We all know cats love fish, and this is one of the first things that we read on a cat food bag, box, or can. Fish is a popular meal option for cats because it is a good source of protein. But it can also cause dangerous levels of pollutants like mercury to build up in your cat’s system.
The truth is, cats actually enjoy eating fish. In addition, it is good for them. Fish is a common ingredient in cat food and treats. Salmon, tuna, and sardines are some of the most suitable fish for cats.
Can Cats Eat Fish?
Cats have a reputation for being voracious fish eaters. How many cartoons and children’s books do you know that show cats proudly resting on mounds of fish bones?
Cats can undoubtedly eat fish. A fishy snack won’t harm your cat in most circumstances, but it won’t provide a nutritious diet for your cat.
While fish may offer protein to your cat, it will be low in essential minerals and vitamins that your cat requires for a balanced diet. Therefore, fish should always be a special treat for cats.
So, why do cats enjoy eating fish? Modern domestic cats have come into touch with fish over time and acquired an interest in them. Fish are incredibly irresistible to cats, from their distinct smell and movement to their gleaming scales that flicker with the light.
What Type Of Fish Is Good For Your Cat?
Salmon, tuna, and sardines are the three most popular fish fed to cats or converted into cat food. While each has its own set of nutrients and advantages to provide, salmon is the preferable choice since it contains less mercury and is a good source of Omega-3 and Omega-6.
However, fish oil, which is generally recognized to improve your cats’ vision, brain activity, and overall health, is the most vital nutrient and is termed the “super-nutrient” of fish.
Cats may consume canned fish or canned tuna on occasion. Since the fish supplies the protein and fatty acids that cats require.
Can Cats Eat Salmon?
Salmon is another type of fish that is high in protein, omega three fatty acids, and elements that are beneficial to cats, but, like tuna, it should not be the primary source of protein in your cat’s diet.
Salmon (and tuna) can cause cats to grow addicted to them, and they may begin to shun their regular meal in favor of these more exotic delights. As a result, salmon should only be given as a special treat to your cat.
How you prepare salmon for your cat is also important. The nutritional value of salmon that has been deep-fried or cooked at a high temperature is likely to diminish. Salmon that has been roasted, grilled, or poached is a healthier option for your cat. Seasonings, sauces, and other substances that are poisonous to cats should never be added to the salmon.
It’s also vital not to feed canned, smoked, or cured salmon to your cat because these foods contain high quantities of salt, which can be harmful to cats and can cause death. If you suspect your cat has eaten this type of fish, get them to a veterinarian right away.
Can Cats Eat Canned Tuna?
It’s no secret that cats adore fish; the bigger, the better. Tuna is a classic cat treat, and many people used to feed canned tuna to their cats before commercial cat food became popular.
Is it safe to give tuna to your cat, given that we know cats have particular nutritional needs? If that’s the case, how much tuna can cats consume, and what sort of tuna can they eat?
Tuna may be a nutritious treat for most cats when consumed in moderation. Tuna is a component in a lot of commercial cat diets. Tuna is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate fish. Tuna also contains the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which can help relieve: inflammatory disorders such as:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Skin disease
- Skin and coat health.
Although a little tuna as a treat or a supplement to your cat’s complete and balanced cat food is good, too much tuna can be detrimental. To begin with, tuna alone does not supply the crucial nutritional balance that a cat needs to be healthy. Cats have exact dietary requirements.
The label of high-quality commercial cat meals implies that the product is “complete and balanced.”
This supplement indicates that the cat will receive all of the essential nutrients she requires, in the proper balance, for the life stage they’re in: growth, reproduction, and adult maintenance, or all life stages.
Finally, cats have an unhealthy obsession with tuna. Tuna is very delectable, possibly even more so than your cat’s nutritious usual diet. As a result, when offered tuna regularly, some cats will refuse to eat their regular cat food, expecting that you will cave and give them more tuna instead. This can soon escalate into problematic fussy eating and feeding issues.
What Kind Of Tuna Can Cats Eat?
If you sometimes wish to give your cat a tuna treat, you can use canned tuna or fresh tuna. Choose canned tuna in water rather than in oil or canned tuna with extra salt or flavorings. Chunk-light tuna is better for your cat than albacore tuna, which contains more mercury.
Keep an eye out for alternative tuna sources that your cat might be ingesting. If you’re feeding a tuna-based canned food, for example, adding more tuna on top of it might be too much.
How to Feed Tuna to Your Cat in a Safe Way
Before adding any new items to your cat’s diet, always consult your veterinarian. If your veterinarian permits you to give your cat tuna, follow the same procedures as you would for any other treat.
For the sake of minimizing the onset of fussy eating habits that may arise from overeating tuna, avoid feeding tuna every day and instead restrict tuna treats to a few times a week.
Cooked tuna is the most acceptable way to enjoy it. Even though people consume sushi regularly, giving your cat raw fish could be detrimental. Eating raw fish puts your cat in the same danger as it does you.
Cooking the tuna you’re about to feed your cat eliminates bacteria and parasites while also destroying thiaminase.
Can Cats Eat Sardines?
Sardines are tiny fish that might be a tasty treat for your cat. They include protein, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are beneficial to your cat’s health. Sardines, like tuna and salmon, should only be fed on rare occasions.
If you want to feed your cat sardines, make sure you get the appropriate kind. Sauced sardines may contain salt, bad fats, or poisonous substances like onions or garlic, all of which might hurt your cat. Instead, go for sardines in water.
Fresh sardines can also be frozen and thawed, cooked, and chopped for your cat as a delightful treat. One sardine each week is plenty, but always see a veterinarian if you are unclear how much to give your cat.
Can Cats Eat Raw Fish?
Raw fish, sad to say, can carry pathogens and food poisoning in your cat. Although the supermarket’s “fresh fish” may appear to be a pleasant treat for your pet.
You should avoid giving them raw fish to be safe. If you’re going to feed your cat with fish, make sure it’s thoroughly prepared and free of any possibly dangerous additions, seasonings, or flavorings.
Also, the enzymes in raw fish might damage the vitamins in the fish, which is a nutritional concern to consider. This means that adequately cooked fish, rather than uncooked fish, will allow your cat to absorb more vitamins.
Can Cats Get Sick From Eating Fish?
To give you a better idea, below are a few reasons where they could. Fish needs to be well cooked to avoid bacteria or if it has been cooked only mildly. We could also explore the possibility that raw fish contains an enzyme that degrades thiamine, a cat’s necessary B vitamin. Thiamine deficiency can cause significant neurological disorders, including convulsions and coma.
Too much of any vitamin can throw the body off balance and produce issues. Before boosting your cat’s diet, seek veterinary advice, especially if they are sick. In most circumstances, your veterinarian can prescribe an adequately formulated supplement or a proper diet that can match your pet’s specific nutritional needs and is customized to that medical condition.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.