish Oil? Is It Safe for Cats?
Fish oil is a superfood not only for humans but cats also. The omega-fatty acids it contains are suitable for a feline’s skin and coat. Older cats suffering from joint pain, arthritis, or inflammation due to any other reason should be given fish oil as a treatment. It is completely safe and an excellent supplement for felines.
What Nutritional Benefits Do a Fish Have?
Fish is one of the healthiest foods for humans, but what about cats? What essential nutrients does a fish have for cats? How does it affect cats’ health? Let’s dive in to get the answer!
Approximately 145 g of fish contains the following nutrients.
- Fatty acids (Omega-3 and omega-6) 12.5 g
- 86 mg of sodium
- 39.2 g of proteins
- 280 calories
It does not contain carbs or sugars, hence is an occasional healthy treat. In moderate amounts, these nutrients are suitable for your cat’s health.
Health Benefits of Cooked Fish to Felines
Fish is a part of our balanced diet. For cats, this occasional treat has some health benefits too. Do you want to know? Read on!
Some fish, like cooked salmon, are rich in nutrients. These nutrients boost your cat’s immune system, improve its metabolism, and keep skin and coat healthy. Moreover, some fish contain essential b vitamin, which is suitable for vision, and brain functioning and also plays a significant role in fetal brain development in pregnant cats.
It also promotes the production of red blood cells, hence effective against anemia. The healthy fats in fish are good against arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation.
Though fish give all these benefits to cats, keep in mind that it is not a part of a feline’s natural diet.
How To Serve Fish to Your Feline Friend?
Cats love to fish, but not all fish offer equal nutrients to cats. Whitefish is less nutritious as compared to sardines and tuna. If you want your furball to have all the nutrients, cooking the raw fish in the right way matters a lot.
Baked, boiled, or grilled fish are the best ways to offer a fishy treat to your cat. It should be unseasoned because spices and salt disturb the cat’s stomach. Feed it occasionally, not as a steady diet. This way, your cat will enjoy the meal to its fullest without having health problems.
Are There Any Side Effects of Consuming Large Quantities of Fish?
According to experts, Due to human activities, water pollution has increased, resulting in the number of heavy metals in water bodies. Mercury is one of the metals. It gets accumulated in fish and, when consumed in excess, leads to mercury poisoning in cats.
Fish like sardines and salmon have plenty of healthy fats. In large quantities, these healthy fats no longer remain healthy. Instead, they cause obesity and many other health problems in cats.
Moreover, some cats are even allergic to fish. Keep such cats away from fish. Some common fish allergy symptoms include gastrointestinal upset, redness on the neck, crusty bumps, etc.
Therefore, feed your furry friends only a moderate amount of adequately cooked fish.
The Bottom Line
Cats cannot eat raw fish as it sometimes contains pathogenic bacteria. Moreover, it also has enzymes that break down thiamine leading to thiamine deficiency. Therefore, feed your cat-cooked fish in moderation to avoid health issues.
Can Cats Eat Tuna?
Raw tuna is not suitable for cats because it may contain pathogenic bacteria. If you give your cat raw tuna, it will cause food poisoning. On the other hand, too much tuna also causes feline mercury poisoning. So, the best way is to choose the middle path. Give your cat well-cooked tuna without added seasonings in small amounts. When cats eat tuna in this way, they do not suffer from any side effects.
Can Cats Eat Salmon?
The answer is yes. You can give your cat salmon, but it should be adequately cooked. It should be free of spices and herbs as they can upset your feline’s gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, it should be offered only as a rare treat because large amounts are again unsafe.
Is Canned Salmon Good for My Furball?
No. Canned salmon is not a good choice for furballs. It contains elevated levels of salts. Apart from that, to keep it fresh and increase its shelf-life, preservatives are added. They have a deteriorating effect on your cat’s health. Therefore, avoid canned salmon.
Can I Feed My Tom Smoked Sardines?
Generally, smoked sardines are not suitable for cats. Including it in the cat’s diet is a bad idea as it makes her ill. The best way to serve sardines is by baking or boiling them. Moreover, canned sardines are also unhealthy. That’s why keep them away from your furballs’ reach.
Do Cats Eat Salmon?
Salmon contains a massive amount of protein. It also has many essential vitamins and minerals. Moreover, the fatty acids in salmon give adult cats relief from arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation. So, the answer to your question is yes. Cats eat salmon.
Do Commercial Cat Foods Contain Fish?
Well! Yes, all commercial cat foods do contain fish. But the problem is that the nutritional quality of those fish is relatively low. So, feeding fresh fish to cats is a much better option.