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Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

topic posted Sun, August 13, 2006 - 8:35 PM by  Lady Adonis
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I was feeding my cats Trader Joe's tuna can food, and they really loved it. Then my new vet said that it is bad for them, can give them stones in their digestive system. Does anyone have any input on TJ's cat food? Thanks a bunch...meow...
posted by:
Lady Adonis
California
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  • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

    Sun, August 13, 2006 - 8:47 PM
    I have to agree with your vet. Not only does it cause stones, but it actually can rob them of taurine. Without taurine they can go blind because they can't create it themselves. You should vary their food as much as possible with different animal meats.

    I used to feed my cats different TJ's food. When I switched them to a different brand I quickly realized how much TJs food made their poo stink.
    • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

      Sun, August 13, 2006 - 10:26 PM
      weird - I thought it robbed cats of Vitamin E?
      • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

        Sun, August 13, 2006 - 10:59 PM
        Shit... my cats are hooked on the stuff. It's like crack to them... they won't eat anything healthy and Basha needs to consume some sort of food with her diabetic shot daily...

        Crap. Is it really that bad? Cause I got cats that won't go for anything else. Really. I've tried.
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          Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

          Mon, August 14, 2006 - 12:27 AM
          I've read that tuna's bad because it's so addictive and will disincline a cat to eat anything else. And they do need to vary the diet a bit.
          Frankly, I'd worry about mercury in tuna as well - if it's no good for us, it sure as shit isn't good for a cat. Takes a lot less to tip the balance when your body is that small.

          Have you REALLY tried? I've switched my cat's food a few times with no difficulty. Granted, it wasn't tuna. But I did it gradually and she hardly seemed to notice. Some would argue the safety of this approach, but supposedly a cat can go quite safely a day or two without eating. Meaning, if you can hold out (emotionally) that long, the cat will get hungry enuff to eat whatever. As of this moment, I straddle the fence on this one - I just don't know enough to argue either way. But I WOULD (and probably will soon) try it.
          • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

            Tue, April 20, 2010 - 9:37 AM
            In response to the issue of mercury in tuna:

            One day I found myself watching Dr. Oz which one of the show's topics being discussed was whether the "higher quality" Albacore brands were better or worse for the consumer based on their levels of mercury.

            Surprisingly it turns their results of their were quite unexpected to say the least. Personally Ive always been a fan of the solid white albacore. It tastes monumentally better than the store brand for what would seem like obvious reasons one being its perceived chunkier higher quality.

            -However-

            The results/data of Dr. Oz's experiment came out quite the opposite?.. Why you ask? Well... According to Dr. Oz , the reason Albacore tastes better is because it comes from an older and bigger fish meaning its had more time to swim around growing bigger which inescapably makes it absorb more mercury.

            What also is very surprising is that the store bought brand actually contained the least amount of mercury due to the fact that it comes from a smaller/younger fish than hasn't had time to grow and imbibe that much of what is the most toxic substance known to man. OH OH.. look it up.
      • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

        Mon, August 14, 2006 - 5:24 PM
        I got mixed up, it robs them of vitamin E and doesn't provide them with taurine.
        • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

          Sat, June 26, 2010 - 6:57 PM
          Trader Joe's tuna has Vit E added! And you can get taurine from any red meat, like liver which they LOVE... There is so much misinformation on this blog!
          • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

            Mon, July 12, 2010 - 9:49 PM
            Taurine is found in dark meat such as muscle meat of beef, lamb, turkey legs, etc. along with heart. Liver, however, is organ meat, not red meat, and feeding too much of it can cause Vitamin A toxicity. Vitamin A is fat soluble, which means it remains in the animal's fat tissue until it is needed rather than being expelled in the urine like water soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin C. You shouldn't feed a 10lb cat more than 5g of beef liver a day. You also have to be careful with liver because it can be too rich for some cats and cause them to vomit.

            Feeding the tuna cat food occasionally isn't bad, but having a high fish diet isn't recommended even by vets. I personally wouldn't feed any animal the same thing day in and day out because of micro-nutritional deficiencies that can occur. You wouldn't feed a human baby strained carrots every meal of every day even if it had vitamins added to it would you?

            And let's not forget the issue of Mercury and other heavy metals in fish nowadays.
  • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

    Mon, August 14, 2006 - 11:28 AM
    I usually don't feed my a whole can.. but I give them tiny pieces here and there when making a sandwhich once in awhile. They hound the crap out of me if I don't give them tuna. ;)

    I can just take out a can, and they are right at my feet.
    • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

      Mon, August 14, 2006 - 4:32 PM
      It's also not really pure tuna, but a wet food called "Tuna For Cats", so whatever that means I guess... I only give both cats less than 1/2 the can twice a day as well. Just enough to shut them up in the morning and then again when I come home from work.

      They won't eat human food either, except of course... TUNA!

      No chicken, beef, Doritos, etc... we have another cat in the house that'll pretty much eat ANYTHING, especially if it's human related. Bacon is her favorite I think. We don't like to give her any because it upsets her stomach but damn, if we're making some for breakfast she's on it like stink on shit.
      • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

        Mon, August 14, 2006 - 5:23 PM
        LOTS of info on feeding cats a fish based diet: www.felinefuture.com/nutrition/fish.php
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          Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

          Mon, August 14, 2006 - 7:00 PM
          Looks interesting - thanks!
          • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

            Fri, August 18, 2006 - 9:11 AM
            What I've been told is that the difference is if it is red meat or white.

            The stuff from TJ's is red and is basically the same as a double pastrami cheeseburger from Carls Junior. So it is not the first choice for me anymore.

            I have worked super hard at "unaddicting" my cat. He just won't stop the tuna high, even though I only give him solid white when I am making sandwiches, about twice a week.

            Dry food all the way. I was tired of his teeth rotting out from all the buildup.

            I was also told that salmon is an OK substitute if the fish thing is all they will tolerate. Just make sure it is not the chum kind you get at 99cent store. Too much waste in those cans. Same for the cheaper "mixed meat" tuna they call "light". Everything in moderation. Just make sure they get a bigger portion of dry food for the remainder of the day/night.

            Oh. And watch the salt. The cheaper kinds of people foods have waaay too much salt, for us and them.

            Try some "Greenies" treats if the tooth decay is out of control from all the soft food addictions.
            They actually work !
            • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

              Fri, August 18, 2006 - 10:02 AM
              Actually, quality soft food doesn't cause tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by carbohydrates, not protein. Salivation helps keep teeth clean and unlike with protein, saliva can't break down carbs efficiently, causing plaque, which feeds on sugars, to build up. Low quality canned food contains carbs AND added sugar. Dry has LOTS of carbs in it, but also helps clean teeth, so it's not as bad, but it can still cause decay. High quality canned food has less carbs in it. Both of my cats are fed high quality canned or raw only and have very clean, pearly white teeth. Naturally cats wouldn't eat hard little pieces of kibble, they would eat meat and their teeth would stay clean by eating bones.
              • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                Fri, August 18, 2006 - 11:52 AM
                What do you suggest as a high quality canned?

                I hate taking soft away from them, but they have decided that all the ones I have ever brought home, either from the vet, the pet store or from a "natural" market have all offended them after a few days. Money in the toliet.

                They just want the junk and I won't give it to them.

                I just spent 40 dollars on 2 bags of "quality" dry food. One that is balanced "organic" meat and grains. The other is low fat /carb and balanced vegs, berries,grains and meats. I combined them and it seems to have taken in the best of both. The verdict is out on "brand loyality", though. I'll try anything that has a sensible label.

                As far as the raw.
                I know they would not even be eating fish in the wild, unless they lived in that region. It has always been a sore spot with my teachers.
                But my cats go and grab a bite around the hood. With or without my blessing. Rodents and birds are always on the menu.
                They don't even try and get people food. It bothers them.

                Do you have a favorite "raw" that you can suggest?
                Most that I have seen are very expensive and not very tasty, from what they have expressed.

                In parting I can offer this book. I am not even sure if it is in print.
                "The Healthy Cat and Dog Cook Book"
                Natural Recipes Using Nutritious Economical Foods and Good Advice for Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful Pets
                Joan Harper
                ISBN 0-525-47586-9
                Dutton PB/ 1975-1979
                Lots of advice for raw and recipes for the animal companion on a budget. A little dated, but the 70's were good years for "natural" foods advice...

                CHEERS !!
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                  Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                  Fri, August 18, 2006 - 7:09 PM
                  "Do you have a favorite "raw" that you can suggest?
                  Most that I have seen are very expensive and not very tasty, from what they have expressed. "

                  I've read that raw food is definitely not as tasty as cooked. Cooking (even without additives) intensifies flavor. It's something a cat will need to adjust to. That's one reason for introducing a raw diet gradually - mixing it with the canned food in increasing proportions until it's 100% raw.

                  A friend of mine recently recommended the pre-mixed raw (frozen) food from Primal Pet Foods, Inc. She says her cats had no problem adjusting to it. I'll be trying it soon. Will let you know how it goes.
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                    Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                    Fri, August 18, 2006 - 10:56 PM
                    There's actually a great thread in this tribe that has good raw recipes. I think I put a link for it in a recent post about baby food. I make my own raw. As for high quality canned, I go with Wellness, Felidae, Pinnacle, Castor and Pollux Organix, Natural Balance, Newman's Own, Wysong, and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul. You can order any of these from www.petfoodexpress.com If you live in the SF Bay Area you can usually find one of their stores nearby. Anything that does NOT contain corn, wheat, barley, and usually no rice. All grains are carbs and cats have no need for them in their diet. Pet food manufacturers only add them as filler. When I do raw I will only add 10% by weight of vegetable matter and it's usually pumpkin/squash. If I MUST feed dry because I'll be out of town or some nonsense like that, I'll feed them Innova Evo because it contains zero grains.

                    There was an interesting study on how cooked meat effects cats vs. raw meat. The results were staggering. Here's a link on the study: www.elitealternatives.net/pottenger.html
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                    Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                    Sun, August 20, 2006 - 6:23 PM
                    wow, I wonder how to tell my Tux about lackluster taste of raw meats... LOL! I mean, the fellow is a chowhound for anything proteinaceous! no matter if it's cooked, fried, BBQd/grilled, raw, stewed, whatever... if it's meat, he wants some! pork, beef (preferred), chicken (also preferred), hamburger... doesn't care much for lamb, but I don't cook it up all that often (almost never)... I also don't cook fish much, so I don't know if he'd like various fresh raw fish meats... those little dried Korean sardines -- those he loves! when I was closer to Koreatown, I used to get a bag every once in a while to use as a treat...

                    last week, I was prepping beef shortribs for the crockpot & he sat in front of me and snarfed every little scrap I tossed his way... same for the boneless chicken thigh meat... I defat my meats & toss him the lean scraps from the fat... no, I don't give him the fat -- he won't eat it anyways...

                    when I cook meats, he sits in front of me and I toss him tidbits of the cooked meats... he really really likes grilled steak, medium rare if you please, cooled just enough to snarf down... grilled pork meat, the same... fried chicken meat, oh boy! and don't forget the spaghetti meat sauce, tomatoes & all! he'll polish the bowl...

                    I don't know how he'd handle it if he had a diet consisting almost completely of raw/cooked meats... I think he'd think he'd died & gone to cat heaven!

                    Debz
                    • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                      Sun, August 20, 2006 - 6:49 PM
                      beware of tomatoes and cats. They contain atropine which cats can't efficiently process. Atropine is toxic to both humans and animals. Ripe tomatoes don't have as much as green tomatoes, which have less than the plant's foliage. That's why you should never EVER injest tomato leaves/stems. We can handle the atropine in ripe tomatoes better because we weigh more.
                      • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                        Mon, August 21, 2006 - 8:37 AM

                        This is ever so helpful in helping me find the balance that I am looking for for my feline friends.
                        Both are happy and healthy. But, there is always room for improvement.

                        So much to try that I have not already tried.
                        I am using Innova. But I will look for the other brands you suggest.
                        L.A is not as connected as S.F. It is obvious in so many ways, like our stores.

                        Thank you for all the information and personal bits.
                        :o)
                      • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                        Sun, August 27, 2006 - 10:59 AM
                        is the atropine processed/destroyed by cooking? consider the concentration of tomatoes in a pasta sauce - jarred pasta sauce, canned tomatoes (crushed/whole in juice), tomatp sauce, tomato paste... that's a LOT of cooked/condensed tomatoes...

                        Debz
                        • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                          Sun, August 27, 2006 - 8:21 PM
                          nope, not destroyed by cooking. But remember, we can handle it better because we weigh more.
                          • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                            Tue, April 15, 2008 - 11:28 AM
                            Seems to be some confusion here - big difference between Tuna for Cats brand and just feeding canned tuna is added nutrients essential for cats. Trader Joe's Tuna for Cats" adds calcium, choline, vitamins A, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, folate, manganese, and potassium, and has AAFCO-recommended levels of taurine.
                            Another approach is to mix in a supplement such as Juice Plus+ for Cats available at health food stores; costs about $.09/day.
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                    Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                    Sun, August 20, 2006 - 6:27 PM
                    ok, dumb question here... why can't I use raw meats from the local grocery store??? I'm already buying meats for the house/family, why not add in extra for the cats? I can purchase fairly cheaply usually and freeze up for future use...

                    Debz
                    • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                      Sun, August 20, 2006 - 6:46 PM
                      um, no idea. I use meats from the local grocery store to feed my cats. There shouldn't be any reason why you can't. It's human grade, meaning it's much healthier and safer than what most pet food is made from. I give them the scraps also when I'm trimming my meat. But I'll give them the fat too. There's no reason not to give them the fat. If they were eating what comes naturally they'll eat the fat too.
                • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

                  Fri, August 18, 2006 - 11:01 PM
                  oh yeah, and I'm not quite sure I understand what "offending them" is pertaining to. Do you mean they stop eating it? Or do they get the runs? If they just stop eating it, hold out. The more you switch a cat's food the more finicky they will become. They can go a few days without eating IF they are healthy. If they aren't healthy don't let them fast. Anyways, if you hold out they will eventually have to eat what's offered. That's how I got my Bonnie to switch to canned only. She was OBSESSED with kibble when I got her. Wouldn't even so much as touch canned food. Now she eats it with gusto.

                  If it's giving them the runs then you need to change over more gradually. Start with mixing 90% old with 10% new. Over the course of a week up the percentage of the new until it's finally 100%. When they get the runs it's because their body is getting used to all of the extra water. It's like when you start drinking more water and it makes you have to pee every 15 minutes, but eventually your body gets used to it and you no longer have to go as much.
            • Re: Canned tuna for cats......evil or safe??

              Sat, June 26, 2010 - 6:55 PM
              Are you saying that their Tuna for Cats, which lists good ingredients, is the same as a double pastrami cheeseburger!!!???? I don't understand? And you say red or white - do you mean albacore white or not albacore white? It even has Vit E, which you are supposed to give with tuna so they don't have it leached out by the tuna.

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