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Blog - cat health

Is It Okay to Feed Your Cat Tuna?

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Cats and tuna go together like peanut butter and jam, right? Not so fast, cat mamas! According to vets, not every type of tuna is good for your precious furbaby. Some varieties can lead to obesity or health problems.

Is it okay to feed your cat tuna?

Possible Dangers of Tuna

One of the most obvious dangers of tuna is that some tuna contain high levels of mercury. According to the Environmental Defence Fund, albacore tuna contains 0.32 parts per million of mercury. They recommend trying "chunk light tuna" instead, as it contains only 0.12 parts per million of mercury.

Dr. Colleran, a cat expert, advises against tuna packed in oil. Such tuna has a high percentage of calories from fat. He comments, "Fat secretes hormones that can leave overweight cats in a chronic state of inflammation." With obesity on the rise, you'll want to avoid flavoured tuna that's packed in oil, tuna and crackers, and other oil-laden products. 

Another fact to consider is that tuna is high in unsaturated fats. While this is a good thing for humans, too much unsaturated fat can be harmful to cats. It can cause them to develop a vitamin E deficiency and lead to steatites (inflammation of the fatty tissue).

Healthy Tuna Options

What types of tuna ARE good for cats? Are there any healthy tuna options for your fur baby? The good news is that, yes, there are!

Here's what Arden Moore of Catster recommends.

  • Canned tuna that is packed in water, not oil
  • Fresh-caught grilled tuna (no seasoning)
  • Bonito tuna flakes

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Tuna as a Medicine Additive

Here's another vet-approved way to add tuna to your cat's diet. If your cat has an aversion to taking her liquid medicine, simply drain the juice off a can or two of tuna. Fill 2 syringes with the tuna water, and fill a third syringe with the medicine. Feed her a syringe of tuna water, then the medicine, and then the final syringe of tuna water. Just like a spoonful of sugar, this will make medicine time much easier for you!

What Do You Think?

Does your cat love tuna or not so much? Did any of these facts about cats and tuna surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!

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