Is it Safe to Feed Fish to Cats?

There are times when popular wisdom can be very useful. However, there are plenty of times when popular wisdom can be misleading as well. For example, while mice will eat cheese because of pure opportunism if nothing else, they have no particular fondness for it compared to sweeter foods such as fruits and grains. Likewise, while most cats can eat fish, feeding them too much fish can cause serious problems. Something that is perhaps unsurprising when one learns that the most probable ancestor of domesticated cats came from the desert, meaning that they were much likelier to make meals of mice, rodents, rabbits, the occasional bird, and the occasional lizard rather than fish.

Can You Feed Your Cat Fish without Causing Problems?

There are a number of potential problems that can come from feeding a cat too much fish. For example, fish is lacking in several important nutrients such as iron, calcium, and sodium, which a cat needs to maintain an optimal state of health. Likewise, fish contains a surplus of phosphorous, which can be a problem when cats consume it in excess.

With that said, some kinds of fish are much better than others when it comes to feline well-being. One excellent example is how cats shouldn’t be fed fish with the fish-bones still in them. This is because cats are not particularly good at removing the fish-bones on their own, as shown by how plenty of cats will just swallow fishes whole. Often, cats will be fine even after engaging in such behavior, but when things go wrong, they can end up with damaging obstructions in their throats or even their gastrointestinal tract, which will be very difficult to remove to say the least.

On a related note, cooked fish tends to be much better than raw fish for cats. This is because raw fish contains an enzyme that can cause the break down of thiamine, which is one of those nutrients that cats need to maintain an optimal state of health. Due to this, cats who eat too much fish can wind up with symptoms such as anorexia, seizures, and balance issues, which can culminate in death if left untreated. On top of this, it should be mentioned that eating raw fish is a common way for cats to get infested with parasites, which can make for even more suffering on their part.

Besides this, cat owners should be very careful about feeding fish and fish products with plenty of oil to their feline companions. In this case, this is because the oil encourages a problem called pansteatitis, which might be more familiar to some people as yellow fat disease. Said condition can cause serious symptoms such as anorexia, hypersensitivity, and abdominal pain, which can once again, culminate in death if left untreated. Suffice to say that this is particularly problematic because in a lot of cases, the first warning sign that cat owners will encounter is the increased aggressiveness of their cats when they are picked up.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that there are a surprising number of cats that are allergic to fish. In fact, out of the cats that have food allergies, fish is the third most common kind of food that they are allergic to. For comparison, this puts fish just behind beef as well as dairy products.

Should You Feed Your Cat Fish?

Summed up, it is clear that cat owners should treat fish as a sometime food for their cats rather than a staple. There are plenty of cats out there that enjoy the taste of fish, but if cat owners are too indulgent in this regard, they will wind up hurting their feline companions through their excessive enthusiasm. Instead, interested individuals should look into what cats should and shouldn’t eat, which should empower them to keep a much better eye on their cats. Moreover, they need to be careful about the distinction between fish meant for human consumption and fish meant for cat consumption because in some cases, there can be a difference between the two that will have a meaningful impact on those who eat it. One excellent example is how the manufacturers of some fish products for cats will add thiamine to them, whereas manufactuers of fish products for humans won’t bother because there is no point.

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