Why are cats so crazy for fish?

This may just be my personal experience talking, but all the cats I’ve encountered love eating fish. This puzzles me, since cats also seem to hate water even more than they love fish. Is there any explanation for this?

They’re tasty?

A. Not all cats hate water.
B. Not all fish are found in water (there’s lots on the pier when fishermen come home and start cleaning)
C. Not all cats love fish.

Why does my cat like Teriyaki Beef Jerky? Or Campbell’s tomato soup? Cats are omnivores and will eat anything that smells yummy to them. My rescue cat has a wider appetite than the one raised from a kitten, but I think that’s because she had to learn over two years of alley scrounging that there are lots of edible things out there. The other cat thinks “food” is only that round hard kibble we put in his dish.

Domestic cats originate from (IIRC) desert and savannah environments in Africa; these environments contain rivers that periodically dry up, stranding large numbers of fish in pools, many of which eventually dry out completely, leaving the fish high, dry and stinking. Other animals eat them; including cats.

Nothing constructive to add here.

My cat is crazy for Kraft Dinner. He’s also just crazy in general.

[Ralph Wiggum]My cat’s breath smells like cat food.[/Ralph Wiggum]

I had a cat who was indifferent to fish. Salmon, tuna…it didn’t matter. He’d lick the juices off and then go sniffing for some real food.

Real tuna and salmon, or canned processed stuff?

Likewise, here I have 2 cats who turn up their noses at meats, fish, or dairy of any type, but will fight one another over soybeans, asparagus, and broccoli. All I can say is I’m glad they can’t talk or they’d probably lecture me for eating meat.

Real tuna and salmon. But he loved the canned stuff, so much so that I think they must add crack to it.

Now that I think about it, he didn’t like any real meat. My mother would go to the trouble of boiling the turkey gizzards for him on Thanksgiving, and he would flat-out ignore them.

But he did like brocolli.

Dennis ate at the neighbor’s one Thanksgiving.
Then he came home and ate at my house.
When I found him lying in a planter, swollen up, still and his eyes closed, I thought he was dead.
He opened one eye, looked at me, and said, “I will never eat again.”


This reminds me of our (Mr. Kiminy and me) first Christmas dinner with our late cat. My family traditionally does a Chinese Hot Pot for Christmas dinner (a pot of simmering water, with a variety of meat chunks, shrimp, veggies, etc. and sauces to dip the cooked foods in). We had chicken, shrimp, and two or three kinds of veggies, and camped out in front of the TV with an electric wok full of chicken broth and some fondue forks. As we cooked and ate, we both slipped pieces of chicken and shrimp to the cat. By the time dinner was over, she was SO full her tummy was bulging, and she refused to move the rest of the evening.

Back on topic…

Our late cat LOVED tuna, but she was pretty much a die-hard carnivore and would eat any kind of meat or seafood we gave her. She would also attempt to kill for canteloupe, which she seemed to like at least as much as tuna.

Our two current cats are much more finicky. One of them does enjoy an occasional taste of People meat, but is generally quite content with cat food and occasional cat treats. The other won’t touch People food to save her life. BOTH of them come running for tuna, though–even when they are deep in the midst of an afternoon siesta when I open a can to make lunch, they are both in the kitchen slobbering at my feet by the time the lid is off and the tuna is drained. Neither of them likes any other kind of seafood–even for cat food.

Cats and fish…

Ugh, i have a prototype for such a great dirty joke but i can’t find the right angle…

(my bold) Cat’s are true carnivores. They don’t need any food other than meat. That doesn’t mean they will only eat meat. Their likes and dislikes in food are as unfathomable as everything else they do, but they are carnivores, not omnivores.

I have three cats, and known of them like fish or meat, really. If I give them canned catfood they lap up the sauce and leave the meat. If I give them canned tuna or tuna juice, they turn up their noses and walk away. I boiled chicken and rice the other night for the dogs and offered some to the cats adn they wouldn’t come close. They like their kibble. I wish they just sold the canned catfood gravy, so I could give it to them as a treat.

Sabrina did eat a moth a few days ago. And one of them brought a baby mouse in the house last week and dropped it on the floor. It wasn’t at all torn up, so I called the dogs off it and tried to save it, but it was dead the following morning.


lots & lots of cats in my lifetime. Every single one loved fish (ANY fish), the smell of fish, and even went nuts trying to get tropical fish out of the aquarium. All of them did this. I always thought all cats loved fish.

However: My favorite kitty of all time, a Chartreux named Napoleon, also went completely out of his mind for watermelon. I mean OUT-OF-HIS- F***ing-MIND!!:eek:
We’d cut a melon open in the kitchen and he’d run around the house, bouncing off walls, jumping up on furniture, curtains, tables, meowing louder than hell, batting & nipping at your foot (ALL things he would never do otherwise, not even close) until you gave him some. Give him a HUGE piece and he’d chomp it down and start the KRAZY shit again until you gave him more. He’s been dead for a couple of years now, and our friends STILL reminisce about the time they saw him go bonkers over watermelon.
Someone please explain that!:confused:

My present cat has a fondness for french fries (and she’s vicious when it comes to people food, I’m surprised I haven’t lost any fingers yet).

[emphasis added]

That’d be your problem, right there sir.

I’ve seen films of Panthers catching fish from rivers.

… resonant sensory genetics. Olfactory.

I wonder what they smell?

If I recall correctly, the idea that cats love fish first came about during WWII, when fish products were marketed as cat food because meat was rationed.

However, as a cat owner myself, I can testify that felines definitely have a fondness for fish. Sigh…even our pets are susceptible to marketing gimmicks now…