Dear Dr. Fox: Some time ago, I came home with some sushi, and my 6-year-old Siamese cat Suzi went crazy for it. I now give her treats of raw fish every day, and sometimes thawed fish fingers. Is that healthy for cats?
— K.M.W., Potomac, Md.
Dear K.M.W.: My answer is an emphatic no. Most fish — and some more than others, especially white fish and herring — contain enzymes called thiaminases. They destroy an essential B vitamin, namely thiamine. Cooking the fish destroys both the enzymes and much of the thiamine, dietary deficiencies of which can result in gastrointestinal, neurological and other health problems.
So a diet primarily of fish, cooked or raw, is not good for cats. After all, they are originally a desert-dwelling species.
To learn more about feline nutrition and the hazards of many manufactured cat foods, check the book which I co-authored with two other veterinarians, “Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Cat & Dog Food.”
Also, there are ethical reasons to reduce our consumption of seafoods. For more details, visit fishfeel.org.
Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxVet.com.
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