The fact that cats love tuna is simply indisputable. How many times have you opened a can of tuna in your kitty’s purlieu, and she came to you running at lightning speed? Well, it only shows that cats love eating canned tuna and will even take on tuna juice. Fish is certainly a great source of various nutrients, particularly protein. Therefore, most people will feel compelled to feed their cat’s canned tuna, maybe as a substitute for commercial food or an occasional treat.
But with extensive research and scientific investigations, people are more aware of the special nutritional requirements of the cats. This now begs the question, is tuna truly bad for cats? Is it safe for our cats to eat food meant for human consumption, such as canned tuna? On that note, we will take an in-depth look at the safety of canned tuna for your cat and answer all the questions lingering in your mind.
Can my cat eat tuna?
Cats are very attracted to tuna, and that’s for a good reason. They like the alluring smell of fish and its robust flavor. Verily, most cat owners use tuna as a way of giving their pets medicine. With that said, cats can eat tuna but only in moderation. Do not feed your kitty canned tuna as a substitute to its usual cat food. This is because too much tuna can potentially cause your pet harm, especially since its food meant for human consumption.
It’s alright to feed your cat tuna only under certain circumstances, like when giving medication or as a treat. Furthermore, tuna is not listed as toxic food for cats. It actually contains some nutrients such as the omega-3 fatty acids that make it a healthy treat for the majority of cats. That said, frequently feeding your cat canned tuna can cause health problems. If your cat is on an appropriate diet, there is actually no need for her to eat tuna, even as a treat. In fact, it may be best to avoid it altogether.
Is tuna bad for cats?
There is a good reason why canned tuna is not highly recommended for cats. You might wonder why considering all the nutritional benefits associated with this fish. It’s rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc, and potassium as well as B-vitamins. But a small serving of tuna may not do any harm to your beloved cat. But there are also instances when this fish that cats love so much is harmful. Some cats are allergic to fish or simply sensitive, and hence you should always consult your vet before feeding them tuna.
Too much tuna is definitely harmful to your cat. Although it’s fine to feed it to your cat in small quantities, there are still other ways to offer treats and the fish’s nutritional benefits. These are the health concerns that may arise from your cat regularly eating tuna.
Tuna is not nutritionally balanced.
Cats have specific nutritional requirements. There are critical nutrients that a cat needs in order to remain healthy. Unfortunately, tuna alone will not provide these nutrients. Commercial cat foods usually contain added ingredients such as vitamins, amino acids, and minerals to make the food nutritionally balanced and complete for the cats. This means that the commercial cat food has all the needed essential nutrients in the right balance and the kitty’s specific life-stage.
The high concentration of unsaturated fats
Tuna is rich in unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are actually healthy for humans, but when it comes to cats, it’s a different story. Suppose your cat is consuming copious amounts of unsaturated fat. In that case, even when it’s the good type of fat, they are at high risk of health conditions such as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or steatitis (inflammation of the fatty tissue).
High in mercury
Another issue is that tuna tends to contain high quantities of mercury. This fish is high up on the food chain, and for that reason, it has high amounts of mercury. Feeding your cat too much tuna puts it at potential risk of mercury poisoning. Even though this is rare, there is a chance of mercury build-up in the pet’s body, ultimately resulting in mercury poisoning. Keep an eye for signs such as loss of balance, difficulty with walking, and incoordination. Particularly avoid the much larger species of canned tuna like Albacore and Yellowfin because they contain more mercury compared to the smaller species.
Some cats have food allergies
Some cats are simply sensitive and allergic to a number of foods, including tuna. Fish such as tuna is an allergen for cats. For starters, talk to your vet first before sharing tuna with your cat. If the vet gives the green light, start with giving small amounts while checking for allergic reactions like diarrhea, vomiting, hair loss, swelling, itching, and red bumps. If you notice any symptoms indicating an allergic reaction, call your vet immediately for examination and treatment.
For some cats, tuna is quite a tasty food that they become addicted to it. Offering tuna to your cat regularly as a treat or meal increases the chances of dependency on the food. It may get to a point where the cat only wants to be fed with tuna or food that has tuna flavors. Keep in mind; tuna lacks many of the nutrients your cat needs to stay healthy. This can lead to nutrient deficiency issues.
Your furry friend is also prone to excessive weight gain, especially when consuming many calories daily. Canned tuna is human food, and hence its caloric content exceeds the requirement for cats. A cat that eats tuna regularly can significantly gain weight due to the many calories in the diet. Obesity in cats is a contributing factor to other health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
Tuna should never be a substantial part of your cat’s diet. Sometimes, even when given as a treat, it can cause health issues. Furthermore, canned tuna contains additives such as salt or sodium that can equally be harmful to your feline companion. If you must feed them tuna, do it in moderation and talk to the vet first.