Can Cats Eat Smoked Fish? (For Example Mackerel?)

Cats can eat smoked fish, yes. And they will be happy to munch some if you give it to them. Smoked fish of all kinds should be safe for cats to eat. Don’t go overboard, though, since smoked fish are usually too salty.

Smoked fish has a unique flavor, and it’s quite a treat, especially during breakfast.

For this reason, it’s no wonder why many households favor it (for us, we like smoked halibut, cod, and seabass). Thus, if you wish to spare some for your pet, it’s alright.

The thing about smoked fish is that it’s quite salty since salt plays an essential role. Research shows that salt is an agent that works in a smoked fish to extend its shelf life.

Most people create a saltwater brine, and it gives the smoked fish a distinctive salty flavor. Further, it draws out excess moisture.

In simple terms, the salt makes the process of smoking quicker and more effective.

Thus, smoked fish and any other smoked food usually have 50 times more salt than their unsmoked version.

Do Cats Like Smoked Fish?

Cats do like smoked fish, and with their keen sense of smell, it’s a no-brainer why they do.

Smoked fish emits a fantastic aroma that is rich in flavor and its smoked goodness.

The combination of the fish scent and the smoke is immensely satisfying, and it will make anyone hungry.

With a sense of smell better than humans, kitties would like smoked fish more.

However, while they do like smoked fish, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe for them.

Of course, you can give your feline pet a smoked fish treat here and there, but too much can be harmful.

As I said, smoked fish contains too much salt, and salt is bad for kitties.

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What Are the Best Types of Fish for Cats?

Cats aren’t picky eaters, and they would nibble on any type of fish you will feed them.

Still, it’s important to note that there are types of fish beneficial to felines. And of course, there are types of fish that can harm them even in small amounts.

If you don’t know your way around fishes, your best bet would be sardines, tuna, and salmon.

These three types of fish are not only proven safe in small amounts.

Moreover, these fishes are available in markets. You can even find these fishes canned, ready to feed, and usually boneless.

As much as possible, though, choose tinned fishes in water instead of oil. Further, feed the unseasoned ones.

The oil in canned fish may not be suitable, and the seasoning and flavors can harm them.

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Can cats eat smoked herring?

Smoked herring is a typical breakfast dish, and cats can eat some if you feed it.

A reminder, though: Feed them the smoked herring alone, and don’t add any further seasoning.

Smoked herring is a good dish, and people usually serve it sauteed with onion, peppers, and herbs.

While such condiments enhance the flavor of smoked herring, they aren’t suitable.

Onions, peppers, and most herbs and spices are toxic. Thus, you should avoid feeding dishes that have these condiments in it.

If you have a smoked herring, prepare a small part with no other seasoning, and add it to your cat’s food. It will be safer for that way.

Can cats eat smoked mackerel?

smoked fish mackerel

Cats can eat smoked mackerel, but only in moderation. The same thing with other fish treats, smoked mackerel should only be a treat.

Mackerel has health benefits for us, and it can also be suitable for cats. However, too much intake would be harmful.

A smoked mackerel treat should only get as frequent as once a week. Any treat more than that would pose some health risks.

Is It Ok for Cats To Eat Fish Bones?

No, fish bones aren’t safe for cats to eat. Thus, as much as possible, don’t feed your cat fishbones.

Fishbones can get stuck in the throat. While most fish bones are small enough to get swallowed with ease, some are big and cause grave problems.

If you’re feeding some fish treats, always remove the fishbones. It will ensure that your cat is safe from choking due to fish bones.

Most people give fish leftovers to cats. Such pieces include big and small fishbones.

Cats probably wouldn’t mind and munch on fishbones. Still, it doesn’t mean you should give it to your pet.

Feed leftovers, but remove the fishbones to avoid life-threatening problems.

If you want to give a fish treat, opt for a canned one. It’s ready to eat, available everywhere, and you won’t have any problems with fishbones.

Do you want to know if cats eat cookies or biscuits? Check it out!


Smoked fish is a fantastic dish for us, and it probably smells so much better for cats.

If you wish to feed your cat some smoked fish, it’s alright. You don’t need to worry, as a few bites won’t cause any health issues.

Still, don’t feed your cat more than what a treat should be. Most significantly, don’t make smoked fish a part of their diet.

Always remember that smoked fish is salty, and salt is bad for cats.

As a general rule of thumb, do every treat in moderation, and the same goes for your smoked fish treat.

Do you want to know if cats can eat canned sardines or sardines in tomato sauce? Check it out!


ResearchGate study about salt in smoked fish

Image credits – Photos by Caleb Woods and Denis Agati on Unsplash

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