Can Cats Eat Fish?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they require animal protein to survive. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t eat fish on occasion. In fact, fish can be a healthy and nutritious treat for your cat. Just be sure to give them fish in moderation and to choose a variety that is low in mercury.

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There is a lot of debate about whether or not cats should eat fish. Some people believe that fish is an essential part of a cat’s diet, while others believe that it can be harmful.

Most experts agree that cats should not eat raw fish, as it may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Cooked fish is generally considered safe for cats, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Cats who eat fish should be monitored closely for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Fish that is high in mercury may also be harmful to cats, so it is important to choose low-mercury varieties.

If you do decide to feed your cat fish, make sure it is cooked properly and does not make up more than 10% of their diet.

Cats and Fish

Fish is a healthy food for cats and can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Cats can eat both cooked and raw fish, but there are some risks to be aware of. Let’s find out everything you need to know about feeding fish to your cat.

The Nutritional Value of Fish for Cats

Fish is an excellent source of protein for cats, and it also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the skin and coat. Fish is a good choice for cats who are overweight or have diabetes, as it is lower in calories and fat than some other protein sources. However, fish can also be high in mercury, so it is important to choose fish that are low in mercury and to feed fish to your cat in moderation.

The Dangers of Fish for Cats

While fish can be a healthy part of your cat’s diet, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Certain types of fish contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to your cat’s health. Also, uncooked fish can contain bacteria that can make your cat sick.

That said, there are plenty of safe, healthy ways to feed your cat fish. Just be sure to cook it thoroughly and avoid fish with high mercury levels.

How to Introduce Fish Into Your Cat’s Diet

If you’re looking to introduce fish into your cat’s diet, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, not all cats enjoy fish, so you’ll need to do a bit of trial and error to see if your cat will even eat it. Secondly, fish is a high protein food, so you’ll need to slowly introduce it into your cat’s diet to avoid any digestive issues.

Choose the Right Type of Fish

There are many types of fish, but not all are good for your cat. In fact, some fish can be downright dangerous. When introducing fish into your cat’s diet, it’s important to choose the right type of fish.

Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right type of fish for your cat:

– Stick to safe, non-toxic varieties of fish. Some fish, such as tilapia and salmon, are safe for cats to eat. Others, such as tuna and mackerel, can be dangerous.
– Avoid raw fish. Raw fish may contain bacteria that can make your cat sick. It’s best to cook fish before feeding it to your cat.
– Remove bones from the fish before feeding it to your cat. Bones can splinter and cause serious health problems if swallowed.
– Avoid feeding your cat canned fish that contains added salt or other seasonings. These can be harmful to your cat’s health.

If you’re not sure which type of fish is safe for your cat, talk to your veterinarian for guidance.

Prepare the Fish Properly

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require animal protein to survive. In the wild, cats eat mostly small prey–mice, rats, birds, and so on. These prey items are typically around 70% moisture and 30% protein.

While most cats will get the majority of their animal protein from eating whole prey, some pet cats may need or want to eat fish as part of their diet. If you’re going to feed your cat fish, it’s important to do it safely and correctly. Here are a few tips:

– Choose small, boneless, and skinless cuts of fish. Fish bones can be a choking hazard for cats, and the skin may be difficult for them to digest properly.
– Cook the fish thoroughly. Raw fish may contain bacteria that can make your cat sick.
– Avoid feeding your cat fish that has been cooked in oils or spices. Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell and taste, and these strong flavors can be overwhelming for them (and potentially cause digestive upset).
– Introduce fish slowly into your cat’s diet. Start with small amounts and see how they tolerate it before increasing the amount you give them.

Introduce the Fish Slowly

When you first introduce fish into your cat’s diet, do so slowly. Add a small amount of fish to their regular food and see how they react. If they seem to enjoy it and have no adverse reaction, then you can continue to add more fish to their diet. However, if they seem to be having an adverse reaction, such as vomiting or diarrhea, stop feeding them fish and talk to your vet.


While cats can technically eat fish, it is not necessarily the best thing for them to do so on a regular basis. Fish is not a natural part of a cat’s diet and as such, it may not provide all of the nutrients that they need in order to stay healthy. Additionally, fish can be a source of toxins and heavy metals that can be harmful to your cat if ingested in large quantities. For these reasons, it is generally advisable to avoid feeding fish to your cat on a regular basis. If you do choose to feed them fish, be sure to do so in moderation and only give them small amounts at a time.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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