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Can Cats Eat Fish Sticks? Nutritional Facts & FAQ

Curiosity is a concept almost universally associated with cats, and unfortunately, cats tend to lead the charge with their mouths! Most cats are not shy about trying new foods. However, if you found your cat face first in your plate of fish sticks, you don’t have to worry too much.

Fish sticks rarely contain anything that would be considered toxic for cats. However, fish sticks are not the healthiest snack option for your furry feline friend.

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What Do Cats Normally Eat?

Cats are what science calls “obligate carnivores” or “hypercarnivores.” This classification comprises animals that eat a wild diet of at least 70% animal proteins.

Proteins help build cats’ muscles to hunt and run all their bodily systems and functions. In addition, proteins are a favored nutritional source in the wild because they provide long-lasting energy sources and can satiate a cat even if the hunting grounds run dry for a day.

Because cats eat a diet primarily comprised of animal proteins, they have biological differences in their digestive tract. For instance, the cecum—the part of the intestinal tract that traditionally houses the bacteria used to break down plant material—is pretty underdeveloped in cats.

Cats don’t usually feel the sting of this lack of development because they only eat animal proteins. Therefore, they don’t need a developed cecum because they usually don’t eat food that requires a cecum to digest it.

It’s suggested that what few plant-based needs cats have would traditionally be met by hunting. Cats don’t leave much, if anything, behind when they hunt; they even eat the bones! So, when cats eat their prey, they get the nutritional benefits of their last meal and the bacteria that break it down in their stomach.

Are Fish Sticks Healthy for Cats?

Not in the slightest. Deep-fried foods are rarely healthy before we even get into the dietary specifics of why these aren’t good for cats.

For starters, the breading is what makes fish sticks…well…fish sticks. But unfortunately, breading is all carbohydrates, and there’s very little nutritional value to breading in fried items.

Since cats are all about protein, they have very few carbohydrates and other “fast” energy sources. So, what little nutrition they could derive from the breading, they don’t get.

Additionally, fish sticks are loaded with spices that make them more palatable for humans. Unfortunately, these spices are, at best, neutral to cats who may not even like the taste and, at worst, toxic for them.

Overall, it’s better safe than sorry. Please don’t feed your cat fish sticks, no matter how hard they beg and look cute. If your cat is dead-set on eating your fish sticks, you might want to consider making “fish sticks for cats” that will be devoid of the harmful ingredients that your cat can’t have.

Fried fish sticks in a black pan
Image Credit: planet_fox, Pixabay

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Fish Sticks for Cats

Fortunately, when making fish sticks, there is an alternative to deep-frying that makes the options a little safer for cats: baking. While the breading won’t achieve the same crunch that you get from deep-frying, they aren’t made for humans, to begin with. So, your opinion on that doesn’t matter!

Fish sticks for cats can be made out of just about any canned fish. You’ll want to make sure the canned fish you buy is preserved in water and has no added sodium. Even if you’re only feeding your cat one of these little fish sticks each day, the amount of sodium that is added to some canned fish can be dangerous for them!

You’ll also want to avoid adding any spices to the mix. While it might be offensive to human taste to eat food with no seasonings, cats don’t have the same palate and don’t need seasoning for food to taste good.

Canned tuna flakes

Homemade Fish Sticks for Cats

Here's a quick start guide to making fish sticks for cats.
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  • 1 canned fish tuna or salmon
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of water


  • Preheat the oven at 180ºC (356ºF). Using baking paper on your baking sheet is recommended but not necessary.
  • Combine the fish, flour, water, and egg into a bowl. Knead the mixture until it becomes doughy in con
  • Roll the dough out on the counter using a rolling pin or another rolling device. Sprinkle flour on the surface you're using to roll the dough to prevent it from sticking.
  • Cut the dough into strips. Roll them into cylinders if you want them to take more of a "fish finger" shape.
  • Bake for 15–20 minutes.


Cooking for your cat is fun to include your cat at mealtime. Making fish sticks for your curious cat is an easy and fun task you can do with your whole family.

It’s also a great way to keep your cats away from your food. If they have their own fish sticks, there’s no need for them to go after yours, after all!

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Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to cook for your cat or just making sure they haven’t ingested anything toxic, knowing what your cat can and can’t eat is often a huge weight off the shoulders of pet parents everywhere. Luckily, fish sticks rarely contain anything toxic for cats.

Still, you should keep an eye on your cat until you’re sure they aren’t having an adverse reaction to something in the fish sticks. Even if the stuff in the fish sticks isn’t immediately dangerous to them, your cat could have a negative reaction to something in the batter or seasonings.

If you think your cat has ingested something that may be toxic, or you believe they are having an adverse reaction to something they’ve eaten, your best bet is to contact a veterinarian. A veterinarian will be able to guide you through your cat’s care and ensure that no harm comes to them from the food they’ve been snacking on!

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