Is tinned tuna OK for our cat? (concerned about salt) - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Is tinned tuna OK for our cat? (concerned about salt)

Hi,
Our 7 year old female tortoishell cat is a fussy eater (surprise, surprise!).

We give her tinned tuna (a third of a tin per day) together with dried food... then give her a break from the tuna by giving a wet-food sachet for a couple of days.
The tinned tuna already has added salt.
I'm concerned that maybe the salt is not good for her.

And if that's the case, where can one get tins of salt-free tuna?

Many thanks,
Richard
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 03:16 AM
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Unfortunately, tuna is not a healthy, complete diet for your cat, even without salt. Have you tried an actual cat food with tuna in it? Sounds like you have a "tuna junky" on your hands so switching her to tinned cat food may take quite a bit of patients 'cause she's probably addicted to the tuna. It's SO smelly and yummy! But, I think, it's well worth the trouble.
There are several reasons tuna isn't good on a regular basis beside not being complete. It is very high in heavy metals such as mercury (which is toxic).The guideline for adult humans is any more than one can of tuna a week can cause toxic levels. Think what it can do to a little cat! Also the oils in canned tuna can leach vit E which can cause a condition called steatitis. It makes the nerve endings extremely sensitive and can cause a lot of pain. Then there is the whole issue of UTI etc..
A long way to say, salt or no salt, tuna probably isn't your best choice. But if you give it as an occassional treat, I would get tuna packed in water, not oil, without any salt. As for where to get it, I don't know where you are, but here in the states I know you can get it at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods for sure. I would think almost any large grocery store would carry it but I'm not sure.
Sorry, I didn't exactly answer your question but I hope it helps.

Victoria
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 08:40 AM
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In addition to all the reasons nanook mentioned why tuna isn't a good food for cats, there's yet another reason: taste. Tuna has a very strong smell and taste which is particularly attractive to cats. Cats who are used to eating tuna tend to turn up their noses at anything else. Furthermore, because of the strong smell and taste, tuna and/or tuna juice is useful to stimulate your cat's appetite when it's sick. So, if you've already fed tuna as a regular diet, then you've already used up this trick to get a cat to eat after it's lost its appetite.

Yes, there are many good reason why it isn't a good idea to feed tuna to cats. And all these reasons apply to salmon, as well.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 10:47 AM
 
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I've got another reason. Lack of nutrients. While tuna is a source of protein it doesn't have the vitamins and minerals you're cat needs. It's low in calcium, low in taurine(cats need taurine for healthy eye sight and heart function, I saw an episode on the animal planet once in which a woman was feeding her cats a vegetarian diet and they were going blind and getting deathly ill real fast, irrelevant I know but just an example of what not enough taurine can do to a cat), low or deficient in just about everything your cat needs to stay healthy. It's like eating McDonalds. Plus it depletes vitamin E which can lead to yellow-fat disease. If you have to feed tuna to your cat, get the kind that's formulated for cats that would at least have the vitamins, minerals and calcium that your cat needs. But even with this you have to be concerned about mercury levels building up in your cat. The best thing to do is try to get your cat off tuna. Try feeding cat foods that have some fish in it but are also mixed with chicken, beef, lamb and so on. That would be a much more balanced diet. Once you get your cat on those then you can try feeding cat foods without fish. But even if you have to feed cat foods that have fish listed as only one of the various ingredients for the rest of your cat's life that's much better than a fish based diet. I'm glad your cat also eats the dry cat food. If your cat was eating only tuna it would be quite dangerous. But you should still wean your cat off of it and yes, the sodium levels in tuna meant for human consumption are quite high.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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Quote:
I saw an episode on the animal planet once in which a woman was feeding her cats a vegetarian diet and they were going blind and getting deathly ill real fast, irrelevant I know but just an example of what not enough taurine can do to a cat)
Grrrrrrr...people that think they can feed their cats a vegetarian food give me an overwhelming urge to make my foot connect with their gluteus maximus at high velocity! Make any diet choices you like for YOURSELF, but don't kill your pets!

Sorry I know that was off topic, but it hit a nerve on me. Have you tried slowly weaning your cat off the tuna?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Many thanks for all the feedback... It looks like Clarice will have to have her tuna rationed... poor little thing!
Cheers,
Richard
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