Sometimes, we forget that our sweet kitties are straight-up carnivores. And, if there’s one meat our cats love, it’s fish. Not just any fish – our feline friends have long shown their love for even the stinkiest kinds of seafood. It begs us to ask the question: why do cats like fish?
Many of us cat owners are curious to know what makes our kitties go crazy for most things in the sea. There are a few reasons why our kitties love seafood and we’re exploring them all!
Have Cats Always Eaten Fish?
In short: yes. Cats probably have enjoyed fish for centuries, if not thousands of years. Rumors have it that Egyptians used to strategically use fish to lure cats into their homes. If this myth is true, it still doesn’t explain why cats liked to fish in the first place…
What we have discovered with time is that cats are hunters who are opportunistic feeders, just like their wild cat ancestors. This means cats will eat things outside their usual diet to fuel them up. So, if cats lived by rivers, lakes, or any body of water, they would for sure have a food source. This adaptability is what makes cats such impressive survivors.
So, Why Do Cats Like Fish?
Cats don’t only eat fish when they’re hungry. They actually are attracted to fish. In particular, cats love the smell of seafood. That may be surprising, as fish doesn’t have the most pleasant smell to us humans. But, our feline friends love it!
Since cats are carnivores and very intelligent hunters, their noses are highly developed. This makes any smell of meat appealing, including fish. With fresh fish having such a strong smell, it smells even yummier to cats. This potent smell is hard for cats to ignore.
Another thing that makes cats like fish is all the nutrients. Fish are plentiful in fatty acids, proteins, and amino acids like taurine. Felines crave these things, making them much more eager to gobble up some fish. Plus, with these nutrients, most fish are an excellent food source for cats!
Should you Let your Cat Eat Fish?
There isn’t anything wrong with your cat eating fish. There are various kinds of fish that offer extensive nutrient benefits to your cat. That’s what makes fish such a great source of protein in general – with all the different kinds, it’s easy to diversify what fish your cat is eating. As long as your cat eats fish in moderation, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Benefits of Eating Fish for Cats
So, what exactly makes fish great for cats? As we mentioned before, fish is chock full of proteins, amino acids, and fatty acids. These all are important for keeping up a kitty’s health, as long as a cat eats fish in moderate amounts.
For example, omega-3 fatty acids are fantastic for a cat’s health. These fatty acids reduce inflammation in a cat’s body. They also help keep your cat looking pretty too – omega-3s are known for keeping a cat’s coat healthy and shiny. These fatty acids are found in sardines, cod, or mackerel. Tuna and salmon have tons of omegas too; however, these fish tend to have higher mercury levels and should be limited.
The benefits of fish for cats don’t stop there. The amino acids and proteins in fish are awesome for energizing and regulating a kitty’s body. From improving digestion to healing tissue, the protein in fish provides kitties with the support they need to live their fullest lives.
Can Cats Be Allergic to Fish?
Just like humans, cats can have allergies too. Surprisingly, cats can be very allergic to fish. You can easily tell if your cat is allergic – the symptoms of a fish allergy are very noticeable.
For the most part, fish allergy symptoms are usually seen on the skin. Your cat may develop red blotches, accompanied by hair loss. These blotches are usually pretty itchy for cats and can result in some intense scratching. A fish allergy can also come with more typical food allergy symptoms, like stomach ache, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some cats even can cough and wheeze too.
If you notice any of these symptoms, the best thing to do is take your cat to the vet immediately. Your vet will be able to assess and treat the allergic reaction in the safest manner possible.
Do you have a cat at home that loves fish? Tell us all about your sweet kitty and their fish obsession in the comments below!