Can cats eat canned salmon? What about smoked or raw salmon? As we all know, cats absolutely love having fish as part of their diet so these are some great questions to be asking before we decide to add something we think our cats will love in their diet. In this article, we will find out if cats can eat canned, smoked, or raw salmon safely and what alternatives there are, if any.
Can Cats Eat Canned Salmon?
It is not recommended that you give your cat canned salmon on a regular basis, but you can give them a little from time to time as a treat. The reason for this is primarily because of what manufacturers put in the can of salmon.
Canned salmon is full of ingredients that may be okay for us to ingest, but not necessarily your cat. It is usually chocked full of preservatives and a large amount of sodium among other things that help induce and preserve the flavor of the canned salmon.
If your cat consumes too much salt, it can lead to a condition known as hypernatremia. This condition can cause your cat to have seizures because their electrolytes are imbalanced. When this happens, it causes brain shrinkage which is what leads up to your cat having a seizure.
Can Cats Eat Raw Salmon?
You should never give your cat raw salmon. In fact, you should really never give your feline companion raw fish of any kind. Giving your cat raw salmon will cause them to have an upset stomach at the very least and feeding them too much over a short period of time can be fatal.
The reason for this is because raw salmon has a large amount of harmful bacteria present on it. Salmon can also contain parasites, and we definitely don’t want our cat to be infested with a deadly parasite.
Raw salmon also contains an enzyme that is known to destroy Thiamine, which is essential for your cat to live. Signs and symptoms of a Thiamine deficiency include vomiting, excessive drooling, and weight loss. Your cat might also end up with neurological problems that cause head tilting, dilated pupils, and seizures among other things.
If you suspect that your cat has a Thiamine deficiency, call your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can correct the problem. And also don’t feed your cat raw fish or raw meat of any kind.
Can Cats Eat Smoked Salmon?
You should definitely never give your cat smoked salmon either, no matter how good it smells or how much your cat begs. When salmon is going through the smoking process, it is usually soaked in a brine and cured with salt before it gets to the smoker. The brine causes the salmon to lose all of it’s moisture and the salt obviously contains sodium, which is what we don’t want our cats to consume.
In fact, smoked salmon has dangerous amounts of sodium in it because of the moisture and salt combination. There is normally around 700 milligrams of sodium for every 100 grams of salmon, so I would definitely pass on giving my cat smoked salmon, even as a treat. There are far better alternatives that your cat will enjoy just as much.
What Kind of Salmon Is Okay for Cats?
While canned, raw, and smoked salmon is bad for your cats, you can give your feline companion salmon that has been cooked, grilled, or roasted. It’s also okay to give your cat the cooked salmon skin that most of us humans don’t like to eat. They will love that part of the salmon too. Just make sure it’s been cooked first.
It’s important to note that cats should not be given any type of fish on a regular basis. It should be consumed more like a treat than a meal replacement. The reason being is that fish of any kind are susceptible to mercury poisoning. Feeding your cat salmon once or twice a week should be just fine.
On the other hand, salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids which can prevent feline obesity. Salmon has also been proven to strengthen your cat’s bones and speed up healing.
The best way to feed your cat any fish or salmon, however, is by giving them freeze-dried treats that are especially made for felines. This way you know what they’re eating is safe and they will really enjoy them. Plus they will still get all of the health benefits of salmon without the health risks that come with raw, smoked, and canned versions of salmon.
Even if you have given your cat raw, canned, or smoked salmon before and your cat was just fine, it’s still not a very good idea to let your cat consume these types of salmon or any fish for that matter. But you can give your cat cooked salmon and salmon treats as long as it’s in moderation.
I personally do not give my cats canned fish of any kind. I always opt for the safest approach by giving them freeze-dried salmon or fish cat treats. They absolutely love them and I get the peace of mind that my cats are eating healthy products.