Can Cats Eat Raw Fish? What Is Better For Cats – Tuna Or Salmon?

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Can Cats Eat Raw Fish? What Is Better For Cats - Tuna Or Salmon?

We all know that cats love meat. In particular, cats seem to love fish meat more than any other type of food. However, even when you are feeding your catfish, there are some things you should be aware of. For instance, can you feed raw fish to your cats? What are the harmful effects of raw fish on cats? These are the questions that plague the mind of any responsible cat owner!

In this guide, we tell you whether or not raw fish for cats is safe to consume and the ideal way for feeding fish to a cat. Fish are an extremely rich source of nutrients for our feline friends, and they must be given correctly so that your cat derives the maximum benefit from it.

Can Cats Eat Raw Fish?

A cat is watching fish in aquarium

While we think that cats live in the wild and can eat any kind of meat, that is not true! Raw meat can have harmful bacteria, and raw fish for cats is extremely unhealthy! Raw fish for cats contains germs and bacteria that can cause diseases and digestive problems in cats.

While fish are excellent source of proteins for fish, they must be cooked properly before feeding them to your cat. This ensures that your cat gets all the benefits that fish bring while avoiding the issues caused by raw fish for cats. So while you may see cartoons of cats eating raw fish, trust us when we say that it is not good for them in real life!

What Are The Benefits Of Tuna For Cats?

For cats, tuna is one of your best options. Our feline friends love this particular fish’s taste, which is a good thing since tuna contains a high amount of nutrients, such as fatty acids and omega 3.

Fresh raw tuna fillet

It is also rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which help to give your cat a shiny coat and good brain health. However, raw fish for cats is harmful, including tuna. This is why we suggest using canned tuna. If you are confused about which canned tuna you should buy, we recommend purchasing tuna brined or stored in water.

This is because tuna stored in oil can be extremely fatty, and your cat will put on weight if consumed regularly.

What Are The Benefits Of Salmon For Cats?

Salmon is another type of fish that is as beneficial for cats as tuna is. However, raw fish for cats, even if it is salmon, can give your cat serious illnesses, so you need to cook salmon before feeding it to your feline friend. This fish also contains omega 3, amino acids, and fatty acids. These help your cat’s cells repair themselves, leading to healthy growth levels.

Fresh raw salmon fillet

However, just like raw fish for cats is bad, certain cooked varieties can be harmful. For instance, you should not feed your cat deep-fried salmon since this cooking method causes its nutritional value to fall drastically.

In addition to this, remember not to feed your cat cured or smoked salmon in any scenario. These forms of salmon have incredibly high quantities of salt or sodium, which can be fatal for your cat if ingested. If your cat accidentally ingests this form of salmon, visit a vet as soon as possible and seek medical help.

Which One Is Better: Salmon Or Tuna?

Tuna or salmon? This is a tough choice since both fish are equally nutritious and taste delicious to your cat. However, if we were to give an opinion, then salmon is slightly better for cats than tuna. This is based solely on the mercury concentration in these fish.

Tuna is known to have relatively higher amounts of mercury than salmon. Even if you buy a high-quality tuna, it may still contain trace amounts of mercury. Over time, if your cat eats tuna daily, it can accumulate in your feline friend’s body and cause mercury poisoning. Mercury can damage your cat’s kidneys and cause extremely serious health issues over time.

On the other hand, salmon has lesser quantities of mercury, so the risk of mercury poisoning is not too severe over here. So, in our opinion, if you do want to feed your catfish regularly, try giving them salmon more than tuna.

You won’t compromise on nutrients if you use more salmon since they have similar nutritional values.

Other Fish That A Cat Can Eat

Now that we know that raw fish for cats is bad, what are some other types of fish that our feline friends can consume? Sardines are a great source of proteins for cats and be a slightly more affordable option than tuna and salmon. Just ensure that the sardines you buy are not prepared in a sauce high in sodium since that can be harmful to your cat.


In addition to this, you can also give your cats squid and octopus. While we know that these do not classify as “fish,” they contain unique nutrients such as zinc and iron and can be beneficial if given regularly.

However, in addition to raw fish for cats, remember not to feed your cats shrimp or shellfish. Our feline friends have trouble ingesting this type of seafood, so it is better to focus on the varieties they can eat.


We hope that our guide helped you understand how raw fish for cats can be extremely harmful to our feline friends. You should cook any fish you feed your cat to ensure that your kitty gets all of its benefits and none of the harmful bacteria.

Tuna, salmon, and sardines are great fish options, and if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you could try giving them squid too!

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