What are the dangers of serving raw fish to my cat?

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If proper safety measures are taken when preparing and feeding raw fish to your cat, there are generally no reasons for concern; however, there are a few dangers that cat owners should be aware of before purchasing raw fish for their cat.

Raw fish is chockfull of the enzyme known as thiaminase. This enzyme is responsible for the destruction of thiamine in the body. Thiamine and Vitamin B1 play key roles in ensuring your cat’s good health; they are responsible for helping to break down and process dietary sugars, and are also thought to be responsible for maintaining good nerve health. The cooking process destroys the thiaminase enzyme, thus rendering the fish completely safe for your cat to eat.

Another danger related to serving raw fish to your cat is that raw fish is often filled with a range of bacteria that can quickly make the rest of your family very sick. By practicing good hygienic preparation and feeding methods, you can reduce the risk of these bacterial dangers. You can do this by:

  •  Always using a clean and sharp knife to cut up raw fish
  • Always using a glass cutting board when cutting up fish and meats
  • Rinsing the cutting board with warm soapy water before placing it into the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning
  • Keeping raw fish stored in the fridge or freezer at all times, except for when you are feeding your cat
  • Not allowing raw fish to stay on your cat’s plate beyond 10-15 minutes. If he doesn’t eat it, then pick the fish up and discard it quickly.

In small amounts and by using good preparation and storage methods for the fish, your cat should be perfectly fine enjoying his or her raw fish snack.

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