Can Cats Eat Sardines?

It is widely known that cats are obligate carnivores and that they need only a little amounts of some other foods. If you want to give your cat something unusual and to make her diet more varied, then you can give her small amount of something that you are eating. Cat owners enjoy sharing their food with their cats. But, you have to know which foods are safe for your cat and which can be harmful to her.

In this article we will talk about sardines and the effects they have on cats. If your cat also enjoys sardines, you must be wondering are they safe for your cat. You will find the answer below, but first we will tell you something more about sardines.

More About Sardines

Sardines are referred to various small and oily fish. Sardines contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, so they have many health benefits for people.

Although sardines are naturally consumed by humans, some animals also can eat this food. Fresh sardines can be grilled, smoked or preserved in cans. They can be packed in olive, soybean or sunflower oil, but also in water or chili and tomato sauce.

Are Sardines Safe for Cats?

The answer is yes. You don’t have to worry if your cat has eaten some sardines. Sardines are one of the people foods which cats can eat, too. Also, sardines are known to be a great sources of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, so they can have many health benefits for cats. Your cat can eat sardines canned or frozen or you can put them in dehydrator. It is recommendable to slice or chop sardines into small pieces, so that your cat can eat them much easier.

We also suggest feeding your cat with sardines packed in water. You can simply mash up a can of sardines and mix it with a cat’s food. Note the reaction of your cat. If there are no signs of some gastrointestinal problems, it means that your cat is not sensitive or allergic to sardines, and you can use them for your cat once in a while. Sardines are not on the lists of the foods that are toxic to cats, so they can be healthy treat for your cat. You can also add the occasional celery as a snack.

How Many Sardines should be Given to Cats?

Although sardines are not toxic to cats, you have to be careful. Fish often contains heavy metals, so you should not give your cat high amounts of fish. Also, some bacterial infections, like salmonella, can be present in fish, so you have to be sure that your sardines are properly stored. If you give sardines to your cat every day, it can cause some side effects. Because of high salt content in sardines, they should be given to cats only occasionally, in order to avoid electrolyte disturbance that can be caused by salt.

Also, high amounts of sardines can cause vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems to your cat. Some urinary tract disorders are possible, too. Because of that, use only small portions of sardines to feed your cat. Also, don’t give sardines daily and don’t use them as a main source of cat’s food. It is recommendable to use sardines as a treat once or twice times a month, if you want to keep your cat healthy.


Not all cats love sardines. There are also cats that don’t care for fish. Others enjoy eating this human food and they can easily become addicted. If you give your cat sardines every day, she can start refusing other regular cat food and that can lead to many health issues. Because of that, you should give your cat sardines only in small doses. Sardines should not make a part of cat’s regular diet, so avoid feeding sardines constantly to your cat. It is also very important to make sure that sardines don’t contain onion or garlic, which are known as toxic foods for your cat.

Also, useful information is that sardines are much better choice for your cat than tuna, because they have lower mercury content. Before giving your cat human food like honey, you should talk to your veterinarian for advice.