Is It Safe To Feed Your Pet Cat Canned Tuna?

Is It Safe To Feed Your Pet Cat Canned Tuna?We have all been there. It’s late, you’ve had a long day, and your cat is following you around the house and meowing like he hasn’t eaten since last week. You head to the kitchen and realize you are completely out of cat food, so you find a dusty can of tuna fish in the kitchen cupboard and pop the lid off and dump it into his dish. Cat food comes in cans that look like tuna fish cans, and half of the cat food you buy contains tuna. No harm no foul, right?

Are cans of tuna fish from the grocery aisle really intended for cats, though? While you may feel like a bad cat mom or dad, the truth is that your cat probably loves it when you are too exhausted to run to the store for cat food. Canned tuna fish is a delicious treat for cats. But, that’s just it, it should be a TREAT, and not intended for daily consumption.

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In moderation, there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding your pet cat a can of tuna fish. However, you will want to make sure that you stay away from flavored varieties of tuna, which can contain a lot of sodium and additives. Chances are your cat is probably a bit on the heavy side and doesn’t need the tuna in oil, and you should stick to tuna in water, for obvious reasons.

Feeding your cat nothing but tuna could lead to problems in the long run. Nutritionally speaking, a high-tuna diet could cause some mercury issues. Plus, tuna doesn’t contain all of the nutrients and vitamins that your cat needs on a regular basis to remain healthy. And, if your cat is a bit of a diva, like mine, then too much tuna could lead to your pet being a picky eater and refusing to eat regular cat food – which is never a good thing.

Confused cat (that Loves Tuna)

A photo posted by Cats and tuna (@catsntuna) on

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So, if you were feeling a bit guilty about feeding your cat canned tuna…don’t! However, it should be a treat and not a daily dinner.

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58 Comments
  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    This is a great post! Like any other animal, including humans, cats need a balanced diet. Tuna might be okay as an occasional treat, but it doesn’t have all the vitamins and minerals that they need.

  2. Melissa says

    I think that is a good rule of thumb in life in general –everything in moderation! We have dogs and occasional give them human food as a treat but we know they still need their usual food to get all their nutritional needs met!

  3. Guest says

    This is a great post! Like any other animal, including humans, cats need a balanced diet. Tuna might be okay as an occasional treat, but it doesn’t have all the vitamins and minerals that they need.

  4. Guest says

    I think that is a good rule of thumb in life in general –everything in moderation! We have dogs and occasional give them human food as a treat but we know they still need their usual food to get all their nutritional needs met!

  5. Brandy says

    This is a really good rule to follow. If I ever give animals “people food” I always make sure that its pet friendly.

  6. Pam Wattenbarger says

    We have a cat that loves an occasional can of tuna as a treat. She has been that way since she was a kitten.

  7. Liz Mays says

    This is really helpful. We’ve never fed the cats canned tuna. We used to occasionally let them sip the tuna water though.

  8. Guest says

    This is a really good rule to follow. If I ever give animals “people food” I always make sure that its pet friendly.

  9. Jeanine says

    I don’t think I’ve ever given our cats any tuna. I generally stick to cat foods or make their treats. I haven’t even thought about giving tuna! Great to know!

  10. Guest says

    We have a cat that loves an occasional can of tuna as a treat. She has been that way since she was a kitten.

  11. Marcie W. says

    As a cat lover, I have always wondered about this. Nice to know tuna is a safe and acceptable occasional treat.

  12. monica says

    I once had a cat who loved green olives! My parent’s told me not to give them to him (but sometimes, as I kid, I couldn’t resist. I always learn so much from you. And I love that photo too!

  13. Brianne says

    Interesting fact. Too much of anything is no good, but it’s nice to give as a treat once in a while!

  14. Guest says

    This is really helpful. We’ve never fed the cats canned tuna. We used to occasionally let them sip the tuna water though.

  15. Guest says

    I don’t think I’ve ever given our cats any tuna. I generally stick to cat foods or make their treats. I haven’t even thought about giving tuna! Great to know!

  16. Guest says

    As a cat lover, I have always wondered about this. Nice to know tuna is a safe and acceptable occasional treat.

  17. Kelly Hutchinson says

    Awesome. I never knew that! I thought you should not feed them tuna from the can. Now I can give my cats a new treat from time to time.

  18. Jocelyn Cañasa Brown says

    Such interesting news! I never knew that! Now my kitties can have a new snack! Thanks!

  19. Guest says

    I once had a cat who loved green olives! My parent’s told me not to give them to him (but sometimes, as I kid, I couldn’t resist. I always learn so much from you. And I love that photo too!

  20. Guest says

    Interesting fact. Too much of anything is no good, but it’s nice to give as a treat once in a while!

  21. Guest says

    Awesome. I never knew that! I thought you should not feed them tuna from the can. Now I can give my cats a new treat from time to time.

  22. Guest says

    Such interesting news! I never knew that! Now my kitties can have a new snack! Thanks!

  23. Nikki Wayne says

    Oh, this is great news! I am so sure that my cat will love a new treat!

  24. Guest says

    Oh, this is great news! I am so sure that my cat will love a new treat!

  25. Toni | BoulderLocavore.com says

    That is a great idea! I feel that sometimes my cat wants food other than cat food. And tuna will definitely a good treat!

  26. mary says

    Great information. I never thought about the oil being fattening for a cat. All in moderation I suppose

  27. Amanda Love says

    This makes a lot of sense! It would definitely be better to feed them fresh fish or something homemade instead of a store bought tuna in a can. This is really good info!

  28. Ann Bacciaglia says

    My cats love it when I give them Tuna. I only give it to them as a treat once in a while when I make a Tuna sandwich.

  29. aziel morte says

    This is so interesting! I would tell this to my mother for her kitties.

  30. Guest says

    That is a great idea! I feel that sometimes my cat wants food other than cat food. And tuna will definitely a good treat!

  31. Guest says

    Great information. I never thought about the oil being fattening for a cat. All in moderation I suppose

  32. Guest says

    This makes a lot of sense! It would definitely be better to feed them fresh fish or something homemade instead of a store bought tuna in a can. This is really good info!

  33. Christie says

    Great info for cat owners. Our cat used to eat tuna fish from the can too

  34. Guest says

    My cats love it when I give them Tuna. I only give it to them as a treat once in a while when I make a Tuna sandwich.

  35. Kita Bryant says

    Oh yes, I agree, the flavored stuff is when it starts to get hazy. Tuna is fine though, in my opinion. Just fish!

  36. Guest says

    This is so interesting! I would tell this to my mother for her kitties.

  37. Guest says

    Great info for cat owners. Our cat used to eat tuna fish from the can too

  38. Rosey says

    I’ve never fed our cat tuna. He’s pretty new though to us. We may someday.

  39. Guest says

    Oh yes, I agree, the flavored stuff is when it starts to get hazy. Tuna is fine though, in my opinion. Just fish!

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  41. Guest says

    I’ve never fed our cat tuna. He’s pretty new though to us. We may someday.

  42. Guest says

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  43. Nicole Escat says

    Great to know about this. At least our cat will have a new treat!

  44. Guest says

    Great to know about this. At least our cat will have a new treat!

  45. Arlett ( Chasing Joy) says

    Sometimes I give my cats the liquid from a can of tuna or chicken as a treat. They love it.

  46. Guest says

    Sometimes I give my cats the liquid from a can of tuna or chicken as a treat. They love it.

  47. Molly says

    My cat does not like cat food but likes hard food. I have always given her tuna,
    know I shouldnt but she wont eat soft cat food. She is twelve years old now and
    looking pretty healthy,a little overweight in the belly though. She does eat a lot
    of hard food too.

  48. Guest says

    My cat does not like cat food but likes hard food. I have always given her tuna,
    know I shouldnt but she wont eat soft cat food. She is twelve years old now and
    looking pretty healthy,a little overweight in the belly though. She does eat a lot
    of hard food too.

  49. Joyce Simard says

    My cat is 13 and is so healthy that she plays like a kitten and purrs her head off.
    I fed her tuna from a Can from day 1 because I had never heard I shouldn’t and now
    She will not eat anything else. She also has her cat kibble food.
    Mandy never has a sick day, a bowel problem or any other problem.
    I guess ignorance is bliss as far as she is concerned and I can’t change her after 13 years. She just refuses to eat anything else. Joyce Simard.

  50. Guest says

    My cat is 13 and is so healthy that she plays like a kitten and purrs her head off.
    I fed her tuna from a Can from day 1 because I had never heard I shouldn’t and now
    She will not eat anything else. She also has her cat kibble food.
    Mandy never has a sick day, a bowel problem or any other problem.
    I guess ignorance is bliss as far as she is concerned and I can’t change her after 13 years. She just refuses to eat anything else. Joyce Simard.

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