Can cats eat tuna? This is a question that you might think would have a straightforward answer. If you had asked us a few years ago the we would have agreed. But as cat owners we now know the issues concerning this fish and the debates that exist out there about it. So, is it safe for cats to eat tuna?
Can Cats Eat Tuna?
There is a lot of mixed opinion out there regarding cats and tuna. Common knowledge dictates that cats love tuna and should be allowed to eat tuna. But if you listen to some experts they advise against it. In fact, some of them treat this fish as something akin to poison. But what is the truth, can cats eat tuna, should they avoid it, will it do them harm?
Can Cats Eat Tinned Tuna?
Firstly, it’s important to note that tinned tuna designed for humans is one of the worst things you can feed your cat. They will love it, they will tuck in and they will beg you for more, but it’s best to keep them well away.
Tinned tuna like this is designed for humans and is often soaked in a brine. There are brine-less tins now, but this is simply pre-brined tuna that has been drained. It’s still very salty, it still has additional vegetable oil, and as a result, it’s still not the best thing for your cat.
Can Cats Eat Fresh and Raw Tuna?
The issues that many experts have with tuna are two-fold. Firstly, they are concerned about the levels of mercury in it. This is something that is present in most tuna and it’s not something we can do much about. So, to avoid your cat consuming it they advise that you simply keep tuna away from them.
There is also less nutrients in tuna than you would find in other fish like salmon. Therefore, a diet rich in tuna is a diet that doesn’t contain a host of essential vitamins and minerals that a cat needs. The more processed the tuna is, the more of a problem this becomes. There may also be additional issues with raw tuna, all of which has created a backlash against tuna for cats and has confused a lot of cat owners.
Can Cats at Tuna: The Truth
All of what we have said above is true, but we personally don’t pay much attention to it. We have fed our cats little bits of tuna from time to time and we are happy to continue to do so. If they are only eating a small amount on occasion, then it’s okay. This includes tinned tuna, although in this case we make sure it is drained, that they only have small amounts, and that there are no additional ingredients.
Cats love it and it makes for a nice treat. You will also find tuna used as a main ingredient in many store-bought cat food. Just try to avoid giving them too much—don’t let them subsist on a diet of tuna prepared for humans and they will be okay.