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Dear Casey and Gibbs

Look into my eyesHere's a question for you.  I've gone off my cat biscuits.  Can I eat just tuna? It is delicious and I do love it.

Your friend, tuna-loving Tom the Tabby

Dear Tom

Please show our reply to your human.  We know how sneaky we cats can be in order to get our own way with our humans, especially when it comes to food!

Here's the scientific bit:

Cats need to eat a complete and balanced diet to receive all the nutrients they need to maintain good health.   Feeding a cat a diet that consists mainly of tuna or other fish can cause a multitude of problems as it does not provide all the nutrients the cat needs.

Cats fed mainly on tuna can develop what is called pansteatitis, which is an inflammation of the fat cells in the abdomen, caused by a deficiency in vitamin E.  An all tuna diet can lead to thiamine and calcium deficiency-nutrients which are essential for a cat to thrive.  Tuna may be high in magnesium, which can increase the risk of urinary tract disease and some tuna contains mercury, which cannot be broken down and so builds up in the system and can be toxic.   Mercury poisoning is generally not a problem unless the cat is fed almost entirely on tuna or is fed it very often. 

Finally, cats can become addicted to the taste of tuna and will refuse to eat anything else. This alone can be very serious if a prescription diet is ever recommended for you in the future, Tom, as you may refuse to eat it.

Tell your human to wean you on to a complete balanced food by gently warming it, adding just a small amount of tuna to it, or even a small amount of marmite, but (and you won’t want to hear this, Tom) tell your human to please consult your vet before making any changes to your diet, to ensure such recommendations are safe for your individual needs.

Hope this helps Tom.

Yours purringly,

Casey and Gibbs

Consultants in all things feline

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)