Cats are undeniably attracted to tuna, thanks to the strong smell and rich flavor of this fish. In fact, the taste is so blinding that cat guardians utilize it to feed their kitties medicine. However, what helps the bitterness to go down for kitty does not promise a long term health if taken more than a bite. Tuna by itself does not make up a balanced diet for cats. It has too high unsaturated fat. Eventhough it’s a good fat, consuming it regularly without antioxidants like Vitamin E to aid the imbalance can have your cat vulnerable to steatitis or pancreatitis. Therefore, tuna should never be the main food for cats.
Moreover, tuna has a lot of calories in one serving. A cat that weighs 5kg should only consume 290 calories per day. But just a few grams of it in water already reaches 100 calories. As it is very appetizing, cats are more likely to take in above their nutritional requirement. As a result, they gain weight easily. When reaching obesity, they are prone to diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, urinary disease, and inflammation.
Not All Kitties’ Tummy Like It
Surprise, surprise! Cats can also have fish allergies. In fact, it is one of the top allergens on Merck Veterinary Manual. Other than the main signs of allergy, which are itching, swollen or red skin, hair loss, and red bumps, cats who experience food allergies will also have gassy stomach, diarrhea, vomit, and a loss of appetite when encountering any ingredient they are intolerant to. The moment you notice one of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately to find out the causes, thus able to create an efficient treatment plan.
It Has More Mercury Than Other Fish
There is a lot of mercury in tuna, which is a toxic metal. It is okay to feed them as an occasional treat, but too much can pose a great danger to their health. There will be build up in mercury and thus cause serious poisoning.
Although having similar health benefits as regular tuna, canned tuna has a little downside from its preservation process. Aside from that, canned tuna made from 100% fish, in water and not in oil nor added with salt or other flavourings (soy or vegetable broth), is the best choice. But rinse the tuna thoroughly once more before feeding.
Tuna offered in cans usually are Skipjack, Yellowfin and Albacore. Opt for chunk-light tuna (Skipjack or yellowfin) only, as there is much lesser amount of mercury in it than bigger species like white tuna (albacore) that contains three times more mercury. However, keep in mind, if the food you are feeding them also has tuna in its ingredients, adding more of it will be a bit much.
Fresh Or Raw Tuna
ASPCA doesn’t list this particular fish as toxic food, but they do include raw meat. This includes raw fish, and it is harmful to cats due to parasites, bacteria and enzymes inside it. By cooking your tuna, you can kill and destroy these bad boys. That is to say, serving fresh tuna is best when cooked.
In moderation, tuna is a healthy food for cats. They serve well as a supplement with other foods, on the condition that the food doesn’t already have other type of fish. Another relatively safe way to feed it is by getting commercial wet cat food. This lets them have their fill of their favorite fish while getting the necessary nutrients needed.
It’s always better to talk to your vet before including tuna as food for your furry friends. When given the green light, do oblige by the guidelines which should not be more than 10 percent of a cat’s calorie intake per day.
Regular feeding of tuna can have your cats losing interest in their healthier meal, which is, generally, less tastier than the mighty yellowfin. They will begin to turn away from the bowl and look up to you with doe eyes in hope you will give them the tasty bits. This picky eating habit won’t serve both you and them in the long run. To avoid this, make this a luxury food for them that is available only 2 to 3 times a week.
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