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Is tuna ok for cats?

Posted by Dr Claire Jenkins on Oct 20, 2015 12:59:57 PM
Dr Claire Jenkins

Tuna is a favourite food of many a cat and although they love it, it doesn’t mean it’s good for them!

As we know Fish is a great source of protein, but a diet with a high proportion of human- grade canned tuna can have many problems:

  • It’s nutritionally deficient - it lacks essential vitamins and minerals that cats need, namely calcium.
  • Many cats are allergic to fish - signs can be an intense itch to an upset tummy.
  • Risk of mercury poisoning - tuna is high in mercury.
  • The ratio of unsaturated fats to vitamin E is not sufficient for cats and can lead to a Vitamin E deficiency, which causes a painful inflammation of the fat.
  • Addiction issues - your cat may not want anything else!
  • Thiaminases - they leave cats at risk of Thiamine deficiency (raw tuna)

Canned ‘tuna’ cat foods that are AAFCO approved (ensure you see this on the food label, more here) are a different story and have other ingredients added to make the meal complete and safe for your cat.

So, human grade canned tuna IS actually ok for your cat - as long as it is kept at less than approximately 10% of your kitty’s diet. In this case, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing!

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Topics: Diet, tuna, nutrition, cat