Can Cats Eat Anchovies

Cats are one of the most popular pets to have. These sassy felines are notorious for their attitude and mysterious ways but are also known for the warm cuddles that they give and their therapeutic purring. If you own a cat, with time, you’ve probably learned a few surprising tidbits about your feline that have left you shocked. For example, cats are lactose intolerant, and so they can’t drink or digest milk! Shocking, we know.

Another shocker might be that there is a slight debate over whether cats can eat fish. Cats seem to love the smell of fish and will try their best to sneak a piece out of your plate if you have fish for dinner. However, some argue that fish aren’t a natural part of a cat’s diet. So just because they seem overly enthusiastic to eat fish, especially anchovies, doesn’t mean they should be allowed to. Others argue that fish falls under the meat protein umbrella, and there is no such harm in giving them fish as an occasional meal.

In this article, we’re going to explore whether or not cats can eat anchovies or not.

Can cats eat fish?

It is shocking to think that cats and fish don’t seem to go hand in hand. All the cartoons and all the stories we have ever seen or read have told us otherwise. But unfortunately, it is true. Cats should not be given fish. As it turns out, fish has high amounts of fatty acids. If your cat eats too much fish and piles on those fatty acids, it can lead to a vitamin E deficiency, which in turn can pave the way for numerous health concerns for your cat.

Raw fish should be avoided at all costs. Raw fish contains certain bacteria, which can cause your cat to suffer from food poisoning. Even the fresh fish you find in your local supermarket isn’t feline friendly and should be avoided. Fish should be avoided in general, but if you want to give it to your cat as an occasional treat, it should be cooked properly and should not contain any seasonings.

Not feeding your catfish is not depriving them of any nutritional value either. IF you think about it, it seems unlikely that your cat will wade through the waters in hopes of catching a fish to eat. At best, if it comes across a fish, it will eat it. So, in essence, fish doesn’t contain any vital nutritional elements for your cat’s health.

What about anchovies in particular?

By the same logic applied above, we have concluded that no, cats cannot eat anchovies. We usually buy canned anchovies off the market shelves, and while this might make for a tasty meal for us, the same doesn’t apply to our cats. The canned anchovies that are commercially available can harm your kitty because they come in a can packed with oil and salt. Both of these in excess are super harmful to your cat. Your cat’s body is not equipped to handle such high fat and sodium contents, and as a result, will suffer health issues.

What about anchovies that aren’t oil-based? What if we wash off the oil from the anchovies and offer it to our cats? The answer is still no. Even if we eliminate oil from the list of problems associated with anchovies, it doesn’t solve the issue with the high amounts of sodium present in this fish. The same goes for fresh anchovies. The amount of effort you’ll end up spending on trying to find reasons to feed fish to your fat can be utilized in preparing their favorite healthy snack for them!

What does too much salt do to a cat?

Since the main warning against anchovies is the high sodium content, you should know why that is considered toxic for cats. 

Too much salt present in your cat’s diet can lead to salt poisoning. Salt poisoning causes your cat to suffer through a loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, incoordination, excessive thirst, and urine output. More severe cases will see cats suffer from seizures, and tremors can result in a coma or even death.

Even one anchovy is risky enough for your cat to suffer through such serious health problems that can even result in tragedy.

What does too much oil do to a cat?

It’s not just the salt content that is a danger to cats. Anchovies are also rich in fat content, which is equally harmful to your feline’s health.

Too much fat can cause your fat to suffer from gastrointestinal issues, and they will suffer bouts of loose stool and vomiting. If cats are fed foods with high-fat content over some time, the dangers will accumulate into health problems such as obesity, which in turn will become serious problems such as heart diseases.

Foods such as anchovies have way too much fat to be considered okay to feed your cat, and if you feed this fish to them, it will eventually take its toll on their health.


 Cats cannot eat anchovies under any circumstances. This fish, or any fish for that matter, is not a part of your cat’s natural diet, and so they don’t offer any nutritional value for your cat’s health. Anchovies especially cant even be given to your cat as an occasional treat.

Our pets depend on us to make the decisions for their wellbeing. So even if your cat seems to want a taste of your anchovy snack or seem to enjoy eating it, that doesn’t mean you should give it to them. Every pet owner aims to avoid giving their pets anything that may cause them distress or discomfort, and since anchovies aren’t healthy for your cat, the health risks associated with feeding the fish to your cat will only make them suffer. And so it is better to find better and safe alternatives to keep your cat healthy! Happy feeding!


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