Can I Give My Cats Mackerel?

Mackerel is a name used to refer to various pelagic fish most of which belong to the Scombridae family that has bonitos and tuna.

Besides being a source of high-quality protein, it is a source of essential fatty acids including omega-3 fatty acids which have many benefits to your feline friend.

Additionally, it also has vitamin B12, vitamin D, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc, among others.

Can kitties eat mackerel?

Yes. Cats can eat mackerel in moderation about once a week. It should be a small part of their diet and not a diet replacer unless you going for commercial cat foods with this fish such as the very delicious brand like Weruva Grain-Free Canned Wet Cat Food – Mack and Jack. We have a few others towards the end of the post.

Can cats eat mackerel
Can cats eat mackerel

Most kitties like fish even if it is not part of their typical diets while in the wild. Perhaps it is its unique flavor and fishy smell that attracts them.

Feeding your cat excessive fish may result in the following:

  • Being high in fish oil, it may lead to a depletion of vitamin E signaled by various vitamin E deficiency symptoms.
  • Allergies are possible. It is the third most common cause of protein allergies in these pets after beef and dairy products.
  • Whereas all fish have the problem of mercury contamination, this risk is lower in mackerels.
  • Most importantly, it is not a complete meal because it does not have all the essential nutrients required by felines for growth, development or adult maintenance.

Should I go for canned, cooked or raw mackerels?

Never feed cats with any raw fish. Although freezing kills the present parasites, some germs such as freezing will not kill bacteria and other pathogens. Instead, they cooked it to kill germs and remove bones.

Secondly, for canned ones, always go for those in water. If in oil, drain the oil and rinse it off. Go for Unsalted canned mackerel to minimize sodium intake in salt and avoid those in a source as they may have onions, garlic, and other additives as they may be harmful to your feline pal.

Thirdly, avoid smoked ones because they are high in salt. During the curing process, salt (sodium chloride) is used meaning they can lead to hypernatremia or high sodium in the cat’s blood than required.

Mackerel cat food

If your kitty seems to like it, there are plenty of nutritionally balanced cat food that have various fish including mackerel. Try the following brands:

You will also get brands from Tiki, Natural Balance, Fancy Feast, among many other brands. You need to see if they are flavored or have this fish in them.


As you strive to feed your feline pal a variety of foods, you may emphasize on ensuring the various diets have protein since you know kitties are strict carnivores. However, do not forget to ensure that the various diets have all the required nutrients and in the right proportion.

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