Full of vitamins, minerals, and oils that are crucial for kitty health, tuna fish is a fabulous treat for your cat. As with most human foods, you just need to be careful that you don’t overdo it!
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
Most cats love fish, oysters, and tuna (even canned tuna) is no exception! And as an added bonus, tuna is actually very healthy for most cats. Tuna contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, all of which are crucial to your cat’s health. But before you open that can, there are a few things about tuna that are important to remember: tuna has a lot of unsaturated fat. While human beings tend to prefer unsaturated fat to saturated fat, too
Guys- there’s even a song about cats that love tuna. What a time to be alive.
Yes they can! Human-grade tuna, the kind you and I would eat, is much healthier for your cat than tuna flavored wet cat food, as it contains fewer (if any) preservatives, chemicals, and additives. While tuna should never be given as your cat’s main meal, it can make a very tasty and healthy treat.
Here are some tips on how to safely feed your cat tuna:
It’s not a good idea to give your cat tuna salad. There is no reason to give your cat tuna salad, which often contains tons of extra fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. If you want to give your cat a tasty tuna treat, stick to regular, plain tuna. While it may not seem particularly appetizing to you, trust us- your cat won’t mind!
If your cat suffers from kidney disease, chances are you’re already very careful about your cat’s diet. Or at least, you should be! Tuna can be helpful to cats with kidney disease because it can serve as an incentive for your cat to eat when added to regular cat food.
Tuna is unlikely to worsen kidney disease in cats, but if your cat is ill you might not want to get too creative with their diet. If a tiny bit of tuna mixed in with your cat’s regular food gets them to eat, then it may be worth it. But please check with your vet!
Generally, it’s always best to give your kitten cat food and not much else. Kittens have delicate digestive symptoms, and they are growing like weeds- they need the most balanced, complete nutrition you can give them. If you really want to give your kitten a tiny bit of tuna as a treat it probably won’t hurt them, but here are some tips:
If you don’t want to give your kitten tuna but don’t want them to miss out on fish, you can try giving your kitten fish flavored cat treats.
This kitten seems to have discovered where her owner keeps the tuna…
Tuna contains a lot of healthy vitamins and minerals, such as selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and protein. Tuna can also be used to entice your picky cat to eat their regular food- just a tiny bit of tuna mixed in with your cats dry food will make it irresistible!
However, too much tuna can be bad for your cat’s health because of its high mercury content and high levels of saturated fat. Tuna is safe for most cats (those without underlying health conditions) in moderation. Just a tablespoon or so a week is plenty- your cat can reap the benefits of tuna without having to worry about any of the potentially negative side effects!
Tensions are high- these two cats love tuna so much that they’re fighting over it! (Don’t worry- no cats were harmed in this making of this video.)
Because cats generally love tuna so much, the pet industry has provided us with an absolutely preposterous amount of tuna-flavored cat treats.
If you don’t want to feed your cat regular tuna (or if tuna grosses you out and you can’t bear to open a can of it) you can always buy them some healthy tuna flavored cat treats. While they likely won’t contain the same health benefits, they can be a safe and easy way to give your cat a taste of tuna.
Tuna treats come in many varieties. Some are specifically made for picky cats and are a squeezable liquid that can be mixed in with your cat’s food. These can be great if your cat is a picky eater.
Others are simply little kibble treats. We like brands that have “tuna” as the first or second ingredient, like Wellness Kittles. Many tuna flavored treats are mostly chicken, so be sure to read the label.
You can also opt for a high-quality cat food with fish as the main ingredient.
In short, they certainly can! While you will need to be careful not to overdo it, tuna given to your cat as a treat in moderation is a great way to keep them healthy and happy.
Does your cat come running as soon as they hear you open a can of tuna? Do they try and steal some of your tuna salad? Have questions about how to incorporate tuna into your cat’s diet- tells us in the comments!
After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I’ve been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I’ve been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.