Can Cats Eat Raw Tuna?

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If you don’t know much about cats, you might be surprised to find out that they are not particularly fussy eaters.

It’s a common misconception that dogs will eat anything and that cats prefer a more refined diet. But this simply isn’t true.

As any cat owner will tell you, most cats are not fussy. Of course, like humans, cats have different personal preferences, but on the whole, cats eat a broad spectrum of things.

Their curious nature normally means they will try different foods at least once, so it’s unsurprising that they grow bored of their standard cat food on occasion.

If your cat seems to have stopped eating their own food, you might find yourself tempted to add something a bit different to spice up their mealtimes.

From grated cheese to cooked chicken to, perhaps the most commonly associated food with cats, tuna, it can be very tempting to feed your furbaby a variety of different human foods.

But a lot of human foods can actually make our furry friends quite unwell.

Tuna might seem like a good, safe choice because our cats seem to love it, but is it really safe to feed our cats raw tuna?

For the answer to this question and more, please read on.

Why do Cats like Tuna?

If you’re a novice cat owner, or you exclusively feed your furbaby cat food, you might not be aware of what is important for your cat’s diet.

Cats are carnivores and they have to consume meals with meat as the main ingredient to remain healthy.

There has been an increase in pet owners raising their animals as vegans in recent years, but you should never do this with your cat as it will be extremely dangerous for their health.

If your cat spends a lot of their time outdoors, it is highly likely that they spend some time hunting.

Cats thoroughly enjoy stalking their prey, killing it, and eating it. Something which can switch up their normal kibble diet at home. But it’s highly unlikely that your cat will be catching fish as part of this fun.

Especially not tuna as they only live in deep salt water, making them completely out of reach of your cat. So why do our cats like tuna so much?

It might seem surprising that something which is completely outside of your cat’s normal diet can be so enticing to them. Any cat owner will be well experienced with the affection your cats give once a tin of tuna has been opened.

There’s something about the smell that immediately entices your cat, and makes them mad for a taste of this fish.

There’s no exact science behind this, and it’s hard to tell exactly why our cats love tuna so much. But as they do, it might be common to assume that they are okay to eat it.

But is this really the case? Let’s take a look at how safe tuna is for our cats.

Is Tuna Safe for Cats?

It can be easy to presume that cats can eat pretty much anything. They spend a lot of their time away from us, getting up to all sorts of mischief out in the wild, so it might seem strange that some human foods can actually cause harm to our little ones.

Some foods can give our cats a bad stomach, others can have worse consequences, so before you feed your furbaby human food you must check if it’s safe for them to eat.

One might guess that tuna is safe for our cats. Lots of wet cat food comes with tuna chunks inside of it, and lots of dried kibble comes in fishy flavors, so surely it’s safe for our cats to eat tuna?

The answer is yes, cats can eat tuna, and on the whole, it will have no negative effects on their health. As our cats love tuna so much, it can be tempting to feed it to them regularly, but this is not a good decision.

Like with everything, tuna should only be introduced to your cat’s diet in moderation.

In some cases, introducing tuna can be beneficial for your cat’s health. You might have noticed that your cat does not drink as much as your dog does throughout the day.

This is not a cause for concern, cats simply have a lower thirst drive as their natural diet (in the wild) would contain fresh prey which enables the cat to be rehydrated through their meal.

The same natural rehydration can be found in tuna, so if you are worried that your cat is becoming dehydrated, this can be a great way to introduce more moisture into their diet.

However, you should only feed your cat tuna in moderation.

This meat can be highly addictive to cats, to the point where they will crave tuna and refuse to eat any other foods. So aside from the tuna included in cat food, you should try and limit the amount that you feed your cat.

Can Cats Eat Raw Tuna?

So now that we know that tuna is safe for consumption by our cats, it’s time to answer the question ‘Can cats eat raw tuna?’

From the way that the article has read so far, you might be led to believe that cats can eat raw tuna, but the simple answer is that it should be avoided.

There have been some cases where the consumption of raw fish has led to heartbreaking health consequences in cats. In a best-case scenario, the build-up of bacteria in raw fish can lead to food poisoning in our cats.

In worst-case scenarios, the consumption of raw fish has led to thiamine deficiency in felines, which can even result in a coma. Even though cats seem to enjoy tuna, you really don’t want to cause them bad health by feeding it to them raw.

Especially when there are several safe ways that your cat can enjoy tuna, including tuna flavored cat food, or in moderation, tuna from a tin.


So in short, the answer is no.

While there is no physical ability preventing your cat from eating raw tuna, you should not feed it to them.

Raw tuna can lead to disastrous health conditions in our cats, so you should never feed your cat tuna that has not been cooked.

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