Cats and fish go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s been a known tradition in the pet world that cats love to eat fish. If you are a lover of cats and betta fish then you may actually have both as pets in the same home. The question remains, will your cat eat your betta fish? The answer to this question is yes. It is possible for your cat to eat or kill your betta fish.
Cats are attracted to small, fast moving rodents or animals. This makes a fish in a tank the perfect culprit for a quick snack. This is especially true if you have a small open fish tank that is easily accessible. If you have fish and cats in the same household, then there are some precautions you will need to take to ensure that both your pets can live without issues.
How Can I Protect My Fish from My Cat?
There are a few precautions that you need to take if you plan on having pet fish living alongside a cat or cats. Not all cats will make the effort to try and kill or eat your beta fish, but it is always a good idea to do what you can to keep your fish safe. It is possible for cats and fish to live together in harmony.
Here are a few of the best precautionary measures to take if you have fish and cats in your home:
- The first thing you need to consider is making sure the tank is covered. Having a cover over your fish’s tank will help protect your fish from being scooped out by your cat.
- Make sure you have a heavy and sturdy fish tank. Do not use a small, lightweight fish tank because it can easily be tipped or knocked over. The last thing you need to see when you walk into your home is the shattered remains and soaked floor from your cat knocking the fish tank off a counter or tale.
- Keep your fish tank in an area that is not easily accessed by your cat. The best place is in a room where you can keep your cats out with a door. If your fish tank is in an easily accessed area, like a living room, then it would be best to put your fish tank somewhere that doesn’t have room for your cat to jump on.
Are Betta Fish Poisonous?
If you are unfortunate enough to be wondering the answer to this question, then your cat may have already gotten to your betta fish. In the case that your cat does eat your betta fish, then it is good to know whether or not the fish is poisonous.
Although betta fish may appear exotic that can suggest some form of defensive toxicity, the answer is no. Their main defense is actually by hiding motionless and blending into their environment until they have a chance to dart away from their assailants. Betta fish also do not have any form of naturally occurring toxins in their body which means they can be ingested without worry of being poisoned.
It still isn’t advised to ingest this type of fish. Parasites or bacteria from the fishes surrounding environment may cause illness if ingested. If your cat manages to eat a betta fish, then the best thing to do is monitor your cat for any signs of being sick. Look out for signs like vomiting, excess saliva in your cat’s mouth, and anything else out of the ordinary. If you suspect your cat may be sick, then it would be best to take them to your local vet for a full checkup.
Why Are Cats Attracted to Fish?
Cats have been opportunistic feeders for thousands of years. Not only do they pounce at the opportunity of a delicious meal, but they are also scavengers. They look for any leftover food that they can make a quick snack out of. This is basically part of natural-selection or what we also call co-evolution.
Cats are obligatory carnivores which means that most of their diet and nutrition should be comprised of meat. Cats actually do not need a lot of carbs in their diet for normal bodily function. Small amounts of vegetables. grains, and fruits are acceptable in their daily diets as long as the primary source of nutrition comes from animal proteins. So where do fish come into play?
Cats need a good amount of taurine which is found in the muscles, heart, and liver of animals. Taurine is an essential amino acid that comes from protein sources. Fish also happen to contain a very high amount of taurine.
This makes fish an excellent food for cats which is also why they are highly attracted to them. For more information about cats and fish you can check out this article.
All in all, cats will eat your betta fish if you are negligent in the location and tank used for your fish. Be sure to keep your fish tank covered and out of sight of your cat. Preferably in a room with closed doors that your cat doesn’t have access to. If it is not possible to keep your fish tank out of sight, then you need to make sure you are using a tank that is not easily tipped over or moved. Also don’t forget to place your fish tank in a very hard to reach area. Placing a fish tank on an end table next to a couch probably wouldn’t be the best idea.
If your cat happens to ingest a betta fish then you will need to monitor your cat for the next hours to come. Look for signs of an upset stomach. Nausea (excessive saliva in your cat’s mouth), vomiting, and an overall change in behavior can signify that your cat may be having an upset stomach. In the case that you think your cat may be sick, the best solution is to take your cat to your local vet where they can further inspect your cat.