Feeding your cat tuna might provide them with important nutrients but how much tuna can a cat eat? Despite the common belief, the answer might surprise you. As with everything that is good, having too much can lead to negative results and the digestive system of a cat is quite fragile so you do need to keep an eye on what you put in their bowl.
This fish works great as a treat for cats since it offers a lot of health benefits and also helps them grow due to their nutrients. The vitamins B12, C, B6 and the minerals manganese and potassium will improve a cat’s immune system and there are compounds in tuna which reduce blood pressure as well as remove the toxins in their body.
The antioxidants found in fish have the ability to get rid of free-radicals that cause inflammation and they are also helping prevent cancer. To add to all that, tuna is rich in proteins and amino acids so it will help strengthen the muscles and tissues of the cat.
Tuna contains mercury and feeding your cat too much fish will mean that the risk of mercury poisoning increases. The effects of this substance are a loss of coordination, imbalance, problems in walking, the cat will have difficulties seeing and rashes can also appear. On the long run, this substance can cause neurological damage so it should certainly be taken seriously.
Tuna increase the production of Thiaminase and this will reduce the amount of vitamin B1 in the body, meaning that the cat will be more predisposed to illnesses. Another deficiency caused by too much tuna is of vitamin E and it can lead to steatitis, an inflammation of the fatty tissue that can be very painful, also causing fever, lethargy and lumps in the cat’s fatty tissue.
Knowing these risks should help you know what symptoms to look for and also understand why rationing the tuna quantity is important.
Feeding Your Cat Tuna
The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends that tuna should only be considered a treat and if you want to give this exclusively to your cat it will prove to be a problem. After you saw the information above now you know the risks.
The quality of the tuna can vary too and it is best if you check the places where it comes from since that could determine the amount of mercury it contains. The main meal of a cat is best provided from premium commercial sources since those are specifically formulated for their dietary needs and will prevent any deficiency.
Tuna should make up to five or ten percent of your cat’s diet and that is the maximum if you want a healthy cat. They do love the taste so you might have to show a lot of self control not to spoil the cat. A teaspoon given to them a few times a week is fine but make sure they see it as a special reward instead of something they can get whenever they want.