Ah… fish. It seems to be a cat’s most loved meal. In fact, many indoor cats can’t help but eat fish in every meal, as it can be difficult to find cat food without this ingredient. However – the question remains – is fish healthy for our kitties?
First – believe it or not – fish is not part of a cat’s ancestral diet. Simply put, cats in the wild rarely go fishing. But just because it’s not part of their ancestral prey doesn’t mean all fish is unhealthy for them either. Domestic cats don’t go hunting deer either, yet we still feed venison to our kitties for its health benefits.
So what’s the deal with fish? Here are a few important reasons why you want to limit the amount of fish your cats eat.
Should Cats Eat Fish?
- Studies have linked fish flavored foods directly to hyperthyroidism in cats. Because of the high amount of metals many fish carry, feeding these fish-heavy foods to our cats increases the risk of thyroid disease.
- Most fish in processed foods comes from the decaying leftovers of restaurants and fisheries. Gross, but unfortunately a fact. When food isn’t ‘fit for human consumption’ it’s sent to pet food companies. The quality is very poor… which means there’s very little (if any) benefit.
- Fish is one of the most common causes of food allergies in cats. This leads to digestive upset and/or skin issues. We have a kitty that’s allergic to fish – so we severely limit the amount of fish all our cats eat – and we’ve noticed positive changes for everyone since we made that change.
All of this being said, some fish contain omega 3s and can be beneficial in small amounts. We give our cats whole sardines (canned in water – not oil), for example, a couple times per week – and they love it!
Small fish in small amounts – a fine feline treat. Large amounts of highly processed, fish flavored fish? Let’s throw that catch back.