Skip to Content

Can cats eat sardines

Can cats eat sardines

Can cats eat sardines? Can cats eat canned sardines? What is the right way of cooking sardines? Can cats eat sardine bones? What about sardines in olive oil? How many sardines can cats eat?

When feeding cats fish, these and several other questions related to a cat’s diet come into the pet owner’s mind. If you also have the same questions, read this blog and get all your questions answered.

Can cats eat sardines?

Sardines are tiny fish found in the oceans. They are rich in nutrients. They have been part of the human dinner table for centuries. Not only humans but forage fish and sea birds also feed on them. What about cats? Do cats eat sardines? Let’s discover.

Cats love sardines. As obligate carnivores, they can digest meat easily and get the required protein. Sardines too contain the same protein as white or red meats. Therefore, feeding sardines to cats is a good choice.

Is it good to feed cats sardines?

Fresh sardines are an occasional good treat for felines. They are an excellent source of vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin D, niacin, and iodine. It is an oily fish. Fish oil contains several health benefits for felines. Therefore, fresh sardines are suitable for cats to bite on.

What are the side effects of feeding cat sardines?

Although sardines are a nutritious treat for cats, some side effects are still associated with them if not given in recommended amounts and adequately.

  1. Avoid sardines packed with olive oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, or any other oil with added spices and seasonings. They are bad for the cat’s digestive system.
  2. Sardines in tomato sauce and brine are the reason for sodium poisoning in felines due to the presence of an excess amount of salts.
  3. Sardines are not considered healthy for cats with kidney diseases like kidney stones. The reason is that they contain purines which are metabolized to uric acid. Excess of it can form stones in the kidneys.
  4. As sardines contain a lot of fatty acids, felines can get overweight upon consuming an excess of the fish.
  5. Eating fish other than sardines can be a reason for elevated levels of mercury in cats. Sardines have the lowest level of mercury.If eaten once or twice a week, it does not cause any harm to your cats. Daily consumption of the fish can cause mercury poisoning in your furry friend. Therefore, serve sardines in only limited amounts.

To prevent the cat from any harm, it is better to keep in mind the side effects that sardines have on cats.

How many sardines can a cat eat?

Most adult cats love fish, if not all cats. If your cat, too, is a sardine lover, it does not mean that it should eat the fish daily.

Though sardines are healthy food for cats still must be given with the normal cat’s food or separately as an occasional treat.

If we talk about the exact amount of sardines good for a cat’s health, then 1 to 2 sardines twice or thrice a week is enough; not more than that.

The fatty acid content that it has can be the reason for many heart diseases if the feeding limit is exceeded. It can also cause several other gastrointestinal issues in cats as well.

What are the risks of eating sardines to cats?

Cooked fish in a limited amount does not pose any health risk to cats, but raw fish does. How? Let’s see it.

When cats eat sardines in raw form, it causes vitamin B deficiency in them. The raw sardines contain an enzyme known as thiaminase. It breaks down thiamine which is actually vitamin B. As a result, the feline cannot get the essential vitamin, leading to its deficiency.

Moreover, sardines packed in cans with different oils, tomato sauce, and other seasonings can also cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other health-related issues for your furry friend. Additionally, daily intake can be a reason for mercury poisoning in cats.

Health benefits of feeding a cat sardines

Cats eat sardines with great interest. When supplemented infrequently in cat food, they become an excellent source of nutrients for felines. Fresh sardines’ nutrients have mind-blowing health benefits, making sardines suitable for cats. A few are listed below.

  1. Good for the pet’s immune system

Sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids. They act as a booster of a cat’s immune system. They also are suitable for the felines’ hearts and helpful in preventing them from heart diseases.

  1. Delay loss of kidney function

Another advantage of including sardines in a pet’s diet is maintaining kidney health. They contain fish oils that have the potential to delay the loss of kidney function.

  1. Prevent allergies in young animals

Young animals are more prone to pollutants and allergens because they have a weak immune system compared to adult cats. The oils in cooked sardines prevent them from developing allergies.

  1. Activate fat-burning genes

The omega-3 fatty acids in the cooked fish are thought to activate fat-burning genes, which help felines in losing weight.

  1. Canned sardines are good for diabetic cats

Canned sardines have less amount of carbohydrates than regular cat food. That is why it is considered that a moderate amount of canned fish is good for diabetic cats.

How should pet owners feed their cat sardines?

The proper way to feed sardines to cats depends on the form of sardines, such as canned sardines, fresh sardines, sardines in tomato sauce, soybean oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil.

Sardines in tomato sauce, soybean oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil must first be rinsed thoroughly to remove salts, fats, and fat-soluble pollutants from the fish.

Cooked sardines are the best to feed cats. But the question is, how are they cooked?

The best way is to cook sardines in simple water without adding salt or spices. They can also be steamed and then dried before catering to cats. This is because cooked meat is much safer than raw meat.

Can cats eat canned sardines in oil?

The answer is YES. Cats can eat canned sardines, but first, the oil should be drained from the can, and the sardines should be washed properly. The fish contains oils, and the extra oil can be the reason for weight gain and gastrointestinal upset. Therefore, a prior rinsing is necessary.

What about sardine bones in a cat’s diet?

The sardine bones are not harmful to cats. They are small, soft, and easily chewable. Adults can swallow them without any issue. But do not feed them to kittens.

Is smoked fish healthy if included in a cat’s diet?

You will be disappointed to know that smoked fish is unsuitable for cats and must not be included in their diet. It contains salts that can cause sodium poisoning in felines. In extreme cases, kitties even die. No cat owner would want this to happen. Therefore, it is better to avoid smoked fish.

The bottom line

Can cats eat sardines? This is the question of many cat owners. Cats can eat sardines. They are rich in nutrients and contain fatty acids like omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids, which have several health benefits to cats and humans.

It is preferred to feed cats sardines only in moderation. Excess of them, be alone or in olive oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, or tomato sauce, can be problematic.

Moreover, cats can eat canned sardines but not smoked ones. In short, cats can eat sardines, be it canned sardines, sardine bones, baked, or fresh sardines, without seasonings or salts in an adequate amount only.

FAQs about cats eating sardines

What happens if cats eat too many sardines?

Too many sardines cause obesity, heart diseases, gastrointestinal upset, and increased levels of mercury in felines. It can also cause kidney stones and other kidney diseases. That is why it is advised to feed sardines in adequate amounts to cats.

Can cats eat sardines if they are diabetic?

The answer is YES. Sardines contain fewer amounts of carbohydrates as compared to regular cat food. Keeping this in mind, a moderate amount of sardine is OKAY for your furry companion. You can also give your cat canned sardines.

Can I give canned tuna to my cat?

Like every other canned food, canned tuna is also not nutritionally balanced. Its moderate amount is not harmful, but it should not make a large portion of the pet’s diet as it can cause malnutrition in your kitty.
Moreover, it contains higher levels of mercury as compared to sardines. Therefore, only feed canned tuna as an occasional treat to cats.

What other fish can our feline friends eat?

A list of fish that are healthy for cats are
You can try these and look at which suits your cat the best.