Oct 20
hungry cat and dog

Is Tuna Okay For Cats?

Just because your cat loves to eat tuna, doesn’t mean it’s good for them! Fish is a great source of protein, but a cat’s diet with a high proportion of human-grade canned tuna can have many problems. Here’s some of them:

  •  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) 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, your cat absolutely can have too much of a good thing!

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Dr. Claire Jenkins

Claire is a QLD graduate with over 15 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of Vetchat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.