It's fine to give Salmon to your cat as a treat
Salmon contains a lot of useful nutrients for cats, so it is fine to give it as a treat. However, it should definitely not be the foundation of your cat's diet. Additionally, cats can become obsessed with salmon, and avoid eating other foods, which is a problem.
You may think it’s ridiculous to ask the question ‘can cats eat cooked salmon?’ Felines are known for their preference for fish because they are often depicted as fish-eating animals.
Cats are most likely to dig in if you offer fish to them, whether it's cooked or raw.
Moreover, their undeniable eagerness to eat fish further affirms that they are indeed fish-eaters.
However, this doesn’t automatically mean that it’s okay to feed salmon (cooked or not) to your kitty on a regular basis. Let’s try to understand this in a more detailed approach.
Felines are obligate carnivores that initially dwell in desert environments where bodies of water are scarce. So, how do they get their food in the desert?
They chase and kill small prey such as mice, birds, reptiles, rodents, rabbits, squirrels and insects.
Furthermore, they efficiently obtain the moisture content of the meat they eat. Moreover, this explains why they survive in dry, barren area of land with limited sources of water.
Based on their origin, we now understand that fish is not a part of their primary diet. However, this doesn’t also mean that fish is bad for them.
Eating fish can benefit them nutritionally. Salmon, in particular, is rich in protein which is necessarily required for felines.
They require significantly more protein than other animals because they mostly use protein for energy.
Moreover, they need protein intake to obtain certain amino acids to fuel bodily processes and for building blocks of muscles.
Aside from protein, salmon is also an excellent source of omega three fatty acids.
These polyunsaturated fatty acids help your kitty’s immune system to function optimally.
A well-functioning immune system efficiently fights off disease-causing viruses thus preventing the occurrence of minor to major health concerns.
Our furry companions can also significantly benefit from omega three since they are prone to skin irritation and inflammation.
Cats are diligent groomers, but frequent licking and biting can irritate their skin.
Omega 3 fatty acid is also known for anti-inflammatory property that can help ease the symptoms of skin irritation.
Plus, this fatty acid also helps strengthen your pet’s fur to reduce excessive shedding and dander. However, that's not all.
Omega 3 fatty acid also plays a vital role in the prevention of obesity.
Since domestic kitties are confined indoors, they often lack physical exercise. Thus, they are at higher risk of obesity than outdoor kitties.
Keep in mind that the feline diet is mainly composed of meat that is high in fats, both good and bad.
Omega 3 is an example of ‘good fat' that balances out the surplus of ‘bad fats' in the body.
Furthermore, omega 3 increases the response to insulin. Hence, foods high in omega three can be beneficial to diabetic cats.
Considering all of these benefits, it’s only natural to assume that salmon is a healthy food for our feline pets.
Can cats eat salmon? The answer is yes, it is safe for cats to eat salmon. However, it should be given moderately and in small quantities.
Moreover, it should not be deemed as an alternative to their regular food.
If you are considering feeding this fish to your furball, you might be wondering how to prepare it.
Can cats eat cooked salmon? Alternatively, would it be better if we give them raw ones?
Feeding salmon to your kitty has its benefits. However, there are also a few problems and precautions that you need to consider if you're planning to do this.
Can Cats Eat Salmon Cooked
Can cats eat cooked salmon? The answer would depend on how you cook the fish. Deep frying or cooking salmon under very high temperature significantly reduces the nutritional content of the fish.
On the other hand, cooking it in low and tightly regulated temperature can retain the nutrients and lock in moisture.
Instead of frying, you can opt to roast, broil, grill or poach the salmon. That is if you intend to give it to your kitty as an occasional treat.
These methods of cooking don't only retain the nutrients of the fish, but these also retain the juiciness of the flesh.
If you ever think of feeding cooked salmon to your pet, make sure that you’re not using strong seasonings or additives.
Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are highly toxic to felines so you may want to avoid using these ingredients.
Moreover, go easy on the salt, pepper, vinegar, and other condiments. These can pose health problems to your kitty if consumed in high amount.
To be safe, cook the fish as it is without putting any flavorings that can potentially harm your kitty. Can cats eat cooked salmon?
Cats can eat it as long as it is cooked the right way. On top of that, your feline buddy can also benefit from the retained protein, omega 3 and other essential vitamins.
Smoked or Canned Salmon – Which is Better for Cats?
Both smoked and canned salmon are the most common types of cooked salmon that people mostly enjoy.
As mentioned earlier, cooked salmon should be safe for felines. However, the way it is prepared and cooked can make a huge difference.
Smoked salmon is prepared by curing the fish in a brine solution for several hours before it is smoked.
The curing process may take up to 8 hours which is more than enough time to eliminate the natural moisture from the fish.
Curing takes place when salt is infused into the flesh to preserve the fish.
Lack of moisture content and the high amount of salt in the fish can be detrimental to your kitty's health.
Excessive intake of sodium can lead to hypernatremia in felines. This health condition denotes abnormally high levels of sodium in the blood.
Symptoms of hypernatremia may include increased thirst, seizures, and disorientation. If left untreated, it may even lead to coma and death.
It is therefore advisable to avoid giving your pets foods that are high in sodium like smoked salmon.
If you think canned salmon is the better option than smoked salmon, then think again.
The canned salmon might be even worse than the smoked one.
Canned products make use of heavily processed fish with artificial additives and preservatives.
It is highly likely that many diseases in felines are caused or aggravated by these substances.
Just like smoked fish, canned fish also contain a high amount of salt to preserve the fish further.
With that being said, we don’t recommend feeding your pets with smoked or canned salmon. Can cats eat cooked salmon?
Broiled, poached, grilled or roasted salmon is safe for felines to eat. However, other than these cooking methods, we don't advise giving this fish to your pets in any way.
Can Cats Eat Raw Salmon?
Wild felines used to consume raw meat. Besides, their digestive tract is designed to break down and process raw meat. So, does it mean that it’s okay to give raw salmon to them?
Fish, when freshly caught from the water, is entirely safe for felines to eat. Fresh fish contains higher levels of moisture, protein and omega three compared to cooked fish.
However, household kitties don’t always have easy access to freshwater where they can catch live fishes.
So, the only way to give them raw fish is to buy it from the supermarket.
Unfortunately, those fishes sitting on supermarket shelves with ice are not as fresh and healthy as their freshly-caught counterparts.
Don't be easily fooled by the ‘fresh' label that you often see in supermarkets.
These supermarket ‘fresh' fish can be more than three weeks old and apparently, that is not considered ‘fresh' anymore.
Allowing fish to sit there for several days also enables harmful bacteria and pathogens to grow in it.
The good news is, these bacteria can be eliminated if they are exposed under extremely high temperature.
This means that you can cook these supermarket fishes to get rid of these disease-causing bacteria.
If you’re planning to go fishing to catch some fresh fishes for your kitty, make sure that you’re getting them from freshwater sources.
Dirty waters contain a large amount of decaying matter that may be eaten by the fishes.
Aeromonas salmonicida, myxobacteria, and vibrio bacteria are the most common pathogens found in salmons.
The appearance of boil-like lesions on the fish’ skin is an indication that it is infected with these bacteria.
Avoid fishes with some lesions in the skin, red eyes, bleeding gills, and inflamed intestinal tract.
If your feline pet happens to eat fresh fishes that are infected with these bacteria, it can lead to toxicity.
Raw salmon, therefore, is not recommended for cats to eat.Can cats eat cooked salmon instead?
Cooking the fish is the safest way to go if you intend to give it to your furball. Just remember to cook the fish properly without any additives to ensure your pet's safety.
Potential Risks of Feeding Salmon to Your Cat
Can cats eat cooked salmon without any complication? Salmon and other types of fish are not considered as a fundamental part of their diet, and there's a good reason behind it.
We now understand the risks of feeding raw salmon to felines, and therefore we should avoid doing so.
Cooked salmon is undoubtedly the better option for our kitty. However, that doesn't mean that it doesn't come with its risks.
Fish Allergy in Cats
Did this come as a surprise to you? Fish allergy is a common type of food allergies in humans. However, a kitty with a fish allergy might be something new to you.
Here's the sad truth, felines can also develop an allergy towards fish. There's a condition called ‘salmon allergy' in felines.
This occurs when a kitty's immune system reacts to the protein found within the fish. The feline body can detect a different source of protein in contrast to its ‘usual' source.
In return, the body regards this protein as a foreign substance and triggers the immune system to fight it off.
Allergic reactions are manifested physically as a result of the immune system wreaking havoc.
Symptoms of a fish allergy include:
When symptoms occur, immediate veterinary treatment is required because this can turn into a life-threatening situation if disregarded.
To make sure that your kitty is not allergic to salmon, introduce the fish slowly by starting with a tiny portion. Then observe how your pet reacts to it and notice the result.
If your pet doesn’t show any adverse symptoms, then you may consider giving it as an infrequent treat.
Moreover, please don't forget to monitor your pet's reaction every time you feed it with fish. Allergic reactions may not manifest right away and may occur over time.
Our furry pets can benefit from the protein and omega three fatty acids content of cooked salmon. However, this doesn't justify adding this fish into their regular diet.
One of the essential amino acids in felines is taurine. This is exclusively found in animal-based protein, primarily in muscle meat and internal organs.
Felines need taurine to maintain proper functioning of the digestive tract, heart muscle, immune system, and visual system.
Taurine also plays a vital role in healthy pregnancy and fetal development in felines.
While salmon contains a small amount of taurine, most of these amino acids are destroyed during the cooking process.
Feeding them with cooked salmon regularly can deprive them of taurine that they could have obtained from regular cat food.
This can lead to a taurine deficiency which can eventually result in blindness, heart failure, digestive problems, and other health issues.
Cooked salmon should NOT be given as the primary food and should only be fed as a treat.
How Much Salmon is Safe for Cats to Eat?
Can cats eat cooked salmon? Yes, they can, as long as you give it to them in moderation and small quantity.
Raw, cured, or those processed by artificial additives are out of the discussion. It would help if you only gave cooked salmon to your kitty by using appropriate methods of cooking.
Even when cooked, this fish is still a good source of protein and omega three fatty acids that felines need.
However, a feline diet that solely depends on salmon can also pose health problems in your pet.
We recommend feeding your kitty small portions of salmon once a week. If you go beyond this dosage limit, it is highly likely that your pet may become addicted to it.
Expect your furry friend to ask for more but be firm and ignore its demands. Remember, this is for your pet’s sake.
Precautions to Follow in Feeding Cooked Salmon to Cats
If you’re not sure how the fish is cooked, it’s better not to give any of it to your feline pet. Don’t dismiss the possibility that the cook had used onions or garlic to prepare the fish.
Remember, if you intend to give fish to your pet, you’ll have to prepare it yourself. This is to ensure that no toxic ingredients are used that may harm your furry friend.
Of course, don’t forget to observe your pet’s response to the fish especially if you’re giving it to them for the first time.
No matter how minor the reaction is (i.e., excessive scratching), you need to consider this as a dangerous sign. Call your vet immediately and ask for advice.
For severe reactions such as difficulty in breathing and vomiting, waste no time and take your pet to the vet right away.
Last but not least, make sure to remove all the bone before giving the fish to your feline buddy.
Fish bones, when ingested, can pierce and obstruct the throat and intestinal tract of a cat. Piercings or obstructions can cause internal bleeding and blockages that may require surgery.
Can cats eat cooked salmon? Luckily for our fish-loving pets, there are specific methods of cooking that can make salmon safe for them to eat.
Feeding your kitty cooked salmon has its advantages and disadvantages.
Let's try to look at the brighter side first. This fish, even when cooked, is loaded with proteins and omega three fatty acids that are beneficial for feline health.
However, there are certain precautions before you decide to give this fish to your furry pet.
Look out for the possibility of fish allergy, and you should stop giving any fish if you notice the symptoms.
If your pet didn't show any adverse reaction to the fish, then you may consider it as an occasional treat.
Felines love to eat fish, but it is not healthy for them to eat fish on a regular basis. More importantly, make sure that it is cooked, and all the bone is removed before giving it to your kitty.
Can cats eat cooked salmon? We highly recommend giving this fish to them in moderation and should not be deemed as a replacement for their regular food.