It’s no great secret that cats of all breeds tend to like fish, and crave the delicious flavors of it.
In fact, the popularity of fish with cats is so mainstream that it has found its way into cartoons, movies, tv shows and more.
Here’s a Bengal fishing for dinner!
Canned and fresh, fish is always a popular choice for our feline companions.
If you’ve tried to cook up fish at home, you’ve probably noticed that your cat comes running to see what all the fuss is about.
Tuna is one of the most popular types of fish in the world for human consumption. Americans alone consume over one billion pounds of canned and pouched tuna every year!
But can Bengal cats eat tuna? In this article we are going to cover whether or not tuna is safe for Bengal cats.
Bengal cats are likely to enjoy eating both canned tuna and fresh tuna, so we will cover both types in this article.
Canned Tuna For Bengal Cats
Generally, most Bengal owners will be looking to feed their beloved pets tinned/canned tuna (as fresh is so much more expensive).
What is the deal with feeding canned tuna to your Bengal cat? Can Bengal cats eat tuna if it comes in a can?
If you are going to feed your Bengal canned tuna, then firstly ensure that it is a non-flavoured type.
Many brands of tuna made for humans come with flavouring (like ‘basil and tomato’ or ‘smoked onion’).
This might be delicious in a nice sandwich for lunch, but the ingredients in the flavouring may not be good for your Bengal (e.g. onion is toxic to cats) and could potentially cause gastrointestinal issues as well.
So if you’re going to feed your Bengal cat canned tuna, then plain (in brine/water) is the best option.
However, do be aware that tinned tuna also has a relatively high salt content, so too much of it is not going to be good for your pet.
Cats – due to their smaller body mass – are particularly susceptible to excessive sodium consumption.
Fresh Tuna For Bengals
There are less safety/health concerns with fresh tuna, although you will want to be wary of any bones that may get stuck and cause a choking hazard.
If you plan on feeding some fresh tuna fish to your Bengal, then we recommend seeking out fillets that have already been de-boned, in order to reduce that choking risk.
Also make sure that the fish is nice and fresh, and has been properly stored. Although cats are less susceptible to food poisoning than humans are, “old” fish could still pose some risk.
Mercury Poisoning Risk
Excessive tuna consumption is well-known for the risk of mercury poisoning in humans
Cats are not immune to this either, and in fact can be at greater risk due to their smaller size and lower weight. What is a small amount of tuna for a human could be a large, excessive quantity for your Bengal.
Therefore, it’s important that you don’t feed your Bengal too much tuna, or too frequently.
Make it an occasional treat, and not a daily occurrence.
What Are The Signs Of Mercury Poisoning In Cats
Mercury poisoning can be hard to spot in cats, but in general the symptoms are:
- Loss of coordination/balance
- Difficulty with movement and walking
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Loss of appetite and weight
Conclusion – Can Bengal Cats Eat Tuna Safely?
Yes, they can. However, it should not be their everyday food, and you want to be especially careful with canned tuna due to potential for issues with excessive mercury consumption.
Also bear in mind that no domestic cat breeds evolved to eat fish as an exclusive diet, so don’t feel tempted to feed your cat tuna every day instead of “proper” food as this could also risk malnutrition.
Tuna once every so often as a treat for your Bengal is a great idea (and they will love you for it). However, be wary of feeding your Bengal tuna on a regular basis.
They are better off with proper cat food – read our guide here to the best foods for Bengal cats for more information on what commercial food options to feed your cat.