Fish is one of the most popular seafood in the world. It contains nutrients such as high-quality protein, zinc, and iodine which are crucial for healthy aging. Besides, it is a source of Vitamin D and B12 necessary for bone and brain health. The Omega 3 are responsible for preventing blood platelets from getting sticky hence preventing blood clots that cause a heart attack or stroke. As part of a healthy diet, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week.
All these reasons give you a clear picture of why you are most likely to find fish in most kitchens. While we understand the benefits fish can provide to a human’s diet, very few people have a clear understanding of whether fish is good for cats or not. The truth is that it is all dependent on the type of fish consumed and the quantities fed to the feline.
Why is Fish good for Cats?
There are so many sources with different contradicting information on this topic. To make it clear, fish is good for your kitty only when consumed in small portions. Remember the most important factor here is making sure your kitty receives a balanced diet and feeding him with fish only, will not achieve that.
Fish is rich in protein which is very essential for building their muscles. It also has the right amino acids which prevent inflammation in cats and is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential to a cat’s body. Being obligate carnivorous, cats can highly benefit from the consumption of fish as they stand to gain nutritionally.
Why are some cat owners hesitant to feed fish to their cats?
While fish is a good source of nutrients, not all parents are willing to feed their cats. This is because; Fish contains Histamine which is a compound released by white blood cells to ward off inflammation but is also responsible for most allergy symptoms. Veterinarians consider fish to be one of the most allergy-inducing food sources in cats.
Since fish swim in highly polluted rivers, lakes and oceans, some studies suggest that they might pick some of these toxins and when consumed, could prove to be harmful. This study however is not supported by any research and remains to be a speculation.
Other fish like shark and swordfish are highly contaminated with metals like magnesium and mercury to an extent that doctors advise women of childbearing age not to consume them. It would be ironic to feed these to your kitty if some people have been advised against its consumption.
What types of fish are good for cats?
Can cats eat Tuna?
Although most cats love tuna, you should be careful about the type of tuna you are feeding to your kitty. Tuna contains amino acids, proteins vitamins, and antioxidants but should be eaten in very small quantities. It is not advised that you feed tuna to kittens as they are smaller and at a higher risk of feline intestinal disease.
The tuna should be cooked and canned tuna is not the best option as it may not contain the essential nutrients required by your kitty. To avoid weight increase, tuna in water is preferred rather than oil which is fattening.
Can cats eat Salmon?
Just like tuna, Salmon should be eaten in small quantities. When salmon is deep-fried or cooked at high temperatures, the nutritional quality is reduced hence grilled, roasted, or poached salmon is a better option for feeding your kitty.
Flavorings or seasonings should also be avoided as they are toxic to cats.
Can cats eat Sardines?
These smaller fish contain protein, vitamin B12, and omega 3 fatty acids. Sardines in water are most preferred since they do not contain toxic ingredients that could harm your cat. One sardine per week is enough for your feline.
Frequently asked questions
Is Fish Oil Good for cats?
Fish oil is a component extracted from fish and has a variety of benefits for your kitty. Fish oil promotes healthy skin and coat which is essential for cats. It also boosts the immune system of the cat hence keeping them from many ailments. Other benefits include;
- Fighting dementia
- Reduction of inflammation
- Brain development
- Continued cognitive functions
Is fish good for cats with Kidney disease?
Although the diet changes made for cats with kidney disease depend on the severity of the disease, it is recommended that the changes be made immediately to ensure a longer lifespan for your kitty. Fish contains enough protein for building muscles, has omega 3 fatty acids used to produce energy. It is low in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium which are the main nutrients that should not be included in a kidney diseased cat. Due to its nutrients composition, fish is good for cats with kidney disease.
Is raw fish good for cats?
Although fish is good for our furry friends, raw fish should not be consumed. Vitamin B1 also known as thiamine should be part of your kitty’s diet to maintain optimal health. Thiamine is used for carbohydrate metabolism and is required by the brain and other high energy organs. Unfortunately, this important nutrient lacks in raw fish, and consumption of raw fish could lead to thiamine deficiency which is symptomized by lack of appetite, gastrointestinal tract upset, and weight loss. In extreme cases, it causes neurological problems and could lead to convulsions.
There are both pros and cons of feeding fish to your kitty ad the best way to take advantage of the benefits and eliminate the health risks associated with its consumption of fish is feeding your kitty small portions and occasionally probably once or twice a week. If you decide to feed your kitty with canned cat food, stick to single-ingredient stuff and it should be farmed fish where possible. This eliminates the probability of feeding him with foods that come in “fish” flavors but are made of fish by-products like bone and scales which are not beneficial to your kitty.