Tuna is often stereotyped as your pet cat’s staple food, and this is probably due to the cartoons we grew up watching. Almost every Tom and Jerry cartoon we grew up watching, Tom and his buddies’ food of choice was often tuna. But coming back to reality, is tuna suitable for cats?
We have been consuming cooked tuna, canned tuna, and even raw tuna in our Sushi. So this means tuna must be safe for the consumption of our feline friends as well? There are several human foods that cats can or cannot eat, and for tuna, the answer is simple and straightforward, consumption of tuna is suitable for cats, but only occasionally and in moderation. Excessive consumption of tuna can be harmful to your pet cat. It is suggested to consult with a veterinarian before designing a diet for your pet cats, including tuna. Here are some facts about tuna and effects of tuna on your cats.
How Safe is Tuna for Cats?
Under normal circumstances, the consumption of tuna is suitable for cats, but only in moderation. Tuna should not replace your pet’s steady diet and should be fed only occasionally. Tuna is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. It does not provide other vital nutrients and vitamins required for growth and maintaining the good health of our pet cats. Excessive consumption of tuna can have serious health implications of cats.
100 percent real tuna is the safest option for your pet cat as most forms of tuna contain different artificial flavors which are not healthy for consumption of cats and are also linked to hyperthyroidism. It is advised to check the labels to ensure that the tuna you are buying does not contain chemicals or other additives.
Also, ensure feeding your cat canned tuna, ensure that the tuna is preserved in water and not oil. Also, feed your cat unseasoned and boneless tuna as most seasoning can contain spices, garlic and other additives which can be unhealthy and toxic for consumption of cats. Also, bones and scales can splinter, shatter or damage your feline’s gastrointestinal tract, cause choking and other health complication.
Also, ensure to cook the tuna before serving it to your pet. Raw tuna diet can risk a wide array of diseases due to bacteria and parasites which can be present in contaminated tuna.
How Can Tuna Be Harmful to Your Cats?
Regular consumption of tuna can be harmful to your pet cat for a wide array of reasons. Tuna is a freshwater fish which is not a part of the natural diet of a cat as it does not meet the daily nutritional requirements. As a result of this, it is advisable to offer tuna to your cat as a treat or mix it with regular cat food occasionally.
Here are some reasons why regular and excessive consumption of tuna can be harmful to our feline buddies:
- Tuna Addiction
The taste and smell of tuna can be quite attractive to your pet cats to the extent that they become addicted to only eating tuna. Cats with a tuna addiction can be quite stubborn and refuse to eat anything else if their food does not contain tuna.
- Nutritional Deficiencies
Tuna does not provide cats with all the vital nutrients required for the healthy growth of cats. While tuna is rich in proteins and omega 3 fatty acids, they lack vitamin E. Excessive consumption of tuna can lead to fat yellow disease, which causes tissue damage and inflammation under the skin of our cats.
- Mercury Poisoning
Tuna, like most variants of fish, contain small amounts of mercury. Consuming tuna is large quantities over a prolonged period can lead to mercury poisoning in cats.
Many cats are allergic to tuna. You should offer your cat tuna in small amounts and check for symptoms of allergies such as itching, sneezing, swelling, coughing or any other sign of an allergic reaction. If these symptoms appear most consumption of tuna, it means that your cat is allergic to tuna and you should not feed your cat tuna ever again.
Can Cats Have Canned Tuna?
Yes, cats can have canned tuna subject to the tuna should be in the water and not oil. Canned tuna can be preserved in water or oil, depending upon the recipe of the canned tuna. This is mainly due to these oils in canned tuna can contain preservatives, artificial, spices which are not suitable for the health of pet cats and can cause gastric issues.
Can Cats Have Tuna Juice?
Yes, cats can have a tuna juice or a tuna smoothie subjected to the tuna is fresh, unflavoured, descaled with all its bones removed. Since flavored tuna contains flavors and different spices, garlic and other additives which can be unhealthy and highly toxic for consumption of our pet cats. Also, bones and scales can splinter, shatter or damage your feline’s gastrointestinal tract, cause choking and other health complication.
Cat-owners can put fresh, unflavoured, deboned and descaled tuna in a blender and make into a smooth juice or smoothie as per your cat’s preference.
Can Cats Have Raw Tuna?
While cats can eat raw tuna, as we humans do in our sushi, it is crucial for the tuna to be of good quality and stored and handled in a sterile environment to be consumed raw. This is due to raw tuna carrying a wide array of diseases due to bacteria and parasites which can be present in contaminated tuna.
Hence, it is advisable to feed your pet cats cooked or canned tuna instead of raw tuna.
Can Cats Have Tuna in Oil?
No, cats cannot have tuna in oil and should not be fed canned tuna stored in oil or fresh tuna which is fried in oil. Cats should not be canned fed tuna in oil as they contain preservatives, artificial, and spices which are not suitable for the health of pet cats and can cause gastric issues.
Can Cats Have Tuna in Brine?
No, cats cannot have tuna in brine as it contains a high concentration of salt. Cats cannot process and digest salt in brine water which can cause cats to experience gastric problems, dehydration, and attract harmful bacteria in the colon and intestinal tract of your cat. It is recommended to feed cats either fresh tuna and canned tuna in water and not oil or brine.
Can Cats Have Tuna from Table Scraps?
No, cats cannot have tuna from table scraps or leftover tuna from our meals. This is mainly due to the fact humans like flavourful food and adds lots of spices, herbs, and flavor to their tuna. A cat’s natural digestive system is not equipped to digest the herbs and spices humans consume. This can result in gastric issues, shedding of fur, constipation or diarrhea and a wide array of other health issues.
Conclusion – How Should You Feed Tuna to your Cat?
It is vital to consult a veterinarian before including tuna in your pet cat’s diet. You can start with small sized servings of tuna occasionally and look out for symptoms of allergies. In case your cat shows any signs of an allergic reaction, stop giving tuna to your cat.
Also, tuna should be given to your cat as a treat on an occasional basis and not regularly. A teaspoon of tuna a couple of times a week is adequate. It is best to mix tuna with your cat’s regular food. Also, serve your cat either fresh tuna or canned tuna with water and not oil. While consumption of tuna might have its benefits, excessive consumption of tuna can also have its harmful effects on your cat.