How many cat owners are unaware that tuna is dangerous for cats?

United States
February 6, 2007 9:03am CST
This was precipitated by old folklore and fairy tales and then Hollywood films and television falsely glamourized this further depicting the cat eating tuna along with drinking milk. Tuna causes life-threatening enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine) as well as other serious health-related disorders. Tuna fish packed in either oil or spring water contains an enzyme that destroys vitamin B1 (thiamine). When eaten regularly cats can develop a vitamin B1 deficiency, which results in neurological symptoms such as dilated eyes, equilibrium loss, seizures and death if this vitamin is deficient and not replaced . Tuna lacks sufficient amounts of certain amino acids, mainly taurine, which is essential to maintain feline health. There is insufficient calcium to balance the phosphorus; the ratio in canned tuna is 1-to-14.8. This results in bone disease and heart disease. Also lacking are the other essential vitamins such as A and most B vitamins. Cats fed tuna regularly suffer from a condition called steatitis, or yellow fat disease, an inflammation of the fat tissue in the body due to a deficiency of vitamin E. For more in depth information about how tuna affects cats health see the following links: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=450509 http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AnXV7g3jq309q2QXly7n9WLsy6IX?qid=20061018194725AAzYqfz **** What are the best ways to create public awareness among ourselves to help educate others about this so we can dispel this falsely glamourized fairy tale?
1 person likes this
5 responses
@taramoon (742)
• Spain
8 Feb 07
Yes i have heard of this which makes you wonder why companys like whiskas do those new treats that are pieces of fish...mmmmumms i think they are called my cats don't like tuna but they do love sardines i was wondering if sardines could have the same effect? P.S left you a comment in mine with regards to Buttons journey to the vets
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Feb 07
Hi there again Tara! Unfortunately, many pet food companies have been deceiving the public because the awareness for pet nutrition is not as important as it is with humans so they don't get more widespread attention. However, more information is coming to fruition with these less than quality cat foods and treats on the Internet and rising in popularity with us being our pets best advocates for their health and well-being. You can learn more about the truth of cat food from the following websites: http://www.blakkatz.com/dryfood.html http://www.consumersearch.com/www/family/cat-food/review.html Anyhow, to answer your other question, fish in general should be fed as a very rare occasional treat because they are high in phosphorous which affects the kidneys function. I also left you a lengthy response to your other question with regards to Button's possible disorder.
1 person likes this
@taramoon (742)
• Spain
8 Feb 07
Thank you again for all your information about food and links and also thank you for your reply to my post with regards to buttons, will keep you up to date xx
• Oman
7 Feb 07
is that true for only tinned tuna or fresh as well. my cat loves tuna so we generally buy fresh tuna and boil it and give it to her. i never knew that it was bad for them. this is so disappointing. shes so fussy about what she eats and tuna is one of her favourites. they shouldnt sell tuna as cat food then. why do they do that. the cat food we buy sells tuna. are mackarel and sardines okay?
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Feb 07
Hi there...any tuna for human consumption (fresh, canned, cooked) is bad for cats, however cat food that has tuna sold is different because they manufacture it with the added taurine and other essential nutrients cats need. In general any fish for human consumption isn't good based on similar findings because it is highly fattening causing steatis in cats. I hope this clarifies this a bit more for everyone. Furthermore, any cat who has repeated lower urinary tract disorders should avoid seafood altogether (including cat food that contains seafood). The reason why is that seafood raises the phosphorous levels in cat's urine pH turning it more alkaline therefore increases the risk of recurring urinary disorders.
• Oman
12 Feb 07
thanks i never knew that, id feel so miserable if i did something to make my cat sick
• United States
8 Feb 07
Wow! I had no idea that tuna was a problem for cats! I've only given tuna to my cat on rare occasions when she ran out of food and I hadn't been to the store, or forgot it. She actually hated it, she will eat a tiny bit and then stick her nose up in the air and walk off. We call her Miss Priss, she is hilarious. I didn't consider myself a cat person until I got her from my daughter. My daughter had no patience with Priss. Now she wishes she kept her 'cause she is the best and most loving cat. Still has an attitude though. :0) I was wondering if the tuna is having the same bad interactions with thiamine on humans?
• United States
8 Feb 07
Hi Laura.. welcome to myLot! The vitamin deficiencies only affect cats rather than humans. However, mercury poisoning is more of a concern for humans who consume large amounts of tuna.
@freak369 (4783)
• United States
7 Feb 07
I don't have cats but my friends do. I never knew that tuna wasn't good for them but after reading that, I am going to email this thread to them so that they know too. I am sure that they do as their cats are like their kids. Chances are they never mentioned it to me because I'm not a cat person and would have no real use for the information.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Feb 07
Hi there...It would be wonderful if you would share this with any cat owner so they can spread the word so we can help everyone learn about these invisible dangers. Losing a pet to this would be so heartbreaking and I hope we all can share this with everyone creating a "pay it forward message".
@NucknFutz (180)
• United States
6 Feb 07
Oh wow! this....is amazing. I really appreciate you posting about this. My grandparents give their cat a can of tuna every single day at lunchtime. Aside from being fat, i see no health problems with the kitty..but perhaps its still early. Thanx again!
• United States
6 Feb 07
Hi there...yes, over time tuna can be very dangerous. Perhaps you could share this information with your grandparents by printing this as well as the website documentations I've provided. I truly hope we can create public awareness about this. Yesterday, Dr. Karen Halligan (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) spoke on Good Morning America about the the dangers of tuna as well as other foods. Here's her list of foods to avoid giving pets: http://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/index.en.php?id=99