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Can Cats Have Tuna And Salmon

Cats eating tuna and salmonOf course, your cat can and probably will eat salmon and tuna, as well as other fish – but should they? Advertising and cartoons would have you believe that fish is a staple item in a cat’s diet, however, it is not healthy to base your cat’s diet on just fish, or even give it to them every day.

If you do want to give your cat a fishy treat you should opt for cooked, fresh fish over tinned - or just get them a floppy fish cat toy. It’s also possible that your cat can be allergic to fish or seafood – since most felines do not eat fish in the wild - if feeding fish to your cat causes them to vomit, get diarrhoea, begin itching or sneezing this may be the case.

If your furry friend loves tuna, salmon or other fish you shouldn't feel too bad about feeding their craving sometimes and in moderation. However, this should still be mostly avoided for kittens younger than 6 months. There are also specific fishy treats you can find that are designed to be healthy for cats.

Fish can be given to your cat sparingly and should never be your cats sole source of nutrition.

Should cats eat tuna?

Feeding your cat tuna is fine in general and cooked tuna is safe for cats – however, it is best kept as a treat and given in moderation. There are some nutrients that will be good for your cat in tuna such as protein and some fatty acids, but it’s definitely not nutritionally complete.

Benefits of tuna:

  • Tuna contains high protein and unsaturated fats; these nutrients are beneficial for your cat’s health.
  • Most commercially tinned tuna will also have some additives such as vitamins, minerals and taurine to increase the nutritional profile, making a meal of tinned tuna safe for cats.
  • Cats stereotypically love to eat tuna so your cat is likely to enjoy it.

Is tuna bad for cats?

  • Too much unsaturated fat is bad for cats – over-consumption can lead to your cat developing vitamin E deficiency, inflammation of fatty tissue (known as steatitis).
  • Tuna is high in mercury and can easily lead to mercury poisoning in cats if their intake is not monitored. This is especially true for canned albacore (white) tuna, which can have mercury levels three times higher than skipjack (light) tuna.

Should cats eat salmon?

Similar to tuna, feeding your cat salmon is okay – given you don’t overdo it or have it as their sole source of nutrients. Salmon also contains high protein as well as healthy fats and oils and is slightly more diverse than tuna, but should still not replace regular cat food.

Benefits of salmon:

  • Salmon contains many important nutrients for your cat such as vitamin B6, B12 and protein.
  • Other nutrients in salmon such as Vitamin A and selenium can improve your cat’s immune system and strengthen their bones.

Is salmon bad for cats?

  • Salmon does not contain enough taurine to keep your cat healthy, this can lead to serious health issues including blindness and heart complications. Taurine can be found in most animal-based proteins so a diet based on these is superior to salmon. You can try cooking up your own salmon meal for your cat - this ensures you know they will be getting enough taurine.
  • Cats are known to be picky – and some cats can get addicted to salmon – turning their nose up at anything else you give them. This can make keeping your cat’s diet nutrient-rich a challenge.

Is canned tuna bad for cats?

Canned tuna is not healthy for your cat, a lot of salt is added to preserve fish in a tin and too much salt is not good for your cat. The combination of preservatives additives and sodium in canned tuna can cause lots of problems such as malnutrition and dehydration, so you should try to minimise these treats to once a week or less.

Can kittens eat tuna?

you should avoid feeding a young kitten tuna because they will be more susceptible to the problems caused by unsaturated fats and mercury. Since a kitten’s body is still developing, their diet should be closely monitored. Mercury poisoning in kittens can be dangerous and can occur very easily if they are fed too much tuna.

The Merek Veterinary Manual indicates steatitis (caused by low levels of vitamin E and high unsaturated fat intake) is especially common in kittens. If your kitten is showing signs of abdomen pain, lack of appetite, weight loss or fever you should seek assistance from your vet.

Can kittens eat salmon?

Similar to tuna, salmon has high levels of unsaturated fats, so should be avoided when picking out your kitten diet. At most you may be able to share a small amount (teaspoon size) of salmon with a kitten if they are more than 6 months old.

Other fishy options for your cat

Can cats eat raw fish?

Raw fish is not safe for cats – similar to humans, cats can be susceptible to E. coli, salmonella and a weakened immune system from any raw meats.

Can cats eat tuna in oil?

Tuna in oil should be avoided as the oil cannot be digested properly by your cat. Even if you strain the oil from the tuna, the amount that is soaked in will cause your kitty problems.
When feeding your cat tinned tuna ensure it is tuna in water.

Can cats have sardines?

Cats can eat sardines in as a treat (in moderation) – but similar caution should be given as to tinned varieties as tuna, avoid oil and highly salted varieties.

Can cats eat fish bones?

You should definitely avoid feeding fish bones to your cat, whether raw or cooked. Raw bones will have similar problems as raw fish – that is possible infections or E. coli, and cooked fish bones should be avoided – when cooked the bones can easily splinter and present a choking hazard for cats.

Can cats eat smoked fish?

Preparing smoked fish also takes high amounts of salt – as such this variety should not be included in your cat’s diet.

Can cats eat cooked fish?

Cooked fish should be the only type that you feed to your cat. However the method is also important, don’t use too much oil or salt as these can be harmful to your cat’s digestion and ensure you don’t give them any bones.


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