Can Cats Eat Raw Fish? (The Risks!)

No, cats shouldn’t eat raw fish.

Raw fish contains bacteria that can cause food poisoning in cats, and raw fish also contains an enzyme that destroys thiamine (vitamin B1), which can lead to severe neurological problems.

Raw fish is also very rich in thiamine-destroying enzymes, so cats eating cooked fish will be provided with far more vitamin B than they need.

A cat eating a normal balanced commercial diet does not require additional sources of thiamine.

Cats that eat raw fish every now and then probably won’t sicken, but they are still endangering their health.

Symptoms of thiamine deficiency include weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea with blood in it, irritability, seizures, falling over when trying to walk or stand up, walking in circles, and eventually blindness.

Some other symptoms include salivation, rapid breathing, muscle weakness, lack of reflexes, and paralysis.

If you suspect your cat has consumed raw fish or is deficient in vitamin B, consult your veterinarian immediately.

What kind of raw fish can cats eat?

The safest kind of raw fish for cats can be boiled or baked.

However, canned tuna is the only form of raw fish that is safe to give to cats in small quantities (no more than about 1 tablespoon per 10 pounds of body weight) on a regular basis.

Canned tuna also contains thiamine and other nutrients that cats need.

Tuna should only be fed to cats as a treat or reward, not in excess of what is recommended in the next section.

Can cats eat raw fish skin?

Raw fish skin should never be given to cats under any circumstances.

The skin often contains an enzyme that destroys thiamine, just like raw fish flesh does.

However, the skin also often contains a toxin similar to one found in pufferfish, which can lead to difficulty breathing and paralysis.

If you’re not sure whether or not your cat ate the skin, watch for symptoms of anemia (pale gums), difficulty breathing, and vomiting.

Raw fish skin should be thrown out immediately if it has been in contact with raw flesh.

Can cats eat raw salmon?

Raw salmon should not be given to cats.

Salmon skin is also dangerous for the same reasons that other fish skin is, and raw salmon flesh contains parasites that can infect your cat.

Parasites in raw salmon include Anisakis spp., which can lead to anisakiasis in cats if it’s consumed.

Anisakiasis can cause vomiting, stomach pain, and intestinal discomfort.

Can cats eat raw tuna?

Cats can eat canned tuna in small quantities, but not too often.

Commercial pet food does not contain enough thiamine because the cooking process destroys it, and this is why cats need to be given a supplement of vitamin B1 (thiamine) if they aren’t eating any raw fish or other meat.

Canned tuna does not contain enough thiamine for a cat on a commercial diet, but the small amount of tuna that is included in some cat foods will provide cats with more than they need and prevent deficiencies.

If you feed your cat tuna every day or every week, it may develop a thiamine deficiency and start displaying symptoms of illness such as weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea with blood in it, irritability, seizures, falling over when trying to walk or stand up, walking in circles and eventually blindness.

Some other symptoms include salivation, rapid breathing, muscle weakness, lack of reflexes, and paralysis.

Can cats eat raw sardines?

Raw sardines are a good source of vitamin B12, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids for cats.

However, they should only be fed from time to time because the fish is very high in phosphorus and provides more than a cat requires in a single meal.

Raw sardines should not be given to cats that are not eating any other meat.

Can cats eat raw tuna steaks?

Raw tuna steak should only be given to your cat as an occasional treat since it is very high in phosphorus and protein, which causes urinary crystals if fed too often.