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Tuna water squeezed out of the can...dangerous to give to cats?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
For years, when I was making tuna fish from the can, I would squeeze out the tuna water and let my cat lap it up. I was doing it with Sophie when we first got him and my grandmother told me that she had read that it was dangerous to give cats the water from tuna cans......I did it for years and I can sort of understand how maybe preservatives or something might not be perfect, but dangerous???

Anyone know the truth behind this???


The cats hear the can opener and come running the second the tuna smell gets to their super little noses, I'd hate to never be able to give them a little taste, but if it's dangerous then obviously I won't ever do it again.
post #2 of 23
I wouldn't do it every day...but I don't think it's dangerous. Consuming too much actual tuna (not just the water) would be bad, but the water...hmm I don't think so.

The worst thing about it (to my knowledge) is that it's high in sodium.

I usually water it down (about 1/2 and 1/2).
post #3 of 23
What I have read is tuna in OIL is bad. Cause it depleates them of some vitamin. I always give my gang the water-usually stir in some wet food so they all get the taste. only my urinary tract cat doesn't get this treat.
post #4 of 23
I don't do it everytime, but I will give them the "juice" on a plate once in awhile - the oils (there is some even in the water packed) are good for the coat.
post #5 of 23
I give the juice form the wayer when i use tuna so aboutonce or twice a month havent hurt them yet. But its not a lot.
post #6 of 23
Oh, just FORGET trying to sneak opening a can of tuna if Oliver's within a mile radius, hahaha... he comes RUNNING to the kitchen, mewing, and puts his front paws up on the cabinets (he knows he's not allowed on counters or tables)... he KNOWS when it's time for tuna juice - he even knows the ASL sign for "fish" if I'm planning on opening a can, but havent yet, he'll run just seeing the sign... I ate tuna more when I was still in school in my apartment, but it still wasn't a daily thing... If it's once in awhile, I wouldn't worry about it - it is really the sodium (that I know of) that would be a bad thing to give too much... hmmm, maybe I'll make a tuna sandwhich for lunch, it's been quite awhile
post #7 of 23
I have heard you should only feed tuna as a rare treat as it is not good for cats and I'd say it's the same for the juice. Once you're not giving it to them every day I'm sure a little is fine.
post #8 of 23
We don't have tuna very often around here, but when we do I always give the water to my cats. I usually dilute it with regular water to make it go further. My vet says not to overdo it, but pretty much any way of getting water into a cat is a good thing.
post #9 of 23
You've probably heard it's "dangerous" because of mercury in tuna or high sodium levels. You can buy low sodium canned tuna and if you're just giving the water I don't think that's a problem or even a teaspoon of the tuna itself but you shouldn't do it every day because cats can become very addicted to the smell of tuna and this can lead to finicky eating habits and tuna does have mercury. I use tuna water when I put down canned cat food and my cats are turning up their nose at it. But first I try it without the tuna water and before using tuna water I try freeze dried liver powder which often works.

Tuna water, you should definitely keep in mind as a tip because what if you have to switch your cat to a prescription canned food and your cat won't eat it. You can pour tuna water over the food and gradually reduce the tuna water until your cat is eating the food without the tuna water. The reason why this stuff is so effective is because of the smell. Cats have relatively poor sense of taste compared to people but their sense of smell is really strong and that's what convinces them to eat. That's why when my cat Spotty had an inflamed nasopharynx just over a year ago he wouldn't eat for a couple days and I had to rush him to the emergency. They had to rehydrate him and feed him intravenously. They definitely saved him though.
post #10 of 23
It's like any other yummy/fun thing that has the potential to be harmful...."everything in moderation!"

I like to mix it with some dry, or just watch Molly chase the can (safely opened) around the kitchen floor!
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok great.


Thanks for all the responses!!!!!

post #12 of 23
i give tuna in brine as a rare treat to my cats and always have done and never had a problem normally about once a month. iv not heard it to be dangrous, if i have a foster kitten that is still showing no signs of intrest in food by 7 weeks old i will give a tea spone of tuna to get them started(this usually works) but that is it just a tea spone or they will decide they wont eat nothing else.
post #13 of 23
We've had a total of 12 cats, and two were very sick wee older cats. One had diabetes and got regular shots twice a day, the other had CRF and had to be given I.V. fluids every day. Both, when sickness struck became very poor eaters. Our Vet. said to lace their food with a little tuna water to get their appetites going. I guess at that point a little extra sodium in their diets couldn't do them much harm. The diabetic cat lived to be 18 1/2, and poor wee CRF girl was only 15. Our Vet. also said not to give them the tuna itself, however tuna flavoured cat foods are fine.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2fourfootersMom View Post
We've had a total of 12 cats, and two were very sick wee older cats. One had diabetes and got regular shots twice a day, the other had CRF and had to be given I.V. fluids every day. Both, when sickness struck became very poor eaters. Our Vet. said to lace their food with a little tuna water to get their appetites going. I guess at that point a little extra sodium in their diets couldn't do them much harm. The diabetic cat lived to be 18 1/2, and poor wee CRF girl was only 15. Our Vet. also said not to give them the tuna itself, however tuna flavoured cat foods are fine.
well put ... I too have used tuna or clam juice for that issue CRF ... all things in moderation
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggiegirl View Post
You've probably heard it's "dangerous" because of mercury in tuna or high sodium levels....
There's also what is, perhaps, a greater danger with tuna flesh...I just posted on that here
post #16 of 23
If concerned about sodium levels, look for tuna that is canned in unsalted water instead of brine - we have the John West brand here, they produce canned tuna in oil, brine, or plain spring water - the spring water one is a little more expensive but great for a lower sodium diet, and you don't have to worry about those salt levels if your cat likes to drink some of the water from it

Tuna flesh itself I am wary about feeding as anything other than the occasional treat, I actually know someone who suffered mercury poisoning from eating too much oily fish, and with a smaller body size than a human, with much smaller kidneys and liver, I would imagine a cat is at greater risk than a human. I try to limit my own intake of oily fish to once a week now I have seen the risks myself!
post #17 of 23
I would avoid tuna in brine completely, i used to always use it, but it is much nicer in spring water, although I rarely think of using the juice I drain off to the cats, I have always put it down the sink!!
post #18 of 23
I finally managed to break Chynna of having to have tuna juice with her morning blood pressure pill. It was the only way I could get her to take it (dissolving the pill).

I switched to a vegetarian diet and hated buying tuna because I would give her the juice and the tuna itself was going bad inside my fridge. I finally started freezing it thinking that I would use it in a tuna casserole when I had company. I have about 12 tins of tuna frozen! Plus I didn't like giving her the extra salt because she has hypertension, hence the morning pill.

The pill is only 1/4 of a tablet so it's very small. I started to dissolve it in a bit of warm water and then mash up about 1 teaspoon of wet food into it. After she licks the plate clean, she gets more wet food
post #19 of 23
I consider tuna water cat champagne.

It may not be good for them, but they all love it.

Once in a while, awarding you cat with diluted, room temperature tuna water sends the signal they are doing something right.

When my 100% indoor cats escape, ocassionally, usually due a negligent repair man, if I put tuna water outside, they come back shortly.

I was taught by a veterinarian years ago that cats don't understand negative responses. If you squirt them w/water or lightly hit them, water, it means nothing to them. It only scares them.

To encourage good behavior, such as using a scratching post, reward them w/tuna water.

Also, they smell it better when it's room temperature. Dilute it due to high salt content.

It's not bad for them unless you feed it to them every day.

On special occasions, it's magic.
post #20 of 23

Every time I give my Siamese cat tuna fish without the water, later on he looks sick and fatigue. Like right now he looks sick. I'm wondering if the tuna fish is bad for him. My husband started giving my cat tuna fish and it seems like that's what he wants now. When I give him the Fancy Feast he does not want the fancy feast. He won't eat anything all day on we give him tuna fish, l see that it gets him sick. Will someone tell if I'm doing the right thing by giving him tuna fish?

 

 

Juanita Chavez 

post #21 of 23
Tuna fish is not nutritionally complete for a cat. It has high mercury and sodium levels. It is also a common inflammation trigger for a lot of cats. It can also be highly addictive for cats as you are seeing. Given his negative reaction to tuna, please stop feeding tuna and feed cat food.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by janrchavez View Post

Every time I give my Siamese cat tuna fish without the water, later on he looks sick and fatigue. Like right now he looks sick. I'm wondering if the tuna fish is bad for him.

Hi janrchavez - welcome to TCS!

 

You MUST STOP giving Tuna immediately! Without knowing it, you've been playing with fire.....and, now, I suspect that there's a good chance you have a fire in progress.

 

Here's what happens when cats are fed large amounts of Tuna: Yellow Fat Disease - Steatitis

 

Read the symptoms there....I think you'll find many similarities between them and those your cat is displaying.

 

Hopefully you've asked the question early enough to catch this and reverse the harmful effects.

 

You really should take him to a competent Veterinarian ASAP......make sure you tell the Vet about the possibility that it's Steatitis caused by the fish (bring the link with you)....not every general practice Veterinarian is an expert in feline medicine.

 

Fortunately, if that's the problem, treatment is easy:

  1. STOP ALL FISH intake
  2. Administer Vitamin E in the required amounts
  3. Provide an appropriate feline diet (you'll get great suggestions in the Nutrition forum here)

 

For more about the dangers of feeding fish to cats: Other Health Concerns From Feeding Fish (halfway down)

 

We have had cases of Steatitis here on TCS - some have not had good outcomes - get him to the Vet as soon as you can!

post #23 of 23

Rather than buying can after can, if one could make tuna water by taking one can and soaking it in a quart of water in the fridge, then freezing it in portions to use later. I have a cat who must have wet food and will like a flavor for two or three meals, then won't eat it again. I am ending up with a lot of extra cans of food I need to doctor with something so he will eat them. Salmon oil doesn't interest him. 

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