When cats are depicted in cartoons, you will often see them with a raw fish or the bones of a fish. This gives the impression that raw fish is a good food to feed to cats. Sushi is currently a popular food, and most types of sushi contain fish. Therefore, you may wonder if it is alright to feed your cat sushi. Despite the impression given by cartoons, raw fish and sushi are not always the best option for cats. So, is it OK to feed your cat sushi?
What is Sushi?
Sushi refers to a group of dishes in Japanese cuisine that contain rice seasoned with vinegar combined with raw or cooked fish. Some varieties of sushi also contain either vegetables or fruit. There are many different varieties of sushi available. According to The Fruity Tart, Japanese cuisine is one of the growing food trends of 2020. Therefore, it is a dish that is appearing on the menus of restaurants across the globe, even those that do not specialize in Japanese cuisine. Sushi is also a food that people are now making at home. So, it is unsurprising that people are wondering if it is safe to share their sushi with their cat.
Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Sushi?
Vet Street advises that you should not feed sushi to your cat. Not only is the raw fish potentially harmful, but there are also several other ingredients that are commonly used in sushi that are potentially harmful to cats. The main issue with sushi is raw fish. It contains a substance called thiaminase that breaks down an essential B vitamin called thiamine. Cats need thiamine, and a thiamine deficiency can lead to serious problems. One of the most serious symptoms of thiamine deficiency is convulsions. Another issue is that some cats suffer from a fish allergy. If your cat has a fish allergy, then some of the symptoms they may experience are wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, or skin rashes. The type of fish is important too, and there are many kinds of fish used in sushi. Some fish are more likely to contain substances such as pesticides or mercury. For example, raw tuna is known to contain levels of mercury that are potentially dangerous for cats.
Raw fish is not the only problem for cats eating sushi. Another of the main components of this Japanese food is sushi rice. There are very few benefits for cats in having rice in their diet. Eating rice can lead to them becoming overweight. In turn, this can contribute to them developing serious health problems, such as diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular problems. A further problem is that rice is a carbohydrate. Cats find carbohydrates difficult to digest, says Pet Consider. Eating too many carbohydrates can cause them to experience vomiting and diarrhea. Sushi rice is usually seasoned with rice wine vinegar. Although this is not an ingredient that will do your cat harm, it is one that most do not like. Do not attempt to give your cat rice wine vinegar to drink.
Many varieties of sushi contain wasabi. This is an ingredient that causes some debate when it comes to feeding it to your cat. On the one hand, most cats will probably avoid eating wasabi as it is not a flavor that cats enjoy. If your cat does eat the wasabi, then it is unlikely to cause it too much harm, although it may not enjoy the experience. However, wasabi is related to the horseradish plant, and some scientists have found that it is mildly toxic to cats.
What Are the Safe Options?
There are many varieties of sushi available, and each contains different ingredients. However, as they all contain white rice and most contain raw fish, there are very few types of sushi that you could feed to your cat. On the other hand, there are some ingredients commonly used in sushi making that are fine for cats to eat.
- Shrimp – Although fish is common in sushi, there are some seafood alternatives that are safe for a car to eat. One of these is shrimp, which Catalogical says is safe for cats to eat raw or cooked. Cats like the texture of shrimp, it is not toxic, and there are some nutritional benefits to including this ingredient in their diet.
- Avocado – Although avocado is not a food that is safe for many small animals, avocado is safe for a cat to eat. If you remove the bark of the fruit and the pit, then your cat should not experience any issues with this ingredient.
- •Seaweed – According to Cats Are On Top, it is safe for cats to eat seaweed. This is an ingredient that is often included in sushi. Feeding your cat small amounts of seaweed should not cause any problems.
- Cucumber – Another common ingredient in sushi is cucumber. This is one of the sushi ingredients that will not harm your cat. There are some benefits to including cucumber in your cat’s diet, as it has a high vitamin, nutrient, and water content.
The Final Verdict – Is Sushi Safe for Cats?
Although cats are commonly depicted eating raw fish, this is not an ingredient that you should feed your cat. It can cause thiamine deficiency, may trigger allergies, and can lead to pesticide or mercury poisoning. The fish is not the only ingredient of sushi that you should not feed your cat. Sushi rice has little nutritional value, can cause obesity, and your cat may suffer from digestive problems after eating this food. Some sushi ingredients are safe for a cat to eat, such as cucumber, shrimp, avocado, and seaweed. However, this does not mean that you should start feeding your cat sushi. Overall, the best advice is to avoid giving your cat sushi as the main components of this Japanese dish are potentially harmful to your pet. Next time you eat sushi, keep it away from your cat to avoid them eating this food.