Can Cats Eat Sardines? Find Out Possible Side Effects

Cat’s digestive systems are not the same as people. Cats have much sensitive stomachs and can’t eat most of the processed foods we eat almost every day. Feeding your cat is essential because the proper diet is already half of health. When you are in doubt which food to give to your cat, it is always best to inform yourself and find the best and the most suitable diet for your furry friend. Your best advisor is your cat’s veterinarian, and whenever in doubt asks him for advice.

Cats can eat many things and their diets aren’t impossible to follow, but you still have to be mindful of certain things. In today’s article we are going to discuss sardines (both canned and fresh) and whether they can or can’t be given to your furry friend.

Sardines – Nutritive information

Sardines are extremely healthy for people since they contain various nutritive ingredients that can’t be found in any other food. These ingredients are vitamins, minerals, proteins and other ingredients. Sardines are small fish that have brittle bones and small bodies, but are simply marvelous to see how nutritious they actually are even though they are small. Sardines are close relatives to herrings and appearance wise they resemble herrings very much.

Sardines can only be found in fresh form during the summer, so most sardines come packed in cans with different types of oil. Nutritional ingredients in sardines can help you rejuvenate your skin and make yourself look younger. They are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial to humans in many ways.

One portion of sardines contains around 59 calories, even if we count the oil that comes with them. Because of the low fat content, sardines are beloved by people who watch their diet and are looking to lose some weight. Sardines won’t make you fat or make you gain even more weight, so you can eat them as much as you want.

Sardines are great because you will be getting enough of protein every day, without taking the unnecessary fat with it. One small fish can have up to 7 grams of protein which is a lot compared to the size of one small sardine. Your body will feel rejuvenated and overall much healthier with the regular intake of sardines, since they will provide you with plenty of amino acids and other nutrients as well.

Nutritive value of small sardines is simply amazing and when you think about it, not many foods can be proud of so many nutritive values in one portion. They contain a lot of essential nutrients with small amounts of fat and large amount of protein.

Other beneficial ingredients in sardines are the iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium. These minerals are all located in this small fish and it is crazy to avoid such a healthy food in your diet. Whenever you can, eat fresh sardines but canned ones aren’t too bad either. People often think that being in too much oil can be tricky and fattening, but the truth is that the canned sardines are equally healthy as the fresh ones.

Can your cat eat sardines?

Before we go on and discuss this subject further, let us first answer this question. The answer to this question is yes. Your cat can safely eat sardines both canned and the fresh ones. Sardines are extremely healthy, as we already determined, and they can be a great addition of your cat’s diet.

Sardines are commonly used in cat food so there is no reason why you can’t give your furry friend fresh or canned sardines. Sardines contain high amounts of Omega fatty acids and protein, which are great both for us and for our pets. Sardines that are packed in water are a much better option than sardines that come packed in oil. The reason is because too much oil is not healthy for your furry friend, even though small amounts can make it easier for your cat to cough out the fur balls.

Before you include sardines fully into your cat’s diet, watch the reaction of your pet after you give her the first portion of sardines. If you notice anything strange in its behavior or if anything doesn’t seem right, and then stop giving your cat sardines.

Perhaps she just doesn’t like them or they don’t suit your cat’s stomach very well. Cats can have distinctive taste when it comes to food so it is no wonder that they sometimes dislike certain types of food.

How many sardines are safe for your cat?

Now that we have determined that sardines are safe for your cat, we should discuss the amount of sardines you can give to them. Your cat can eat a fair amount of sardines, but the thing you need to be careful about is the amount of salt (in canned sardines) and the amount of oil.

We already mentioned that sardines in water are much healthier, so opt to choose them and when it comes to salt, the less salt there is in the sardines the better it is going to be for your cat. So, add a little bit of sardines to your cats food every once in a while, but avoid overbearing their diet with the vitamins and minerals that can be found in sardines. Sardines are best as treats or snacks for your cat, so treat them that way.

Possible side effects to eating too much sardines are diarrhea, gassiness, bloating and vomiting. Some cats don’t like eating fish at all, so that can be a problem as well. The best thing you can do is to watch your cat’s reactions and avoid giving it something she doesn’t like. There is no point in feeding your cat with food that is not tasty to her, since that is only going to create a contrary effect.

We all want our pets to be happy and content with their meals, so why not make them enjoy their food as much as possible. If you are in doubt what to give to your cat, always opt for the cat food since your furry friend is going to get plenty of nutrients from it.


In conclusion, sardines are very healthy both for you and your cat. You can give sardines to your cat as much as you want but don’t go overboard with them. Sometimes they can contain a lot of salt and metals in them, so it is best to treat your cat with sardines once in a while and not all the time. This is going to keep your furry friend healthy and avoid any possible side effects to eating sardines.

Like we already mentioned, watch your cat’s behavior and if you notice any problems or changes, stop giving her sardines. Perhaps your cat is allergic to them, but the most probable cause is that your cat doesn’t like fish. This is not an unusual thing since many cats don’t like consuming fish at all.

If you cat is more a “meat-person”, then don’t bother overbearing her with fish, since your main goal is to keep her healthy but also happy. Instead of sardines, give your cat food based on chicken or other low-fat meats, if you want your furry friend to maintain its figure and health.

Overall, sardines are great source of protein and fat free content that is not going to make you gain weight or your furry friend. You can always give your cat a sardine to two if she likes them and treat her for being obedient. After all, our goal is to make them happy and to adjust their menus to their liking, to satisfy both their preferences and to keep them healthy. If your cat doesn’t like sardines, then we suggest you to incorporate them in your diet more, since they are incredibly healthy.