Click here to learn more.
It takes a stoic cat to resist the fishy allure of tuna — and most kitties aren’t up to the task.
But what makes tuna so irresistible to felines in the first place?
According to Dr. Richard L. Doty, Ph.D., director of the Smell and Taste Center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the reason why many cats respond so favorably to tuna fish is unknown. Dr. Doty points out that although cats lack taste receptors for bitter- or sweet-tasting agents, whether or not this plays a role in their fondness for fish has not been determined.
Dr. Victoria L. Voith, DVM, Ph.D., a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., warns that, regardless of the reason for why cats desire tuna, owners need to resist giving in to their kitty's cravings too often.
“Eating lots of tuna imparts a strong, unpleasant odor in the urine,” says Dr. Voith. “Your cat could also ingest toxic amounts of mercury concentrated in the fish.”
Dr. Doty agrees, noting one study that found that cats who were fed too much canned tuna cat food had health issues. In addition to elevated levels of mercury and selenium in their bodies, the felines who were fed tuna fish cat food played and vocalized less than those who ate beef-based cat food.
If you can’t resist your cat’s plaintive cries whenever you open a can of tuna, keep in mind that health problems can arise when a feline is fed too much tuna — but Dr. Voith and Dr. Doty both agree that, barring any fish allergies, the occasional tuna treat is fine.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Romo, who earned the nickname “The
King of Adams Morgan,” is leaving his
neighborhood and moving to Virginia.
April Doidge reunited with 2-year-old
Chanel after her car was stolen a
few weeks ago with the dog inside.
We had 266 veterinary professionals vote
for the smartest dog breeds. Do you think
they earned an A with their…
Dr. Andy Roark tries to warm his cat up to
the idea of a second cat with promises of
new litterboxes, pheromones and…
Manatees risk losing their endangered
status — and one organization needs
your help to prevent that from happening.
Known for his foxlike appearance, it's no surprise that the charming Shiba Inu is one of Japan's most popular dogs.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.