Last updated: October 27, 2016
There’s nothing else in this world that can catch the attention of our cats at home better than a freshly opened can of tuna. Animals such as cats and even dogs have a stronger sense of smell than humans that helps them to easily and quickly sniff out food even from a million miles away. It’s no wonder that even if we haven’t even opened the can, our white Persian cat, Zany is already at the kitchen waiting for us to open the can of tuna goodness!
Cats are pretty well-known for loving fish and we’ve always just thought that of course, they are allowed to eat a can of tuna every now and then. It’s basically just like the soft food treats we buy for them, right? After all, the veterinarian did say that cats should have not only their dry cat food, but also soft food as well. Our cats love them a lot. In fact, they are crazy about it and would always lick their bowls clean whenever we feed them canned tuna.
Today, the pet industry has come up with so many varieties of cat food for different stages of a cat’s life cycle, for various cat breeds, as well as for their special needs. Cats are notorious for being the finicky eaters that they are and are oblivious to the expenses that their owners have to spend just to give them the right kind of food and at the same time please their taste buds. In fact, the cat food industry has probably been feeling the pressure so much that they have really amped it up and has even started dishing out gourmet-like cat food choices that even humans would love to eat!
But does the same goes for cats? Is it also alright for them to eat human food such as canned tuna? Like most seafood items, tuna is a great source of protein. However, this is not the only nutritional value that comes with a packed can of tuna. In the food chain, tuna is on the higher side than most fishes. This means that they are viable to have more mercury in their diet, therefore, making cats and even humans more susceptible to mercury poisoning when on a high tuna diet.
Others may argue that tuna isn’t all that bad since it also has unsaturated fats. Unfortunately, unsaturated fats may be good for humans, but it isn’t exactly the same for cats. In fact, too much unsaturated fat on a cat’s diet can lead to other complications, such as Vitamin E deficiency. A loss in Vitamin E often results to the inflammation of a cat’s fatty tissue, which is a condition often referred to as yellow fat disease or what is scientifically referred to as Steatitis.
Tuna-Flavored Cat Food
If tuna was so bad for cats, then why do so many of the cat food in pet stores have tuna-flavored varieties? The pet food industry surely knows what they are doing since they were smart enough to make tuna-flavored food for cats, but there is a reason why canned tuna in the grocery stores are meant for humans and the ones that are in the pet stores are meant for indoor cats. The packed tuna-flavored soft food for cats is not just made out of tuna alone. It is also filled with other ingredients beneficial to a cat’s diet, such as taurine.
Taurine is an amino acid that is essential to the body to maintain it functioning properly and efficiently. When cats do not get enough taurine it can lead to serious health complications such as blindness and heart failure, since Taurine is actually distributed in the heart wall muscles, retina of the eye, and even the brain. Taurine deficiency can easily be caused by feeding cats only home-cooked meals that are low in taurine, and more specifically, keeping them fed with canned tuna, which has little to no Taurine in it.
Addiction to Canned Tuna
As most cat owners would have witnessed, canned tuna is something that most cats love to eat. In fact, they like it so much that they are likely to get addicted to it and only want to eat canned tuna. This is why it is a must for cat owners to really look into what their cat is eating. Yes, cat owners clamor to find the right type of food that their cats would love to eat because if they don’t, the alternative would be so much of wasted expensive cat food.
Canned tuna is quite cheaper than the soft cat food available in pet stores, but of course, that is because those are specially formulated for cats. It can be so easy to feel defeated and just give in to what cats want to eat, but when it comes to canned tuna, cat owners need to stand their ground and be strict on their cat’s consumption of this packed fish goodness.
Canned Tuna as Cat Treats
Most of the time, cats think they know what’s best for them and cat owners just want to make them happy as well, but as with many things in life sumptuous food such as canned tuna should be more of a treat rather than be a part of a cat’s regular diet. It is best for a cat owner to take action now before their cat goes through painful conditions due to their bad diet.
Cat owners must always keep in mind that humans and cats are not alike biologically. Man and animal have different nutritional needs and processes vitamins and minerals in different ways. Think of it this way, even humans on an all-fish diet can develop their own symptoms and diseases from the lack of an overall nutritional diet. The same goes for cats, canned tuna lacks taurine and the absence of taurine in a cat’s diet leads to health and medical conditions for cats.
Cat owners have so much love and care for their cats. They only want the best for them. They want to give whatever their cat wants and at the same time, keep the same safe and healthy. It’s pretty hard not to give canned tuna to cats as much as they would want to since it is something they truly like, but at the end of the day the most important thing to consider is the health of the cat. Denying them of something they truly enjoy, doesn’t make anybody a bad cat owner, it just means they love them very much and wouldn’t want them to go through the pain and the difficulty from a severe health condition.