close up of sardines

It might seem like an obvious answer when you think about feeding your cat a type of fish – cats love fish, right? Cats love the occasional treat and cat parents love giving them to their furry friends. But can we feed cats something like sardines? Well, the answer is generally yes! Fish is a natural part of a cat’s diet, and it will make your cat happy. However, keep a few things in mind before you start feeding your cat sardines every day.

Benefits of Sardines for Cats

There are a few benefits to feeding your cat sardines. Sardines are high in calories, so if you are trying to help a frail stray cat gain weight, it’s a great choice. There may be other situations such as your cat losing weight due to an illness or not eating enough. This could be when feeding them sardines would be beneficial.

There are health benefits to sardines for cats in terms of their nutritional value. They include minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, in addition to vitamins A and B. Just make sure to feed sardines to your cat in moderation and avoid giving your cat sardines that have been seasoned or flavored. Cats should be given plain sardines only.

Drawbacks of Sardines for Cats

It’s important to consider the reasons for feeding your cat sardines. If it’s for weight gain or a need for vitamins in a healthy treat, then it could be a good choice. On the flip side, if you have a bigger cat that needs weight management, then this might be a bad choice.

Sardines are also not a good substitute for meat or a protein in your cat’s diet. They won’t have as many benefits or nutritional value to your cat as other meat options like poultry or beef.

There are additional negative side effects that could result from eating sardines like low energy levels and digestive issues. Another negative to sardines is that it contains thiaminase, an enzyme that will break down any vitamin B.

cooked sardines
Image courtesy of Pixabay

What to Do If Your Cat Eats a Sardine

Keep track of your cat’s behavior and eating/drinking habits after they’ve eaten a sardine. Make sure they aren’t being fed them too often to keep their weight at a healthy level.

Watch out for other things like choking on bones or having an upset stomach that might result in the need for a call to your veterinarian. You may wish to check with your vet first before feeding your cat something you’re not sure about.

Any changes to your cat’s diet can cause negative symptoms. Feeding them human food is generally not a great idea unless you’ve run it by your vet first. Introducing new food to your cat is done best through normal cat food. Cat food is also made with cats in mind! This means your margin for error is lower.

Cats and Sardines

In summary, you can feed your cat sardines. It’s not a great option for an everyday treat, and you might notice some tummy issues in your cat afterward, but it won’t dramatically harm your cat. As always, check with your vet first if you’re not sure.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay