Can I Give My Cat Anchovies?

by james

Can I give my cat anchovies?If you’ve seen one too many cartoons you might think that your cat would love nothing more than some nice anchovies. This can easily come up as a decision when your cat shows a great fondness for the smell and starts showing signs that they really want some.

However, a cat’s natural prey is not fish, and even though they might seem to get really excited by the smell of fish, especially anchovies, you shouldn’t give them any, or use it as a substitute of cat food if you run out.

The biggest reason you don’t want to give your cat anchovies is that they are packed in a can full of oil and they are far too salty for them to have. In fact, it can do them a lot of harm because their bodies aren’t meant for those types of sodium levels.

Can I Give My Cat Anchovies? Answer: No.

Fish in general is not usually on the menu for cats left alone in the wild. Of course if they stumble upon one they will eat it, but it’s not as if they’re going to be in the water trying to catch a fish. And yes, they will pester your pet fish like crazy, but not because of some cosmic rivalry between cats and fish the way there is between cats and dogs, but just because it is curious and pet fish make perfect playthings for cats.

How About Fresh Anchovies?
If you buy your anchovies fresh from the seafood department, you might wonder if these are OK to give to your cat, since they aren’t packaged and stored in salty oil. This is still not recommended, because fish in general is not something your cat needs. You should instead use the money you spend on anchovies and get them the best cat food you can find. This insures that your cat won’t need any additional supplementation to their diet.

Alternative Treats
You should give your cat treats that were specially made for them, this way you know that your cat will enjoy it, and also get some added nutrition from it, as it will be fortified for cats and what they need. Catnip can also serve as a nice treat for them, and it can be fun to watch them go crazy over it. By sticking to things that are pre-approved for cats, you’ll make sure that you avoid anything that could be potentially harmful, and you keep them in the best health possible.

Really Bad Advice
It’s incredible some of the bad advice that is given from other cat owners. One owner out there says that it’s OK as long as you wash the oil off. They go on to state that they give their cats all sorts of things and they’re fine. This is very irresponsible as the owner. It’s not a matter of your cat being fine or not after you give them something. Sometimes the signs of what is wrong will not manifest for several days or weeks, and the negative effects of a sporadic diet can accumulate and present health complications later.

It’s important to remember that while browsing for tips on what to give your cat that you don’t take the advice of just one owner. Look for the consensus, because individual owners can have very lax ideas about what cats can have and they figure if it doesn’t kill them it makes them stronger. Also, some people view their cats as a subspecies and will play Russian roulette with them by just giving them anything basically and seeing what happens.

Your Job
As a responsible owner it is your job to get quality information for your cat. If you can’t find an answer that satisfies you, you can make a list of questions to ask your vet the next time you go in for a visit. We’ve found that this is the best way to ask them, rather than calling them every time we have a question. Many times you can simply ask the vet’s assistant before you even see the vet, so you don’t waste their time and can just ask the more important questions that the assistant wasn’t qualified for.

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PetPerson March 17, 2014

There is nothing wrong with giving your cat some fresh anchovies as a snack. Also, if it’s balanced properly with other meats to create a complete amino acid profile, it could even be used as part of raw food diet. Fish actually have a really good amino acid profile, but variety is always safer and your cat will appreciate it. My cats love an anchovie or two once in a while as a treat. There are tons of treats out there ‘made for cats’ that are full of sugar and other pointless ingredients that are terrible for a cat’s health. Fresh, dehydrated, or freeze-dried meats are the best treats you could possible give your cat because cats love it and it is just adding a little extra protein to their diet!


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