There’s a popular stereotype when it comes to the world of cats; that they love fish. Having had pet cats myself, I’ve found that that isn’t necessarily true; while one cat loved to gobble down tuna the other turned her dainty little nose up at any food that was so much as in the proximity of any type of fish.
Is fish actually good for cats? Or is it akin to feeding chocolate to dogs (a complete no no!)? We’ve sifted through tons of research and tried to get to the bottom of things.
The Evolutionary View
When you think back to where cats came from, it seems a bit strange to think that their ancestors liked fish, or even knew what it tasted like. Wildcats, which are domestic cats’ ancestors were land animals that would not have been so great at fishing. Instead, they survived on hunting rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels.
So, it isn’t likely that cats’ taste buds automatically demand fish, is it?
Saying Nay To Fish
Many owners choose to feed their cats cans of tuna or salmon on a daily basis. Some studies have found that there’s link between cats who constantly eat canned food and the likelihood of them developing hyperthyroidism. Additionally, many fish based foods contain histamine, which can cause allergic reactions and contribute to developing allergies.
When one looks at the fish farming sector in general it raises a lot of questions. In the USA, there’s no regulatory board that sets standards for fish farming, so salmon and tuna are often bred in unhygienic, overcrowded conditions that could lead to diseases.
Sea farmed fish, on the other hand are exposed to other harmful factors such as industrial and chemical waste. While humans’ immune systems are better equipped to tackle these elements that the fish carry, cats, which are much smaller may be unable to battle them.
Benefits of Being Fishy
Despite the disadvantages, some scientists say that fish can be beneficial in some ways. For one, it’s a great source of protein. Additionally, omega 3 fatty acids in certain fish oils can be beneficial to neural development and eyesight strength in your cat.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of reasons why fish shouldn’t make up a large part of your cat’s diet. Even if he or she loves it, it’s best to stick with just treating them with a few spoonfuls each week.