9 Best Fish Cat Foods

| Published on January 24, 2023

As a specialist in cat health and nutrition, I recognize that offering a balanced, high-quality diet is paramount for your cat’s overall well-being. Fish-based cat foods are increasingly popular due to their high protein content and omega-3 fatty acids, which offer a range of health benefits. In this article, we will explore the best fish-based cat foods on the market, examining factors like ingredient quality, sustainability, and nutritional value, so you can make an informed choice for your feline companion.

#1 – Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Sea-Licious Salmon & Cod Dinner Morsels Grain-Free Cat Food, 8 oz bag, Model: CAT-FDSCO-9

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Sea-Licious Salmon & Cod Dinner Morsels Grain-Free Cat Food is a natural, protein-rich meal for cats that mirrors their ancestral diet. Made with 98% fish, organs, and bone, this recipe supports whole-body health and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It is grain and gluten-free, making it easy to digest for cats of all life stages.

Best For: Cats with allergies and picky eaters.


#2 – Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Raw Diet for Dogs Freeze Dried Nuggets Dog Food – Whitefish and Salmon – Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Pet Food, Dog Training Treats – 12 Oz.

The Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Raw Diet for Dogs is a dog food that is made from natural ingredients and is grain-free and gluten-free. It is freeze-dried to preserve the nutrients and flavors, making it a healthy and palatable option for dogs. It is also available in different flavors, such as whitefish, and is made in the U.S.A.

Best For: Dogs who need a healthy and budget-friendly dog food option.


#3 – Steve’s Real Food Quest Super Premium Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food, White Fish Recipe, 10oz, Prey Model diet, Wild Caught & Sustainably Raised, Made in the USA

Steve’s Real Food Quest Super Premium Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food is a complete and wholesome diet for cats. The food follows the ‘Prey Model diet’ and consists of 95% high-quality meat, organ, and bone, with the remaining 5% being all-natural, value-added ingredients. It is freeze-dried to preserve nutrients and is made without synthetic vitamins, unnecessary ingredients, fillers, produce, or added hormones.

Best for: cats on a prey model diet.


#4 – ORIJEN Six Fish Dry Cat Food, Grain Free Cat Food for All Life Stages, With WholePrey Ingredients, 4lb

The ORIJEN Six Fish Dry Cat Food is a grain-free cat food made with whole prey ingredients. It is designed to support the nutritional needs of cats at all life stages. With 90% animal ingredients, including organ and bone, it aims to mimic what cats would eat in the wild. The first six ingredients are raw and include mackerel, herring, flounder, redfish, monkfish, and hake. The food also features a freeze-dried liver coating for added flavor.

Best For: Best ingredient sourcing


#5 – ACANA Highest Protein Dry Cat Food, Wild Atlantic, Grain Free Saltwater Fish With Freeze-Dried Liver Recipe, 10lb

The ACANA Highest Protein Dry Cat Food is a grain-free cat food made with wild Atlantic saltwater fish and freeze-dried liver. It contains 75% animal ingredients, including whole mackerel, herring, and hake. This high-protein formula supports digestive health, promotes a healthy coat, and helps maintain eye and heart health.

Best For: Cats with a high protein diet

#6 – ZIWI Peak Canned Wet Cat Food – All Natural, High Protein, Grain Free, Limited Ingredient, with Superfoods (Mackerel, Case of 12, 6.5oz Cans)

ZIWI Peak Canned Wet Cat Food is a high-protein, grain-free cat food that is made with all-natural ingredients sourced from New Zealand. It is made with real mackerel fish and New Zealand green mussels to provide peak nutrition for cats. This cat food is suitable for all life stages and all breeds, and is free from unnecessary carbohydrates, fillers, and low-quality ingredients.

Best For: Best ingredient sourcing

#7 – Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain Free, Natural Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food, Fish & Potato 11-lb

The Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain Free, Natural Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food is a limited-ingredient cat food designed for cats with sensitive stomachs. It contains real whitefish, potatoes, and pumpkin to support gentle digestion without the use of grains that contain gluten. This formula also includes Blue’s exclusive LifeSource Bits, which are a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support immune system health.

Best For: Cats with a sensitive stomach.


#8 – Halo Purely For Pets Halo Holistic Dog Food, Complete Digestive Health Wild-caught Salmon and Whitefish Recipe, Dry Dog Food Bag, Adult Formula, 21-lb Bag

The Halo Purely For Pets Halo Holistic Dog Food is a 21-pound bag of dry dog food that is made with real salmon and whitefish. It is cooked in the USA with high-quality ingredients for optimal nutrition and digestive support. The dog food also promotes healthy skin and coat with its balanced Omega-fatty acids, and it is responsibly sourced with MSC certified wild-caught fish.

Best For: Best ingredient sourcing


#9 – Tiki Cat Born Carnivore High Protein, Herring & Salmon Meal, Grain-Free Baked Kibble to Maximize Nutrients, Dry Cat Food, 2.8 lbs. Bag

The Tiki Cat Born Carnivore High Protein, Herring & Salmon Meal is a grain-free baked kibble dry cat food that is designed to provide cats with high levels of protein and nutrients. It is made with non-GMO ingredients and does not contain animal by-products, corn, wheat, or soy. The food is baked to preserve nutrients and enhance flavor, and it is minimally processed to provide cats with a crunchy texture that is similar to their natural prey.

Best For: Cats who need a high-protein diet.


What Are The Benefits of Fish-Based Foods for Cats?

Fish-based foods can offer a range of nutritional benefits that may make them a valuable addition to your cat’s diet. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. High-Quality Protein: Fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle maintenance, growth, and overall cellular function in cats.
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, which are known to support skin and coat health, reduce inflammation, and contribute to cognitive and vision development.
  3. Palatability: Many cats find the taste of fish to be highly palatable, which can be particularly helpful for picky eaters or cats who are recovering from illness and have reduced appetites.
  4. Micronutrients: Fish also contain essential micronutrients like selenium, iodine, and certain B vitamins that are beneficial for various physiological processes in cats.
  5. Variety: Incorporating fish-based foods can add variety to your cat’s diet, which can be both nutritionally and behaviorally enriching.
  6. Digestibility: Fish is generally easy to digest, making it a good option for some cats with sensitive stomachs, although it’s essential to introduce any new protein sources gradually.
  7. Lower Fat Content: Certain types of fish are lower in fat compared to other protein sources like beef, making them a potential option for weight management, though the overall calorie content must still be considered.

However, it’s important to note that not all fish-based foods are created equal. The quality of the ingredients, the presence of potential allergens or contaminants like mercury, and the overall formulation of the diet must be carefully considered. Always consult your veterinarian before making significant changes to your cat’s diet, especially if they have preexisting health conditions.


Frequently Asked Questions About Fish Cat Foods

1. Is fish a good source of protein for cats?

Yes, fish is generally considered a high-quality source of protein for cats. It provides all the essential amino acids that cats require for healthy muscle growth, repair, and overall well-being.

2. Can I feed my cat only fish-based food?

Feeding a diet consisting solely of fish is not recommended because it can lead to nutrient imbalances. A diversified diet that includes other protein sources is usually more beneficial. Consult your veterinarian for tailored advice.

3. Do fish-based foods contain mercury?

Fish can contain traces of mercury, which can be harmful in large amounts. High-quality commercial cat foods undergo testing to ensure they are safe, but it’s a good idea to vary protein sources to mitigate risks.

4. Are there benefits to the omega-3s in fish-based foods?

Yes, fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can support skin and coat health, reduce inflammation, and aid in cognitive and vision development.

5. Can fish-based foods cause allergies in cats?

Fish is one of the more common allergens for cats. If you notice symptoms like itching, digestive upset, or respiratory issues when feeding a fish-based diet, consult your veterinarian for an allergy test.

6. What types of fish are commonly used in cat food?

Common types of fish used in cat food include salmon, tuna, whitefish, and sardines. Each has its own nutritional profile, so you might choose based on your cat’s specific needs.

7. Can I feed my cat raw fish?

Feeding raw fish is generally not recommended due to the risk of parasites and bacterial contamination. Always cook fish thoroughly and consult your veterinarian if you’re considering a raw diet.

8. Is fish-based food suitable for kittens?

Fish-based foods can be suitable for kittens if they are formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of growing cats. Always look for foods labeled as “complete and balanced” for your cat’s life stage.

9. How do I transition my cat to a fish-based diet?

When introducing a new protein source like fish, it’s important to do so gradually over a week to avoid digestive upset. Mix the new food with the current food, gradually increasing the amount of new food each day.

10. Are fish-based cat foods more expensive?

The cost of fish-based foods can vary. They may be more expensive than basic chicken or turkey options but are often in the same price range as other specialty protein sources like duck or venison.


Conclusion: Best Fish Cat Foods

The decision to choose the right cat food can greatly impact your pet’s health, lifespan, and happiness. Fish-based cat foods offer specific advantages, such as high-quality protein and essential fatty acids that contribute to skin and coat health. However, it’s important to weigh these benefits against potential downsides like mercury content and the risk of food allergies. Equipped with the information provided in this article, you are now better prepared to decide whether a fish-based cat food is the ideal choice for meeting your cat’s nutritional and taste preferences.

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