Can Cats Eat Salmon?

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  • Can cats eat salmon?

    Cats can eat salmon as an occasional treat, but as it does not contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals, should not be a part of a cat’s regular diet.

    Salmon is a rich source of protein, is low in saturated fat and is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, potassium and selenium.

    How much salmon can cats eat?

    Salmon should only be given as an occasional treat and should make up no more than 10% of a cat’s diet. Cats have very specific nutritional requirements and must eat a species-appropriate complete and balanced diet.

    What type of salmon can cats eat?

    Fresh, grilled, unseasoned salmon or tinned salmon is the safest way to feed salmon to cats. Raw salmon contains thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys thiamine, an essential B vitamin in cats and smoked salmon contains high levels of salt.

    Always check for and remove bones before feeding salmon to your cat to prevent choking.

    Related: Can cats eat tuna?

    Can all cats eat salmon?

    Not all cats can eat salmon, which includes the following groups:

    • Unweaned kittens
    • Cats on a food elimination trial
    • Cats on a hypoallergenic diet
    • Cats on a prescription diet to prevent or manage an underlying disease
    • Cats with known allergies to fish (fish is one of the top food allergies in cats, discontinue if your cat develops itching, redness and dermatitis)

    Always speak to a veterinarian before introducing new food to a cat’s diet as underlying medical conditions may contraindicate treats.

    Frequently asked questions

    Can cats eat salmon every day? No, cats cannot eat salmon every day as it does not contain all the nutrients a cat needs to thrive.

    How much salmon can I give my cat? Cats should be fed a tablespoon or two of salmon at the most, and no more than once or twice a week.

    Can cats have sushi salmon? No, cats should not eat sushi salmon which is prepared raw and therefore contains thiaminase which destroys thiamine.

    What is the difference between human grade salmon and salmon cat food? Human grade salmon contains no other ingredients, while salmon cat food has been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals and is therefore complete and balanced.

    Can cats have salmon skin? Yes, cats can eat unseasoned salmon skin.

    How to cook salmon for cats?

    Baked or grilled salmon is the best way to prepare salmon for cats.

    • Preheat an oven or grill
    • Line a baking tray with baking paper
    • Pat the salmon with a paper towel until dry
    • Add the salmon to the baking tray and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through
    • Remove from the oven or grill and use a fork to flake the salmon, remove any bones


    Salmon is safe for cats to eat as long as it is in moderation, and not a large part of a cat’s diet.

    Featured image by congerdesign from Pixabay


    • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

      Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio