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Are Anchovies (Ikan Bilis) Safe for Cats?

by chuishia chan on Sep 21, 2021

Are Anchovies (Ikan Bilis) Safe for Cats?

Have you ever wondered if it is safe to feed your feline pets anchovies/ikan bilis? Just like sardines and other small fish like krill, anchovies are actually safe to be consumed.  

However, do make sure that you do not feed your cat raw anchovies and salt-cured anchovies as they are both harmful to your cats’ health.

So, what kind of anchovies can be safely consumed by your feline friend? Well, cats can eat anchovies that are dried, fresh or canned. It can be given to your cats as a treat as they come with essential vitamins and nutrients and as well as other health benefits.


Here are FOUR reasons to feed your cat(s) anchovies:

  1. Packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Anchovies have Omega 3 fatty acids which brings numerous benefits for your cat. It helps to support healthy fur and skin, prevents arthritis as well as protects their heart. You may think anchovies are just a snack because they are small, but they support your cat’s overall health.

  1. Anchovies have Vitamin D and B-12

Anchovies have Vitamin D and B-12 that are essential for cats as it helps to promote a healthy digestive system, brain function and immune system. Do you also know that cats do not get Vitamin D from the sun unlike us humans? So yes, they would need to rely on food for their Vitamin D intake.

  1. Anchovies are Easy to Portion for Your Cat

Sometimes we may not know how much of something to give our cats. Anchovies are easy as you can give your cat a fish or two as a treat. This helps as you wouldn’t need to worry if you’re overfeeding your feline friend.

  1. Anchovies are An Alternative to Cat Treats

If your cat does not enjoy the cat treats you bought, try switching to anchovies. Your cat may not want to eat the anchovies but will be rest assured that you’re giving your cat a better and healthier option as compared to a processed treat.

Types of Anchovies to Feed Your Cats With

As mentioned earlier, you should not feed your cats raw or salt-cured anchovies. However, anchovies that are dried, canned or cooked are safe for your cats to consume.

  1. Dried Anchovies

It is safe for your cats to consume dried anchovies if you can’t find fresh anchovies. Do not worry as dried anchovies do not change the integrity of this snack for your cats. Anchovies can either be dried or freeze-dried. It will give the fish more of a crunch that could be something your cat would prefer. At the same time, dried anchovies are not so pungent as compared to canned anchovies.


And since the anchovies are dried, your cat can easily break it apart which helps to remove any potential choking hazard that may come from fresh or canned anchovies.


Meanwhile, dried anchovies are good for your cats as they are cooked and are not packed in unhealthy ingredients such as salt and oil.


And if you want to dry your own anchovies or purchase from a store, do make sure that they do not have any seasoning. Keep it plain as it will be the best choice for your feline.


At the same time, dried anchovies have a longer shelf life as compared to fresh ones.


  1. Canned Anchovies

Canned anchovies are easily found at most grocery stores, and yes, it is safe for your cats to consume. However, if you’re going to feed them canned anchovies, you’d need to limit the amount that you feed your cat(s). This is because canned anchovies are packed in oil and salt which aren’t healthy for your cats. That said, small amounts of oily fat and salt would not harm your cat, but they should not become a significant part of a cat’s diet.


And if you do decide to treat your cat with canned anchovies, like any treats, do observe your cat(s) when they eat as they may choke on it. However, the chance of a cat choking on an anchovy is rather low, but it is always better to be prepared.


  1. Fresh Anchovies

If you’re adventurous to look for fresh anchovies for your cats, you should also know how to cook it properly so that your cat(s) can eat it safely. Anchovies are easy to cook, and they do not take too long to prepare. To properly cook anchovies and also to prevent them from sticking to your frying pan, you’d just need a little bit of oil (small amounts are safe for your cats). Do ensure that the anchovies are thoroughly cooked and let them cool down before feeding them to your cats.


Do remember to avoid using butter, salt and other seasonings when you’re preparing anchovies for your cats.


Having said that, if you are thinking of treating your cats to some anchovies but are unsure on how to cook the anchovies properly for for your feline pets, you do not have to look any further as we have our very own anchovies treat; Ikan Bilis. Barkery Oven’s Ikan Bilis are freshly caught from the waters of Kuala Selangor that are then dried to a crispy crunchy texture that your cats would love to munch on.

Click here if you’d like to purchase our Ikan Bilis to treat your cats to some wholesome and hearty dried anchovies.