Can cats eat sardines

Can cats eat sardines: All your questions answered

Can cats eat sardines?

It’s a question that’s been asked by cat owners for years.

With the rise in popularity of canned fish, interest in sardines has grown as well.

But can cats eat them? And if so, what is the best way to prepare them?

We’ve decided to answer these questions and more below.

We will teach you about what sardines are and why your cat might love them, as well as how to best feed them to your cat!

Cats are carnivores and they need a lot of protein. Sardines are a great source of protein, omega-3s, and other nutrients that cats need to stay healthy.

However, some cats may have problems with the high levels of salt in sardines. If you’re considering feeding your cat sardines, here are some things you should know about salt in sardines for cats.

Can diabetic cats eat sardines

Health benefits of cats eating sardines

Sardines are a type of fish that is very popular and widely consumed in different parts of the world. One might wonder, is it safe to feed sardines to cats? What are the health advantages of feeding sardines to cats?

Here are some of the health benefits of feeding your cat sardines:

  • Protein-packed
  • Contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty oils
  • Bone building and strengthening
  • Reduce inflammation (number one reason for cat illnesses)
  • Packed with several vitamins e.g Vit B12.
  • Fights anxiety and depression in cats
  • Helps relieve allergies.
  • Anticancer properties.

Table on nutritional value of sardines to cats.

Nutritional component in sardinesHow it helps your cat
Omega 3 fatty acids– Maintain regular cat’s heart rate
Proteins– Build muscle.
Vitamin B 12– Promotes Cardiovascular health.
Vitamin B 2– Helps synthesize carbohydrates.
Fatty acids with atopy– Helps relieve allergies.
Vitamin D– Bone building and strengthening
Selenium– Boosts immune
– Has anti-cancer properties.
– Promotes joint health
– Has antioxidant properties.
Calcium– Bone and teeth building and strengthening
Potassium– Regulates heart health
– Regulates muscles contraction.
– Helps with nerve impulses.
Zinc– Hair growth
– Kitten growth
– Cell growth
– Boosts immune
Phosphorus– Build and maintain healthy bones
Iodine– Healthy production of thyroid hormone.
Choline– Helps in detoxification
Magnesium– Helps in hormone secretion
– Helps in bone and teeth building
Copper– Develop red blood cells
– Helps in collagen formation
– Helps in iron absorption
– has antioxidant properties.
Table on nutritional value of sardines to cats.

Side effects of sardines in cats.

You’re probably wondering are there any health hazards of feeding your cat sardines?

There are several risks to consider when giving cats sardines, including:

  • Cats may not like the taste of sardines.
  • Too many sardines can result in excessive weight gain in cats.
  • Sardines in soybean oil may be harmful to the thyroid gland.
  • Avoid feeding sardines in tomato sauce because it can have a complex effect on your cat’s health.
  • Sardines can also contain bacterial infections, which can lead to symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, and blood in the stool.
  • Sardines can be dangerous for cats due to heavy metals and pollutants in the water (think mercury poisoning).
  • Choking hazard

Feeding sardines unseasoned and unflavored is safest for your pet’s health.

How often should cats eat sardines? Can cats eat sardines daily?

Can cats eat sardines in tomato sauce

Cats can eat sardines on any day of the week. However, it is best to not feed them too many at one time.

This is because they can become too full, and will not be able to get all the nutrients they need.

Also if a cat consumes too many sardines it can cause serious health problems including bleeding and vomiting.

Cats should only eat sardines occasionally as a treat, rather than regularly as some experts recommend.

Do cats love sardines?

Sardines are a type of fish that is very popular and widely consumed in different parts of the world. One might wonder, do cats even like sardines?

Some cats don’t like sardines, but scientists aren’t exactly sure why.

Sardines can be a source of food for cats, but they prefer them without sauce on them.

If your cat doesn’t show any interest in the fish (sardine), don’t force it.

How to prepare sardines for your cat/ How to feed cats sardines

How to prepare sardines for your cat
Freshly grilled sardines on the grill, Portugal

Sardines are a type of fish that has a lot of protein, which is great for your cat.

Here’s a simple way you can prepare your cat’s favorite fish for him/her to enjoy:

  • Cut the fish into small pieces and place them in a bowl.
  • Add some water and a little bit of olive oil.
  • Mix everything up and let your cat have a feast.

These little fish are healthy food for cats. Sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12.

Cats should be given as a treat and occasional meal.

Can cats eat canned sardines?


Sardines in brine are not a good option for cats because of the high salt content.

Foods preserved in brine may lead to sodium ion poisoning, which can be life-threatening to cats.


Sardines can be bought in cans, which contain about 3 tablespoons of food for one tablespoon of oil.

In simpler terms, the ratio of food to oil is 3:1.

The oil is the most important ingredient because it provides essential fatty acids in small amounts (for example, tuna contains more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon).

Type of oil (Canned sardines oil)Present nutrients
Olive Oil– Vitamin E

_ Anti-inflammatory fatty acids

_ Polyphenols
Soybean oil– High protein levels
Sunflower oil– Omega 6 fatty acids

_ Lower saturated fat (Compared to animal fat)
Type of oil (Canned sardines oil) and present nutrients

However, keep in mind that oil acts as a laxative for cats. So, it is best to moderate oil consumption.

Tomato sauce

Cats can eat sardines in tomato sauce, but it’s important to rinse them first.

Sardines in tomato sauce are high in carbohydrates and salt, which may not be good for cats.

If you’re feeding your cat canned sardines, make sure to rinse them well first.


Most sardines purchased at the store are not covered in spring water and are thus likely to contain too much salt and sodium.

Are sardines good for cats?

cats and sardines

Sardines are good for cats, mainly because of their fishy smelly, and unique yummy taste.

They are a high-quality source of protein, fats (including omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins, and other minerals.

Sardines should be eaten in moderation by cats as part of their diet or occasional snacks unless you are feeding them commercial cat food with this fish.

Canned sardine nutrition.

According to USDA’s Food Data Central, canned sardines contain 25 grams of fat and 59 calories in every ounce.

They also serve up minerals that include calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.

The fishy treats are also a significant source of B vitamins and vitamin A.

Cats don’t usually have ill effects from excess sodium the same way that humans do.

This is according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition .

Unlike their two-legged companions, cats don’t suffer from hypertension-related cardiac disease, kidney disease , or gastrointestinal damage based on the amount of salt in their diet.

Sodium is sometimes useful in helping cats with renal disease.

are canned sardines good for cats
Photo by Karen Laårk Boshoff from Pexels

Are there any dangerous toxins in sardines?

Surprisingly, sardines aren’t susceptible to the large amounts of toxins found in most fish nowadays.

This is because sardines are normally at the bottom of the food chain.

In simpler terms, sardines feed on mostly phytoplankton and zooplankton.

They don’t ingest dangerous metals (like mercury) or other water contaminants that bigger fish will eat.

This gives some level of assurance that sardines are actually safe for your cat.

However, some sardines may still have some mercury in them.

Do I give my cat raw, cooked, or canned sardines?

Raw sardines

Raw sardines can pose a risk of poisoning from heavy metal.

Cats can eat raw sardines, but it is not recommended as the fish may contain high levels of mercury.

Can cats eat raw sardines
Photo by from Pexels

Sardines are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for cats.

Cats should be fed small amounts of sardines several times a week, in addition to their regular food intake.

Cooked sardines.

It is a good idea to cook sardines for your cat.

The heat in the cooking process kills some of the bacteria present in raw fish.

However, it is best to just boil. Avoid onions and garlic as they tend to give cats a stomach upset.

Canned sardines

Cats can eat canned sardines in oil, but there are some precautions to take into account.

Can cats eat canned sardines

Can kittens eat sardines?

Yes, your little kitties can eat sardines.

Kittens should not eat large numbers of sardines at one time because they can become sick.

It is best to introduce your kitty to sardines by only giving small handfuls. Keep in mind that kittens are more sensitive to new food.

What other fish can you substitute sardines with?

Don’t have enough sardine? Not a fan of the small smelly fish?

That’s okay because you can always substitute with these other types of fish:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Catfish

Why your cat is not eating sardines.

Most cats (my Chacha included) are in love with sardines.

However, some cats would rather starve than eat sardines.

Here are some reasons why your cat may not be eating sardines:

  • Cats are notoriously picky eaters.
  • Your cat may not like the smell.
  • Your fluff ball may be traumatized from a previous negative experience with sardines.

Tips to introduce your cat to sardines.

  • The first thing to do is to make sure the cat is not allergic to sardines.

Cats are not like dogs and they don’t need specific food. They eat what they want when they want.

  • The second thing to do is to make sure that the cat is not sick and has no other medical problems.

This can be done by taking the cat for a check-up at the vet or by looking for symptoms in the house.

Some common symptoms include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or loss of appetite.

  • If your cat’s health checks out and it still refuses to eat sardines then you should try a different flavor of canned food or maybe switch brands altogether.

Sardines for hairball.

Sardines for hairball.
Cat throwing up hair ball on sofa

You’re probably wondering, is all the hype about sardines helping with hairballs true?

Sardines can be a good treat for cats, and they’re rich in proteins and oils that can help prevent hairballs.

Sardines may help with hairballs, but care should still be taken when feeding them to cats.

Sardines are a good source of protein and fat for cats.

Cats who have problems with their hairballs may find that eating small numbers of sardines regularly helps them to solve the problem.

There are several types of sardines available on the market, so it is important to choose the right kind for your cat’s diet and health needs.

Sardines for cats with kidney disease.

Cats with kidney disease can also feed on sardines.

However, this should be in moderation since high levels of phosphorous could be lethal.

Sardines for cats with kidney disease.
Photo by Сергей Сёмин from Pexels

Sardines for diabetic cats.

A diabetic cat can eat canned goods such as sardines.

Sardines have essential oils and protein that all cats need.

Are Sardine Bones Safe for Cats?

Yes, sardine bones are perfectly safe for cats.

These little fish have soft and small bones that your furr ball can easily chew.

However, it is still a nice idea to chop them up before giving them to your cat.

FAQ on cats eating sardines.

Can cats eat sardines with brewers’ yeast?

Yes, cats can eat sardines in brewers’ yeast.

Brewer’s yeast is a good source of chromium minerals and B vitamins.

However, observe moderation while feeding your pet. Stick to !/2 a teaspoon of brewers yeast when feeding your cat.

Can cats eat sardines with brewers yeast?

Can cats eat sardines in mustard?

Mustard is NOT GOOD for cats so you should keep sardines soaked in mustard away from your cat.

If by chance your cat feeds on sardines in mustard, keep a close eye on them and observe how they react.

However, in tiny portions, mustard is not lethal.

Can cats eat sardines in olive oil?

Cats can eat sardines in olive oil, but the oil should be kept to a teaspoon max.

If taken in excess, olive oil might lead to cat diarrhea as it acts as a laxative.

Can Cats Eat Sardines In Sunflower Oil?

Sardines in sunflower oil are safe for cats.

Cats can eat sardines that are packaged in sunflower oil.

In small amounts, sunflower oils are not toxic to cats.

Can cats eat sardines
Cat eating sardines in fishing village

Can cats eat sardines in soybeans?

Cats can eat sardines that are packaged in soybean oil but should be fed in small doses and only if supervised.

Soybeans have a high level of protein and fiber so they will not cause digestive upset or trigger any food allergies.

Soybean oil is a natural and healthier replacement for fish oil but can be dangerous to cats if ingested in large quantities.

Do Cats Require Sardines’ Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Sardines are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the health of cats.

Cats can’t synthesize these fatty acids on their own, so they need to get them from food.

Omega-3s play an important role in keeping the coat of your cat glossy and shiny. This is one reason why some cats look immensely beautiful and clean.

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