The benefits of seafood for cats: why quality matters

Here’s why it’s important to avoid low-quality seafood diets when shopping for your cat, and what to look for in a brand.

Many people wonder whether they should feed their cat a seafood-based diet – and if so what kind of seafood is healthiest for them to eat? Unfortunately, many people feed their cats seafood but neglect to make sure it is of the highest quality. Low-quality seafood may contain preservatives (ethoxyquin), toxins (mercury) and may be cooked at high temperatures which depletes the benefits of the seafood itself. In addition, the lower quality often means the cuts of meat are coming from heads, tails and intestines, which don’t contain as many dietary benefits.

How to determine quality

So how do you know if a seafood-based cat food is low-quality? There are some key indicators to watch out for. First, if the label advertises “meat” but does not specify what kind of meat, this is a red flag as there is no guarantee that you’re getting actual seafood. “When buying low-quality seafood, there’s always a risk the seafood product may contain other meat proteins such as chicken fat, which can be detrimental to the health of your cat,” says Sierra Jones-Vassos, Communications Coordinator for St. Jeans Cannery. Be sure to look for brands that label their foods specifically as fish based.

Another thing to check is whether meat is listed as the first ingredient. If it’s not, skip it! But don’t stop there. “When choosing a high-quality seafood, owners should also make sure the species of the fish is listed as well as the country of origin of the fish and other ingredients,” says Sierra. “And keep in mind that if it’s low-quality, the nutritional label won’t be AAFCO compliant, won’t include taurine, and won’t properly separate ingredients.”

Why is quality so important?

The difference between low-quality and high-quality seafood is huge when it comes to nutritional benefits. In short, the better the quality, the healthier it will be for your cat. “Seafood improves the state of the brain,” says Shayla Cusworth, Business Development Manager for Healthy Shores. “It contains omega-3 fatty acids, and sufficient consumption of this nutrient contributes to proper brain development. In addition, high-quality seafood:

  • promotes heart health
  • increases calcium and phosphorus to support bone growth in kittens and milk production in their mothers
  • helps the skin retain moisture promoting a healthy coat
  • contains selenium, a powerful antioxidant that has a positive effect on immune system function
  • contains vitamins D, B and A

If you feed your cat a seafood-based diet, be sure to assess the label to ensure it’s high-quality. After all, she deserves nothing but the best!

Visit for more information on high-quality seafood for cats.


Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.