Can Cats Eat Sardines?

Can Cats Eat Sardines

Can Cats eat Sardines?

Can cats eat sardines? A cat is a carnivore, so, true to its nature means he/she is a prey animal, hence, needs meat to survive. Fish, in this case sardines, are animals and should be a healthy and beneficial treat to a cat’s daily diet, right?

Let's find out!

CAts Cannot produce all of their Necessary Fats

Cats and pets cannot produce all of the necessary fats. Essential fatty acids are the ones they cannot produce. If a cat suffers a disease, it is logical to help with an added fatty acid program to go with on a daily or regularly dietary program. But a side recommendation; what might be an essential aid for one animal may not apply to another animal. My recommendation is; choosing the ones that are a specific enhancement in a cat’s fatty acid diet. For instance, the fatty acid arachidonic acid is essential for cats.

As a cat owner your interest is to only feed the best to a cat’s nutritious, healthy diet. Many veterinarians, therefore,recommend to give canned foot over kibble foot.

There are 3 main negatives to serve dry food:

Can cats eat sardines- angry cat who does not want to eat dry food anymore

1. Water content is too low

2. Carbohydrate load is too high

3. Type of protein–too high plant-based versus animal- based proteins

Also, dry food is very heavily processed due to exposed high temperature for a long time destroying a lot of necessary nutrients in a cat’s diet.

Another raised issue is, it is contaminated with bacteria, fungal mycotoxins, storage mites/cockroaches, etc.

If a cat has to fight a disease, he/she is unable to produce a specific enzyme which at the end can cause different health issues.

Which Fatty Acids Do Cats

Under some disease conditions certain enzyme convert one fatty acid to another seems to be insufficient or not present at all. Hence the cat cannot absorb fatty acids from the intestine. Some of the former essential fatty acids (before the disease) are essential now and the cat needs them in their diet in increased amount. So, a possible lack of essential fatty acids and vitamins might come up when you feed a restricted diet to an overweight (fat) cat.

The most needed fatty acids a cat needs are:

  • Omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids.
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids include
  • Alpha Linolenic Acids (ALA)
  • Licosapentraenoic Acids(EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

You can convert ALA into EPA (does not occur in the skin).

EPA is the essential acid of the omega- 3 fatty acids.

You find it in the cell membrane.

Omega Fatty Acids include

  •  Linoleic Acid (LA)
  • Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
  • Dihomo- Gamma Linolenic Acid (DGLA)
  • Arachidonic Acid (AA)

You can convert LA in GLA (not in the skin). You can make DGLA from GLA

The Importance of LA

LA is important to optimize water permeability in the skin. But if you increase its amount can turn into a troublemaker of the fatty acids.

What is the Perfect Ratio of Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

The current recommended ratio of omega 6 to 3 fatty acids is 10:1 to 5:1.

Health Benefits of Avocados

Do We Find Omega 3 Fats in Sardines?

Yes, a lot!

Below are the helpful nutrients labeled on a can of sardines. You can see the omega-3 fatty acid contain is 61% along other beneficial health nutrients.

  • Vitamin B12 338%
  •  Selenium 87%
  • Phosphorus 64%
  •  Omega-3 fats 61%
  • Protein 45%
  •  Vitamin D 44%
  • Calcium 35%
  • Vitamin B3 30%
  • Iodine 24%
  • Copper 19%
  •  Coline 16%
  • VitaminB2 16%

What are the Health Benefits of Sardines?

Sardines are rich in the most array of health nutrients, for instance, cardiovascular health. One of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, helping decrease triglycerides and cholesterol levels. One serving has over 50% of the daily value for these important nutrients. Aside omega-3 fatty acids you can find vitamin B12 also adds to its cardiovascular well-being.

Promote Bone Health

Sardines contain a great amount vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to increase the absorption of calcium. In addition, you can find good sources of phosphorus.

Phosphorus is a mineral, important to make the matrix strong. High level of homocysteine are in direct neighborhood to osteoporosis. Sardines’ vitamin B12 round out their repertoire of nutrients supporting bone health.

Great Source of Proteins

Our and the cat’s body uses amino acids to create new proteins. These make the basis for most of the body’s cells and structure, which you can find in sardines. In addition, they form the basis of muscles and connective tissues keeping our immune system health and strong, even more, deliver oxygen and nutrients through the entire body.

I guess these are more than superficial health arguments add to a cat’s dietary menu, don’t you think too?

Allergies and Autoimmune Conditions

Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts. Fatty acids can help to decrease the harmful effects.


Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA helps to cut the inflammation associated with arthritis.

Inflammatory Disease

Diseases caused by inflammation as of ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis may be lessen by the anti-inflammatory effects of other fatty acids.

Dull and Dry Hair Coats

May be your cat suffers under dull, dry and brittle hair coat. You can apply a supplementation with essential fatty acids (LA). Additionally EPA and GLA is also beneficial and help to set out AA from cells damage because of the skin condition.

Yeast Infection

Malassezia pachydermatis is a common yeast infection in cats either on cat’s skin or in their ears. Fatty acids can be helpful and extra treatment when present.

Skin Conditions in Cats

Applying fatty acids can also help different skin conditions, for instance, milary dermatitis and eosinophilic granulomas.

Preventing Atopy

Atopy are allergies about inhaled substances such as pollen developed in young animals. Pregnant atopy cat mothers suffer a decreased amount of PGE in their systems, necessary for a health immune system in neonates. Hence, a cat mother might give this PGE deficit to its kitten. If you apply GLA to a pregnant cat in the last month of pregnancy, can decrease the incidence of the offspring and at the end developing atopy.

Healthy for Eyes

Applying omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for the proper development of the retina and the visual cortex.

Heart Problems

Omega-3 fatty acids might also show positive healthy benefits to the heart.


Omega-3 fatty acids might slow down the process of mastasases of certain cancers. Omega-6 fatty acids might cause the opposite effect and stimulate the tumor growth.

Plasma Triglycerides and Cholesterol

Fish oils in various forms seem to decrease the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood.

What kind of Sardines are the Best For a Cat?

You can receive sardines in either a fish market or at the supermarket. The natural amount used comes in its varieties too. For instance: you can eat sardines:

  •  Grilled
  • Smoked
  • Fresh (fish market)
  • Canned (supermarket)

When purchased at the local supermarket, you also can choose from an array of different tastes that go along with the sardines itself:

  • Sardines in its own brine
  • Olive oil
  • Soy beans
  • Sunflower oil
  • Water
  • Chilly
  • Tomato sauce
  • Etc.

Can Cats Eat Sardines in Sunflower Oil?

Sunflower oil in small amounts is a helpful aid glossiness to a cat’s furry coat. On the other hand be cautious to overfeed the cat with sunflower oil to avoid vomiting and in worse cases diarrhea because of its laxative effect. I recommend you carefully drain the oil from the can before serving the sardines.

Can Cats Eat Sardines in soybean Oil?

If you feed your little furry fella sardines, make sure to go with the ones canned in water. Please avoid under any circumstance the ones canned in soy brine. I wrote an article about can cats drink soy milk where I have explained reasons why a cat should not drink the usual soy milk purchased from the supermarket. I explained the differences between the soy, purchased at the local supermarket, and the original soy (natto) the Japanese in Okinawa (origin of the soy) eat. I urge you to read the article, if you were thinking about feeding your cat canned soy sardines by clicking here.​​​​​​​

Sardines in soybean oil on the other hand, do have helpful effects because its oil can serve as a natural alternative to the oil typically found in fish. As one cat expert in cat forum recommends (link) … “Soy oil isn’t considered ‘bad for cats, in fact, many veterinarians are recommending it for situations and individuals who need a boost to their Omega-3 fatty acids.”

Can Cats Eat Sardines in Tomato Sauce?

Well, sardines in tomato sauce is not the best recommendation, because cats cannot or should not eat spices because their digestive system cannot cope well with acidic foods. Usually tomato sauce has garlic and onions, a considered unnatural food and can prove to be toxic. Cats do lack taste buds anyway, so they do not have the ability to enjoy the spicy side of food, anyway. Hence I recommend you if you want to serve your cat sardines but at the moment of serving you’re only having sardines in tomato sauce handy, make sure to rinse the sardines as thorough as possible.

General Issues That May occur When Feeding Cats Canned Sardines

Like already stated, oily fish won’t cause any damage to the cat’s health, unless given in overdose. But taken the Omega- 3 fatty acids in consideration, definitely a great healthy help to a cat’s dietary menu. But be careful to keep it a more supplementary treat.

Cats as already stated in the introductory are prey animals and before cats become a domestically pet ate more rodents or baby birds.

So, another health issue I want you take in consideration is the fact that fish in general might cause health problems such as:

Thiamine Poisoning: A water-soluble vitamin that converts glucose to energy. It is not stored in the body, hence almost viral that a diet has an enough of it as an intake. Fish, unfortunately has Thiaminase, an enzyme that specifically deteriorates and degrades thiamine.

Pet Education notes: “Pets fed these raw meats as a sole source of food will become thiamine deficient. A lack of of thiamine results in loss of appetite weakness, loss of reflexes, loss of nerve control, and eventually death.”

Best advice at this point is to cook the fish before feeding is the best solution to neutralize the enzyme that causes that issue- hence cooked fish can be given without the risk of thiamine poisoning. Other issues may still remain such as:

Fat gain: Be aware that oily fish high in calories can make your cat gain weight (fat), or even obese. Another reason to feed cat fish in moderation.

Are Sardines Safe for Cats?

If your cat is in need of omega-3 fatty acids, then eating sardines in moderation is a ‘no brainer’.

Omega-3, 6 and 9 fats are well known decreasing risk of heart problems, cancer reduction and even eye development. Omega-9 fats also help the enhancement of the cerebral system to concentrate better.

I recommend you to give your cat only sardines in water to cut the risk issues stated in depth in this article.

Can cats eat sardines? Yes! Traditional cat food is steered to an already nutritionally high in vitamins and proteins healthy nutritious food. But as this article shows in depth how many beneficial vitamins and omega fatty acids sardines have, it sure benefits a cat. Still,  moderation is the key!

Thank you for reading the article! If you have more questions or want to share your story, I would love you to leave a comment int he box below.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments
%d bloggers like this: