Saturday, September 12, 2009

Is Your Cat a Tuna Junkie?

By Ruthie Bently

My boyfriend Steven loves to go fishing. We usually eat fish several times a week when the fishing is good. I sometimes give our cats the cooked leftovers of fish, like the skins or heads when we have baked trout, as they love them so much. But did you know tuna fish is dangerous to feed to your cat? Have you ever heard of a “tuna junkie?” That is what a cat that gets addicted to tuna fish is called. Yes, your cat can become addicted to tuna fish, and this addiction can lead to more serious health issues.

The first time I ever heard that a cat could get addicted to tuna fish, I thought it was a joke. Then one of my customers came in with a cat that was a tuna junkie and had to go to the vet hospital because of it. I had to help her get her cat off the tuna fish. This was about twenty years ago, and FELIDAE® Grain Free Salmon cat food hadn’t been invented yet, which would have made my customer’s life a lot easier.

A cat addicted to tuna fish usually will turn down any other food offered. You should never feed any undercooked or raw fish to your cat, as they contain an enzyme called thiaminase. This enzyme can destroy the thiamin in your cat’s body, which can lead to a thiamin deficiency. This can cause neurological problems if left unchecked. Their addiction to tuna fish can also make them nervous or aggressive to their owners or other pets in the household.

Tuna fish is high in mineral salts, which can lead to bladder stones in your cat. If you are only feeding your cat canned tuna fish, it can also lead to a Vitamin E deficiency, which in turn can lead to a health issue known as steatitis – also known as Yellow Fat Disease. This inflammatory disease causes the fat in a cat’s body to harden, and can be extremely painful.

A little tuna treat once in a great while will not harm your cat. Just make sure that canned tuna is not a staple of their diet. You can help your cat stay healthy and address their craving for fish at the same time by feeding them the new formula of FELIDAE Grain Free Salmon cat food. They’ll get to enjoy the taste of fish that most cats seem to really love, but in a premium cat food that is good for them. You can buy this cat food at your local independent pet shop, and I’m certain that you and your cat will be glad you did!

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

1 comment:

  1. ryan.spears86@yahoo.comMarch 21, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    I have a question. I'm worried my cat might be developing a tuna addiction. She cries for it frequently. I give her tuna every morning, but it is not tuna intended for human consumption. It is actually a grilled tuna treat that I buy at Petco under the brand name Petite Cuisine. It's three strips of grilled tuna. Well, my cat demands it every morning and has for a few months. She seems healthy, and her personality is just fine; she's as sweet as wever. It's just that even after her morning tuna, she gets desperate for more tuna at least one more time during the day. Is this tuna any safer because it was prepared as a treat intended for cats? Should I limit her to once a day or less than that? I would really appreciate your advice on this. My cat's name is Emma, and she just turned two. My wife and I love her very much, and we would be beside ourselves with guilt if our actions hurt her somehow. Thanks, my e-mail is


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