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A quick Google search returns results suggesting that feeding fish to your cat is a bad idea:

Are these articles correct, or is it okay to feed fish to cats?

  • If not, then what dangers are substantial enough to consider?

  • If yes, then how much and how often?

4

Cats can eat fish as part of a balanced diet.

Feeding fish as the only source of food can lead to crystallization within the urinary tract system, so it is advisable to give cats a variety of meat products.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

  • Cat foods that contain large amounts of animal- and fish-based proteins produce a more acidic urine. Eukanuba.com

Cats can easily snack on tinned fish, like tuna and have pet food products containing fish.

  • Fish, such as tinned sardines in springwater; tinned tuna and tinned salmon (care with any fish bones) can also be offered as a treat occasionally. Please avoid feeding fish constantly
    RSPCA Australia

As for sulfide based preservatives, that can be found in a range of products, these should be avoided altogether.

  • Raw food offered to cats should always be fresh
  • Choose human-grade raw meat and raw meaty bones because some pet meat/pet mince/pet rolls/pet meat and bone products can contain preservatives which can be detrimental to the cat's health (e.g. sulphite preservative induced thiamine deficiency which can be fatal) . However avoid sausages, sausage meat and cooked manufactured meats as they can contain sulphites.
    RSPCA Australia
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I've never had any problems with giving my cats the occasional treat of cooked fish.

There are risks that you need to consider:

  • Ocean fish, particularly tuna, can concentrate mercury, so large amounts of tuna may cause mercury poisoning (via WebMD).
  • Raw fish in large quantities can cause issues because raw fish contain a compound that suppresses absorption of essential nutrients (again, WebMD).
  • Bones in cooked fish can be harmful, too - so you probably want to take the same precautions you take when you eat fish yourself.

That said, there's nothing wrong with including cooked, filleted fish as part of your cat's diet or as an occasional treat (and if your cat likes cooked cod as much as mine do, good luck NOT including it as a treat!)

  • 2
    Hi Kate, when citing sources, it's a good idea to provide a link, or definitive reference like DOI in journals – Nobody Nov 8 '13 at 21:12

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