Can your cats eat tuna? In particular, is it safe for them to indulge in some canned tuna? Here’s what you may want to know.
In general, tuna is something that our cats can eat. However it is important to make sure you are only giving them canned tuna that’s been in water. Anything else is too salty and fatty, which is very bad for their health. But it’s not just the water or liquid that the tuna is sitting in that can be problematic.
As Your Vet Online explains,
"While tuna isn’t on the toxic foods list for cats, it certainly cannot be recommended if you wish to feed your feline friend a balanced diet.This is because neither fresh nor canned tuna is nutritionally balanced and complete for cats and over time, deficiencies can develop.There are also potential issues with nutrient excesses."
If your cat is a picky eater and loves tuna, here’s what you need to know
So what do you need to know? Really you have to consider that tuna is actually high in phosphorus. This is important because while a healthy cat should be able to handle phosphorus in their diet, if your cat has an issue with kidney disease (sadly our senior kitty struggles with this) it will not be good for them. And considering that this is an issue, we wouldn’t even want to give this to a healthy cat.
Did you know that some tunas are actually high in mercury? And not only that but mercury can be toxic to cats. When you feed too much tuna to your cat it can lead to mercury poisoning. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound good. And it is definitely something we want to avoid.
If you have a picky eater and you know that they will eat tuna over other meats (our staff kitty is a big fan of fish and especially tuna), or you want to ensure that they have a balanced diet and they prefer tuna, here are some things to keep in mind. Make sure that raw or canned versions of this fish are not the main component of any diet for your cat. It can be used as a treat at times and if you need to hide medication that’s okay (some vets even recommended it to us when it came to hiding meds after surgery but only for a very short period of time). Beyond that, we do not recommend this fish as a main protein in your cat’s diet.
We definitely recommend that if you are going to give your cat tuna stick to very small amounts and only do it at most twice per week. And don’t forget to only get the type that in natural spring water. Oils and brine are way too salty and fatty for our cat’s diet.
Honestly, our cats should be eating land-based proteins. While variety may be the spice of life, it’s definitely important to opt for things that our cat should be eating versus spoiling them with things that can be potentially dangerous to their health. We have always believe in the idea of moderation, but that is especially true when the protein at hand can do more harm than good if you aren’t careful about how much is being served.