Can Cats & Dogs Eat Kamaboko Japanese & Korean Fish Cakes?
Kamaboko, the Japanese fish cakes you often have with your ramen, or the Korean variants are delicious.
But what happens if your pet gets a hold of one?!?
You don’t want to feed fish cakes to your pets and I’ll tell you what will happen in this article.
Kamaboko fish cakes are not suitable for cats and dogs and because of their high sodium content, they could lead to immediate problems. Other ingredients like sugar could lead to problems down the line, but only if they eat them more often.
In this post we'll cover:
What’s in kamaboko?
Kamaboko is fish cakes made from fillets that are pounded into a thick paste and then molded into round shapes to put into your soup or other dishes.
It’s made from steamed, poached, or grilled white fish so it doesn’t contain any raw fish.
It does however contain a lot of salt, sugar, egg whites, fish sauce and sake so people should eat kamaboko in moderation as well.
But let’s look at if your pet can eat it.
Can cats eat kamaboko fish cakes?
White fish is excellent for cats when it’s grilled, steamed or boiled as long as it doesn’t have any added salt to it, because too much sodium isn’t good for your cat.
When they eat too much sodium, they can get hypernatremia (salt poisoning), which is a serious ailment and can even be fatal.
If your cat suffers from this, it usually starts as vomiting and will in most cases also cause diarrhea and a loss of appetite.
So because kamaboko contains a lot of salt, your cat shouldn’t be eating it.
The sugar in kamaboko is only there in small amounts, so that shouldn’t be a problem here. Cats can eat a little bit of sugar, though it’s best to avoid it.
The egg whites shouldn’t be a problem either because they have been cooked. The same goes for the sake. Cats can in no way safely drink alcohol, but the alcohol from the sake has already evaporated in the cooking process.
The fish sauce in kamaboko also contains large amount of sodium so this adds to the problems with salt when your cat ate one.
Out of all of these ingredients, sodium is the real killer here. So you should not feed your cat kamaboko, not even a little on a regular basis.
What can I do if my cat ate a fish cake?
Kamaboko fish cakes contain a lot of sodium, so if your cat ate one, you have to ensure they have access to enough water and maybe nudge the cat towards drinking a lot.
Also, watch out for the signs of salt poisoning to make sure it isn’t worse than it is, and consult a vet if needed.
If your cat starts vomiting and also gets diarrhea, it might be time to see if your vet can administer extra fluids.
Can dogs eat kamaboko fish cakes?
Even though dogs tend to love fish cakes, it’s not safe for them to eat it. I know some people like to give it to their dogs occasionally, like for a special celebration or only on weekends, but you should not feed them to your dog at all.
White fish are great for dogs and many dog food brands contain white fish to supplement the meat choices.
It’s the sodium in the fish cakes that your dog can’t eat. Since there is a lot of sodium in the kamaboko, plus even more in the fish sauce used, it isn’t a great addition to your dog’s diet.
Salt poisoning can cause dehydration in your dog, and this can even spread to the brain. Signs of severe dehydration are lethargy and even confusion.
Your dog can also experience muscle cramps and stiffness from the large amounts of sodium in their system.
The sugar in the kamaboko fish cakes isn’t all that bad for them if they ate one, but eating foods that contain added sugars, like these, could lead to weight gain if eaten on a regular basis.
The egg whites are fine, they are cooked, and a little should not be an issue, and although a dog’s liver can’t process any alcohol, the alcohol from the sake in kamaboko has already evaporated.
What should I do when my dog ate a kamaboko fish cake?
Dogs usually are fine when eating one piece of kamaboko. The slices in your ramen are probably pretty thin, so that shouldn’t be enough salt to cause serious immediate problems with your dog.
Still watch out for signs though, and if your dog ate more than just a little piece, definitely keep a close watch on him.
The sodium in fish cakes could lead to dehydration, so make sure your dog has a large bowl of water he can access and perhaps try and make them drink as much as possible.
If they start showing signs of salt poisoning, being confused or overly tired with a loss of appetite, try calling a vet and see if anything else should be done to avoid severe dehydration.
Also read: kamaboko vs narutomaki, what are they?
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.