Can Cats Eat Salmon?
With all the questionable ingredients in pet foods, it’s no wonder why more and more people opt for homemade meals. Considering how often cats are portrayed as fish fanatics, your first choice might very well be to feed your cat some fish like Salmon.
While that sounds like absolute kitty heaven to us humans, there are things to consider before tossing a whole salmon into the cat's dish. For starters, can cats eat salmon? The answer: yes and no.
Can Cats Eat Salmon?
Depending on how it's served, any fish can be either beneficial or harmful to your pet. Here are some common questions about salmon in a cat's diet with answers to help you decide if and how to prepare any fishy food for your feline friend.
Can Cats Eat Raw Salmon?
If a lion can eat a gazelle As-Is, what’s stopping a house-cat from tapping into its primal side? For starters, wild cats don’t eat fish because they know what’s good for them. Domestic cats often need assistance in the diet department.
According to WebMD’s list of “Foods, Your Cat Should Never Eat”, raw fish is rich in the bacteria and enzymes linked to food poisoning and thiamine (vitamin B) deficiencies in cats.
Can Cats Eat Canned Salmon?
Now that we know what could happen if Fluffy ate freshly caught salmon, what are the other options? Surely a canned, processed and meal-ready meat is healthier, right?
This variation of salmon can still be devastating to your pet’s health if you serve it too often. In fact, keeping it reserved for rare occasions is probably the only way it can be consumed without becoming a dietary downfall.
Even in a can, salmon is not a sufficient source of nutrients for your cat. Catological reports that cats are incapable of creating the amount of fuel their bodies need to perform properly.
Therefore, they require a higher amount of vitamins and proteins in their food to supplement their dietary needs. Feeding them canned fish for each meal is like us eating fast food burgers for every meal, expecting to stay in tip-top shape.
Can Cats Eat Smoked Salmon?
Now it must seem obvious that if raw and fast foods are bad, home-cooked food is definitely the way to go! What better way to fix up a fish dinner than to smoke it? Unfortunately, this is another tricky situation.
Here, you have to be aware that cats can become dehydrated much more quickly than humans and thrive best with limited amounts of sodium in their diets. The problem with smoked salmon lies within its preparation.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Salmon
All Pet Magazine advises you to cook any meats before serving them to pets. This seems like a no-brainer for humans, but it’s also necessary for cats. By cooking meat completely through, you’ll be roasting away those harmful enzymes and bacteria.
Many of the essential nutrients in a cat’s diet are either nonexistent or insufficient in salmon. When it’s cooked, whatever it did contain is then roasted away like everything else. Prolonged use of salmon for cats would could major imbalances.
Can Cats Eat Salmon Skin?
After establishing how your cat is allowed to safely consume salmon, it’s time to consider how much of the fish is edible. If the meat is okay, what about the skin?
Surprisingly enough, the cooked meat concept prevails here, too! With infrequent and thoroughly cooked amounts, your cat can definitely eat salmon skin. Humans may consider this part of the fish to be unappetizing, but your cat might gobble it up in no time.
Petconsider asks the same question and presents a great point: “Salmon skin may be more nutritious for cats than the pink muscle meat”. The site also warns that, like any other animal, toxins are prominent in the skin.
A word for the wise: Just don’t overdo it.
Can Cats Eat Pink Salmon?
Pink salmon, otherwise known as the Humpback Salmon, is the fish market’s biggest seller. This type of salmon is most often canned but can be found raw to be cooked. Nutritionally, Pink Salmon is markedly low in fat and has flavor-packed skin!
Despite what you think your cat would prefer, being that this food is to be limited no matter how it’s prepared, you may still want to select a type that gives your kitty a fatty treat over a flavorful one.
Humans like the sound of low-fat everything, so it can be tempting to stock up on this fish. Cats, however, work on different principles and need more fat content in their foods to maintain their bodily functions.
However you choose to approach this, remember that there are good and bad ways to feed your cat. Certain forms of salmon can be harmful, so it's always advised to clean and cook the meats thoroughly.
Planning to buy prepared salmon at the store? There are restrictions on which products are safe enough for feline consumption. Be cautious of the ingredients that are included with the fish.
As a word of caution, All Pet Magazine notes that cats who receive salmon too often tend to acquire the taste. We know that our picky eaters will select favorites and deny other foods, voluntarily starving themselves for that fishy taste. Be careful on frequency!
If you're still a bit concerned for your pet's health and safety, simply asking the question "Can cats eat salmon" may not be enough for you. After reading up on the topic, your next step might be to consult a veterinarian.
Furthermore, seek out nutritional pet foods that include salmon so you don't have to worry about preparing it yourself. Nowadays, there are plenty of natural options to choose from on the market.
Not sure how to cook salmon?
This video from Mashed gives great tips for any species to avoid food mishaps:
Would you feed your cat salmon? Leave a comment to include your pet's dietary routine!