can cats eat anchovies

Can Cats Eat Anchovies? All You Need To Know

Yes, cats can eat anchovies.

Anchovies are packed full of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which are great for your cat’s health.

Make sure you don’t feed your cat raw anchovies as these can cause food poisoning, salt-cured anchovies should also be avoided.

The Benefits Of Anchovies For Cats

Anchovies are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids as well as many beneficial vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, Vitamin D and more.

Fatty Acids In Anchovies

Anchovies are packed full of Omega 3. This is a fatty acid that has loads of benefits for cats and humans.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Improved Skin Health: Omega-3s are great for cats with allergies and dry skin because they have anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • Improved Coat Health: Fats give your cat a shinier fuller coat while reducing shedding (and therefore hairballs). This is because Omega-3s improve the health of the individual hair follicles.
  • Improved Joint health: Omega-3s help soothe arthritis and joint inflammation in senior cats.

Vitamins & Minerals In Anchovies

Anchovies are also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals for your cat, these include:

a load of anchovies

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for your cat’s immune system, nervous system and digestive tract. Without it they can suffer from brain fog, dementia or even chronic pain!

It also has a lot of health benefits in digestion which helps with the absorption of other nutrients.

Vitamin A

Your cat will struggle to see in the dark without vitamin A.

If your cat suffers from a Vitamin A deficiency, it is susceptible to eye problems, skin problems and pulmonary complications.

Cats that have enough Vitamin A are less likely to contract infections because they can better fight off harmful bacteria that causes infection.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin provides the same benefits for cats as it does humans; skin health, a glossy coat and energy.

Vitamin D

Cats need Vitamin D to help their bodies regulate calcium.

Without it, your cat could have problems with rickets and joint issues that can lead to osteomalacia.

Unlike humans cats do not absorb vitamin D from the sun so it is vital that they get it in their diet.


Calcium is an essential mineral that helps keep your cat’s teeth, bones and claws strong.


Selenium is an essential nutrient that helps protects your cat’s immune system.

…so as you can see there are loads of reasons why anchovies make a great healthy addition to your cat’s diet.

yet that doesn’t mean you should drop everything and recklessly feed your cat anchovies, here are a few cases in which anchovies can be dangerous to your cat:

Also Read:
Can Cats Eat Tuna?
Why Do Cats Like Fish?
Can Cats Eat Kidney Beans?
Can Cats Eat Quorn?
Can Cats Eat Prawns?

Can Cats Eat Raw Anchovies?

No, cats should never eat raw anchovies.

I’m sure you’ve heard that raw meat and fish are not safe for humans to eat.

Well, they’re also dangerous for your cat!

The bacteria in raw anchovies and other fish can cause food poisoning or lead to serious health problems like convulsions.

Canned anchovies usually come pre cooked so you don’t need to worry too much, however if you do buy raw anchovies for your cat make sure you cook them thoroughly to kill any dangerous bacteria.

Cooking Anchovies For Your Cat

The best way to cook anchovies for your cat is to grill them as this doesn’t require the addition of any oil.

grilled anchovies

However if you prefer to fry them avoid using too much oil, just a few small drop is more than enough.

Too much oil could cause vomiting and diarrhea, however a small amount (less than a couple of teaspoons) won’t cause any harm.

Can Cats Eat Anchovies In Olive Oil?

Tinned anchovies are often stored in olive oil.

tinned anchovies

Small amounts of olive oil won’t harm your cat, however cats do not have the capacity to handle high levels of fat like humans do so if they over consume olive oil they are likely to throw up and may suffer from diarrhea too.

If you’re feeding your cat anchovies in olive oil be sure to allow the anchovies some time for the oil to drain off them before serving them to your cat.

What About Dried Anchovies?

Cats can generally eat dried anchovies without any problems.

However it is important to be aware of how the anchovies have been cured.

Avoid feeding your cat salt cured anchovies.

Too much salt is very dangerous and could even be fatal.

Salt cured dried anchovies are extremely salty even for humans, so if your cat has even a small amount then watch out for the warning signs of salt poisoning.

Salt poisoning can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Dehydration / extreme thirst

In very serious cases excessive salt consumption can even cause:

  • Seizures
  • Comas
  • Death

Too much salt is a very bad thing for your cat so salt cured dried anchovies should be avoided.

Can Cats Eat Anchovy Paste?

Yes, anchovy paste is completely safe for cats to eat as it contains no bones and no excess salt or oil.

In fact anchovy paste is often smeared on pills as a way of getting your cat to eat their medicine.

Can Cats Eat Anchovy Bones?

Yes, cats can eat anchovy bones.

As a general rule cats should not eat cooked bones.

This is because cooked bones are far more likely to splinter and cause internal damage if the splinters get impaled into the throat.

However with anchovies and other fish, the bones are very small and thin and are far more flexible than chicken bones so are unlikely to cause serious internal damage.

That said you should limit the number of bones you feed your cat as overconsumption can cause severe constipation.

Your cat should eat no more than a couple of chicken bones, or one entire anchovy skeleton every seven days.

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