Can Cats Eat Anchovies? All 10 Things You Need To Know

Do cats really enjoy fish? Naturally, they do. So, does it matter if your kitty eats anchovies?

Again, the answer is “yes,” but there are some important considerations to keep in mind before giving your cat an anchovy treat.

Recently, I met with my neighborhood veterinarian and got the scoop.

There are pictures of cats devouring fish everywhere.

When you stop to think about it, it’s pretty funny that a house cat isn’t a fish’s natural predator.

Cats, on the other hand, are dedicated carnivores who relish fish.

Yeah, But Is Anchovies Good For Cats?

A healthy diet for your cat should include a variety of protein sources, and anchovies and other small fish like krill and sardines are a great choice.

Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12 are all abundant in anchovies.

Can Cats Eat Anchovies? Are They Healthy? - Excited Cats

The Benefits Of Anchovies For Cats

Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals, including B12, A, B3, D, and more, are abundant in anchovies.

Fatty Acids In Anchovies

Omega 3s can be found in abundance in anchovies. Both cats and humans can benefit greatly from this fatty acid.

Some examples of these advantages are:

  • The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids make them ideal for cats with skin conditions like allergies and dry skin.
  • Your cat’s coat will look healthier and fuller thanks to the fats you feed it, and she’ll shed less, too, which will cut down on hairballs. This is due to the fact that Omega-3s boost the condition of each hair follicle.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis in older cats.

Vitamins & Minerals In Anchovies

Vitamins and minerals that your cat needs can be found in abundance in anchovies.

a load of anchovies

Vitamin B12

Your cat’s immune system, nervous system, and digestive system will all benefit greatly from vitamin B12. They may experience brain fog, dementia, or chronic pain if they don’t get it.

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Additionally, it aids digestion, which in turn improves nutrient absorption.

Vitamin A

Without vitamin A, your cat will have a hard time seeing in the dark.

Eye problems, skin problems, and respiratory complications can all affect your cat if it doesn’t get enough vitamin A.

Vitamin A helps cats’ immune systems fight off infection-causing bacteria, reducing the likelihood that they will become ill.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin has been shown to improve the health of cats’ skin and coats, as well as give them more energy.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for cats because it helps the body use calcium properly.

Your cat needs it to prevent rickets and other joint problems, such as osteomalacia, from developing.

Vitamin D is essential for cats, but they can’t get it from the sun like humans can.


Your cat needs calcium to maintain healthy teeth, bones, and claws.


Your cat’s immune system will benefit greatly from selenium, an essential nutrient.

To sum up, there are a ton of good reasons to include anchovies in your cat’s diet.

But that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to feed your cat anchovies; there are a few scenarios in which doing so could be fatal.

Types of Anchovies to Try

Some preparations of anchovies are more nutritious than others. Fresh anchovies are a great choice if you want to feed your cat anchovies.

These are typically sold uncooked and require cooking to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. They are edible when cooked whole.

Dried anchovies are another choice.

Since dried anchovies can be purchased in large quantities and have a long shelf life, they are perfect for rewarding your cat on a regular basis. There’s no need to keep them cool.

It is essential to read the label when purchasing dried anchovies. Some dried anchovies contain salt or preservatives that are bad for cats.

Finally, canned anchovies are another choice. These are widely available and inexpensive at most grocery stores and supermarkets. As a result, they can be easily accessed by people of varying socioeconomic backgrounds.

If you must feed your cat canned anchovies, make sure they are water-packed rather than oil-packed and limit their daily intake to no more than one or two.

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Types of Anchovies to Avoid

Even though anchovies are beneficial to health, there are still concerns. While anchovies are generally healthy, not all varieties are safe for feline consumption. Never give your cat raw anchovies or any other kind of raw meat.

Bacteria in raw meat may make your cat sick. Feeding your cat fresh anchovies requires the same precautions as feeding any other type of meat, such as proper refrigeration and cooking.

Large amounts of canned anchovies are also not good for your cat. Canned anchovies typically come in a high-fat olive oil solution.

Cats won’t be able to handle the high olive oil content, but it’s fine for humans.

To conclude, never eat anchovies that have been salted. Anchovies, like many other types of meat, can be preserved with salt.

The ingestion of as little as one teaspoon of salt can cause sodium poisoning in a cat.

Even in the absence of sodium poisoning, dehydration from salt intake is a serious problem for cats.

Can Cats Eat Raw Anchovies?

Raw anchovies are not safe for cats at any time.

You probably already know that it’s not a good idea to eat raw meat or fish if you want to stay alive.

Oh, and your cat should stay away from them, too!

Food poisoning and other serious health issues like convulsions can be caused by the bacteria found in raw anchovies and other fish.

You probably don’t have to worry too much if you buy canned anchovies because they are already cooked, but if you decide to buy raw anchovies for your cat, be sure to cook them thoroughly to kill any dangerous bacteria.

Cooking Anchovies For Your Cat

If you want to feed your cat anchovies but don’t want to use oil, grilling them is the way to go.

grilled anchovies

If frying them, though, be careful not to drown them in oil; just a few drops will do.

A large amount of oil can make you sick to your stomach and make you throw up, but a small amount (less than a couple of teaspoons) is safe.

Can Cats Eat Anchovies In Olive Oil?

Olive oil is commonly used for canning anchovies.

tinned anchovies

Olive oil won’t hurt your cat in small doses, but cats can’t process fat the way humans can, so giving them too much olive oil could make them sick to their stomachs and possibly cause diarrhea.

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If you’re going to feed your cat anchovies that have been marinated in olive oil, you should let the oil drain off the anchovies first.

What About Dried Anchovies?

Dried anchovies pose no health risks for cats.

However, it’s crucial to be aware of the curing process for the anchovies.

If you have a cat, never give it salt-cured anchovies.

An excessive amount of salt is potentially lethal.

Even for humans, salt cured dried anchovies are extremely salty, so if your cat ingests even a tiny amount, it’s important to watch for the symptoms of salt poisoning.

In addition to the above, salt poisoning can also lead to:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lack of wakefulness
  • Coordination problems
  • Extreme thirst and dehydration

In extreme cases, high sodium intake has been linked to:

  • Seizures
  • Comas
  • Death

Avoid feeding your cat salt-cured dried anchovies because they contain too much sodium, which can cause serious health problems.

Can Cats Eat Anchovy Paste?

Because it is boneless and contains no extra salt or oil, anchovy paste is fine for cats to eat.

If you have trouble getting your cat to take their medication, try smearing some anchovy paste on the pills.

Can Cats Eat Anchovy Bones?

Anchovy bones are safe for cats to eat.

Cats shouldn’t be fed cooked bones as a rule.

Because splinters from cooked bones are much more likely to get impaled into the throat, causing serious injury.

Fish like anchovies and other seafood are a good alternative to chicken because their bones are much smaller, thinner, and more flexible than those of a chicken.

However, excessive consumption of bones can lead to serious constipation in cats, so moderation is key.

No more than one whole anchovy skeleton or a couple of chicken bones should be given to your cat every week.

Last Thoughts

If your cat enjoys anchovies, that’s fantastic! There are a lot of beneficial nutrients and vitamins in these tiny fish.

A small bowl of anchovies can be used as a treat or as a supplement to your cat’s regular food.

Anchovies are a great option that will bring some variety to your cat’s diet and a delicious treat your cat will beg for, but your cat doesn’t need them to stay healthy.

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