Fish are great treats for cats, but be sure to remove the bones first. Cooked bones can cause gastrointestinal harm in your pet, and both cooked and raw bones can cause choking.
As a result, all bones from fish should be properly removed before giving to your cats. Because there are problems linked with improperly eaten fish bones, it’s preferable to offer them alternate treats.
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Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Fish Bones?
Despite the fact that fish bones have no damaging or toxic qualities, they are still dangerous to cats.
To begin with, they can be choking dangers. Because domesticated cats are not accustomed to eating whole fish, they may struggle to chew on a sharp fish bone and swallow it whole. Fish bones that have been improperly chewed can easily become stuck in a cat’s throat or mouth, and depending on how sharp they are, they can scratch or become stuck.
Cooked fish bones can also scratch and impact the gastrointestinal tract.
Feeding your cat raw fish bones can also be an unsafe practice. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raw seafood shouldn’t be left out for more than 2 hours or more than 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F. Raw fish can carry harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, if left out at temperatures between 40°F to 140°F.
Domesticated cats just like humans can get sick from bacterial food poisoning. Therefore, it’s better to play it safe and avoid feeding your cat raw fish and fish bones, especially when there are tasty alternatives that are much safer for them to eat.
What To Do If Your Cat Ate Fish Bones
If your cat eats any fish bones, keep an eye on them over the next few days. Cats may be able to ingest and pass fish bones with no problems. They can, however, experience gastrointestinal upset, so keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea or excessive licking of lips
Blood in your cat’s stool could be a sign of damage to the intestinal lining or a bacterial infection. If your cat’s feces contains any red or black blood or mucus, arrange an appointment with your veterinarian right away.
Your veterinarian’s therapy will be determined by the severity of your cat’s disease. There’s a strong chance you’ll have to feed your cat a bland food for a few days to give its digestive system a break. In addition, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or conduct tests to treat diarrhea.
Fish bones might become lodged in your cat’s mouth or throat, causing discomfort. If your cat’s throat is obstructed, it will exhibit some of the following signs:
- Loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive salivation
- Trouble swallowing
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent gulping
- Pawing at their mouth
Contact your veterinarian if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms. You may need to make an appointment with your veterinarian to have the impediment removed.
Safe Alternatives for Fish Bones
Fishbones are dangerous, but there are some safe options you may feed your cat instead. These replacements have the same flavor and feel as fish bones.
Freeze-Dried Fish Treats
Freeze-Dried fish treats are tasty and nutritious snacks for cats. Some small, freeze-dried fish include bones, but these bones have been freeze-dried and break easily. So, they’re not dangerous to cats.
Fish bones are tasty and entertaining to chew, so if your cat enjoys nibbling on food, consider giving it jerky treats. These treats are far safer, and they will not harm your cat’s intestinal lining. Just make sure to provide these snacks in proper portions, especially if your cat prefers to eat without chewing.
Dental chews approved by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) are good for their teeth and satisfying to crunch.
Broth made from fish
One of the safest methods for your cat to experience the flavor of fish is through fish broth. To avoid upsetting your cat’s stomach, add the broth in moderate amounts to your cat’s food if you’re introducing a new brand. Fish broth may make mealtimes more delightful for your cat, and it’s a terrific way to increase the amount of water in his diet.
Because of the dangers they pose, fish bones should be avoided. There are plenty of other, safer options for your cat to consume.
Cat owners may wish to offer their cats fish bones to add diversity to their cat’s diet, but this is not something we recommend. A cat may also help themselves to the fish, which may include bones from the kitchen or someone’s plate. Then keep an eye out for the warning signals listed above, and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you have any concerns. If you’re changing your cat’s diet, do so gradually. Changing their meals too frequently might lead to extra problems, such as increasing the risk of picky eaters.
So, more than introducing a variety of food into a cat’s diet, it’s more important to find a well-balanced meal for your cat. Many cats that are fed nutritious diets are content to eat the same food every day.