Tuna is well-known for being a cat’s favorite fish due to its aroma and flavor. However, it’s not exactly recommended to give cats any form of oil, they have very delicate stomachs and any form of oil can cause sickness. Tuna oil is heavy and contains mercury, which for cats, can be fatal.
Read this article to find out more about if tuna is healthy for your cat, what are the benefits and dangers of feeding it to them, and what else you can use as a treat.
Is Tuna healthy for my cat?
Tuna fish is actually very good for cats if you give it in moderation. Tuna is high in protein and contains many vitamins and nutrients that are great for a cat’s digestive system. Tuna also contains omega 3 which is great for cats’ skin and for long-haired cats. It will make their fur much softer and less likely to molt.
Some vets may even advise you to give your cat tuna if it has some sort of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or a skin disease. This is because the fatty acids in the tuna can help rebalance the body and prevent inflammation from occurring.
Can Tuna Cause Any Problems for My Cat?
However, despite these great benefits, you shouldn’t give tuna as a full meal to your cat, or on a regular basis. Experts recommend giving tuna to your cat no more than once a week. Cats are known to have very specific dietary needs and tuna alone cannot provide them with everything that they need to stay healthy.
The main problem with feeding your cat too much tuna is that it contains high amounts of mercury. For cats, too much of this mineral can lead to a build-up in the body which results in mercury poisoning. This is often fatal for cats so should be avoided at all costs.
Can I Give My Cat Tuna in Water?
If your cat loves tuna or you really want to give them a treat then canned tuna in water is the best choice. This has no added salt or flavorings and the mercury level is very low therefore won’t cause your cat any harm.
Tuna can also be found in most cat treats and even dried cat food so if you want to give your cat some extra tuna, because they like it, ensure they aren’t consuming a large amount already. This could lead to your cat overdosing on mercury, which as we’ve already stated, is often fatal.
Can I Give My Cat Fresh Tuna?
You can give your car fresh tuna if it’s cooked. Some people believe that raw fish is good for cats, unlike humans, it’s not at all beneficial to their digestive systems and is best served to them well-cooked.
There are also enzymes in raw fish that break down your cat’s vitamin B and this can cause a serious and fatal condition called Thiamine deficiency.
Can I Give My Cat Tuna in Sunflower or Brine?
Cats’ digestive systems don’t react well to oil, it’s a sticky substance and often causes cats to feel lethargic and tired. Feeding your cat tuna in sunflower oil or olive oil could cause them to feel this way.
If it’s the only option you have then you can rinse the tuna before feeding it to your cat, but the same rules apply to the other tuna sources. You mustn’t feed them tuna, canned or not, on a regular basis.
Often people use the brine of canned tuna to pour over dried food if their cat is particularly picky. This is an option but you should either use one or the other. Either the tuna without the brine or the brine without the tuna. If a cat consumes them both at the same time it’s likely to cause some adverse effects.
Can I Give My Cat Treats Containing Tuna Oil?
Many treats contain tuna oil, no matter what flavor the aroma of tuna oil is considered one of the most attractive smells and tastes to cats. Hence why many manufacturers use it in their treats, simply because it makes the cat love them.
However, just because your cat loves them, doesn’t mean that they should be consuming a large amount of them. It’s up to you when you treat your cat and you are in charge of their diet.
You can give them packet treats containing tuna or tuna oil once in a while and by that we mean once a week, maybe. If your cat is very healthy then this is fine, but if your cat is particularly sensitive to food or has a heart or digestive problem then we recommend giving them these treats very rarely.
What can I Give My cat as an alternative treat?
Cats are often picky eaters so it can be tricky when you want to find a treat that your cat will like, that’s not tuna. Any meat that has been cooked is good for your cat and can be fed as a treat, in moderation, and not as a full meal. Chicken, beef, and turkey are the best.
Eggs are another good choice as a treat for your cat, maybe you’ve never noticed it but cats actually love eggs. Simply scramble and cook one egg in a pan, with no added oil or butter and feed it to your cat, they will love it!
Finally, the last thing you can feed your cat as a treat are vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and peas. Cook and mix some of these into their existing food now and again to give them a boost of minerals and vitamins.