Have you ever wondered why your feline friend goes crazy at the mere smell of fish? This article aims to unveil the aquatic attraction that seems to exist between cats and fish. We’ll dive into the historical connection, the nutritional benefits, and even the irony of cats loving fish but hating water.

The Historical Connection: Cats and Fish

Cats were first domesticated around 10,000 years ago in the Middle East. But it was the Egyptians who might have introduced fish into their diet. Living by the Nile, Egyptians used fish to lure cats into their homes to control rodents, thus forming an early bond between cats and fish.

The Nutritional Attraction: Why Cats Can’t Resist Fish

Fish is a high-quality source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, essential for a cat’s health. Cats have an extraordinary sense of smell, 14 times better than humans, making the smell of fish irresistible to them.

The Irony: Cats Love Fish but Hate Water

While cats love the smell and taste of fish, they generally dislike water. This aversion is likely a trait passed down from their desert-dwelling ancestors. However, some breeds like the Bengal and Maine Coon are exceptions and love water.

Feeding Fish to Your Feline: A Guide

If you’re considering adding fish to your cat’s diet, opt for low-mercury species like salmon or cod. Always consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes.

The Flip Side: When Cats Can’t Have Fish

Not all cats can enjoy fish; some may even be allergic. Symptoms of fish allergies include vomiting and skin irritations. Always be cautious and consult your vet if you notice any adverse reactions.

FAQs: What People Ask Too

  • Why do cats like the smell of fish?
    • Cats have a heightened sense of smell, making fish aromas particularly appealing.
  • Can all cats eat fish?
    • Most can, but some may be allergic or sensitive to fish.
  • Is it safe to feed canned tuna to cats?
    • Canned tuna lacks essential nutrients and is not recommended as a regular part of a cat’s diet.


Cats and fish have a complex relationship that spans history, nutrition, and even irony. While most cats love fish, it’s essential to feed them responsibly and be aware of any potential health risks.

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