Can cats eat tuna?
Did your mother also tell you to eat fish because it’s good for your body? We are sure that this phrase was heard by absolutely all children who didn’t understand what could be useful in this slippery and smelly creature?
But today we are going to talk about what role fish plays in the diet of our furry predators, namely feeding cats tuna.
It’s hard to think of a better tandem than a cat and a fish. After all, all cats are carnivorous animals, so fish with animal meat it’s the basic nutrition. These foods contain proteins and essential amino acids to meet their physiological needs.
Sea and river fish
Everyone knows that cats love to eat fish and this seafood delicacy is an important part of a cat’s diet. But there are some nuances that you should take into account in order not to harm your attempts to please the desires of the cat.
You have to be especially careful with river fish. As we have previously written in our articles, this type of fish is dangerous due to the presence of worms and small bones.
Saltwater fish more often comes in the frozen or canned form to store. Such thermal treatment eliminates the possible risks of worm infestation. The underwater world is rich in a variety of fish species. And each of them can be an excellent source of vitamins and healthy fats, and in some cases even a slow poison.
Today we are going to talk about the most famous fish that people adore, and find out the answer to the main question – is tuna good for cats?
Can cats eat tuna?
Let’s answer briefly – of course, they can and want to eat it, but who doesn’t? Not everyone can afford to buy freshly frozen tuna and cook, for example, tuna fillet steaks. Because it is expensive in the first place, not many people can afford to eat tuna for dinner every week.
So the best option is canned tuna. Which you take to make salads or sandwiches, someone just likes to eat pieces of tuna without garnish and other additions.
Few people can resist the “puppy dog face” of their favorite cat, who is trying in every way to beg you at least a small piece of your favorite treat.
Is tuna healthy for cats?
No doubt, tuna is healthy and very tasty meat for animals! Not for nothing, it is called “beef of the sea”, because it contains a huge amount of useful protein, which can be compared with the selected red meat.
Tuna for cats: good or bad?
First, we will describe the health benefits of tuna meat and answer the question – is tuna fish good for cats?
First of all, the value of tuna fish is not only in protein but also in its healthy fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6.
In addition, it is worth mentioning the content of useful minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, D, B6, and B12; minerals (from the basic and important) – phosphorus, selenium, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
But it is also worth noting that tuna also has some disadvantages, such as a lack of vitamin E and a large number of polyunsaturated fats (as in other types of fatty fish and horse meat).
The above-mentioned properties contribute to the development of a disease called pansteatitis or “yellow fat disease”. Vitamin E is extremely important for cell membrane formation and fat absorption. Plus, deficiency of this vitamin negatively affects muscle function, the cardiovascular system, the formation of the skeleton, and nerve endings.
Pansteatitis is most often caused by frequent consumption of canned tuna (which is intended for humans) in an animal’s diet. A logical question follows – can cats eat canned tuna?
Why is tuna bad for cats and how much tuna is safe for cats?
It’s all about a dangerous chemical element like mercury (or methylmercury). Absolutely all marine life tends to accumulate this dangerous element. But some fish species have it in smaller amounts than others, and it is also important to take this into account.
Some experts advise paying attention to the size of individuals of specific species of marine fish. After all, the larger the fish, the more mercury it contains. And tuna is not a small fish. Also, the fact that tuna is a predator, which means it eats other fish, makes the situation worse. So, the concentration of mercury in the tuna increases.
But is tuna okay for cats?
Let’s see what to look for when choosing tuna for your pet:
- Species of tuna: white tuna contains more mercury than red ones.
- Canned tuna is safer than raw meat.
- Pay attention to the age of the tuna – older fish contain more mercury than younger.
Can cats eat tuna every day?
Let’s say right off the bat that tuna is not something that should be in a cat’s diet every day. It is more of a supplement (treat), no more than 10% of the main food.
Give preference to canned tuna. It is a fact that both types of canned tuna (for humans and animals) are made in the same factory. But canned cat food contains less tuna and is enriched with other nutrients (including vitamin E, which tuna lacks).
They also add shrimp meat, other shellfish, rice, herbs, and even chicken.
Tuna should be in the cat’s diet but no more than 2-3 times a week – that’s about 1-2 cans of canned tuna a week.