Can Cats Eat Mackerel? Fishy Facts?

four assorted-color tabby kittens on brown basket

Can Cats Eat Mackerel? — Yes

Mack­er­el is a safe and healthy food option for cats. It can be includ­ed in their diet as a tasty and nutri­tious treat. Cats can ben­e­fit from the high lev­els of omega‑3 fat­ty acids found in mack­er­el, which pro­mote heart health, reduce inflam­ma­tion, and sup­port shiny coats and healthy skin.

Can Kittens Eat Mackerel?

Yes, kit­tens can also eat mack­er­el, but in mod­er­a­tion. It is impor­tant to intro­duce new foods grad­u­al­ly into a kit­ten’s diet to avoid any diges­tive issues. Start by offer­ing small por­tions of fresh or cooked mack­er­el and mon­i­tor their reac­tion. If they respond well and show no signs of dis­com­fort, mack­er­el can be includ­ed as an occa­sion­al treat in their diet.

Things to consider when feeding mackerel to kittens?

When feed­ing mack­er­el to kit­tens, it is cru­cial to remove any bones to pre­vent chok­ing haz­ards or inter­nal injuries. Opt for bone­less mack­er­el or care­ful­ly debone it before serv­ing it to kit­tens. Addi­tion­al­ly, ensure that the mack­er­el is fresh and prop­er­ly cooked to elim­i­nate the risk of bac­te­r­i­al con­t­a­m­i­na­tion.

Nutritional Benefits of Mackerel for Cats — Why Mackerel is Good for Cats?

1. Omega‑3 Fatty Acids for Heart Health

Mack­er­el con­tains ample amounts of omega‑3 fat­ty acids, such as EPA and DHA, which are essen­tial for main­tain­ing cats’ heart health. These fat­ty acids con­tribute to reduc­ing inflam­ma­tion, improv­ing blood cir­cu­la­tion, and pro­mot­ing healthy car­dio­vas­cu­lar func­tion.

2. Skin and Coat Health

The omega‑3 fat­ty acids found in mack­er­el also have a pos­i­tive impact on cats’ skin and coat health. Reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of mack­er­el can lead to a shiny, lus­trous coat and help alle­vi­ate skin con­di­tions like dry­ness and itch­i­ness.

3. High Protein Content

Mack­er­el is rich in pro­tein, which is cru­cial for cats’ over­all health. Pro­tein sup­ports mus­cle devel­op­ment, tis­sue repair, and the pro­duc­tion of essen­tial enzymes and hor­mones in a cat’s body.

4. Vitamins and Minerals

Mack­er­el is a good source of var­i­ous vit­a­mins and min­er­als that cats need for prop­er growth and main­te­nance. It pro­vides vit­a­mins A, D, and E, as well as cal­ci­um, mag­ne­sium, and sele­ni­um, which con­tribute to a strong immune sys­tem, bone health, and oth­er vital func­tions.

5. Hydration

Mack­er­el has a high mois­ture con­tent, which helps keep cats hydrat­ed, espe­cial­ly if they have a low water intake. Ade­quate hydra­tion is impor­tant for main­tain­ing prop­er organ func­tion and pre­vent­ing uri­nary tract issues in cats.

Potential Allergies: Can Cats Be Allergic to Mackerel?

While mack­er­el is gen­er­al­ly safe for cats, some cats may devel­op aller­gies to seafood, includ­ing mack­er­el. It is impor­tant to mon­i­tor your cat’s reac­tion when intro­duc­ing mack­er­el into their diet for the first time.

Symptoms of Mackerel Allergies in Cats

  • Itch­ing and Skin Irri­ta­tion: Cats with a mack­er­el aller­gy may expe­ri­ence exces­sive itch­ing, red­ness, and skin irri­ta­tion.
  • Vom­it­ing and Diar­rhea: In some cas­es, mack­er­el aller­gies can cause diges­tive issues, such as vom­it­ing and diar­rhea.
  • Res­pi­ra­to­ry Prob­lems: Cats may exhib­it res­pi­ra­to­ry symp­toms like cough­ing, wheez­ing, or dif­fi­cul­ty breath­ing if they are aller­gic to mack­er­el.

What to Do If Your Cat Shows Symptoms?

  • Con­sult a Vet­eri­nar­i­an: If you sus­pect your cat has a mack­er­el aller­gy, it is impor­tant to con­sult a vet­eri­nar­i­an for prop­er diag­no­sis and guid­ance.
  • Elim­i­na­tion Diet: Your vet may rec­om­mend an elim­i­na­tion diet to iden­ti­fy the spe­cif­ic aller­gen caus­ing the symp­toms. This involves remov­ing mack­er­el from the diet and grad­u­al­ly rein­tro­duc­ing it to observe any reac­tion.
  • Alter­na­tive Pro­tein Sources: If your cat is aller­gic to mack­er­el, your vet may sug­gest alter­na­tive pro­tein sources that are less like­ly to cause aller­gic reac­tions in cats.

Recommended Amount: How Much Mackerel Can a Cat Consume?

When feed­ing mack­er­el to cats, it should be giv­en as a treat or a sup­ple­ment to their reg­u­lar bal­anced cat food. It is rec­om­mend­ed to lim­it mack­er­el intake to 10% of a cat’s dai­ly calo­rie intake to main­tain a bal­anced diet.

Things to Consider When Feeding Mackerel to Cats

While mack­er­el can be a healthy addi­tion to a cat’s diet, there are a few things to con­sid­er:

  • Mer­cury Lev­els: Mack­er­el can con­tain mer­cury, so it is impor­tant to choose high-qual­i­ty, low-mer­cury sources and mod­er­ate the fre­quen­cy of mack­er­el treats.
  • Bone Safe­ty: Ensure that mack­er­el is prop­er­ly pre­pared, remov­ing any bones to pre­vent chok­ing haz­ards or dam­age to the diges­tive tract.
  • Dietary Bal­ance: Mack­er­el should not replace a cat’s com­plete and bal­anced diet. It should be offered as an occa­sion­al treat or sup­ple­ment.

How to Feed Mackerel to Cats: A Quick Guide

Mack­er­el can be served to cats in var­i­ous ways to pro­vide a deli­cious and nutri­tious treat. Here are a few recipe ideas:

Mackerel Treats


  • 1 can of mack­er­el (in water or oil)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour (or alter­na­tive cat-friend­ly flour)
  • 1 egg
  • Water (if nec­es­sary)


  1. Pre­heat the oven to 325°F (163°C) and line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment paper.
  2. In a bowl, com­bine the mack­er­el (drained and flaked), flour, and egg. Mix until well-com­bined. Add water if nec­es­sary to achieve a dough-like con­sis­ten­cy.
  3. Roll the dough into small, bite-sized balls and place them on the pre­pared bak­ing sheet.
  4. Bake for approx­i­mate­ly 15–20 min­utes or until the treats are firm and gold­en brown.
  5. Allow the treats to cool com­plete­ly before serv­ing them to your feline friend.


Mack­er­el can be a healthy and enjoy­able addi­tion to a cat’s diet. It is rich in omega‑3 fat­ty acids, pro­tein, and essen­tial vit­a­mins and min­er­als. How­ev­er, it should be offered in mod­er­a­tion, ensur­ing it com­ple­ments a bal­anced and com­plete cat food. As with any new food, it is impor­tant to mon­i­tor your cat’s reac­tion and con­sult a vet­eri­nar­i­an if any con­cerns arise. By fol­low­ing these guide­lines and con­sid­er­ing your cat’s indi­vid­ual needs and poten­tial aller­gies, you can safe­ly incor­po­rate mack­er­el into their diet and pro­vide them with a tasty, nutri­tious treat.