Is Tuna Fish Good for a Cat?

Tuna can be both good and bad for cats.
Tuna can be both good and bad for cats. (Image: Gayla Bailey/Photodisc/Getty Images)

It is commonly assumed that cats love fish. But whether or not it is healthy for them is another matter. Proper nutrition is critical at any stage of a cat's life. This means feeding your cat the right foods and avoiding the temptation to feed it the wrong ones, no matter how delicious the cat might find them. Always consult your veterinarian before changing your cat's diet in any way.

It Can Encourage Sick Cats to Eat

If your cat has an upper respiratory infection, it may lose its appetite. This is because the feline sense of smell is much more sensitive than its sense of taste. For this reason, cats eat largely based on what smells appetizing to them. If your cat cannot smell its food due to upper respiratory congestion, it may have no desire to eat. The strong smell of tuna can encourage them to eat when added to dry food.

It Can Cause Bad Breath

Feeding your cat tuna fish may cause it to have bad breath. Some cat parents are not bothered by this in the least. Others find it off-putting to the point that they cannot live with it. Consider this factor before feeding your cat tuna.

It Does Not Contain Enough Vitamin E

Another problem with feeding cats tuna fish is that it does not contain sufficient amounts of vitamin E. A typical cat diet should consist of two-thirds meat and one-third grains and vegetables. However, it is difficult to achieve nutritional balance with a homemade cat diet. Most cat foods are nutritionally balanced, which is why it is not a good idea to deviate from them a great deal unless instructed to by a vet.

It Can Cause Cat Allergies

One of the most common causes of feline food allergies is tuna. According to the Cat Health Guide, tuna is responsible in 42 percent of feline food allergic reaction cases. Symptoms of allergic reactions to food in cats usually consist of an itchy face, neck and, possibly, ears.

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