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Can Cats Eat Tuna?

can cats eat tuna

Like many humans, cats enjoy eating tuna. But is tuna good for cats? Can cats eat tuna safely? This blog post will explore the nutritional value of tuna for cats and offer tips on how to safely include tuna in your cat’s diet.

Can Cats Eat Tuna?

cat eat tuna

Yes, most cats can consume tuna in small amounts and under specific circumstances. If tuna is consumed only in moderation, it is usually safe for dogs. It should not be used as a replacement for your cat’s normal balanced diet.

Tuna, owing to its high concentration of protein, omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients, is an excellent food for cats. It does not, however, provide adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals necessary for cat health. Cats may develop nutritional deficiencies from consuming tuna on a regular basis.

The healthiest alternative for tuna for your cat is 100 percent real tuna, as some types of tuna include artificial fish tastes that are harmful to cats and might cause hyperthyroidism. Check the label to ensure there are no additions or chemicals included.

Health Benefits of Tuna

health benefits tuna for cats

Tuna is a high-quality protein source. It also has a low carbohydrate content as a meal source. Over the last decade, such aspects of cat nutrition have grown in popularity and intrigue.

Cats are known to be more prone to obesity when fed a diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in protein. Because of this, low-carbohydrate, high-protein meals are thought to simulate a natural feeding technique and, as a result, be linked to lower rates of obesity (and its related problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis). Tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been claimed to have anti-inflammatory effects.

What Kinds of Tuna Can Cats Eat?

Tuna comes in a few distinct varieties. Fresh from the fish counter, or canned, it is widely available. Tinned tuna may be packed in fresh water, salt water, or oil depending on where it was caught and when it was canned. 

Tuna in the form of steak, sashimi, and oil are among the most popular types of tuna. These latter two kinds of tuna are not recommended for cats to eat. The high salt content in brine might induce serious electrolyte (salt) imbalances in a cat’s body and brain, potentially resulting in toxic levels. Such a significant imbalance will produce neurological symptoms. Furthermore, because many cats cannot metabolize oils properly, they may get stomach aches as a result of ingesting too much oil. 

The safest alternative is to offer fresh tuna to your cat, or the canned tuna that is only packed in fresh water.

Can Cats Eat Canned Tuna?

can cat eat canned tuna?

Canned tuna has similar health advantages as fresh tuna, but it does have one disadvantage. If you want to give your cat canned tuna, keep in mind that the liquid it’s packed in is just as important as the fish itself. Check for artificial flavoring in your frozen food. Cats can develop hyperthyroidism as a result of ingesting artificial tastes.

Can Cats Eat Raw or Cooked Tuna?

cat eating tuna

It’s an issue that is still a point of contention today: whether (and how) to feed cats and dogs only on raw food. There are arguments for and against, with vocal advocates on both sides of the fence! Ultimately, you must decide whether or not to offer your cat raw or cooked tuna. Certainly, the risk of bacterial contamination from uncooked foods is greater, therefore if your cat has any kind of immune deficiency, very young or elderly, pregnant or lactating , it should be avoided. 

If you’re going to prepare the tuna ahead of time, keep in mind not to add any spices or salt.

It’s also important to note that a cat should never be fed an exclusively cooked fish diet. Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency and (potentially severe) brain damage can result from such a diet. A diet consisting entirely of fish may raise the risk of mercury poisoning. Trace amounts of this heavy metal may be found in the bodies of certain fish.

Why Do Cats Like Tuna So Much?

cat loves tuna

Some cats may be uninterested in tuna, but they will generally be the exception to the rule. So, what is it about tuna fish that appeals to cats?

  • Tuna has a pungent, fishy odor that cats find appealing.
  • It has a distinct taste that differs from white-fleshed fish.
  • It’s rich in protein.
  • Tuna is frequently eaten raw or cooked in sesame oil and lapped up.

Unfortunately, tasty meals are not always the healthiest option for cats.

Before You Feed Your Cat Tuna

The easiest method to feed your cat canned tuna is to have your vet do it. It’s critical to always contact your veterinarian if you add anything new to their diet. Cats need a lot of consistency in their lives, and this includes food stability. So, if canned tuna is something that your cat may not be able on account of any issues, it’s best to know ahead of time.

When Is Tuna Bad For Cats?

There are several reasons why you should not offer your cat tuna on a regular basis. Tuna is a deep-water fish that isn’t included in the typical cat diet. It doesn’t fulfill all of their nutritional needs. As a result, it’s best to use it as a special treat or add it to your cat’s usual dinner from time to time.

Tuna, in certain situations, may be poisonous to cats:

  • Some cats are allergic to tuna. If your veterinarian allows you to feed your cat tuna, start with a tiny amount and watch for swelling, sneezing, itching, and other indicators of an allergic response. Offer no more than one piece of tuna at a time to a cat that is allergic to it.
  • Poisoning. Tuna poisoning is caused by methylmercury. Small amounts of mercury are present in tuna. It can harm cats if ingested in large amounts or over a lengthy period of time.
  • Tuna addiction. Some cats become addicted to the odor and taste of tuna and will refuse to eat anything other than tuna.

Alternative Healthy Snacks

Here are some human foods that you may let your cat sample if you want to try something different with his or her treats: According to PetMD, you can give these alternative snacks as follows:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin
  • Chicken, beef, or turkey that has been cooked.
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Green bell peppers
  • Peas


So, can cats eat tuna? The answer is yes and no. While it’s generally safe for cats to eat small amounts of canned tuna, they should not have too much because it can upset their stomachs. If your cat loves tuna, try mixing it with other foods to give them a balanced diet.

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