Can Cats Eat Tuna? A Vet’s Guide to Feeding Fish Safely

by Tips Cat
Can Cats Eat Tuna? A Vet's Guide to Feeding Fish Safely

Tuna is a type of fish packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. But not all human foods are suitable for felines. This article provides researched facts from a veterinary perspective on the benefits and risks of tuna for cats. Discover if and how much tuna your cat can eat safely.


Tuna is a saltwater fish harvested for human consumption. It is rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. While tuna offers certain benefits to people, it may not be an ideal meal for cats. The question “Can cats eat tuna?” raises important considerations pet owners must weigh regarding their cat’s health.

Can Cats Eat Tuna?

Can Cats Eat Tuna? In short – yes, cats can eat tuna, but only in moderation.

Can Cats Eat Tuna? Tuna contains high levels of mercury and sodium that can be problematic in large quantities. However, small infrequent portions of tuna are generally safe for most cats to consume. Always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods.

Is Tuna Safe for Cats?

Can Cats Eat Tuna? Cats may enjoy the strong scent and flavor of tuna. The fishy aroma and taste can be enticing to curious felines.

It’s understandable that cats may desire tuna if owners are eating it. But just because cats want tuna does not mean it is nutritionally sound. Owners should exercise caution when sharing tuna with cats.

In limited amounts, tuna can be an occasional treat. Can Cats Eat Tuna? The small amounts of omega-3s may provide some health bonuses. But tuna lacks the full nutrition cats require in a balanced diet.

Is Tuna Poisonous to Cats?

Can Cats Eat Tuna? Tuna itself is not poisonous to cats. However, some key components can cause problems if cats consume tuna regularly or in high quantities.

Mercury buildup over time can damage cats’ nervous system and kidneys. Sodium can strain the heart and kidneys. Too much tuna can lead to malnutrition if cats fill up on tuna instead of cat food.

Signs of tuna poisoning include lack of coordination, vomiting, and lethargy. Left untreated, it can be fatal. Limit tuna strictly to reduce risks.

Benefits of Tuna for Cats

Tuna contains beneficial nutrients for humans and cats, including:

  • Protein -supports strong muscles
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – benefits skin/coat
  • Vitamins and minerals like B-vitamins, potassium, and selenium

Can Cats Eat Tuna? The omega-3s in tuna can enhance skin and coat health, while the protein provides an energy boost. In moderation, the nutrients may supplement a cat’s regular diet.

How Much Tuna Can Cats Eat?

Veterinarians recommend limiting tuna intake to no more than 1-2 small servings per week at most. A serving size of 1 ounce (28 grams) is sufficient.

Can Cats Eat Tuna? Any more than this can risk mercury exposure. Stick to infrequent tuna treats in tiny portions to avoid overwhelming your cat’s system.

How to Feed Tuna to Cats

When introducing tuna, follow these tips:

  • Mix a spoonful of tuna juice into your cat’s regular wet food to pique interest. Gradually increase mixed in chunks.
  • If your cat rejects tuna, don’t force it. Stick to their normal diet.
  • Choose tuna canned in water, not oil, and avoid added salt. Check for bones.
  • Put away any uneaten tuna after 15 minutes to avoid spoilage.

Alternatives and Supplements

Instead of tuna, feed small amounts of cooked:

  • Salmon – rich in omega-3s
  • Whitefish – contains vitamin B12
  • Shrimp – provides protein and calcium

Can Cats Eat Tuna? Quality cat foods like Wellness CORE, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, and Tiki Cat provide balanced nutrition without risks of overfeeding fish.

Can cats have tuna?

Yes, but only 1-2 small servings per week maximum due to risks of mercury exposure.

Can kittens eat tuna?

No, kittens should avoid tuna completely due to the high mercury levels that can damage their developing nervous systems.

Can Maine Coon cats eat tuna?

Yes, Maine Coon cats can eat small amounts of tuna up to 1 ounce, once or twice a week at most. Any more than that risks mercury exposure which can damage their nervous system and kidneys.

Can Persian cats eat tuna?

Persians can occasionally eat tiny portions of tuna as an infrequent treat a couple times a month. But tuna should never make up a significant part of their diet due to the high mercury content.

Can Sphynx cats eat tuna?

Hairless Sphynx cats can have a little tuna as a snack every so often. But tuna should be fed sparingly and make up less than 10% of their total weekly food intake to avoid potential mercury toxicity.

Can Bengal cats eat tuna?

Bengals can be fed tuna in very limited amounts as the occasional fishy snack. But no more than 1 ounce per week, as Bengals are sensitive to excess mercury. Their diet should consist mostly of high-protein cat foods.

Can Siamese cats eat tuna?

Siamese cats can have a small bit of tuna as a rare treat. But tuna should never exceed 5% of their total diet, as Siamese cats are prone to gastrointestinal issues from too much fish.

Can Ragdoll cats eat tuna?

Ragdoll cats can occasionally have a tiny taste of tuna as a supplement to their regular cat food. But it should be fed in strict moderation due to the high sodium and mercury content that ragdolls are sensitive to.

Can British Shorthair cats eat tuna?

British shorthairs can eat tuna sparingly, no more than one ounce per week. Their digestive systems handle fish well, but too much tuna can cause toxic mercury buildup over time.

Can Abyssinian cats eat tuna?

Abyssinians can eat a small tuna snack now and then, but no more than 1-2 times monthly. The mercury levels make tuna unsafe as a routine part of an Abyssinian’s diet.

Can Scottish Fold cats eat tuna?

Scottish Folds can have tuna in very limited portions as an occasional treat. But it should never exceed one ounce per week, as Scottish Folds are prone to kidney disorders exacerbated by mercury.

Can Siberian cats eat tuna?

Siberians can eat a small taste of tuna once or twice a month. But tuna should not be a regular part of a Siberian’s diet, as they are sensitive to its high sodium content.

What happens if cats eat too much tuna?

Consuming tuna in excess can cause mercury poisoning in cats. Symptoms include lack of coordination, vomiting, seizures, lethargy, and kidney failure. Left untreated, it can be fatal.

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