Tuna and blindness?! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Tuna and blindness?!

Hello fellow cat lovers!

I'm in a bit of a predicament. We took our two kitties in for their check ups a couple of weeks ago and after discussing eating habits, we were told eating tuna, as part of a regular diet, can prevent the absorption of Taurine (something all living mammals bodies create EXCEPT for cats, so it's added to their food.)

We have been giving Buster (diagnosed with cat herpes when first adopted) a crushed up L-Lysine pill every other day since his symptoms cleared up for almost two years now. The only way he will eat it is mixed in with tuna. I only use a tablespoon at a time, and both my husband and I were perplexed such a small amount could have such a huge (negative!) impact.

The vet flat out told us tuna prevents the absorption of Taurine and can cause blindness. So what's the difference between all the tuna based cat foods and a can of human grade tuna in water?

Anyone else here heard or know anything about this claim? Just curious if we really need to switch up our routine with a different "mixer."

Thanks for your input!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 10:24 PM
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I have never, ever heard this and a quick google shows nothing to back it up. Tuna has insufficient taurine (as well as many other nutrients) to provide a balanced diet for a cat. And there are other issues like heavy metal content such as mercury. But blocking taurine absorption is not something tuna can be blamed for.

Perhaps he is confusing it with raw tuna blocking thiamine absorption. Since canned tuna is cooked, that isn't an issue.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 10:47 PM
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It's also possible he's encountered a number of people who, like you, began feeding tuna as a treat...and then wound up with that being the only thing their cat would eat.

Unfortunately that was a very common tune for me to hear when I worked at a big pet store.

TBH, as long as you're careful about the small amount I wouldn't be too stressed about it. But I would suggest finding alternate things to hide the lysine in to prevent pickiness developing long term. The lysine itself is tasteless, so see if you can mix it into the regular canned food. You can also try chicken flavored baby foods, or lactose free milk as a good alternate.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proudkittymomma View Post

The vet flat out told us tuna prevents the absorption of Taurine and can cause blindness. So what's the difference between all the tuna based cat foods and a can of human grade tuna in water?
In addition to what Doodlebug mentioned, I'd worry more about taurine for the overall health and LIFE of your cat, more than blindness. Taurine is needed for proper heart function, so over time, if there's a deficiency, it can also cause heart issues (cardiomyopathy).

The difference between tuna or any fish/seafood based formulas made for cats and human grade canned fish is that taurine and other vitamins are added back in, since cooking in itself destroys taurine and vitamins. If you look at the ingredient lists of all commercial cat food, you'll always find taurine in there. Human canned tuna probably also has too much sodium for a cat. Feeding it as a small treat once in a while can't hurt, though.

However, that being said, fish as a main portion of a cat's diet is something I'd totally avoid in general. There are way too many issues with fish and cats, you can look up old threads here on that topic and find plenty of info.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 01:43 AM
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Hi ProudKM!
Maybe these links will help clarify everything!
Sharon

http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/

http://catsndogsnaturally.com/?p=1217

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Last edited by marie73; 09-16-2015 at 01:45 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! I was eating breakfast with my hubby and checked for any responses. This is the reason I love these forums (: thanks so much for all your personal wisdom and advice! We will try the chicken flavored baby food for his "treat" from now on.

The vet was pretty young, so I felt like it was something new being researched. She seemed very knowledgable otherwise!

I know Buster LOVES chicken after training our new puppy with it. Buster kept trying to get it out of my hands. It's always nice giving the cats something different than the same old dry cat food; the way they meow in anticipation warms my heart! I'm happy there's still hope for those moments without any possible health or, in a sense, addiction issues!

Thanks again for all your help, guys!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 03:41 PM
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I've been told on many occasions by either vets or pet food specialists that too much tuna is not good because of the mercury as well, try other fish products that are specifically for cats. There are so many options for cats, it might take some experimenting but I'm sure you'll find something your cat will love!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 04:38 PM
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This thread is so annoying, so much bad information.

Years ago, Morris the Cat fell into the ocean and Charlie the Tuna saved his life. To thank him, Morris said cats will no longer eat tuna.

Sheesh.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 05:15 PM
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Lol, too funny marie. I'll have to remember that story!
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