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April 2024

Always Limit Canned Tuna When Giving it to Cats

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

cattunaSometimes I have to work to coax my 17 1/2 year old cat Molly to eat. She has some medical problems so I have to be observant all the time. A couple a days ago, she vomited and didn’t want to eat. This worries me because she had kidney and thyroid disease. Her recent visit to the vet went very well but you never know with an older cat. I tried to coax her with a few tablespoons of tuna fish. This did the trick. She did eat the tuna and now is slowly back to eating her regular food. Now don’t get me wrong. Tuna is a double edged sword. A small amount as a treat can be ok but two much can cause a cat serious health problems. explains why here!

Cats love seafood, and most cats are especially fond of canned tuna and tuna juice. While tuna is fine for cats in moderation or as a treat, too much canned tuna can be bad for your cat. Fish is a great source of protein, but there are a few reasons why a steady diet of human-grade canned tuna can cause health problems for your cat.

Tuna alone is not nutritionally complete, and many cats are allergic to fish. Most fish contain trace amounts of mercury, and the higher up on the food chain a fish is, the more mercury is accumulated in the fish. Tuna is relatively high on the food chain and therefore contains higher amounts of mercury than other fish, leading to an increased risk of mercury poisoning.

Tuna is also high in unsaturated fats. While it is healthy for humans to choose unsaturated fats in their diet, too much can be bad for cats. Consuming too much tuna can cause your cat to develop a Vitamin E deficiency, leading to an inflammation of the fatty tissue, a condition known as steatitis (“yellow fat disease”). Cats that consume large amounts of red tuna in particular are more prone to this painful condition.

Commercial canned “tuna” cat foods are not just straight tuna, but have other added ingredients, vitamins and minerals as well as the amino acid taurine, which is essential to cats. Just make sure to feed your cat a high-quality pet food formulated for cats, and if you choose to feed your cat human-grade canned tuna, limit it to an occasional treat.

Remember, pets are family!

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