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Can Cats Eat Salmon Skin Or Is It Dangerous For Them?

Can Cats Eat Salmon Skin Or Is It Dangerous For Them?

Many of us have considered sharing our meals with our cats at some point. Having those cute little eyes watching you while enjoying your food seems like your feline friend is just begging you to have a taste of it!

It’s necessary to be careful and well-informed when it comes to sharing food with cats. While some of it can make a healthy snack for them, there are also some foods that can even be deadly for cats.

Many people enjoy salmon, which is an oily fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a great option to support heart health and reduce cholesterol.

If your cat could speak, I think it would say that a salmon makes a perfect meal for it! However, since cats’ digestive systems are different from ours, there are some things to be cautious about here.

Questions arise, such as, can cats eat salmon skin? And what’s the best way to serve salmon to your kitty?

Let’s dive into these questions and find some answers.

Can Cats Eat Salmon Skin?

cat sniffing salmon meat

Most cats really enjoy fish, and salmon is certainly one of their favorite kinds.

Daily Paws explains how salmon is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for both people and cats.

But, is salmon skin safe to give to cats? It is! This skin has the highest concentration of fatty acids.

It doesn’t present any kind of danger for your cat. Still, you should monitor your pet after eating it for any potential stomach distress. After all, this is a meal very rich in fat.

In general, salmon skin isn’t something your cat should enjoy too often. Since it’s so high in fat, over time, it can cause excess weight in your pet.

What’s The Best Way To Serve Salmon Skin To Your Cat?

black cat eating salmon

The best and the only way you should serve salmon skin, as well as this fish generally to your cat, is after cooking it.

Of course, you should prepare it without marinade and any seasoning. 

Breno Salgado and his associates [1] explain how feeding human food to pets can be dangerous for their health. The Alliums species-genus is something especially poisonous to pets and includes onion, garlic, scallions, leek, chives, and shallots. This is why you should never give your cat food seasoned with one of these.

While cooking the salmon, you’ll be sure that there aren’t any bacteria and parasites in it that can jeopardize your cat’s well-being.

When you serve the salmon, it’s necessary to make sure that there aren’t any bones inside it. Just like this can be a potential choking hazard for us, the same thing is true for our feline friends.

Should Your Cat Eat Raw Salmon Skin?

ginger cat sniffing salmon meat

Many of us enjoy sushi, which often features raw fish as a key ingredient. Known for its benefits to gut health and the immune system, sushi is a popular choice for many people.

Given that raw fish is safe for us, you might wonder if it’s also safe to offer raw salmon skin to your cat. No! This is actually completely wrong and dangerous.

The VetStreet explains how raw fish contain thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down an essential B vitamin called thiamine in cats. The deficiency of this vitamin can cause severe neurological issues in cats and lead to convulsions in them.

Therefore, if you want to make a nice treat for your kitty, always cook the salmon skin before you serve it to it.

Also, of course, it’s necessary to let the skin cool down before you give it to your cat.

Can A Cat Be Allergic To Salmon Skin?

Cats can have different food allergies, including fish and seafood.

This isn’t so common, but it’s still possible to occur. This is why it’s essential you always observe your cat while eating a new meal

No matter if this is the home meal you prepared yourself, or a new canned food you decided to go with.

If you notice signs like intense scratching, skin rash, diarrhea and vomiting in your cat after eating salmon skin, this is, most likely, an indication of food allergy.

You should take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as you notice these symptoms.

How Often Should Your Cat Eat Salmon Skin?

cat trying to steal salmon meat

Salmon (as well as salmon skin) makes an excellent, healthy treat for your cat. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein and contributes to its energy production and bone health. 

However, moderation is key here. Salmon skin solely doesn’t make a complete and nutritious diet for your cat. 

If your cat’s diet is based on this fish only, it will lack essential vitamins like A and D, as well as magnesium. The most important thing for felines is for them to have meat protein as the basic part of their diet.

Therefore, the best way to incorporate salmon skin into your cat’s diet is by keeping it as an occasional treat. Since your cat is likely to adore this treat, it may start to demand only to eat the salmon skin.

If you let it be, this can lead to numerous problems. 

According to Alaskan Salmon, treats should make up about 10% of a cat’s average daily calorie intake. 

You should observe the salmon skin as a treat for your cat, and feed it according to these instructions.

In case you have any questions about your cat’s nutrition, you can always contact your veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

Salmon skin isn’t dangerous for cats. Moreover, it’s beneficial for their health, just as long as it’s cooked and served without any seasoning.

Raw fish can be dangerous for cats, since it can contain parasites and bacteria. Also, a cat eating raw fish can have a lack of the vitamin thiamine.

So, if you want to treat your pet with salmon skin, do this only after cooking it and getting rid of all of the bones.

I’m sure all cats will enjoy the salmon skin as a regular treat in their diets. However, remember to keep it just as a treat, and not as something you feed your cat with exclusively.

Felines need meat in their diet as a leading ingredient to stay happy and healthy. Salmon is great, but isn’t enough for your cat to have a nutritious diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

You may also find interesting the topic about whether cats can eat spinach. Hope to see you there!

[1] Salgado BSI; Monteiro LNII; Rocha NSI, II. Allium species poisoning in dogs and cats.  J. Venom. Anim. Toxins incl. Trop. Dis 17 (1) • 2011, DOI, Retrieved January 15, 2024.