Cats and Anchovies: Can Cats Eat Anchovies?

Fish is a popular choice for pet owners, and it’s no secret that cats are one of the most popular pets.

But there are so many types of fish out there to choose from, and you may be wondering if your cat can eat anchovies.

Can cats eat anchovies? Can kittens eat anchovies? Can puppies eat anchovies?

The answer is yes! Anchovies are really beneficial for kitties- they’re small in size but big on nutrients.

Let’s get started.

Can Cats Eat Anchovies?

Cats are hyper-sensitive to all forms of food, including anchovies.

Can cats eat anchovies? The answer is yes—any form of fresh or dried anchovy.

Pet owners should feed their cats any type of canned fish as a treat since they are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin D and omega-three fatty acids that are critical both for the feline’s immune system and overall health.

Anchovies are safe for cats to eat in moderation.

However, they should never be offered any type of fish that is high in mercury or other contaminants since this can lead to dangerous conditions such as poisoning, cardiac failure, brain damage, blindness, seizures, and even death.

Cats are often picky eaters and have become accustomed to not eating fish due to both societal factors as well as their own natural instincts that prevent them from ingesting this type of food.

However, anchovies are healthy for cats to eat in moderation, and they can even provide pet owners with an opportunity to give their furry friends a treat once in a while.

Just be sure that the anchovy is fully cooked before serving or offering it as a snack since this will kill any harmful bacteria that may exist within the fish.

Anchovies should never be the only source of food that is consumed by cats; they should always complement a balanced diet.

Are Anchovies Safe for Cats?

The anchovies your cat eats should be cooked before they are eaten.

You may believe that your cat can safely consume raw fish, but this is not always the case.

In fact, there have been many reports of cats becoming ill from eating raw anchovies.

This is because salmonella and other harmful bacteria present in seafood often make their way to these animals when they consume raw fish.

Anchovies are very healthy for your cat to eat as they contain lots of vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. 

Canned anchovies should be avoided by cats since these products often come packed with oil and salt, which can lead to obesity in felines.

Small amounts of oily fat and salt aren’t hazardous to your cat if given occasionally in small quantities.

However, these should not be a major component of their diet.

How Are Anchovies Good For Cats?

The fatty acids in anchovies are great for your cat’s skin and coat.

A healthy fatty acid balance means a healthier, shinier cat with a better immune system to fight off disease.

In addition to the high-quality protein from fish proteins that make up an anchovy diet, you’ll also be feeding your feline more of the nutrients.

High in Vitamin D

It’s not just the Vitamin D in anchovies that makes them a great food source for your cat – it’s also how they get their Vitamin D.

Cats, like humans and other animals, cannot produce vitamin d on their own, so they need to consume foods rich with this nutrient or receive direct sunlight exposure daily.

Anchovies are one of the few fish that get their Vitamin D from a type of sea algae rather than directly from the sun.

This makes anchovies an excellent food source for cats in particular since they love to be out in the sun. 


Selenium is an important mineral for cats.

It’s a strong antioxidant that is essential to your cat’s immune system, and it also helps with reproduction, thyroid function, and healthy bones. 

However, too much selenium can cause problems as well – something you’ll need to be mindful of when feeding anchovies or any fish high in this nutrient.

Vitamin A

If you have ever heard of carrots being ‘good for your eyes, this is because they are rich in Vitamin A. 

Vitamin A is great for the health and function of your cat’s skin, teeth, gums, bones, respiratory system, and reproductive organs – making anchovies a favorite with many pet owners.

High in Vitamin B-12

Cats need Vitamin B-12 to help with neurological function, a healthy immune system, and cell growth. 

In addition to anchovies being high in this vitamin, they also contain other vitamins your cat needs, such as niacin and thiamine, which help with digestion.

High Levels in omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids make them a great food source for your cat.

They also contain omega-three fatty acids, which are great for healthy heart function and brain development – all of which are important to keep your pet happy and healthy as they age. 

Omega-three fatty acids provide many benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for elderly pets with arthritis.


The calcium in anchovies is another great benefit that provides healthy teeth and bones for your cat.

This calcium also helps with muscle function, blood clotting, and nerve conduction – all of which are important to a happy feline as they age. 

For this reason, anchovies can be especially beneficial if you have an older pet who has slowed down.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Fish Sticks?

How Can You Feed Your Cat Anchovies?

how Can You Feed Your Cat Anchovies

You can feed your cat anchovies in moderation.

However, anchovies are high in salt, which might be detrimental to your pet if consumed excessively.

Feeding raw anchovies can lead to food poisoning or indigestion for cats.

So, it is important that you feed them fresh anchovies only and never the canned ones since they contain additives like sugar and preservatives.

If you choose anchovies as a portion of food for your cat, make sure they are fresh and not too salty.

Small servings of anchovies will let your pet acquire the nutrition it needs without being overfed.

You can give anchovies to cats once in a while but do so sparingly since anchovy bones might cause choking or obstruction if swallowed.

How To Cook Anchovies For Cats

You need to cook anchovies before you can feed them to your cat.

Cook anchovies until they are soft and moist so that the bones soften too.

You should remove all of the head parts, like eyes and entrails, since these may be hazardous for cats if consumed in large quantities. 

Once cooked, anchovy heads would turn black and fall apart.

Make anchovies cool down before you feed them to your cat. Never serve them hot or warm since these may upset their stomachs and cause indigestion.

You can add anchovy heads in small amounts when cooking a stew for yourself but remove these from the broth before serving it to your pet. 

Remember that anchovies are not a balanced meal for cats, so you should never feed them anchovy heads only.

Do not use any butter or salt when cooking anchovies since these may be harmful to your cat if consumed in large quantities.

You can add anchovies to recipes that have vegetables which are good food for cats too. 

An anchovy and veggie mix might be a great treat for your cat, but ensure that anchovies do not make up more than 25% of the total meal.

Cats love to lick anchovies, so using it as a treat would let them enjoy it, too, without overdoing their intake of anchovies. 

Use anchovy oil or butter when cooking anchovies. 

You can also use anchovy oil for massages to ease your cat’s aches and pains since it is good for their skin too.

If you give anchovy heads to your pet, make sure it has been boiled well before feeding them these fish parts.

This would prevent choking or obstruction of the throat if swallowed.


Cats will happily consume anchovies if you feed them, but it’s best to prepare the fish before giving it to your pet.

Raw anchovies contain an enzyme that degrades vitamin B1.

This nutrient is necessary for many activities in a cat’s body, like hormone production and fatty acid synthesis (including omega-3s).

Prepared anchovies make an excellent addition to the diet of your feline friend!