Can a housecat or feral housecat catch a wild fish? Like, can my kitty actually go down to the local stream and nab a cutthroat trout and devour him creekside?

If not…then why in the hell does my cat go nuts when I take the fish sticks out of the oven?

I dunno. I do know that we used to have a large fish tank that our cats liked to drink out of and sleep on top of (on the hood) but they never gave the fishes wherein the time of day.

Maybe you should check the ingredients of your fish sticks. Is catnip listed there?

Maybe they’re attacted to the smell of the hot grease.

I have witness a cat fishing out of a fish tank. She caught the fish and ate most of it.
I have heard of cats killing Karp kept in ponds outside and leaving only the heads.
I have seen my sister’s (long dead) cat fight and beat a blue claw crab. He knocked it silly by bouncing it off a few walls and flipped it over and finally delivered it to my sister.
I have never seen a cat fishing in a stream, but it seems quite possible.


I’ve lived with cats who love water. Doing dishes? In the sink they go. Taking a bath? In the tub they go. Leave the lid up on the toilet? In they go.

It’s not hard for me to believe there are cats who acclimate themselves to water and catch fish.

But just once, I want to see my cat swim out in the ocean, catch a tuna and haul it back to shore. Because according to my cat, tuna is the ancestral, sacred food of all cats.

It depends on the cat. Some have stronger hunting instincts than others. A large part of it also depends on how much preditor behavior they have learned and what their attention span is. I would be very surprised to see a persian cat fish, for example. But maybe mostly because a wet persian is a surprising sight all by itself.

However, the programing for tastey smells runs a lot deeper. And, if one wants to argue nurture over nature, your cat probably made the fish smell=tasty thought leap when exposed to kitty chow.

When I was in grade school, we called it “instinct.” Now, I think we call it “species specific behavior.” Some species just recognize some things as food.

There is also a more modern factor. In order to claim that a cat or dog food delivers Omega 3 proteins, some now offer fish flesh in the pet foods.

HarHar,** AskNott**. Cute. It is clear to me that Merlyn thinks fissssssshhhh is a tasty treat. Wheather from instinct or experience (in which case I need to watch the canteloupe crop!). But as agile as he was in his prime, I can’t see him yanking an eatin’-size fishy out of a brook given the tackle he was born with.

The OP specifically is asking: Can kitty observe a fish underwater, adjust for refraction, dip-claw-snatch a good-eatin’ fish out and nibble away happily as fishy flops around on the bank in a spastic attempt to regain its own nymph-feeding ground?

Well, as I said, I have seen cats take on and eat small fish & I have heard of them catching larger fish.
The Fishing Cat is only a bit larger than a domestic cat. They typically weigh between 13-26 lbs. They are excellent stream and marsh fishers. Despite this, they show almost no species specialization. Physically the domestic cat and fisher cat are close enough in abilities to expect than many feral kitties supplement their diets of bugs and rodents with small fish.

Jim {Who shares a love of felines with his daughter and has probably read too much about them}

When I had an aquarium it drove Gwen insane. Of course, she was about 10 years younger then, but she would pick out a fish and follow it the length of the aquarium, the shoot her paw around the end of the aquarium as if she expected the fish to swim right into her grasp. I always kept the aquarium covered so she didn’t practice her skills.

I don’t see why not. My Dad’s cat climbs tall pine trees, sneaks up on and catches squirrels, drags them to the back doorstep, and eats them (leaving behind squirrel heads and entrails as a gift for the Dadster).

If Gwen had caught a fish, she probably would have brought it to me for me to clean, filet and cook for her.