Can I Feed My Cats Raw Fish?

Growing up, we have the idea that cats love to eat fish. After all, it is what we always see in cartoons and movies. Today, we still see videos of cats happily eating fish on the internet. However, can I feed my cats raw fish? is it really safe? If so, what kinds of fish can you feed them? How much can you feed them? Can they eat raw fish bones? How about raw fish skin? We will answer all those questions in this article.

Can cats eat raw fish?

It is not recommended to feed your cat raw fish. This is because raw fish can possibly contain bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, that can cause food poisoning to your pet.

Although the fresh fish that you can find in your local supermarket may seem an enticing treat for your feline friend, you should never feed them one just to be on the safe side. Moreover, raw fish contains the enzyme thiaminase, which eliminates thiamine – an essential B vitamin for cats.

However, if you still want to feed them fish, you should make sure that the fish is cooked well and does not contain any ingredients that may be harmful to your cats, such as seasonings and added flavorings or marinade.

can I feed my cats raw fish
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Can cats eat tuna?

Cats are known to eat tuna. In fact, it is not uncommon to see tuna when you’re buying cat food. Long-time cat owners know that their cat goes crazy whenever they open a can of tuna.

However, if you’re planning to give your cat freshly-caught tuna, or if it’s your first time feeding a tuna to your pet, here are some factors that you should consider:

  • Before giving your cat tuna, ensure that it is adequately cooked;
  • Make sure to provide them with small quantities and look if there are any adverse effects; and
  • If you bought canned tuna, make sure that the tuna is in water rather than oil because oil is not healthy for your cat.

Also, keep in mind that kittens should not eat tuna because they are still young and at a higher risk of suffering from steatitis – a feline intestinal disease.

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Can cats eat salmon?

Like tuna, salmon is also packed with nutrients and minerals that are essential to your cat’s health. However, salmon should not be part of a cat’s diet because they may be addicted to it and may tend not to eat their regular food. That said, salmon should only be given as a snack, such as when you want to reward your cat for its good behavior.

Before giving your cat salmon, make sure that it is not cooked, and oil and no flavorings or other harmful ingredients are added. Instead, grill or roast the salmon if you’re planning to give it to your pet. In addition, you should also never feed your cat smoked or cured salmon because it contains too much sodium, which may create a substantial negative impact on your cat’s health.

Can cats eat sushi?

Perhaps you have leftover sushi and want to give it to your begging cat. However, sushi with raw fish, cream cheese, vegetables from the allium family, and other harmful ingredients should never be given to your cat as it may cause stomach problems. If your cat has already eaten sushi and is displaying adverse effects, have them checked by the veterinarian immediately.

Can I feed my cats raw fish
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Can cats eat sardines?

Sardines should only be fed in moderation like the first two kinds of fish. Of course, it should be cooked. You can cook and chop them to make a palatable snack for your cat’s fresh sardines. Suppose you’re buying sardines in a can. In that case, it is important only to buy sardines in water because sardines with sauce may contain unhealthy and possibly toxic ingredients, such as sodium, preservatives, onion, and garlic.

How much cooked fish can I give my cat per day?

Cooked fish is not, and should not, be a part of a cat’s diet. Therefore, giving your cat a fish once a week is a safe decision.

While it contains some vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for a cat’s health, fish lack iron and calcium and are also high in phosphorus, which can damage your cat’s kidneys. Before giving your cat a fish designed for human consumption, check the food’s content first.

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Can cats eat raw fish bones?

Whether cooked or not, your cat should not be given fish bones. This is because bones can be stuck to your cat’s throat, posing a choking hazard. They can also cause damage to your cat’s gastrointestinal tract. It is also not advisable to give small bones to your cat as they can splinter and cause wounds to your cat’s mouth. Therefore, before giving a fish to your cat, make sure that there are no big or small bones.

can I feed my cats raw fish
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Can cats eat raw fish skin?

So long as cooked without seasonings and spices, fish skin makes a healthy treat for your cat. In fact, cats are very fond of them because of their fishy smell. They’re also a good source of proteins. However, if the fish skin shows signs of spoilage, it is best not to give it to your cat. Instead, dispose of it to the bin outside of your home, away from your cat.

You should also consider the type of fish before giving fish skin to your cat. This is because certain fish can be toxic or cause allergies to your feline friend. It is best to consult your veterinarian if you’re hesitating to give your cat the fish skin of a fish.

Final Thought

In the end, raw fish should never be given to cats because they may contain bacteria that can pose harm to your cat’s general health. However, certain types of fish that are cooked properly can be safely eaten by your feline friend, including the fish skin, so long as given in moderation.

Before giving fish to your cat, make sure that there are no bones as it may cause serious health concerns especially if not addressed early. If you want to be on the safe side, you can always consult with your cat’s veterinarian.

References and Further Reading

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