Can Cats Eat Sardines? Are They Good? Find Out Now!

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Can Cats Eat Sardines

Can cats eat sardines? If you are pondering this question, the answer is ‘Yes', it is safe to feed cats sardines. This fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12, that are great for your cat's immune system.

However, one should give them as a treat and an occasional meal, since fishes aren't part of your cat's normal diet. Sardines are small, oily forage fishes that are related to herrings. They are packed with nutrients that can help prevent many health conditions.

Though it is human food, which makes pet owners wonder if it is safe for their feline friends, as most human food is toxic and can't be served to the cats, this food is healthy and high in protein. 

It also contains minerals like calcium, copper, and iron which cats require for healthy internal organs. Besides, all these elements also assist with hydration that is essential for cats.

Here are some more reasons why sardines are good for a cat's health.

  • It is good bone-building and bone-strengthening.
  • Vitamin B 12 promotes cardiovascular well-being.
  • It reduces inflammation, which is the root of diseases in cats.
  • It combats anxiety and depression.
  • The omega 3s found in sardines prevent cancer.

So, consider making it a regular part of your cat's diet.

It will help extend the life of your furry BFF. 

Before we discuss any further, let me share with you a short clip of a cat trying sardines for the first time.

Do Cats Require Sardines' Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

This is an important question, as many sardines are promoted as the rich source of omega-3. Therefore, it is imperative to know how this special element affects the well-being of your cat.

cat sardines

The first thing you need to know is Omega 3s aren't present in sardine only.

They are present in Salmon, Fish Oil, Caviar, and Oysters too. The reason why we particularly talk about this acid in sardine is it comes with other major minerals too like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and selenium. Also, this meal is very low in contaminants, such as mercury, which is in high concentration in other fish types commonly eaten by humans.

The omega-3 in sardine fish is important for your cat's cell membranes as well as cognitive and psychological functions.

Apart from this, the body of cats can't synthesize DHA, EPA, and AA on its own. They have to get them from the food they eat, and luckily all of them are present in sardine.

This fatty acid also plays an important role in keeping the coat of your pet glossy and shiny; this is the reason why some cats look immensely beautiful and clean. And, as we have mentioned earlier, it prevents inflammatory conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, etc.

On the whole, if you don't want to put your lovable pet in danger, you need to serve them those foods that have omega-3 fatty acids concentration.

How Often Can Cats Eat Sardines?

Although they are not toxic, you should still be careful. Since there are some issues with the sardines that can provoke a problem.

First, fish like sardine often contain heavy metals, such as mercury and fat-soluble pollutants from water pollution can be dangerous. In a high amount, these metals can damage the central nervous system. Some metals can lead to the poisoning of fish.

For that reason, if you are planning to serve sardines daily, expect to see some side effects too.

Second, a bacterial infection like salmonella can also be present in sardines. Their symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stool, etc.  

Can Cats Eat Sardines?

If you see any of these signs in your feline, it means they are dealing with a bacterial infection, and most probably, salmonella, which is often present in the fish-related meals.

Another thing that can be a problem for cats is ‘Salt Content'. The salt content in sardines is high. It can cause electrolyte disturbance in pets. That's why experts prevent you from feeding sardines regularly.

It is recommendable to serve sardines as a treat once or twice a month. This is best for your cat's health.

Do Cats Love Sardines?

Remember, not all cats love sardines.

If your cat doesn't show any interest in the fish (sardine), don't force it. It is a misconception that all felines love to fish. Many cats have a dislike for this food.

Scientists are not exactly sure why some cats don't like them but there is some speculation.

The immune system can be responsible. It is highly likely it is overreacting to a protein and causing digestive issues. Perhaps, that's why they don't eat it. Since they have probably already experienced diarrhea, vomiting, inflamed skin, sneezing and coughing and associated all these symptoms with the sardines.

sardine plate

If a cat is avoiding sardine on her plate, it is also possible it doesn't suit her taste.

You can try something different type to check out whether it is the taste-related problem that is compelling your cat to avoid it. Instead of sardines, you can serve a nice piece of smoked salmon or some prawns or lobster.

They are also a great source of protein and should be fed in moderation.

Brine, Tomato Sauce, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, and Soybean Oil

Here we are talking about canned food that comes in brine, tomato sauce, sunflower oil, olive oil, and soybean oil.

We don't particularly recommend sardine in brine as it has a very high concentration of salt and it can be dangerous for your feline. If you feel your feline friend like it especially in the sardine, the only option you have is to wash it to get rid of the excess salt.

In case you are thinking about why they offer it in brine if it isn't good for health; it is because it is used to preserve food. It is an ancient practice that we still use today.

Cats can eat sardines in tomato sauce, but they prefer them without any sauce on them. 

We know many people are concerned regarding serving this food in tomato sauce as they think it causes health issues, but this isn't true. Tomato is a fruit and it isn't toxic or poisonous either. The only reason why some cats don't like it is it doesn't contain the nutrients that a cat needs.

Cat and fish

Sunflower oil isn't unsafe for cats either. Though make sure it is in small quantities. Feeding one sardine in sunflower oil is, in fact, good; it aids glossiness in the cat's coat and eases the passage of hairballs. But large quantities of this oil can cause diarrhea or it will fatten your cat up over time. Similarly, sardines in olive oil are good; this option is specifically for those cats who don't like the smell of fish. They will love it and prefer its taste over other canned types.

Soybean oil is not in the typical diet of a cat. However, these days, every professional veterinarian is recommending it as it is a good source of omega-3 acids.

Pick any canned food type you want.

The best thing you can do is to mix them up and let your feline have the taste of each one of them. It is beneficial and won't increase the amount of a particular nutrient. Besides, ensure that the type you are choosing doesn't have garlic, onion, or other harmful ingredients.

How To Prepare Sardines For Your Cat

Preparing and serving your cats sardines is simple.

  • If it is your first time and you don't comprehend which type is good or liked by your cat, pick the one that is packed in water. Cat sardines packed in water are utterly safe and don't have any side effects that we often see in sardines packed in oils. 
  • Frozen sardine is also a great alternative; you need to chop it finely though and pulse it in a food processor to make a yummy paste.
  • Serve it directly as a cat's dinner or put it on top of your cat's everyday food. One sardine a day is enough to fulfill all your cat's nutrients need.
  • Prepare a sardine meal each week, instead of giving one sardine each day. This is good, as it saves your money and keeps your cat interested in this meal. But, again, chopping the fish is better as it is good for digestion and your feline friend can chew the soft bones easily too.


cat eat fish

Remember, cats need consistency in their food. If you are going to feed sardine, give them in order and on specific days. Any deviation can result in an upset stomach.  Another interesting point is sardines have lots of water.

If your cat isn't getting enough water from its diet, this cat food can be a great choice and fulfill the water demands of their body. If they start loving it, they will beg also. And, beg more frequently.

Also, try to buy cat sardines from the renowned food chain. Use them as an occasional treat, rather than a food supplement. If you won't feed this fish in moderation, you are going to buy sardines over and over and keep on giving treats to your beautiful cats to make them happy.

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