Tuna is an excellent protein source, and you may have had a couple of delicious tuna sandwiches if you are not on a special diet. This delicious fish option is common on the shelves of grocery stores worldwide. So unless you happen to have a different option, you may have purchased tuna fish in cans a couple of times.
Well, that shouldn’t be a problem unless you’ve got a feline friend at home that shares your tuna with you. No doubt, we’ve probably all seen those commercials on TV where cats eat fish. Well, fish in a broader sense isn’t the problem, but tuna might be.
At this point, you might be wondering how tuna can be a problem since you may have fed your cat with it many times without any known problems. Read on for all you need o know about cats eating tuna.
Health Benefits of Tuna
Before you think we’re here to make tuna look bad, slow down. Tuna is an excellent protein source with an impressive amount of omega-3 fatty acids. For both humans and cats, that’s actually good news as this class of fatty acids reduces cholesterol and promotes better vision.
In cats, it helps maintain a healthy coat, fight skin disease, maintain a healthy blood flow, improves bowel movement, and promote weight loss. If we are going to look at it from the children’s angle, tuna also has many healthy enzymes needed for children’s growth and daily energy boost.
So What’s The Need For Caution?
Tuna has been reported to contain a significant amount of mercury that could, over time, cause negative side effects. While studies show that eating tuna shouldn’t be a problem as there’s an antioxidant, selenoneine, in tuna that helps counter mercury level, it might be safe to avoid or consume in moderation.
Furthermore, canned tuna, which is what most consumers have access to in stores, has been reported to contain oils and additives that may have negative effects on cats.
So, Can Your Cats Consume Tuna At All?
Like all fish, cats love tuna. In fact, they can’t resist the aroma. Tuna isn’t necessarily on the list of foods toxic to domestic felines, so yes, cats can have a bite. That shouldn’t be a problem if you want to use tuna as a “once in a while” snack. However, if you plan to make tuna your cat’s major source of protein, you might want to scratch to thought.
How Can Tuna Affect Your Cat?
– Tuna isn’t balanced
As mentioned earlier, tuna contains mercury. However, the risk of mercury poisoning isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Tuna doesn’t contain all the ideal nutrients for a healthy cat. For example, unsaturated fats are present in tuna in high quantities, and that’s not good news for your cat’s health.
What’s more, vitamin E and some needed antioxidants are not present in tuna. If you are already feeding your cat tuna, and you notice all isn’t well as it used to be, it might be best to visit your vet. Even better; try to avoid feeding your kitty tuna altogether.
– Tuna can cause unnecessary weight gain.
If measuring your cat’s calorie intake is not your thing, you might risk overfeeding your cat with tuna. This is especially true if you have an indoor cat. And if you’re not careful, obesity can open doors to other diseases.
Just so you know, a couple of ounces of canned tuna has nearly a hundred calories, which is already higher than 30% of the daily recommended cat caloric intake. This is assuming your cat weighs around 11pounds. Therefore, feeding your cat tuna continuously without considering the weight in relation to the daily caloric intake can cause serious weight gain in a short time.
– Your cats can be allergic.
While this may not be a tuna problem, cats have been known to be allergic to one of their favorite foods, fish. In addition to the earlier discussed risk tuna can pose for your cat, allergies to fish can make matters worse. From diarrhea to fur loss, and even vomiting, your cat is technically exposed to more risk with tuna if it also reacts to fish.
– Tuna contains significant amounts of Mercury.
Mercury is a toxic metal. There’s no subtle way to put this; continuous exposure of your cat to tuna will likely lead to toxic metal poisoning. If you have been feeding your cat tuna for some time, you may want to look out for dizziness and a display of un-coordination while walking.
Available Tuna In Cat Food.
You either have access to raw tuna at the fish market or processed tuna in cans. Canned tuna contains the same health benefits as raw fresh tuna found in the local fish market. However, some canned tunas usually come with oil and artificial preservative. The artificial flavors or preservatives are associated with hyperthyroidism in cats. Therefore, it’s best to either avoid canned tunas or opt for those preserved in 100% water.
One of the associated risks with raw tuna is bacteria. E.coil or salmonella may be present and may be harmful to your cat. If you must feed your cat tuna, you’ll do well to make sure it’s thoroughly cooked.
There’s more; if you regularly purchase tuna from fish markets, you might want to avoid the albacore tuna, also known as the Long Fin tuna. This type is mostly found in tropical waters and is reported to have very high mercury content. In fact, this tuna species has nearly three times the amount of mercury found in other tuna species.
Finals Thoughts on Cats Eating Tuna
Feeding your cat tuna isn’t totally a bad idea. You just need to adopt extra precaution by ensuring thorough cooking if you must use tuna once in a while. If you prefer canned tuna, make sure it is not preserved in oil/ artificial additives. Altogether, ditch the idea of adopting tuna as your cat’s primary protein source in order to avoid the risk of mercury poisoning.