Can Cats Eat Tuna And Salmon? Are They Good Or Bad?

Are tuna and salmon good or bad for your kitty?

Tuna and salmon are the best cat treats that come to mind when it comes to cat food, right?


In fact, tuna and salmon can be quite harmful to your kitty, especially if cats are nibbling on these types of fish as part of their regular diet.

As carnivorous creatures, cats need meat in order to survive. Raw meat, cooked meat, and meat by-products found in dry or wet canned cat food provide essential amounts of proteins, amino acids, healthy fats, vitamins, and other types of nutrients which are vital for a kitty’s healthy lifestyle.

Cats adore fish like tuna and salmon because they have a strong, appealing smell and they are tastier than other types of fish.

However, they don’t provide enough vitamins and nutritional properties for your cat. And cats need a well-balanced and rich diet in order to grow and thrive. Otherwise they’ll remain underfed, malnourished, and prone to developing a number of health-related issues and diseases.

Some of the top most important ingredients in a well-balanced cat diet are taurine, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and various proteins. Cats need these ingredients in their diet because they can’t produce enough of them on their own. Some cats may even need additional vitamins and supplements mixed up in their food or in the form of treats.

So, Why Can’t Cats Eat Tuna Or Salmon?

Well, actually, they can.

I know, I know, just hold on!

There’s nothing bad in feeding your feline furball with raw or cooked fish every now and then, but it can be bad in the long run or if they eat too much. Why? Let’s review tuna and salmon separately in further detail.


Tuna offers lots of proteins and valuable fish oils, which are a must-have ingredient in a well-balanced cat diet.

However, canned tuna is usually stored in liquids which are rich in salt. Salt is harmful to your kitty and may even lead to life-threatening diseases. Thus, if you want to treat your pet with a tuna-based snack, make sure that it doesn’t come in a salty broth.

Another reason you shouldn’t feed your cat with tuna on a regular basis is that tuna lacks essential amounts of Vitamin E. This vitamin is of extreme importance for your cat, especially if your pet is a young kitten. Without it, cats will develop steatitis, also known as yellow fat disease, and will be malnourished.

Last but not least, cats shouldn’t eat too much tuna because treating your kitty to tuna on a regular basis increases its risks of developing mercury poisoning.


If cats find salmon just as tempting as you do, why should you deprive your precious feline friend ofthis delicious treat?

Raw salmon is probably among the top food items that come to your mind when it comes to raw meat diets for cats. Unfortunately, raw salmon may contain various parasites which could pose a threat to your kitten’s health.

Not only that, but raw fish also lacks enough taurine – and a lack of taurine is lethal to cats of all breeds and ages!

So how about canned or cooked salmon? Canned fish lacks enough vitamins. It also contains a large variety of stabilizers and chemicals like sodium which are unhealthy for cats.

While your cat will adore a fish-based diet, the solid salmon and tuna base will not offer the necessary nourishment and beneficial properties of a variable, well-balanced diet of various types of dry and canned cat food. Of course, you can always supply your furry pet with additional vitamins and supplements, but they will never replace a good old nutrition-packed meal.

If you’re one of those cat owners who can’t say no to spoiling their beloved pets, you should try to stay away from tuna and salmon as much as possible. Your kitty will immediately come pleading once it smells the fish, and it will stop at nothing to sink its teeth into that delicious meal.

Thus, you mustn’t make a habit out of giving tuna and salmon to your cat too often, otherwise it will become addicted to it and will refuse to eat anything else.

So, to sum it up – cats can eat tuna and salmon, and they’ll adore them, but too much of either of these will become harmful in the long run. Therefore, use these fish as only occasional treats. After all, what is more important to you – satisfying your feline furball’s gluttony or keeping it healthy and thriving?

If you’re looking for a better meal plan for your cat, check out our top rated cat foods here.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

2 thoughts on “Can Cats Eat Tuna And Salmon? Are They Good Or Bad?”

  1. Thank u that was very helpful my cat is fussy and I was feeding him tuna for a while but he became very lack luster in his fur a d personality I had no idea that tuna would make a cat sick that’s y I googled salmon I luv my furball and I thankfully for the help

  2. I have been feeding my cat tuna but after reading your article , I no longer do. I could tell her fur wasn’t as healthy looking as before. Thanks so much for this information! I had no idea that the tuna was bad for my baby!

Comments are closed.