Sardines are one of the foods that have been in existence for centuries; they are very popular and can be found in every grocery store and household pantry. Every pet owner wants to feed their pets the same food they eat; however, some foods that humans consume are not healthy for pets, while some are even healthier for pets than humans.
Yes, cats can eat sardines; sardines have several health benefits and nutrients for cats. The best way to feed sardines to your cat is by giving them as a meal or by putting them on top of the cat’s everyday food. It is best to feed your cat with sardine that is packed in water; it is healthier.
Cats are feline animals; so, they require high protein content to be strong and healthy. Sardines are one of the foods that cats enjoy as it is high in protein and has several benefits for the cat. Let us look at some of the health benefits of sardines in cats and how to feed them to your cats.
Can Cats Eat Canned Sardines?
Yes, cats can eat canned sardines; the fishes in canned sardines are an excellent source of Vitamin D, calcium, fatty acid (omega 3), phosphorus, and Vitamin B 12, which is healthy for your cat and boosts its immune system. Sardines help in the building and strengthening of a cat’s bones, making them strong. It also helps prevent cancer and fights depression and anxiety.
One of the main causes of health diseases in cats is inflammation; when a cat eats canned sardines, the chances of an inflammation occurring in the cat’s system are reduced. So, the cat is less likely to have any diseases or infections. Sardines are a good source of Vitamin B-12, which, when consumed, promotes the well-being of the cat’s cardiovascular system.
Sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids; this nutrient plays a vital role in a cat’s system. It helps improve the cell membranes, cognitive and psychological functions of the cat. It also keeps the cat’s coat shiny. This nutrient also prevents the cat from experiencing inflammatory conditions.
Sardines also contain little fat and fewer carbs; hence, they are suitable for a cat’s diet. One of the main nutrients a cat requires in its diet is protein; sardines are quite high in protein, making them beneficial. Sardines also help increase the functionality of a cat’s digestive tract and nervous system.
Sardines contain several essential minerals like copper, iron, and calcium. These minerals help improve a cat’s hydration and keep the cat’s internal organs healthy and strong. Sardines also improve the development of a cat’s muscles and connective tissues. It also helps in preventing the development of allergies in a cat.
How Often Can Cats Eat Sardines?
Seeing all the health benefits of a cat eating sardine, you probably want to make sardine a regular meal for your cat. However, it is not advisable to feed your cat with sardines regularly. When a cat eats sardines regularly, some health issues might arise.
Most sardines contain heavy metals like fat-soluble pollutants and mercury; when consumed in high amounts, it can damage the cat’s central nervous system and sometimes lead to mercury poisoning.
Also, some sardines contain a bacterial infection called salmonella; this infection can result in vomiting, blood in the stool, nausea, and diarrhea. Also, sardines have a high salt content, resulting in electrolyte disturbance in a cat when the cat eats sardines regularly. It can also result in dehydration.
Most sardines also contain oil, and when a cat eats oily food regularly, it can lead to diarrhea. Canned sardines contain 59 calories and 3.25 grams of fat; when a cat consumes them regularly, it can result in obesity and being overweight.
Sardines often contain a high level of thiaminase; it is an enzyme that breaks up thiamine and Vitamin B molecules, rendering them useless. A cat requires these molecules for energy metabolism.
So, when you feed a cat with sardine in a large amount regularly, the cat can experience weight loss, nervous disorder, chronic fatigue, and heart issues due to the high intake of the enzyme thiaminase.
Sardines should be given to cats as an occasional meal, maybe once or twice a week. When you do not regularly feed your cat with sardines, you protect it from experiencing several health issues that it should not experience.
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Can Cats Eat Canned Sardines In Water?
Yes, cats can eat canned sardines in water; this is the healthiest type for a cat. The sardines should be in spring water; there are sardines in tomato sauce, brine, sunflower or olive oil, and spring water. Sardines in spring water are healthier and do not contain any fat or sodium, unlike others.
Sardines in sunflower oil are the type of sardines that need to be drained before you feed them to your cat. They are not harmful to cats; however, when a cat consumes a large quantity of sunflower oil, it can result in diarrhea and fatten up the cat that might eventually become overweight or obese.
Sardines in brine are also sardines in salt water, and salt is bad for a cat as it can lead to high blood pressure. Most sardines are always in brine as a method of preservation; however, when a cat eats a sardine in brine consistently, it can result in some toxic reaction. It would be best if you always washed off the brine before giving your cat such sardines.
Sardines in tomato sauce are quite harmless to cats, but it is not preferable to feed them. This is because cats are not meant to have fruit in their diet as they are carnivores, not herbivores. A cat will eat a sardine with tomato sauce because it likes sardines, but it might not enjoy it.
How Do I Prepare Sardines For My Cat?
There is usually no big deal in preparing sardines for your cat if you feed it with a canned sardine in water. You can pour the sardine from the can into the cat’s meal plate and offer it to it. However, it is better to feed the sardine as part of the cat’s meal instead of separately.
If you are feeding your cat with sardine packed in oil, you should not offer it to the cat like that. It would help if you tried to drain as much oil as possible from the sardine before giving it to your cat. The same process should be done if the sardine is packed in brine or saltwater. When buying canned sardines, you will see that they come in cooked, smoked, and raw.
The raw sardines are often frozen for preservation and to kill any parasites. However, this process does not eliminate germs, so you must never feed your cat with raw sardines. Cooked sardines are the best to feed your cat as all germs are eliminated during the cooking process.
Smoked sardines are not advisable for cats as they are salted during the process, and cats do not need to have salt in their diet. When a cat consumes too much salt, it can result in some serious health issues.
A popular adage says, ‘Too much of anything is not good for anyone.’ As a cat owner, you should remember that just because a specific food has some health benefits for your cat does not mean you should feed it that food all the time. Sardines should not be a regular part of a cat’s diet; however, it can be part of their diet once or twice a week.
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.