Whether it’s keeping a cat and fish together or feeding them fish, here’s everything you need to know to make it work.
Cat and fish: As cohabitation
In the wild, cats are predators of small fish, they will rarely go after a pike but can catch trout or even carp for example. So to ensure a peaceful cohabitation, here is everything you can put in place. This is to ensure both the safety of the fish but also that of the cat.
Accustom him at an early age and educate him
This is ideal, because a very young cat will quickly become familiar with the fish and you can teach him much more quickly not to approach it. Obviously, at the very beginning, you will absolutely have to teach him by diverting him from the aquarium that he must not be touched, because he retains natural predatory instincts.
But the sooner you get your cat used to it, the better its brain will be able to understand and integrate that fish should not be eaten, which works with all animals, such as rabbits for example . As an adult, the process will take longer and you will have to be firmer with your cat, telling him NO, when he approaches the aquarium.
You can also lock him in a room for 15 minutes when he approaches it to create a negative association in his mind. Even more radical, diffusing a citrus smell near the aquarium will disgust it and make it leave. Eucalyptus or citronella plants near the aquarium will disgust your cat.
Protect the fish
You must ensure that the fish(es) are not attacked by the cat, so make sure you have an aquarium and not a jar, otherwise it’s open door for your cat. Also make sure that the aquarium is not easily accessible for the cat and in a stable place.
At the very beginning, make sure that your cat does not have access to the room in which the aquarium is located when you are not there.
As for the aquarium itself, take a model that is stable and that the cat will not knock over to ensure that there is no breakage, and here I come to my second point, to protect cat.
Protect the cat
The cat still a risk by attacking the fish, certainly if you have piranhas, your cat can be attacked by the fish but generally, the fish are harmless. The danger comes from two different things:
The first is that the fish can be toxic to your cat, because you are unlikely to have any edible fish in your aquarium, such as trout or sardines.
The second thing is that the aquarium is normally electrically hooked up, so if your cat gets electrocuted and the aquarium breaks, the water and electricity combo could kill him.
Then, the broken glass of the aquarium can hurt it, sometimes deeply.
So, also make sure that the aquarium is difficult to access and above all that it does not fall easily and is completely closed. What goes for the safety of the fish also goes for that of the cat.
Cat and fish: As food
If you want to feed your cat and are thinking about fish, you may wonder what the benefits and potential risks of feeding your cat fish are. Indeed, there are several things to know so that he can feed himself as well as possible with fish and without any risk to his health.
Giving fish to your cat offers many benefits, similar to ours when we eat it, here are all the advantages of giving fish to your cat:
It tastes great and cats love it, so use the fish to reward it when it’s done well to create positive associations. Fish is an ideal support for rewards because your cat will not be able to resist it.
Also, if your cat won’t eat or is sick, the fish will allow you to feed him because he loves it, steam it and grind it so that he eats it easily if he has pain in his legs. teeth for example.
Cats need a diet rich in animal protein, you may notice that your cat loves birds and rodents if he has access to the outside, it is for this reason. However, fish are rich in very high quality protein.
The nutritious side of fish therefore applies to cats, just like chicken or red meat.
Taurine is vital for the proper functioning of a cat’s organs, and fish naturally contain it, so if you have an old cat, don’t hesitate to give it to him, it will do him the greatest good.
Omega 3 and 6
These essential fatty acids are great for cats for good cardiovascular health, and omega-3s will also be essential for cats.
While the benefits of fish for cats are numerous, there are also serious downsides, so be sure to avoid these when feeding your cat fish.
Lots of salt
When giving fish to your cat, ensure that it is low in sodium by checking the level on the package, as some are very high in salt and should be avoided . You can do the comparisons in store to check everything.
Beware of Mercury
Mercury is unhealthy for both us and cats, but I assure you, it’s easy to know which fish to avoid. Indeed, mercury is present in large quantities in marine predators such as tuna, but small fish such as shrimp, sardines or even herring are very good in terms of their mercury levels.
Too much = kidney failure
Kidney failure can be caused by too much fish, so don’t exceed 20 grams when your cat takes it. When it comes to quantities, white fish (cod, whiting, sole, etc.) can be given every day.
As for oily fish, food intake only twice a week is recommended.
Wrong degrees of doneness
Overcooked fish can be toxic to cats and steam cooking is recommended to avoid any risk. Beware of completely raw fish which can also cause disease. Smoked or pickled fish should also be avoided.
Cat and fish: The final word
Your cat and your fish can coexist, just put in place a healthy foundation. And if you feed your cat, now you know how to do it in a healthy way.