Should cats eat raw fish? We assume that cats can eat raw fish as fish is protein and protein should form the bulk of a cat’s diet. However, a diet heavily weighted towards fresh fish will eventually mean that the cat will become deficient in Thiamine (Vitamin B1). This very good article explains clearly what happens when a cat becomes deficient in Thiamine or Vitamin B1.
But Cats Love Fresh Fish
When someone in our family had been fishing and arrived home with fish, the cat knew. In fact the cat actually put two and two together when he heard the knives being sharpened ready for the filleting of the fish. There would be no question that he was lining up for his share.
As freshly caught fish wasn’t the main source of the cat’s diet there was no need to worry. We all know how much cats love fish. How often do we see an image of a cat with a fish nearby?
What Fish Can Cats Eat?
We know that cats like fish and the good news is that you can still feed your cat canned cat food containing fish. Canned fish for cats has been specially formulated to contain thiamine and other vitamins and minerals that are essential for good cat health.
Read the label of canned cat food and you will see that thiamine is included. So providing the your cat doesn’t have an allergy to fish, canned cat food that is fish should be fine for your cat. You will be checking the labels on the can or packet when you are buying food for kitty, particularly if your cat has allergies.
Related: Growing cat grass for your cat to nibble on.
Can Cats Eat Tuna
What about that tin of tuna or salmon you have in the cupboard? Is that okay for the cat?
Not not really. Canned tuna for humans does not contain the vitamins and minerals that cats need and that are added to commercially produced cat food. A diet of canned tuna meant for humans would eventually lead to ill health in the cat. Tuna contains mercury and there would be a risk that your cat could get mercury poisoning. Caitlin Heinze, a veterinary nutritionist explains the dangers of mercury poisoning and the signs of mercury poisoning in a cat.
In addition eating canned tuna meant for humans will mean that the cat is consuming far more calories that he needs. Eating canned tuna for human consumption on a regular basis will lead to weight gain in the cat.
If it is the variety that is packed in oil it will also contain salt.
If it is the variety that is canned in brine or water that is a better option however it should just be an emergency option and not form part of the cat’s diet.
The best option nutritionally is to stick to the canned cat food that contains fish.
Balance In The Cat’s diet
Yes cats do like fresh fish but should cats eat raw fish? It is fine from time to time but shouldn’t form the main part of the diet. Make sure the diet is balanced by providing other good sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, beef and lamb.
It is widely believed that cats evolved in the desert regions of the world so suffice to say that fish wouldn’t have been a regular part of the diet.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means that the majority of their diet should be meat and in fact they need meat to survive. Protein needs makes up a large percentage of their diet.
Cats in the wild hunt for small prey such as birds, reptiles and rodents.
Related: Are you looking for food suitable for an old cat with bad teeth.
Fish For Dinner
There are some excellent fish based cat foods. This article examines what you should look for in cat food that contains fish and which food our cat adored. In fact he loved it so much we jokingly thought it must have had some addictive properties.
So should cats eat raw fish, the advice is occasionally but raw fish should not form the bulk of the cat’s diet.
What Food Is Not Okay For Cats?
For a comprehensive list of food that cats should not eat and why, read what cats should not eat which examines 30 different types of food and the suitability for cats. You may be surprised by some. What about milk? In folklore it has been accepted that cats like milk and cream. Everyone knows the saying – The cat that swallowed the cream. Most people would assume that milk is good for cats. Is milk good for cats?