Can Cats eat Tuna?

Can the cat eat tuna or are there health problems? What are the risks and benefits of this fish for my cat.

We know that cats are very fond of eating fish, but is it so safe to feed our kitty tuna? And if so, can we also use cans of tuna normally designed for human consumption? Let’s analyze the pros and cons of this cat food.

Can the cat eat tuna or not?

If we were to ask a cat if he wants some tuna, the answer will certainly be yes: cats love the pungent smell and taste of this fish.

But although it is certainly not toxic to these animals, the tuna used for us humans can cause health problems for our four-legged friends.

Sure, a mouthful of tuna from a can won’t really hurt your kitty, but it’s best to avoid it altogether. This is because the cat’s diet must be well balanced.

A correct diet for our cat must include proteins, vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals and other nutrients. Without a balance, your health can get complicated.

Tuna alone is not a nutritionally balanced food. First of all, it has too much unsaturated fat, and it also doesn’t have enough vitamin E or other antioxidants.

For these reasons, tuna should not be used as the main food source for our cat.

If our cat regularly eats tuna, and we notice different behaviors than usual, it is best to take him to the vet for a thorough examination.

The dangers of being overweight in cats

Cats that eat a lot of tuna can run into some problems such as being overweight. House cats can have a lot of problems in this case.

Most domestic cats don’t need to have a lot of calories in their diet because they aren’t very active, which means they can easily gain weight.

According to veterinarians’ recommendations, a cat should eat no more than its ideal weight daily calories, or it risks being overweight.

When human foods are “turned” into calories for a cat, it is easy to see that they contain too many calories for our pets. 

A few grams of canned tuna contain nearly 100 calories. For most cats, they represent more than a third of the recommended daily calories.

Also, if your cat eats too much tuna in addition to regular cat food, he will likely become obese. And this – as for us humans – leads to many other diseases.

Feline obesity can cause diseases such as arthritis, inflammation, diabetes and urinary disease. For these reasons it is essential to monitor our cat’s nutrition.

Most pet foods on the market include information on the calorie content of the food, so you can keep tabs on your cat’s diet.

Other problems for cats related to tuna

Although most of what has been said so far is related to the quantities of tuna given to our cat, it is best to avoid this food altogether for various reasons.

For one thing, some cats can be allergic to this food. In fact, one of the main food allergens for cats is fish, according to experts.

Some common signs of a cat’s allergic reaction are:

  • Red or swollen skin
  • Itching;
  • Loss of hair
  • Red bumps.

Cats with food allergies may also vomit or have diarrhea or loss of appetite when they ingest the type of food they are sensitive to.

If we notice one or more of these symptoms in our cat, it is best to notify our veterinarian to determine the causes of the problem and possible solutions.

Another reason cats shouldn’t eat tuna is that it’s a mercury-rich fish. And mercury is a toxic metal.

When consumed frequently, tuna can also lead to mercury poisoning in cats. The symptoms of this problem are:

  • Dizziness;
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of balance.

Albacore tuna, in particular, is very dangerous in this sense for cats, and should absolutely be avoided, because the levels of mercury are almost three times higher than other types.

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