Is tuna bad for cats?

A steady diet of human grade tuna is not healthy for cats.

Cats love seafood, and most cats are especially fond of canned tuna and tuna juice. While tuna is fine for cats in moderation or as a treat, too much canned tuna can be bad for your cat. Fish is a great source of protein, but there are a few reasons why a steady diet of human-grade canned tuna can cause health problems for your cat.

Tuna alone is not nutritionally complete.

Commercial canned “tuna” cat foods are not just straight tuna, but have other added ingredients. The added vitamins, minerals, and the amino acid taurine (which is essential to cats), make the food nutritionally complete for your cat. Additionally, although cats may develop a craving for tuna, many cats are sensitive or allergic to fish.

Tuna is high in unsaturated fats.

While it’s healthy for humans to choose unsaturated fats in their diet, too much is unhealthy for cats. Consuming too much tuna can cause your cat to develop a Vitamin E deficiency. This may lead to an inflammation of the fatty tissue, a condition known as steatitis (“yellow fat disease”).  Cats that consume large amounts of red tuna in particular are more prone to this painful condition.

Tuna is higher in mercury than other fish.

Most fish contain trace amounts of mercury, and the higher up on the food chain a fish is, the more mercury is accumulated in the fish. Tuna is relatively high on the food chain and therefore contains higher amounts of mercury than other fish, resulting in an increased risk of mercury poisoning. In particular, canned white tuna (albacore) has mercury levels almost three times higher than skipjack tuna (light tuna).

What should you feed your tuna-loving cat? Make sure the basis of your cat’s diet is a high-quality pet food formulated specifically for cats. Healthy, grain free canned cat foods such as Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline Formula or Blue Buffalo Wilderness have salmon as the first ingredient and may satisfy your cat’s craving for fish.

If you choose to feed your cat human-grade canned tuna, limit it to an occasional treat. Try to choose “chunk light” tuna in water rather than “white” tuna. Better yet, consider a healthy cat treat such as Grizzly Salmon Fillet Treats, or PureBites which are freeze-dried, single ingredient treats.

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  1. I can hardly believe that you are telling us that feed our cats with products that contain mostly fillers is better for them than 100% real fish.

  2. I have been feeding my 10 year old cat a small amount of tuna twice a day since she was a kitten with no problems at this time. Just had a full blood work panel done on her and all was very good. She is also fed a high quality dry food. Grain free and made in the USA. Her teeth are in very good shape too.

  3. My cat was 16 years old – We did feed her a tablespoon of canned tuna with her regular cat food and the vet said that was fine – or we could even give her the tuna water only the vet said (She didn’t like any oil) – There was no concern for mercury poisoning and I looked it up and studied it for quite a while – What did develop was hyperthyroidism – Some online details said the tuna or the cans it came in could have contributed to the hyperthyroidism – Tigger passed at 16 years old and I still don’t know if I could have done something different or even left it out of her diet even though she loved it so much : (

  4. I am concerned my cat loves tuna…….she is 13 she does very well. mostly indoor cat she also gets treats and her dry food only two or three times a day a little tuna in water……she dearly loves it…..she is fine….should I worry…..other foods she licks the juice, and leaves the so called meat? I love to see her eat the fish………………meat…….protein……..

  5. I like your comment Joe…………..real fish…………..100%

  6. I like your comment Patti love it……..

  7. I am sorry to hear that Patti #2 cats do not live much more than that……..I have a friend who has three old ones…..they have lost all control of their bowels…..her house is a constant mess…but so is she………I know mine is in love with life as yours was…….trigger loved every day she had with you………you are a good mom……..sorry for your loss…..

  8. Robin, a bit of tuna or the water from tuna in water as a treat should be fine.

  9. We’re suggesting that a nutritionally balanced, high-quality food designed for cats is better than a diet of straight tuna.

  10. I have been feeding my cat tuna and a high quality dry food. I would think real fish would be healthier for cats rather than typical wet cat food. The canned food has a lot of ingredients; Whereas tuna only has the fish. Not too sure about the health problems of the mercury in the tuna. Because cats are strict carnivores I would think fresh meat should be part of their normal diet; Just my opinion. My cat is 3 years old and free from any health issues.

  11. I have a 10 year old with kidney disease. He gets saline every other day, a kidney diet and a tuna flavored liquid medication. He hates the diet and liquid so I mix these in with a spoonful of tuna daily so that he will take the medicated food and liquid. If I didn’t then he would never eat the kidney food or take the liquid. Not sure if I’m doing more harm than good, but at least he’s taking the meds this way. Hopefully I’m not making this worse….

  12. I have a burmese that eats dry food and seems to only want to eat “fish”; Applaws, states it all natural, Dolphin friendly, no additives, rice is added. My previous Burmese ate fresh raw steak, this one tried mince for a little bit, then i tried chicken. Although she has Science diet dry food available all day she eats minimal amounts and looks for something else occasionally. She a gets a tin 70g over two days at the most. Any suggestions on what else to try rather than “Fish”

  13. Hi Wendy. A fish variety of cat food is fine. The concern is in regards to feeding large amounts of plain canned tuna which, on its own, is not a balanced diet.

  14. “wendy…SCIENCE DIET IS AWFUL FOR YOUR CAT and that is why she doesnt eat it. Cats are very smart and are as sensitive as humans. If they arent eating it then CHANGE BRANDS…They add sooo much garbage in these pet foods…do you KNOW what is going into them? READ THE LABELS and do the research,,then you will know why the cat doesnt want to eat it.

  15. My 7 year old Burmese is on a dry prescription food diet, but he recently developed a taste for tuna and since I’ve discovered that I can hide his daily heart pill in it (better than shoving a pill down his throat every day), I give him a table spoonful a day. He doesn’t like wet food (just licks the gravy off it), so perhaps I should find something of a similar texture that’s just as appealing so we can alternate.

  16. I have a 10 yr old boy and have wasted lots of money over the yrs, as he ll just walk past wet foods, some he used to eat.
    The one type he doesn’t pass up, is tuna flavors. Ill take my chances now. Hes 20 lbs, he’s on prescription dry, and to prevent him scratching or waking me up meowing for wet food, ill continue this tuna wet.
    If you have an HEB, try Fortis canned food – my boy loves that and cleans the plate. Plenty of times he’d lick only the juices up.

  17. I have a problem. My cat wont keep anything down except tuna! She is losing weight. Please help

  18. I hope there has been an improvement. If your cat isnt eating enough, she will get hepatic lipidosis (skin will have a yellow tint & she will vomit bile). Catsure has helped my cat, but take her to the vet as it is a deadly condition. There are several options for treating this & getting her back to eatng normally.

  19. My past cat, Vanilla died from kidney failure. He ate can of tuna every day for 10 years. He loved it. He hate can of cat foods. So I stopped feed him with can of tuna. Then I feed him with special k-d food for 5 years. Vets told me that tuna was bad for cat. I wish I would not feed him can of tuna but he was stubborn. He always want to have can of tuna. I don’t feed my present cats with can of tuna. I feed him can of cat food with turkey and chicken. No tuna.

  20. My cat Baba was diagnosed with kidney disease 2 years ago. She would not eat the kidney food. So for the last 2 years she ate her regular dry food and tuna with water. She recently went to the vet for a check up and her blood work had returned to almost normal. The vet couldn’t believe it. The only thing different was the tuna with water. She will be 18 in January. So I take what is said about tuna with a grain of salt.

  21. Thank you Laura! My cat eats tuna in spring water EVERY DAY FOR EVERY MEAL. He loves it and refuses to eat any type of wet cat food. He does eat regular dry Adult Original Science Diet cat food. We have had him now for 3 years and he is very healthy and active. We adopted him from a shelter, and he had been homeless, which is how I think he acquired the taste for tuna, as some people would have probably fed him that since he is very friendly. We think he’s about 4-5 years old now. I bought every possible brand and flavor of wet cat food at first, and he would not touch any of them! So now it’s white tuna in spring water only! With biscuits on the side. Surf & turf…

  22. Julie, this isn’t on the topic of tuna, but I also have a kidney cat (diagnosed 6 1/2 years ago) and I’ve been giving him Azodyl almost the entire time, along with periodic saline as needed, and he eats regular canned cat food since he won’t touch the kidney food. Azodyl is a veterinary probiotic intended especially for cats & dogs with kidney failure, and it has helped him tremendously. He takes 3 capsules daily–2 a.m. & 1 p.m. Check it out online if you’re interested. It facilitates enteric dialysis–meaning that many of the toxins normally filtered by the kidneys are eliminated in the intestines instead via this probiotic. Not quite as efficient as the kidneys, but pretty close. It has worked really well for us. Just FYI.

  23. My Husband insists on feeding our 17 r old cat(with kidney disease) tuna made with mayo and other additives. Usually from a tuna salad made at a restaurant. When I try to explain that this is not healthy for the cat. he gets upset at me. What are your thoughts about this practice.

  24. cats should definitely not eat mayo, doesn’t matter if you husband gets upset. and 17 years old is great- but all that added salt in people food will not help

  25. guys heres a simple trick to wean your cats OFF tuna…NO tuna is safe NONE…and NO SALMON either…contaminants and pollutants our oceans is saturated in polymers…plastics environmental waste etx….BEST TO FEED SPRINGWATER SARDINES Brand BRUNSWICK they are about $1.80 per tin. GIVE 1-2 tins per week or fortnight but NO more. SARDINES ARE PERFECT Sardines are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, feeding solely on plankton. As a result, they do not concentrate as much heavy metals like mercury and other contaminants found in most fish. HERE’S THE TRICK…start buying CHICKEN NECKS get a meat mallet and wack it to pre-crush the chicken neck bones to help kitty ‘ease into’ eating them and then roll the chicken neck in a bit of the tuna juice kitty has been used to – you may have to sprinkle a little of the tuna onto the neck – and SPRINKLE a little of NUTRITIONAL YEAST FLAKES-non active yeast (they are yellow in colour and smell a bit like cheese flavor-buy from health food store – don’t buy brewers yeast as its an active yeast and causes fermentation in the gut-owch!) If kitty still won’t eat it try throwing the neck and praising kitty for chasing it – it may take some coaching but what you’re doing is reverse psychology. NEVER give in to tuna it’s one of the most dangerous fish meat. It’s like people who have junk food have to use a lot of discipline and encouragement. REMEMBER CATS ARE CARNIVORES and MUST eat the whole carcass incl organs for optimum well being. NO PROCESSED CAT FOOD WET OR DRY can compete with raw food for cats (and dogs). PLEASE STOP FEEDING CATS TIN AND PACKET foods. And never feed a cat dog food they lack specific nutrients for cats. Farmed fish is too terrible. Not only is it unethical shooting aquatic birds that pick out farmed fish like pelicans etc they pollute and contaminate our oceans with GMO engineered fish excrement and food loft waste.The salmon are confined just like battery chickens and sows and is incredibly horrific. They are force fed and injected with SOY and PESTICIDES and many more agriculture and pharma toxins – oh yes and they are injected with dye to make it pink red again because they are so malnourished from their lifestyle…you wouldn’t buy salmon if it looked slightly grey or white would you. Well anyway guys I know you can do it stay strong and focused. Move from the isles and to the meat fridge section buy LAMB, CHICKEN, CHICKEN NECKS AND CHICKEN GIBLETS-offal. WARNING even though the lamb offal is inspected for HYDAYTID PARASITE not all is 100% CYSTS lye dormant within the organ tissue and when consumed the parasite will emerge. DO NOT FEED LAMB OR BEEF OFFAL to DOGS ESPECIALLY and CATS, CHICKEN DOESN’T’ CONTAIN THIS FATAL PARASITE.. Also don’t get caught in the trap of thinking worming your pets is ok to feed lamb and beef offal because worming is a neuro-toxin which stores in the animals body and is NOT water soluble resulting in cancer and immune suppression diseases either chronic or acute. REMEMBER GUYS SARDINES. ARE BEST either fresh and pan fry in coconut oil or brunswick in NO ADDED SALT Springwater. You can get the olive oil one but it has salt. NEVER buy food with added salt EVER. PS…AVOID ALL PET FOOD FRESH MEAT IT IS LACED WITH SULPHITES which seriously depletes Vit B1 in felines and dogs and is a high carcinogen. SULPHITES must never be fed to pets. ALL ROO meat is a disgusting meat and is also laced with poisons. Propaganda will tell you otherwise. MERCURY is in SHARK (FLAKE), COD, SALMON, PREDATORY FISHES AND YES TUNA. Even cat food tuna contains heavy metals.

  26. Thanks Eve. Yes my cat will only eat canned cat-food tuna (I’ve tried about 10 other wet cat food brands) but this past year has been starting to act so strange that I’ve been wondering if it’s from the mercury in the tuna…as I know it goes right to the brain. I’ve been reading that there is a lot more mercury in fish nowadays then they’ve let on…and even more than 10 yrs ago…and tuna has some of the highest mercury levels. My cat has started to become paranoid and fearful…even scared of a sock or my purse when on the floor…even gets scared of a blanket when I am just spreading it out a little….to the point where he won’t go near it again. I’ve tried chicken …and also sardines…but he wouldn’t touch it.

  27. Please make sure the kitty has No-GMO food !! Means you buy Organic. Cats hunt for meat in wilderness, they do not eat cooked food… but in the wild cats eat fresh blueberries, some grass and even green peas, as these are fantastic against kidney problems :))) Please make sure the kitty eats some fresh, uncooked meat, 1-2 table spoons of non-GMO raw meat, mix with cold-press flexseed oil/ sunflower daily ~ Also add a few green raw Organic peas per day, you can buy them frozen :))) Please choose safe canned food, like Paul Newton’s canned food, even if with brown rice instead of a Carrageenan additive .
    Just mix all that together with daily canned food. I learn very hard way…. my heart is still bleeding for my gorgeous Jake, fed for years with horrible doctor’s “formula” dry food….suffering kidney bloody horrors long before I even met him…
    About 5 years ago I rescued a small kitten – browsing the streets, deadly undernourish, so very ill… He is the most healthy and happy cat right now -no medications whatsoever ~ I just wrote about his diet that works wonders 🙂
    Fresh purified water – everyday!!!
    Blessings, wishing all of you a very long sweet life !!

  28. Boy Eve that almost makes me wish I didn’t have two cats. you are making it sound way too complicated to feed them. I have chronic pain and have trouble even feeding myself. I feed my cats dry purina food and friskies canned cat food is what I fed my other cat who lived sixteen years. Maybe healthier people can do all that but this 65 year old arthritic cannot.

  29. nobody feeds their cats perfectly. im sure we all wish we knew how to make them live forever… the important thing is they are loved, safe, sheltered and fed. do the best you can and dont be hard on yourselves. just love em up!

  30. I have a 4 year old cat , that is now 18lbs , i got him from the shelter an the whole first week she would not eat the dry food, only nibbled 4 or 5 pieces, he had alot of dental work so i thought maybe the dry was to hard, i tried caned cat food an i noticed he ate a small portion, an licked all juice , he wont drink water or milk , an after a family gathering, i noticed he went through the trash an ate chicken an chicken bones, this cleared up about the dental work not being so bad , but he wont eat his food , some one suggested tuna in water , an i gave him a can an he cleaned the plate , i was so happy to see him eat , so i ran out an got 10 more cans of tuna , an ive been feeding him tuna twice a day for a month now, i never knew tuna was bad, now i dnt know what to do , should i just take it all away,

  31. Very interesting thread. I was actually looking up whether it would be ok to give my two cats tuna in brine instead of tune in spring water as I had none of the other, they only have it as a treat but usually daily. After reading this I will certainly make it just a rare occasion now and not daily, I didn’t realise the dangers!

  32. I mix a small teaspoon of albacore canned tuna in water into high-end wet food. They love it! One can will last a long time. Add water to the can of tuna to keep it nice and wet and keep it tightly sealed and in the fridge.

  33. “limit it to an occasional treat”. Vague statements do not provide guidance to cat owners. How often is too often? How much is too much? Should the amount of tuna per week be based on the weight of the cat or is weight irrelevant? Is there a difference in consumption amount for males versus females (our boys love tuna, not as much for the girls)?

    We typically give half a can of tuna to each cat once per week, usually Sunday as a treat; however, the women in the family tend to treat the cats more often, especially if the cats turn up their nose on other wet food. Although it’s half a can per cat, some don’t eat all their tuna while others go foraging later to eat what others left behind. When I feed them tuna, I add filtered water to make it soupy. All the cats like the tuna soup better than they like the tuna (they drink all the juice and leave behind some of the tuna flakes). Alas, the women in my family just don’t get why water should be added or they think it is too much bother (gee, they can open a can, dish it out, but can’t manage to stir in some water).

    But again, “limit it to an occasional treat” gives no clue as to how often the cats should get the tuna treat and how much they get for each treat time. I have a feeling that not much is really known so the suggestion is just a guess.

  34. I fed my cat bee tuna fish in a can labeled no gmos is that ok

  35. Yesterday I discovered a cat living outside on our street and have been feeding it human food (chicken nuggets milk taco meat and cooked steak) I’m worried that human food will hurt it so I want to make some homemade cat food or treats. I thought tuna would be good in a cat treat with whole wheat flour and then baked but now that I have read your post I am having second thoughts. Is tuna baked inside homemade cat treats bad? Should I make something else? If so what would you recommend?

  36. My cat is taking medicine and the only way I can get him to take it is to crush it up in tuna. Is this bad for him?

  37. You sound like all those people who have said “I’ve smoked for 40 years without a problem!” Your anecdotal evidence is completely arbitrary. Your cat being fine just means you got lucky. There are always people who get lucky. It doesn’t negate statistical evidence.

    By the way, your cat’s teeth being in good shape has very little to do with the food.

  38. I am so sorry for your loss, I to loss my cat at 15 years old. Don’t blame yourself. I will sometime wounded if a medicine I give my cat for an ear infection killed him. It will hurt every time I would think that. I will never know but, one thing I do know is that my cat lived a long live and he was very loved everyday of his life. That is what I take with my now. When cats get up in age anything can go wrong just got to love them while we can.

  39. I sorta agree with the comment saying that how could it be better to feed canned cat food with tuna in it is better. I gave her the Meow Mix orange cup, wet food last summer. she has had it a couple years ago and loved it, but lost ride to store….yadayada… anyways within less than a two week period she got severely sick with diahrrea that was orange and literally ran out her like a river. She was tested at the vets for “everything” costing me money I dont have, and nothing was wrong with her. We all agreed it had to been that food. So I went back to tuna in water, I give her small amts. and add bottled water with it also to make sure she gets enough liquid. But she absolutely loves it and has been eating tuna for 6-7yrs now. She is almost 15yrs old and I dont want to give her canned food which I have also heard is full of sugar etc…. and was spoke of like canned food is “candy”. So what is a person to really believe??? She is healthy and I will talk to my vet about this issue. I dont want to give her straight dry, she has gum disease and has lost 5 teeth, can still chew good, but I feel the tuna gives her vitamins. I could very well be incorrect, I am not a vet nor an animal analyst. So I will consider your words. So yes, what are the GOOD CANNED FOODS to buy??? Living on disability I cant afford caviar for her ,,,,,kidding haha. I am interested. She has had a sensitive stomach ever since that horrid event in the summer. It was awful, seriously. Thank You

  40. Wow after reading all these other comments I see that I am not the only one with the tuna ordeal. Ok, yes our oceans are a mess. But so are our beef, really bad, and how do we know chicken is even safe? I mean WHAT IS SAFE ANYMORE??? as humans we are having a hard time finding good suitable food for our systems. I have seen some horrid photos of chickens on their way to the slaughter house and already dead. So thats not good. I think maybe the sardine issue is practical but I dont know if I can deal with the smell myself. So yes, what do we do. I am trying everything I can to keep my girl alive longer than 15yrs, I know of cats living up into their 20’s and she is a Russian Blue, never been outside and very healthy today. Tomorrow is never a given for her or me. So we try to do the best we can each and every day to stay healthy. I will say she is showing some sort of change in her right eye. A black circle right on the edge of her green color and where it meets the black pupil?? I know they have different names for cats eye parts. But I was thinking ok, could be an older cat issue. I am keeping my eye on her eye….get it !!! haha So yes, mercury is bad, I still have a mouthful of mercury fillings in my teeth. Is that perhaps why I am a bit crazy??? again a joke!!!! But we as humans are warned too. so I am going to cut back some on the tuna giving and try to find another good solution. She does like some white chicken meat here and there when I cook it which isnt often. I eat very little meat at all and no red meat ever. I have read eggs are ok for them….what about that????? I am interested in hearing from you all .

  41. I look at it like this, how many tuna do you think you’re kitty could catch and eat if it weren’t for you and Starkist and a can opener? This “fish” probably isn’t good for our cats because its not a fish it would have the ability to hunt, kill and eat on its own. Since cats are land animals, is any fish good for it to eat?

    Lately my cats have been begging for deli sliced turkey. Is that bad for them?

  42. Joshua (cat man do)January 9, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Just a quick comment.
    Every cat I have ever had (about 11) I’m 30 now with 4 new ones, all my cats have lived 19-21years, all different breeds it’s how you feed and take care of them, also mind you they hardly ever if at all went to the vet. The way to have a cat live a long healthy life you ask? Don’t give them people food think of them like an infant, give them only what is made for them and brush them play with them, they will love you always and live a long happy life.

    P.S. my mom still has 2 of the cats we got when I was 11 both still playing and hyper as always both at about 19years old (there siblings).

  43. Two years ago I started giving my 14 year old cat tuna juice for a treat. Within weeks, he he would act like something was crawling on his back and yank his hair out. He ended up with a 3×5″ bald spot on his back. Not knowing what was wrong, I took him to the vet for tests (parasites etc.). They found nothing. I switched his cat food to 4health (from Pedigree he’d eaten his entire life) and quit giving him tuna because we weren’t sure what the problem was. This last December I gave him the tuna juice a couple of times and the hair pulling started immediately. I don’t know if it’s an allergy or the mercury, but as much as he loves it, he’ll never get it again.

  44. We’re not sure how old our cat is and we’ve only had him for six months. At first I tried so many kinds of wet cat food and he would barely sniff at them – even when he was begging to be fed. He would try to bury it with his back paws, sometimes. But we knew he should eat some wet food every day (along with the dry cat food we give him) so I kept trying until I tried the Purely Fancy Feast. This stuff doesn’t even resemble cat food – just chunks and shredded meat in broth/water. But it’s pricey. In the Boston area, I haven’t found it for as little as a dollar a container. At my local grocery it is 4 for $5. So I started augmenting these with canned tuna in water, because it’s less than half the cost. (I’m presently out of work, so this is a consideration for me.) ALSO I’m not thrilled about giving Nestlé Corp. money every single day (for a lot of reasons. But if this stuff didn’t look like meat and only meat, one reason would be that I wouldn’t trust them to do what’s best over what’s cheapest for my cat, with respect to ingredients.) A 4.5 oz can provides more than twice as much food as two (2 oz) servings of the Purely Fancy Feast, and I can usually get it for under a dollar. (This week it was on sale at 5/$3!) He will also happily eat canned white meat chicken (in water), and the only reason I’ve given him less of that is that the cans are so big (12.5 oz) so the last meals aren’t so fresh. But at about $2 a can, it’s much less than half the cost the Purely Fancy Feast, and less than tuna, too. (And if Nestlé is making any money off of this store brand, at least I’m not conscious of it.) I don’t know how the chicken compares in food value to tuna, but there isn’t the same level of concern re. mercury. Again, he eats dry food daily, so I know he gets a lot of the right nutrients – the main reason we’re pushing some wet stuff is that we’ve been told that if male cats don’t have adequate moisture in their diets, they can easily suffer digestion tract issues. But he also LOVES the tuna and chicken, and is never excited about the dry kibble – though he eats it grudgingly. Anyway, I guess after reading these posts I’m going to increase the canned chicken (and if I DO buy any wet cat food, I won’t get the tuna variety) because of the mercury issue. Good luck, everyone.

  45. Hi.. our Angel refuses to eat anything but canned tuna (in water). She will nibble on her dry food but will meow and “beg” for tuna like at every 4 or 5 hour intervals. I’ve read the supposed dangers of giving your cat too much tuna and after reading all this, I am very concerned. I have pretended to ignore her, turned her attention to other things (not much luck there) and even sternly told her no tuna. Didn’t work. What do I do?

  46. I totally believe in feeding cats natural foods or non GMO foods to live a long healthy life. I have a cat named Max that is 2 years old that I love very much. He has been urinating a lot and the vet thinks its diabetes but I think it could be so many other things. I don’t want to give my poor cat medication for the rest of his life because I think the best way to live life is as natural as possible. However, I do want to start a new healthy diet regime for him so he could possibly get healthier. I have been feeding him cheap dry food and I feel this is what destroyed his health. I was wondering if you had any recommendations or could guide me to starting a new healthy diet. I really love my cat and after reading your post I really want to try what you are doing and help him live long and healthy. Thanks!

  47. This information is not very helpful unless you make at least some attempt to quantify how much is “too much”

  48. Well this is confusing as when we got our cat from the vet they said not to feed her commercial “wet” cat food, that it was rubbish and will just make her toilet movements sloppy and smelly and it had no nutritional value at all. They said I was better to feed her a high quality dry and normal food grade tuna in spring water. She gets a spoonful in the morning and a spoonful at night with a cup of dry food a day. She’s 4 and so far in good health. She’s mostly inside as we live on an acreage.

  49. Are you kidding me. Some people just look for the opportunity to cut someone down.. That’s sick.

  50. If it works for your cat continue doing what you do. People complicate their life to a ridiculous point (like Eve). I simplified my life years ago on all levels including food and this is how I take care of my cat Lolita as well. My car is a rescue cat, at the shelter she was fed dry Science Diet and this is what I continued at home, i also give her about 2 tablespoons of people tuna packed in water every day and she is crazy about it. One can lasts me a week, stored in the fridge. Simple and so far perfect. If something needs to change in the future, we will change it..

  51. No, their comment is valid. It isn’t specifically to cut Patti down, the message is that there will be a variety of outcomes of feeding a cat human grade tuna, and yes while your cat in particular may react perfectly fine, there are much safer options for your pets. And, as with smoking, the issues that can come with daily canned tuna ingestion develop with time and use. The counter-argument is an attempt to push the articles main point over the “happy stories” that attempt to nullify the articles message.

  52. Mix tuna with other foods you want him to eventually eat on its own. Reduce tuna intake, find a good brand of wet food that includes fish/tuna. We try to keep our cats diet varied, not feeding the same wet food every day (fish, poultry, etc). Finding a high quality food is difficult, unfortunately.

  53. Why oh why are there so many different answers?!?! Either tuna is good or bad for a cat! I’ve been giving my cat (she’s about 8) about a tablespoon or two of tuna in water twice a day. She also has water and her dry food. I haven’t seen any problems- except the past two days when I come home from
    Work there’s pee on her mat in front of her litter box. I see her stomach a little spasmatic. (She sometimes spends the day in my room- roommate has a mean cat so we take turns letting them out.) I don’t know what to do about the tuna! Is albacore better??? Help!

  54. Please always cleanse your animals of heavy metals at least twice a year. I use iodine drops but I am warning that I have heard that large does are not good for cats. As long as your pet food is not high in iodine I don’t think thisis an issue. I just can’t get my cats to eat chlorella. Dogs would be easy to give chlorella to mixed in with meat or cheese

    I put my cats on a cleanse of iodine drops for 3 weeks and my one cat’s asthma disappeared. This makes me believe there maybe a connection to Tuna and asthma among others. It may have been caused by a vaccine because vaccines contain Mercury. I started to vaccines only once. Rabies etc vaccines last a life time and do not have to be repeated. I don’t even get the rabies as there is no cases in my area and not that concerned about it. You can get a tyter test every 5 years to make sure their levels are high enough instead of vaccines yearly.

    My cats have been on BFF soft food which is high in Tuna to mix with their raw food. It’s the only way I can get them to eat raw. A little bit of high quality hard food is fine but some experts say they will have a mild case of dehydration throughout there life. A raw, dehydrated, freeze dried is always best. For them to hunt is the absolute best for them as mice are species appropriate for them. They aren’t designed to eat cooked food and myself I am working on cutting it all out except raw and hunting. I had to take my one cat off of the Tuna canned food because she got asthma. There is a link to asthma and canned fish so the experts say. They also sell Pinky mice online that are frozen that are great if this doesn’t bother you. It does me.

    I feed 15% hard food daily
    15% soft food
    70% raw or freeze dried

    Which makes up about 50% of their total diet. They eat mice as well daily. I am making changes to encourage them to eat outside which is the BEST. I put them outside first thing in the morning around 6am and then they come in at 8am to eat a small portion. I will put out the hard food around lunch time for a snack or feed them Stella and Chewy freeze dried . I will feed them raw and soft food mixed together around 9pm and let them eat the hard food if they are still hungry. One day I will have them on just raw. Even cooked meats are way better then the commercial pet food diets.

  55. Smaller species of Tuna are best as the have the least amount of Mercury. I started to cut way down on feeding Fish as well to be on the safe side. I would also put your cat on a heavy metal cleanse twice a year. It cured my cat of asthma doing this. I use iodine drops 2 drops per day for 2-3 weeks. Perhaps 3 weeks the first cleanse and then 2 weeks thereafter. You don not want to keep them on iodine for any longer then that. I would try adding some raw or freeze dried or cooked pure meats that you eat to their diet and cut down on the commercial pet foods. Less of the hard food as well. too much will give your cat dehydration and lots of health issues can happen as a result. These are very researched suggestions I am giving you.

  56. I forgot to add in response to your question. Tuna is amazing for us and our pets. It does have high level of mercury in it so caution is given when consuming it. That said, our bodies are naturally designed to eliminate all toxins from our body but if we get overloaded it accumilates within us and causes disease. It all depends on us and our bodies ability to remove harmful toxins. This depends on ones health and mental state of mind. This is why one cat can be just fine on a diet with just Tuna others will get eventually sick even from eating it twice or so a week. Moderation is key and finding alternatives is very wise to be on the safe side. Cleansing is the key to health. For us as well

  57. My vet said that hyperthyroidism is an eventuality in cats as they get older! At some point and older cat will develop hyperthyroidism.

  58. My last cat lived to 18 and never developed it. Or any health problems for that matter. People couldn’t believe he was old when they watched him playing and pouncing like a kitten. Perfect eyesight, mental faculties, and health. Long shiny fur. I never fed him garbage food. If it said “biproducts” or anything like that, it was a no. He got nothing but Authority most of his life after I researched what I could afford.

  59. OH GOSH Patti…i felt the same way when my cat died a few months ago at 16+…he had hyperthyroidism for over 4 years. It was horrible. I gave him tuna and chicken breast for years and thought IF ONLY I HAD thought differently. he was my best friend and baby.
    I feel guilt all the time. I now have a rescue kitty and have been giving her tuna over the weekends a little at a time. but after reading this I AM GOING TO STOP! so glad i read this..thanks for sharing this info

  60. And yet a koala bear can live it’s entire life eating only eucalyptus leaves. When it comes to studies, everything is bad.

  61. (((Rosenberg)))

  62. My cat is 26 years old and is just now beginning to have health problems. Vet said it looks like hyperthyroidism. I’ve been feeding her Darwin’s Natural Cat food for ages. Darwin’s is delivered to my house, frozen from Pennsylvania (their main office is in Washington or Oregon, I don’t remember which). Their cat food choices are chicken, turkey, or duck. You choose. It is approved for human consumption, something you won’t find in any other commercial pet food. No byproducts, no preservatives, no grain, nothing a human couldn’t eat, it is just scientifically formulated for cats. My cats love it, and I’m sure it is what has kept them healthy all these years. The only problem is that it’s not cheap. I have a month’s supply delivered for my three cats, and it costs about $120 each month. You tell them how many cats you have and they’ll tell you how much you probably need. You can have it delivered every month, every other month, or whenever it looks like you’re about to run out. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever, no matter how well they may eat.

  63. Thank you Abe! Brought a tear to my eye!

  64. We have 2 tuxedo cats, 9 and 13 years old. They love any cat food with tuna and we do give them a little canned tuna at night (actually prefer the Walmart brand over any others). The older one mostly just drinks the tuna water (I also add a little water). Something I’ve found recently at our FL Walmart are these packets called Delectables for 94 cents each. They like the Senior 10 yrs+ or 15 yrs + tuna & chicken ones – good for those cats that like liquid. I split a package between them and add a little water. They absolutely love the Sr. 10 yrs+ Bisque Tuna & Chicken ones, which is all liquid. Not a drop is left when I give them this one. They make others not labeled for Sr. cats but my cats won’t eat them.

  65. I FED MY 1YR OLD CAT STARKIST TUNA… only 1X, LAST NIGHT. He’s going in for surgery to get neutered, and this morning he pooped yellow diarrhea with bright red blood. He seems fine but I’m still freaking out!

  66. I’m what’s known as a back wood vet. Raised on a farm and caring for animals both wild and domestic. Common since tells you 100% natural is always the smart way to go…. Joes a smart cookie lol. Juice… Not oil with a small amount of meat from a can won’t hurt your pet. It will put your fur baby in a higher risk bracket tho. Of course you should know this just like you know smoking or a box of cookies is gonna put you in one. Your baby may live to be 15yrs old but with the right diet thru life and a good cry that 15 could be 20. I go on this rule…. I work in nursing for the disabled…. Life is about quality not quantity! Happy and healthy is great but life full of strict would make even us miserable. Let me take your chocolate, cake, coffee, pudding, cut your dairy and limit your cheeseburgers and steaks. You’ll live longer rite…. How quick would you wanna choke me??? Ha ha moderation never hurt anyone and if a problem occurs you should have a vet that will spot and help correct the issue.

  67. My main man ‘Fred’ the cat has been dealing with Kidney Issues for 14 months now (18 yrs. old)…he loves Tuna in water and I say let him enjoy his elder years along with good grade hard food…still purrs like a kitten.

  68. My 19 year old cat has had a can of tuna at least 4 days of week his whole life, he had a blockage when he was only two years old he was a rescue and I had to treat him for lots of health issues in the first 6 months I had him
    …so we have stuck to prescription food and canned tuna in water…he won’t touch oil. He is a happy 19 year old cat…

  69. I have a question unrelated to feeding my cats. I have a 13 year old barn cat. Recently someone dropped off a female cat that took residency in our barn and had kittens. I have found homes for 2 of the kittens and am getting the others spayed and trying to find them homes. Will my older cat remain in the barn or will they drive her out? She will not go by them when I am around at feeding time. I do feed them in separate areas. I don’t want her to leave her home because of them but I can’t make them homeless either —-

  70. When my diabetic cat needs to be encouraged to eat after her Lantus injection, I will feed her a tablespoon of (sous vide) cooked tuna steak. She loves it. She’ll even come out of hiding during a thunderstorm for some. I’ll put a spoon full of it on top of her regular canned cat food and she will eat the tuna and eventually work her way into the regular cat food.

    I will seal raw 1″ thick tuna steaks in food grade vacuum bags and immersion cook them at 126.5°F for 50 minutes. I seal up an unseasoned pouch for my cat and salt & season mine. My cat might like them rawer, but I don’t. I don’t want to risk getting sick. My cat loves it anyhow and would eat an entire tuna steak if she were allowed to. And I like it cooked to that degree for tuna salad once in a while.

  71. Just because some of you ppl have been feeding your cats tuna and they’re “healthy and energetic” doesn’t mean that it’s good for them on a regular basis. How many people do we all know who smoke cigs and eat fatty foods, etc and they all appear “healthy” for many years? Yes, tuna is “real” fish as opposed to cat food tuna, but it also isn’t fortified with many of the essential minerals, vitamins, etc that cat food specifically has. The author isn’t saying that your cats are going to be noticeably sick or lethargic from regular meals of straight tuna, but it’s not helping them in any way either. I guess it’s just human nature to attack the messenger though.

  72. My cat growing up was a very, or should I say extremely picky eater. He refused to eat dry food, only ate certain brands of wet foods. He often dined on tuna or the juice from canned tuna. He would also steal food right off my plate if I looked away for a second. He must have been the exeption because he lived to be 22. Now I’m not recommending people feed their cats that way. Back then the wasn’t as much awareness on the crap in most pet foods or the variety of better quality foods available now. Maybe he would have lived even longer today knowing what I know. But I don’t think a little tuna sometimes will hurt them especially if the main staple is a high quality food. I believe 16 is a nice old age for most cats.

    I was also told at the pet store to never feed them wet food or anything but dry food. I’m not sure I agree with this, Where in the wild would a cat get dry food. They would hunt bird, mice, fish ect. all of which has a higher moisture content than a bag of food. So I like to feed both to my cats. And believe that is a good balance.

  73. I guess my cats are picky eaters too. They won’t even touch canned cat food of any kind or brand even the most expensive brands, I’ve tried it. The one thing they will eat is tuna in water, “they won’t touch tuna in oil” and why I don’t know.
    I want them to eat some kind of dry food so when they were young I tried all brands again only to find one kind that they will eat (and actually like) . The name of it is Kibbles and Bits, they love it, so I keep a bowl for them at all times so they can eat when they get ready. They get tuna morning and evening and they lap up the juice first and then eat the tuna. They are so funny! They love to lay on their backs with all fours in the air. Happy cats I guess.

  74. I’ve been feeding my cat (17 yrs old) canned tuna in water (usually generic brands, but, if on sale, the brand named tuna. I give her the flaked; it’s easier for her to eat. She usually drinks the tuna/water off first, so I mix the meat w/the water-even adding a little to keep it moist so she won’t drink the juice then leave the meat.
    She’s been lean and plays all her life (a calico, who is very picky eater). I was a Marine for many years, and the one thing I noticed, arriving at many City Ports were the cats everywhere. I asked a fisherman what was the best fish the cats liked. Besides the ‘white fish’ they love tuna he says. I asked if they live long w/the tuna; heard about mercury?
    He said, ‘I’m 68. Have been eating it all my life, in every different combination possible and I’m healthy as a horse; so are the other sailors I know.
    Rule of thumb, he said, is ‘If we can eat it, the cats will like it.’ I asked if they die of it; live short lives? He said, ‘Not eating Tuna; they thrive. They die from many other things, i.e, competition for the food and humans killing them. So, when I dug my calico out of a dumpster where a couple was trying to drown her, I went with what I heard. 17yrs later, she’s fine and still loves it.
    I’ve tried many brand name cat foods. She buries the dry food (or pushes it off on the dogs next door). Mostly, w/o naming names, she loves human grade fish. the stuff we eat; with the exception of salmon (which I don’t like, but that’s just a taste preference).
    The last few years I’ve added Sheba-a high dollar cat food-which she loves also. I checked into it (looking @ a number of reviews; NOT Sheba) and not one said that Sheba wasn’t human grade. It is high-dollar tho’.
    She loves sardines also (sardines in fresh water, not oils). I eat both, I’m 71 and she’s c. about my age human years.
    That’s been my experience w/my calico, who ‘I work for’. She owns me (I’m into pain and suffering). (chuckle).
    So there’s one Marine’s call ’em like I see ’em story.

  75. My cat was diagnosed with cancer last month and I decided to give him a can of tuna everyday because he loves it so much. I was giving him a can tuna once every couple of months before. But have now switched to raw chicken because I was worried about the mercury. He’s only 6 and a half.

  76. Reading alot of comments and Im surprised at the amount of folks who question other peoples choices. At the end of the day so long as you have a happy AND healthy cat that’s all that matters. I’ve always had cats along with many other animals, the benefit of growing up on a farm, and I can say I didnt always know what they ate. They hunted rabbits, mice, and yes birds. These where the happiest and healthiest cats I have ever know. Now I live with my boyfriend away from the farm and we have two indoor rescue cats. One who is old and eats senior cat food and the other is 3yr. I have to control his diet to the extreme as he is prone to blockage which could kill him. (Very scary when it happens, and sometimes he fakes the symptoms to let us know whose in charge) . Due to this he has to have a very low protein diet, which is where I am surprised at some of you feeding the ‘better quality cat foods’. The protein content on some of these high priced ‘better quality’ foods can be as much as 70%. This may sound brilliant but believe me I almost lost my black bear last year due to high protein cat food, it was traumatic for both cats and both humans. He has for the past 12 months been on specialist vet WET cat food to keep him alive. Dry food is a massive no no in my vets opinion. He did say the tablets we had to give Louie could be ground down and mixed in with tuna in spring water but no more than a teaspoon of tuna to be given. So what Im saying is what you might think is best for your cat might not be the case. Dont get fooled by these over priced ‘holistic or natural’ cat foods, its all marketing at the end of the day. Speak to YOUR vet who knows YOUR pet and if you give treats do so but always in moderation. Old bear as his treat gets a handful of cat biscuits because he enjoys them and helps keep plaque down on his teeth also gives more fibre to help with hairball control. Louie only gets wet food and for his treat on Friday he gets a some tuna with tuna water.

  77. Make their food, then you can control what goes in their bodies. Just made my batch for the week which included 2 1/2 pounds of barely cooked chicken thighs, pumpkin, rice, oil, and a can of white tuna in water to make it yummy to them. Am transitioninng to a raw diet after my male cat had urinary tract issues from him not wanting to drink enough water. Will transition to almost raw, it’s what’s best for them. Once I can obtain a grinder, they will transiton to mostly raw. Their homemade food has yielded softer coats and happier kitties. And it costs only a little more than store-bought cat food. Totally worth it.

  78. I fed both of my cats starkist tuna in water. One lived 22 years, the other 18 years with zero health issues. That was their daily diet , nothing else. My new guy, same problems. I’m sticking with what had worked for me and my guys 💕

  79. I have 2 kittens and have been giving them a can divided into 4 a day, they both eat half a can a day, and they also drink plenty of water and they eat dry food. I have other cats that hate tuna so this is new to me. Is half a can per day bad for them?

  80. Patti #2 Even if it could have gave your cat another few months or a year- I think you did good by giving him 16 years of delicious meals instead of 17 years of flavorless meals. Your cat would have definitely chosen the former. Your job as a cat mom is not merely to prolong the life of your loved one but more importantly contribute to the overall quality of his/her life.

  81. I feed my cat about 3-4 full tins of tuna in spring water, she is 17 and is a very fussy eater. Put tuna down and she takes the lot without any major health issues so unfortunately I think it depends on the individual cat. She will be 18 shortly unless I strangle her for waking me up for a cuddle.

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