Can cats eat tuna every day?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can cats eat tuna every day?”, and is it ok to feed tuna to cats as a treat?

Can cats eat tuna every day?

  1. No, cats cannot eat tuna every day as it can do more harm than good. Feeding human-grade canned tuna to cats every day will lead to malnutrition since It is made for humans and unable to fulfill the nutrition requirements of a cat. 
  1. Moreover, feeding canned tuna to cats every day puts them at a greater risk of developing mercury poisoning. 

It is recommended to feed 1 tbsp of canned tuna per week to your adult cat. Prefer feeding light tuna as compared to white (albacore) to your cat. Because the former has low levels of mercury.

  1. Excessive use of tuna can lead to a suppressed appetite for regular meals. Besides, the extra calories from the oil-packed tuna can lead to obesity and put your cat at a risk for diabetes.

Is it OK to feed tuna to cats as a treat?

Tuna is a good source of protein, selenium, and some vitamins and minerals. It contains a decent level of moisture. So, you do not have to feel guilty about feeding tuna to your cat as a treat occasionally. 

What are the nutritional needs of a cat?

A balanced diet is important for the health of your cat. Tuna is a rich source of selenium, Vitamin D plus a good source of iron and calcium. But it lacks certain essential vitamins and minerals which are crucial for the nutritional wellness of your cat. 

It is not healthy to replace the main meals of your cat with tuna alone and rely on it solely to fulfill the nutritional needs of your cat.

Essential nutrients for cats 

As per the National Research Council of the National Academies, an adult cat requires 12.5 grams of crude protein and about 5.5 grams of total fat per day. 

Vitamins Daily requirement Minerals Daily requirement
Vitamin A63Calcium 0.18
Vitamin D0.4Phosphorus 0.16
Vitamin E2.5Magnesium 25
Vitamin K82Sodium 42
Vitamin B1(thiamine)0.33Potassium 0.33
Riboflavin 0.27Chlorine 60
Vitamin B60.16Iron 5
Niacin 2.5Copper 0.3
Folic acid 0.4Zinc 4.6
Pantothenic Acid47Manganese 0.3
Vitamin B121.4Selenium 19
Iodine 88

The above mentioned are estimates of what the nutritional needs of healthy cats should look like and not a drawn line on the rock. 

It also shows how important it is to give a balanced meal to your cat to ensure health. This is only possible if you include specially formulated cat food in your cat’s meals.

Other FAQs about Tuna which you may be interested in.

How much tuna can a cat eat?

Effects of malnutrition in cats 

Often the cats that live on a vegan or vegetarian diet are found to have malnutrition. Similarly, cats that over-consume fish become susceptible to thiamine (Vit. B1) deficiency accompanied by some neurological problems. 

Some of the common symptoms of malnutrition in cats include lethargy, muscle weakness, weight loss, neurotic behavior, gum swelling, runny/hard stool, caved nails, partial blindness, and organ failure.

Tuna packed in water vs tuna packed in oil

Tuna packed in water is preferred over tuna packed in oil. Because it has less oil which makes it a healthier option for a treat. 

A cat requires about 250 calories per day for normal functioning. Therefore, tuna packed in water is preferred as it contributes to lower calories and more nutrition in comparison.

How much tuna is too much to give to a cat?

For a 9lb cat under 14 years of age, ½ ounce of tuna per week is recommended. This is equivalent to 1 tbsp of tuna per week. Only 10% of the daily caloric needs of your cat should come from supplemental treats like tuna.

Not all cats can tolerate tuna

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, tuna is one of the infamous food allergens for cats. Common symptoms of allergic response in cats include itching, hair loss, red or swollen skin, and red bumps. 

This may be accompanied by diarrhea, gas, vomiting, and lack of appetite. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, contact your vet. It may be allergic or that the cat’s food has gone bad.

The benefits of tuna for cats 

Tuna is a rich source of proteins and a poor source of carbs. It also provides a good amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA which are good for the skin and coat of your cat. The anti-inflammatory properties of these fatty acids prevent allergies, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and skin disease.


In this article, we answered the question “Can cats eat tuna every day?”, and is it ok to feed tuna to cats as a treat?


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