Is Tuna Bad for Cats? 

foods cats can eatPhoto by Ignacio Velez on Unsplash

It is common knowledge that cats love fish. Fish are often the portrayed meal of cats. However, media portrayal of real-life scenarios can not always be counted on. You, as a cat owner, might be basing your cat’s diet from what you have gleaned from the media. And that is not always safe. If you are feeding your cat tuna regularly, you should ask yourself, “Is tuna bad for cats?”

It is seen in many cartoons, it could even be portrayed as a stereotype, a cat eating tuna. The tuna may be canned, freshly cooked, or raw, but it is never safe from the hungry feline.

You may have assumed that tuna is good for your cat. Hate to break it to you, but assumptions are dangerous things, because, believe it or not tuna is not good for cats!

Tuna… NOT GOOD for Cats?

That might be shocking to you, but that does not make it any less true. It’s true that tuna is ok for cats, but it is not advisable as a regular meal.

Tuna as a regular meal cannot possibly supply every nutrient a cat needs to consume daily. And if your cat is still a growing kitty, she is highly to suffer malnutrition.

Just like humans do, cats need a well rounded diet. A diet that can supply as much nutrition as possible. And that means a varied diet, with occasional healthy or sumptuous treats.

Canned Tuna? Can cats eat tuna in oil?

Canned tuna has a considerably high concentration of mercury. Mercury poisoning in cats is a very serious issue. Therefore, is tuna bad for cats? If made a regular meal, yes! And if it is canned tuna, a bigger, more resounding YES!

Unless you have been living under a rock since the Dark Ages, you should already be well aware that mercury is poison. Though not immediately detectable, your cat may endure a form of mercury poisoning. Some symptoms may be:

  • Anorexia
  • Stomatitis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shock
  • Dyspnea
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Blindness
  • Ataxia
  • Anuria
  • Polydypsia
  • Hemeturia or melena
  • Incoordination
  • Tremors
  • Hypermetria
  • Nystagmus
  • Convulsions
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Beware the Sodium Content

Another concern must be the sodium content of processed tuna. If the tuna is prepared for human consumption, more likely than not it contains too much salt that should not be fed to cats.

Salt in a cat’s diet may cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal fluid accumulation in the body
  • Seizures
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Coma
  • Lethargy
  • Risk of kidney failure
  • Death

One look at that list should easily convince true cat owners NEVER feed their cats canned tuna.

How About Raw Tuna?

While some may argue that raw tuna is healthy for cats, since that is natural for them, it is also not so safe.

Dr. Werber, the chief veterinarian and president of the VCA Century Veterinary Group in Los Angeles, says that “A cat eating raw food is the same as humans eating raw food – there can be risks.”

Raw tuna are usually processed when packaged. There are still unnatural ingredients added to it. Unless your raw tuna came directly from a clean pond, or fresh from a wet market, it is strongly advised that you cook your tuna before feeding it to a grateful kitty.

However, it should be mentioned that when cooking tuna for your cat, less is more when it comes to seasoning. The purpose of cooking is to kill bacteria present on the fish, not to make it more palatable for you cat.

Tuna as Treats

While making tuna the staple diet for your is not healthy, it could be given as an occasional treat. Your cat will surely appreciate it and will love you all the more for it.

However, when preparing tuna, the safest way to do it is to make sure it is not processed. For extra measures, sear it a bit to kill the bacteria that may have grown on it.

Also, as a second option, you can buy manufactured wet cat food that contains tuna. This way, your cat gets to enjoy tuna along with other sources of nutrients. Not too much though so as to avoid cat tuna addiction.

Occasional treat can be beneficial

Looking at as an occasional treat is for the benefit of the cat. Tuna is rich in many nutrients necessary for growth and to maintain good health. It is rich in potassium, magnesium, vitamins B6, B12 and C, manganese. These nutrients maintain the immune system of cats.

Tuna also has nutrients which help reduce blood pressure and eliminate toxins from their bodies. It is also rich in antioxidants and anti inflammatory agents which play a part in preventing cancer.

Most of all, tuna is rich in protein and amino acids vital for growth and bone strength.

Yin and Yang of Tuna

Though rich in many beneficial nutrients, fresh unprocessed tuna does not have everything a cat needs to truly thrive. It is still wiser to provide your cat a more diverse and well-rounded diet.

As in all things should be, feeding your cat tuna should be in moderation and in balance. But if the tuna is canned or heavily processed, it is wiser to utterly avoid it.

Conclusion: Is tuna bad for cats?

“Is tuna bad for cats?” when done in unreasonable portions  and frequency?

Make sure that it is just a treat.Over time, your cat will deeply appreciate these treats because she does not get to enjoy it everyday. 

If you make sure you feed your cat healthy balanced meals and with delectable tuna every once in a while, it will be a sure way to make sure that your cat grows healthy while not necessarily missing out on the wonderful taste of tuna.

Every time her nostrils detect delicious tuna, she will appreciate you more and might even give you a satisfying little purr.

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