Although feeding your cat a saltwater fish like tuna is fine.
However, high sodium intake can disrupt a cat’s brain activity and electrolytic balance.
And so, you should never feed your cat a tuna packed in brine as it will contain toxic levels of sodium.
Is Canned Tuna In Water Good For Cats?
If the canned tuna is packed in spring water or better still freshwater, then it is safe to give to your cat and is probably as good as freshly captured tuna.
However, most canned tuna is packed in either oil or brine and, therefore, is not good for cats.
Well, oils and fats can be hazardous to your cat’s kidneys and blood pressure.
While the brine is high in sodium salts that may disrupt a cat’s electrolytic balance and senses.
Now, tuna is a saltwater fish, but nobody drinks seawater.
Even so, some new cat butlers tend to question,
Can Cats Drink Brine?
Besides, a cat is believed to be a descendant of some desert mammal because it rarely drinks water.
Even the moisture it needs comes mainly from its prey.
Consequently, you would rarely see a cat drinking water.
I suspect the idea of giving brine to your cat came from the assumption that if you pack tuna in brine, somehow nutrients will seep into that saltwater.
That’s a myth.
Tuna is a low-calorie diet and probably not that healthy either.
Though, that doesn’t mean that tuna is entirely useless to your cat.
Let’s look at the benefits tuna brings to your cat.
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Tuna To Your Cat?
For starters, most cats love eating tuna.
So, you can add tuna to any of your cat’s meals, to make it more appealing.
Perhaps, if the godfather was trying to bribe a cat, he would have offered Tuna as something the “cat won’t be able to refuse”.
Aroma aside, tuna provides the following benefits to a cat:
Being rich in proteins especially lysine, tuna helps maintain a cat’s muscles and eyesight. Though, tuna is deficient in taurine and so, your cat will require other kinds of foods to fulfill its taurine needs.
2. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
Tuna is abundant in DHA which is essential for your cat’s brain and eye health.
3. Energy Needs
Tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B complex. Both of these not only support a cat’s metabolism but also provide it with energy.
4. Blood Circulation
Tuna provides essential minerals and ions. Iron from tuna helps in the production of red blood cells while potassium maintains blood flow.
Riboflavin and niacin from tuna are useful in maintaining body temperature. So,
Tuna is especially good for your cat if she literally got cold feet.
That said, tuna is not among the healthiest of foods for your cat.
Is Tuna Bad For a Cat?
Tuna is not some wholesome cat food. And so, its overconsumption may be dangerous because of the following reasons:
1. Excessive Sodium
Sodium is precisely the reason why tuna packed in brine is considered harmful for a cat.
You see, the intake of high sodium can contribute to dehydration, kidney or urinary tract problems. If not that, sodium may end up causing high blood pressure in your cat.
Phosphorous from overeating tuna may cause kidney stones in a cat.
Thiaminase is an enzyme associated with tuna. It breaks down thiamine and therefore, can lead to vitamin B1 deficiency.
Since cooking tuna deactivates thiaminase. Therefore, this issue can be easily avoided by feeding cooked tuna instead of raw tuna to your cat.
4. Mercury Poisoning
Unless tuna is bred in the artificial farm, it is highly likely to contain mercury.
Mercury intake can cause mercury poisoning characterized by nerve damage and loss of reflexes.
Typically large tuna contain higher concentrations of mercury. Therefore, you should never give Bluefin or Albacore tuna to your cat.
Being relatively small, Skipjack and Tongol tuna are least likely to contain mercury and so, the best kinds of tuna to serve both you and your cat.
5. Yellow Fat Disease or Steatitis
Overeating Tuna leads to an increase in unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E deficiency. If these reach a certain level, it can cause inflammation of the cat’s fatty tissue or steatitis.
Moreover, certain cats are allergic to tuna, so I recommend you contact your vet before adding anything to your cat’s diet.
But, if tuna has this many risks, is it even safe to give to your cat?
Is It OK To Give Cats Tuna Every Day?
You should give tuna only as treats and never more than twice a week.
Ideally, the tuna should not exceed more than 10% of your cat’s regular meal. That means the rest of the food should be commercial cat food.
The tuna should not be packed in oil or brine. Try giving cooked tuna to your cat. Though, never season your cat’s food.
If your cat is a tuna lover, I recommend you feed her tuna supplemented commercial cat food. It will not only be safe and nutritious, but your cat will be happy eating that.
You may as well wanna know,
What Happens To a Cat That Eats Too Much Tuna?
Though, this may vary from cat to cat. However, any cat that eats too much tuna may exhibit the following issues:
- Decreased activity and lethargy
- Urinary issues
- Weight loss despite increased appetite
- Excessive thirst and water drinking
- Slow-healing wounds
If your cat shows any of the symptoms, it’s time to call a vet.
You can occasionally give tuna to your cat, however, never give tuna packed in brine.
Offering saltwater to your cat is never a good idea.
Furthermore, over consumption of tuna can cause some serious health concerns for your cat.
Therefore, it’s best not to give your cat tuna packed with brine!
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