Written by: Lucas James

Why do Cats like Fish?

Cat Health

Last Updated:

Believe it or not, it’s all about the smell. Cats like fish because they like the smell of fish. And that really makes sense if you think about it, considering that a fishy odour is one of the strongest odours out there. When you’re cooking fish, no other smell is quite so potent. 

Cat Health

Why do Cats like Fish?

Written by: Lucas James

Last Updated on:

Why do Cats like Fish?

Have you ever wondered what the deal is with cats and fish? It always seems like cats are instinctively attracted to the smell of fish. But what gives? Why do cats like fish? 

Believe it or not, it’s all about the smell. Cats like fish because they like the smell of fish. And that really makes sense if you think about it, considering that a fishy odour is one of the strongest odours out there. When you’re cooking fish, no other smell is quite so potent. 

But even though humans might be grossed out by an extreme fish smell, cats absolutely love it. Remember that cats are carnivores and the smell of meat is attractive to your feline friend. When your cat smells fish, your cat smells food! 

Do Cats Like to Eat Fish?

Cats absolutely like to eat fish. Cats like to eat fish because it’s meat, because it’s stinky, and because even though your cat might be cute, it’s still a predatory savage. Additionally, fish is one of the easiest meats for a cat to respond to. Fish is also filled with essential nutrients that meet the dietary requirements of your cat. 

In fact, if you were to put down a chunk of tuna and a chunk of beef, your cat is almost always going to go after the tuna first. There’s just something about that fishy smell that drives them bonkers!

why do cats like fish

Is Fish Healthy for Cats?

In the wild, cats don’t typically hunt fish. They only try to catch fish if it’s easy. Cats don’t like swimming out into deep water, but if it’s available, a cat will definitely stay near the shore and seize the opportunity to catch some fish. In the wild, cats usually spend their time hunting things like rodents and small animals. 

That said, fish is still great for cats to eat. It’s also easier to procure fish meat than rodent meat. The one thing you need to be careful of is the quality of the fish meat, how it was cooked, and exactly how much you’re giving to your cat. 

For example, you definitely don’t want your cat’s diet to be fish only. Nothing but fish will not satisfy your cat’s dietary necessities. Fish is definitely a great source of protein and comes filled with omega-3 and taurine and other essential nutrients, but it’s not a full diet. 

Also, sometimes cats can be allergic to fish. As crazy as that sounds, it is true. If your cat is allergic to fish, they should not have any fish in their diet. They should also not have any food based on fish or supplements that include fish.

Is My Cat Allergic to Fish?

Trying to figure out if your cat has allergies can be really tough. They don’t show the same types of symptoms as humans do. Allergies in cats usually show themselves through skin issues, such as red rashes on your cat’s skin and bald patches of fur. 

If your cat is allergic to fish, chances are some of its fur may be falling out. Although, this will probably only happen if your cat is eating large quantities of fish. Sometimes, the allergic reaction from eating fish can make your cat so itchy that it will scratch itself until sores and wounds appear, at which point you might notice your cat bleeding. 

If you suspect your cat has suffered from an allergic reaction, immediately stop feeding them fish and go to your vet. A veterinarian is the only person you should trust to tell you if your cat is allergic to something or not. 

What Fish is Best for My Cat?

If you’re going to feed fish to your cat, you should always make sure that it’s only in a healthy serving. You want to feed fish to your cat sometimes as a rare treat. This is not a daily meal for your cat. 

When it does come time to feed your cat some delicious fish, we recommend sardines, tuna, or salmon. Fish tinned in spring water is the best, and there should never be any bones in the fish. This is extremely important. Your house cat isn’t going to know better and can seriously hurt itself if there are tiny bones in its canned tuna!

Can a Cat Eat Raw Fish? 

Most people have been tempted to feed their cat raw fish at some time or another. After all, it doesn’t seem like a cat could suffer from a few bites of raw fish. Cats have been eating raw meat for hundreds of thousands of years!

But wait a minute, because wild cats don’t have the same digestive system as a household cat. The cat you have in your house has adapted to eating cat food and not raw meat. It’s not ideal to feed your cat anything raw. While a tiny scrap probably won’t hurt your kitty, it’s still not a great idea. 

The best solution is to at least cook the fish before you feed it to your cat. You want to boil or grill the fish or to simply buy canned fish. Canned fish is honestly the best option, and you should never ever feed your cat fried or smoked fish, and you shouldn’t feed your cat anything that has been cooked with additives. Things like fish fingers and fish sticks are out of the question. 

Another word on canned fish. You want to avoid any canned fish that has been preserved in oils because this could give your cat indigestion problems. Fish should be either canned in their own juices or in spring water. 

If you have to choose one type of fish meal for your cat, we highly suggest canned tuna. Canned tuna is almost always soaking its own juices, it’s a very healthy treat for your feline, and you can easily purchase fresh canned tuna at an affordable price. 

Although, keep in mind that even a small can of fresh tuna is too much to give to a cat all in one serving. Only give your cat a couple spoonfuls, even if they meow for more!