I am an Affilate!

I hope you enjoy any product or service that I recommend. :) Just so you understand, I may take a share of any sales or other compensation from the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks if you use my links, I really appreciate your support.

Can Persian Cats Eat Fish? 15 Reasons Why its Risky!

So, can the Persian Cat Eat Fish?

Persian cats (Click here for my favorite Persian cat book & see the price on Amazon #Ad), sometimes mistaken for Birman cats, are beautiful looking with a great personality and lovely colors to match. The reason most people choose this cat species for a pet is its pleasant nature.

However, when it comes to feeding, it should be noted that they are often selective. The Persian cats are carnivorous, so they get most of their protein from chicken, turkey, and fish. Persian cats have different food choices to choose from, and several diets have been formulated to cater to their food needs. However, the question frequently asked by lovers of Persian cats is that can their beloved pet eat fish.

The answer to the question is unequivocal yes, although it’s not a typical Persian cat diet and should be fed in little quantity. You need to understand that you are the number one custodian of your Persian cat’s health and you must make the best decision regarding them.

There are other risks associated with your Persian cat eating fish which will be discussed elaborately in this article. I hope at the end of this article you would be able to make an informed decision regarding your Persian cat’s diet.

1. Tinned Fish Has Too Much Salt

Feeding your Persian cat with tinned fish could be detrimental to their health as it contains too much salt. The salt in tinned fish imbalances the electrolyte in your cat which could lead to salt toxicity.

When you feed your cat with tinned fish, you need to pay attention to some symptoms of salt toxicity such as seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, urinating excessively, and so on.

If these symptoms are left unchecked, your beloved cat can die within 24 hours. In the case of electrolyte imbalances, IV fluids are often administered to help balance the electrolytes. Another reason why you shouldn’t feed your cat with thinned fish is that you can never be sure when the salt level is moderate or too much until you start noticing symptoms of electrolyte imbalance.

This is because there might be other things your cat has ingested which might have added a considerable amount of salt into her bloodstream before you add your tinned fish.

While I am not saying salt is not good, I am merely saying that tinned fish has too much salt and should not be added as a meal for your cat.

2. Raw Fish Such as Salmon Contains Parasites

Salmon on a plate with veg.

Salmon on a plate with veg.

Dangerous parasites are living in fish which could be easily transferred to your cat. Worm parasites are common in cats fed with raw fish such as Salmon. When your cat feeds on fresh fish such as salmon, they get exposed to different kinds of worms which could lead to intoxication.

The Salmon fish most times contain eggs of parasitic worm which may be ingested by your cat when fed with raw fish. Worms could cause your cat to develop series of allergic reactions and other symptoms. Another harmful effect of parasites living inside your cat’s stomach includes blood vessel rupture, necrosis, organ rupture, bloating, and constipation. If this parasite infestation is not checked on time, it could lead to the eventual death of the cat.

Your cat could also serve as a primary carrier of parasitic worms which are often transmitted to humans through saliva and feces. De-worming is always the first palliative measure to take while you also stop feeding your cat with raw fishes.

3. Raw Fish Lacks Taurine

Can Persian cats eat fish?

Two fish in a bowl on the table.

Taurine is an essential nutrient for your cat, but one which it can’t create itself and so has to be supplemented in her diet. Several diets contain taurine, but raw fish especially lacks this important nutrient so your Persian cat should not be fed with it.

Shortage of taurine in your cat will lead to a condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, which means heart failure or heart lining weakening. Another possible effect of lack of taurine is tooth decay and blindness.

Ideally, your cat needs about 100 mg of taurine per day, and there is nowhere your raw fish can meet up with that target thereby causing a taurine shortage in your cat. Your cat will be well served when fed on a fresh food diet of beef, chicken, or lamb.

In addition to this, you can include a little amount of nutritional yeast to supplement your cat’s taurine, especially for picky eaters. Your cat’s kidney quickly processes taurine and digests fast, so you don’t need to worry about meeting the cat’s daily taurine target or overfeeding it with foods rich in taurine.

4. Fish Dishes Have A Disgusting Smell!

Cats are known to have a great sense of smell so you need to be careful of what they inhale as it could be harmful to their health. A perfect example is that of fish dishes smell which can be so disgusting and offensive.

Aside from your cat’s health, fish dishes are also repugnant to you and should be avoided. When a fish is killed, after few hours it begins to bring out a foul smell which could is as a result of specific amino acids. Worst of all is that you would hardly know if the fish is spoilt or not because of the characteristic smell it brings. This disgusting smell could emit toxic gases and affect the health of your cats.

This smell appears to linger on for several hours after your cat might have already done eating. Just know that this is more disgusting than your fish dish smell, the more harmful toxins in your cat food. So, you would do well to eliminate such from your cat’s diets to keep your cat at an optimal level of health.

5. Too Much Oily Fish Can Cause Pansteatitis

There is a great danger from feeding your cat with fish as it could lead to the deficiency of Vitamin E which would further cause a condition called Yellow Fat disease (Pansteatitis).

Most oily fish contains a high amount of unsaturated Fatty Acids which are deficient in Vitamin E thereby leading to Pansteatitis. This disease condition is painful to your cat as the fat in her body gets inflamed and harden.

It could also degenerate into bladder stones as the oily fish are also high in minerals. Several symptoms are associated with Pansteatitis such as your cats being sluggish in movement, loss of appetite; skin becomes dull, greasy, and flaky.

Your cat would not like to be touched as she might begin to feel pain when handled. Consequently, if this issue is not promptly handled it could lead to the eventual death of your beloved cat.

Therefore, to prevent such occurrences, you need to reduce or eliminate fish from your kitty’s diet. Alternatively, you should look for other safe food which promises more significant benefit to your Persian cat.

6. Too Much Fish As A Bad Idea – Moderation is a Better Idea

There is an adage that too much of everything leads to addiction, and it’s bad. The same situation occurs in feeding your cat with too much fish.

When it comes to your cat’s diet generally, moderation is a better idea. Earlier I discussed that raw fish is harmful to cats, so eating it too much could be very detrimental to their health. Raw fish contains thiaminase enzyme which can lead to the deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine). Vitamin B deficiency causes neurological disorders whereby cats are unable to walk properly, they fall over while walking, and get their head tilted. A severe case of vitamin B deficiency could lead to seizures.

Aside from vitamin B deficiency, feeding your cat with too much fish can also cause vitamin E deficiency with symptoms such as Pansteatitis. Pansteatitis is the infection of the subcutaneous fat which causes lots of pain to the cat.

Another reason why fish should be fed in moderation to your cat is that of the presence of mercury in fish. Nerve issues may arise as a result of too much mercury in cats.

7. The Fish Bones Are Dangerous

Fish should not be fed to your cat regularly due to the several health hazards its causes. However, if you must supply your cat with fish, ensure that the bones are removed.

Fishbones can cause damage to your kitty’s throat or gastrointestinal tract. Although some cats may appear to swallow a whole fish, there could be some mishaps at times.

Once a bone gets stuck in its throat, it is always difficult to remove. Your cat will find it difficult to eat with a bone stuck in her throat which could further lead to a punctured throat or damaged tissue.

The cat may be lucky enough to vomit it in a short while some unlucky ones might aggravate the issue. If it leads to the inability to take in food, then it can result in hepatic lipidosis. This is a condition in which fat is built up in the liver thereby interrupting normal liver function.

Once lipidosis sets in, the cat would lose appetite for food and the health will further deteriorate. If the cat having such a condition spends about ten days without food, it would eventually result in organ damage.

This and many more are the reasons why you should not feed your cat with fish especially the bony ones.

8. Canned Fish Is Really Low Quality

Even in human food, we are often advised against buying canned food instead of getting fresh food. The same thing applies to our beloved cats as it’s not advisable to feed them with canned fish.

Aside from the preservatives as well as fillers and other added ingredients, it is also of very low quality. You are responsible for your cat’s health, so you need to watch what your cat eats. Most of the canned fish contain mixtures that are high in magnesium and phosphorous. Most of these canned fish contain decaying leftovers which are not ideal for consumption. Several health conditions have arisen from cats eating canned fish which are of low quality.

Some of the common health issues your cat could develop from eating canned fish include urinary tract infections and kidney dysfunction. Kidney dysfunction is caused by excess phosphorus in the canned food. To maintain your cat’s health, you need to cease feeding them with canned fish as most of them are of really low quality.

9. Many Cats Are Allergic To Fish

Most cats eat fish to get the recommended amount of protein, although that is not encouraged due to the presence of other contaminants such as mercury build-up in your cat’s body.

However, some cats are allergic to fish which could cause painful skin conditions. To ascertain if your cat is genuinely allergic to fish, you need first to practice an elimination feeding method. When you feed your cat with fish, and you notice the reaction, suspend the feeding and try to observe changes. If there is a noticeable change, that means your cat is allergic to fish. Before the allergy becomes full-blown, it first comes with some stomach upset, and burbling sounds from the digestive system. The first place you would notice that your cat has allergies is head and neck accompanied by signs like itchy skin, skin Lesions, acute dermatitis, and hair loss.

Your cat develops an allergy to fish as a way of a negative response to the protein in fish. When such happens, you shouldn’t force it, fishes are not great for cats. Simply find a better alternative protein source of the meal for your cat to stay in optimal health condition.

10. Fish-based Food Does Not Have Enough Vitamin K

Feeding your Persian cat with fish can be complicated at times because of the health issue it brings. For instance, some fish destroys thiamine which leads to vitamin B deficiency; others introduce mercury into your cat’s bloodstream.

Another demerit of feeding your cat with fish-based food is their deficiency in vitamin K. Several studies have alluded to the fact that cats fed with fish-based food are deficient in Vitamin K deficiency. How do you know your cat is deficient in vitamin K? Some of the signs include the inability of your cat’s blood to clot on time when wounded or excessive bleeding. Fish-based food effectively stops the synthesis of Vitamin K in cats.

Although some fish-based food manufacturer often supplements the vitamin K deficit by adding Menadione, this too is not healthy enough as it a toxic substance which could damage the internal organs such as the kidney and liver. The best solution is to avoid feeding your catfish-based food.

11. Your Cat May Love It Too Much, And Reject Anything Else

Cats are intelligent and exciting animal to keep as a pet. Cats love fish because of its smells pleasant and good taste. Proper care needs to be taken when feeding your cats with fish as they can easily get addicted to eating it.

The addiction can get so worse that they tend to reject other food. One of the main reasons why you need to curb this addiction is that fish is not ideally the best option for your cats and they cause more harm than good, especially when eating in high quantity or when it becomes the main diet. It’s your duty as the Persian cat caregiver to ensure the best diet for cats at all times regardless of their addiction.

Next time you go on shopping for your cat food, look for a variety of mixtures that will also be great for your cats. Ensure you regularly mix your fish food with other combinations till the cat gradually accepts it. Then you can totally withdraw your fish from the diet or serve at special times.

12. Tuna & Salmon May Contain High Levels Of Mercury

Tuna and Salmon fish are the major culprit of high mercury levels which is detrimental to your Persian cat’s health. Tuna tastes great to your cat and if care is not taken your cat might get addicted to it.

This will invariably lead to mercury poisoning as it’s very high in tuna fish. Mercury poisoning will affect the nerves of your cat and cause various nervous disorders. You won’t want this for the cat, so you need to avoid feeding your cat with tuna. Salmon, on the other hand, is also to be avoided as it also contains mercury which harms your cat.

Various parasites also exist in salmon which makes it an unhealthy choice of food for your cat. Therefore, these two fish type needs to be avoided when feeding your cat with fish but unfortunately, they are the most common fish types fed to the cat. Note that the fact that your Persian cat (Is Garfield Persian? Click here) loves it doesn’t mean it is safe for them to eat. Avoid mercury poisoning by avoiding tuna and salmon fish.

13. Farmed Fish May Contain Harmful Antibiotics

Farmed fish are significant hosts of parasites and bacterial infections. They often breed sea lice and other harmful antibiotics which find their way into your cat guts when ingested.

Eyebrows have been raised about the hygienic standard at which fishes are being farmed which should be a cause for concern to cat lovers.

The handling of fishes, multiple freeze-thaw cycles, and other sanitary procedures is taken to process these fishes are those issues that call to question how safe farmed fish is for your cat’s consumption.

The levels of contamination of farmed fish are very high, and this also translates into the harmful antibiotics it breeds. Harmful antibiotics cause stomach disorders and could further affect the internal organs of your cats.

Farmed fish could contain some cancer-causing substances which are a result of the type of feed it’s fed with and also contamination in the river. This is one major reason why you should not feed your cat with fish whether farmed or not.

14. Fish-based Cat Foods may lead to hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a common hormonal disease in cats that is characterized by a benign tumor that appears around the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormone which is responsible for regulating metabolism in animals.

When hyperthyroidism occurs in cats, their metabolism will be much increased and they tend to have a much-increased appetite. However, there is significant weight loss which is not commensurate with the ravenous appetite. Hyperthyroidism can also cause an increase in blood pressure, diarrhea, vomiting, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and frequent urination. These are some of the symptoms that arise when you feed your cat with fish-based food. Most of these cases are serious ones that could not be treated by stopping the fish food. In such a case, you would need to undergo series of treatments such as feeding with a diet low in iodine and giving daily medications.

The last resort is often the removal of the thyroid gland through a surgical process.

All these treatments come at a high cost while it could have been earlier prevented by restricting fish-based food in your cat’s diet.

15. Fish Based Food Does Not Have Enough Vitamin B

Your cats need Vitamin B also called thiamine for various uses which is why it’s regarded as an essential nutrient. Vitamin B is required in a cat for muscle formation, digestion of carbohydrates, and nerve coordination.

Most of the Vitamin B your cat will need is going to be gotten from various food sources as only a few of it is stored within its body. The sad news is that fish-based food does not have enough vitamin B to supply to your cats. In fact, it inhibits the production of thiamine in the cat’s body.

So if you feed your cat with so much fish-based food, you will eventually malnourish your cat without knowing how. You will only get to know after two to four weeks when your cats start to show the sign of vitamin B deficiency.

Some of the notable signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased salivation. If such a condition is not promptly attended to and rectified, it will further lead to slow heart rate, aggressiveness, stiff neck, dilated pupils, and other symptoms of neurological disorder. Good source of vitamin B includes meat, legumes, nuts, and brewer’s yeast.

What is the best food to feed Persian cats?

The best cat food for a Persian cat is quality wet food. You can also offer it dry cat food as well. But, wet food offers your cat the benefit of hydration as well as other nutrients. Cats that live on dry food will need to be hydrated in other ways such as drinking from their bowl.

One of the challenges of this drinking from a bowl is some cats do not naturally drink enough. this is why wet cat food is a good alternative.

What nutrients do Persian cats appreciate?

The main nutrients Persian cats need and appreciate is protein. But, that is not all. They also need fats, minerals, and vitamins. When you serve your cat quality wet food they often include all of these making it easier for you to keep them satisfied.

What food should Persian cats NOT be fed?

The food that you should avoid feeding your Persian can include corn or grains. Especially when these are highlighted as the main ingredient. Also, although cats can eat some carb-based food. It is not the ideal long-term diet for them.

Why? Well, cats do not have the same enzymes that we do to assist them in breaking down these carbs. So, avoid them if possible.


I have identified several reasons why you should avoid feeding your Persian (click here to see how to remove matted fur from a Persian Cat) cat with fish. I am not banning fish from your cat diet; I am simply stating its disadvantages and making you aware of how it could impact negatively on your cat.

Its disadvantages far outweigh its advantages, and you should be putting these reasons into consideration when purchasing the next feed for your cat. If you would feed your cat with fish, it should be sparingly and on few occasions. Your choice of diet will either affect your cat’s health positively or negatively. I want you to use this article to make the right decision as regards your cat’s diet.

I love to hear your thoughts about this article, and you could share your view also. Let’s know if this article has been helpful to you and also don’t forget to share it with your friends and loved ones. You never know you may be helping someone.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section I will answer some question that is frequently asked by researchers of Persian cats:

What human food can Persian cats eat?

Persian cats, like most cats, will appreciate and benefit from protein-based foods such as cooked chicken or beef. Apart from meat, there are other foods such as carrots and rice, etc. But, animal protein is regarded as their staple food.

Although these foods are acceptable they are not always practical for day to to day life of a cat owner. So, they typically fed as a rare treat rather than a staple.

Can Persian cats eat rice?

Persian cats can eat rice. But, if you are wondering what type of rice to go for stick with brown rice. In fact, it is a good source of fiber for them. However, it should not replace their protein, it is just an option if you fancy offering your cat something different and to accompany their main protein.

Lindsey Browlingdon