Can Cats Eat Tuna? What You Should Know Before Cracking Open a Can

Cat licks his lips with tuna fish graphic background

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Our feline friends the love the fish! However, with so many fish in the sea, you may be wondering which is a particularly favorite favorite – tuna. This leads us to the question: Can cats eat tuna?

If you’ve opened a can of tuna, you’ll likely hear little paws creak your way right after that. It smells – and it tastes! Most cats are irresistible. But while your furry friend is waving your hand for the delicious fish, should you share it?

While tuna is not toxic to cats, which makes it safe to eat, it is not recommended as a staple in your cat’s daily diet.

Is tuna good or bad for cats?

Tuna is a low-calorie, high-protein food that is packed with nutrients like vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. These foods are known to promote healthy blood, nerve cells, cardiovascular health, and strengthen bones and muscles, respectively.

But is this delicious, salty fish as nutritious for cats as it is for us? Or is tuna harmful to cats?

Tuna undoubtedly has its nutritional benefits. But if it is fed a lot, it can lead to potential health problems for cats.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, fish is among the best foods that cats often have allergies. (In fact, it’s the first food mentioned!)

Signs of food allergy in cats include:

  • small crusty bumps

  • hair loss

  • redness

  • Itchy

  • vomiting

If your cat starts showing these signs after introducing tuna (or any other type of fish) into her diet, it is very likely that she has an allergy.

RelatedCan I Give My Cat Itchy Benadryl?

Another concern is mercury poisoning. Mercury is a toxic metal found in water, air, and soil. All fish contain mercury, but tuna contains higher levels compared to other types of fish. Both cats and humans can get mercury poisoning if they eat a lot of tuna over a long period of time.

Signs of mercury poisoning in cats include:

  • loss of coordination

  • unsteady gait

  • abnormal behavior

  • tremors or seizures

  • Involuntary movements of the body and eyes

  • Central nervous system depression

  • loss of sight

  • death

Noticeable: Before you start throwing away cans of tuna, it’s important to note that cases of mercury poisoning have – fortunately – decreased in recent years. (Whew!)

Finally, excessive intake of tuna may cause your cat to gain weight. Tuna is a relatively healthy food for us humans, but those calories carry a lot more weight for our four-legged friends—literally. And while kittens are absolutely adorable, the extra weight can lead to chronic inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

By following the 10 percent rule with snacks and treats for our cats, we can help keep our beloved cats at a healthy weight so they can live longer.

Can cats eat tuna sometimes?

On the one hand (or paw), tuna can pose health risks if they are fed often and often, while on the other hand, cats can Technically eat it because it is not toxic. Therefore, you may be wondering if you can – and should – feed your cat her absolutely favorite fish.

The good news?

says Debra Eldredge, DVM at Senior Tail Waggers and award-winning author of the book The veterinary guide to the cat owner’s home.

If your cat can’t get enough of tasty tuna, look for different types of tuna because they can contain different levels of nutrients — and mercury — depending on the type you’re getting, Eldredge explains.

“Straightening tuna is rich in unsaturated fats and doesn’t contain antioxidants, like vitamin E, to balance it out. It’s also unbalanced,” she says. “Tuna, especially the albacore variety, can be high in mercury. (This is why tuna isn’t recommended as a daily meal for people either.) Since it’s a protein food, there’s always the possibility of allergic reactions as well.”

Similar to other fish, such as salmon, it is advisable to cook tuna before serving it to your kitty to ensure safe feeding. in good health!

How Much Tuna Can I Feed My Cat?

Our cats have been eating tuna all day, every day if they can. But we know that as much as they get fancy, it’s in their best interest not to eat too much tuna. As the saying goes, “everything in moderation”.

“Putting some canned tuna juice in water occasionally in your cat’s water bowl may encourage drinking—which is always a good thing,” Eldredge says. “Tuna-flavored cat foods (make sure the label says balanced and complete) are popular with many cats.” . “The bottom line: Don’t look at tuna as a meal for your cat. Instead, it can be a rare treat or a flavor/ingredient in a balanced food.”

Related: How much should I really feed my cat?

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