Has your kitty developed a fondness for canned tuna fish? Do you often cave to their desires and crack them open a can to enjoy for dinner? If you're doing this often, you could be putting your cat at risk of developing some serious health issues. Read on for two signs your cat's health is in danger because of their love of tuna.
Their Sniffer Is In Overdrive
Taurine is an essential amino acid. While scientists are unsure of its exact role in cats' bodies, they do know that it plays a crucial role in the makeup of their heart wall muscles, their retinas, and their brain. As an essential amino acid, however, taurine can't be made by your cat's body; it needs to be consumed along with their diet. Cat food manufacturers are aware of the importance of taurine to cats and supplement all cat food on the market with this amino acid, but the tuna fish industry does not.
If you're giving your cat too much tuna fish, they may not be eating enough cat food, and therefore they may not be getting enough taurine in their diet. Taurine deficiency is a dangerous condition that can lead to vision loss and heart failure.
While it's difficult to detect heart failure until it has actually occurred, you can usually clue yourself in on a vision problem by watching your kitty. When a cat's vision goes bad, they often rely on their nose to pick up the slack. If your cat is smelling things more frequently than they used to or if they don't sense that something is edible until they're very close to it and have had a good sniff, it's time to lay off the tuna fish and have them tested for a taurine deficiency at a pet hospital.
They Can't Find Their Favorite Toy
Mercury is a toxic substance to both humans and animals. The substance poisons the nervous system, causing devastating symptoms such as muscle weakness, mood disturbances, loss of coordination, and memory loss.
While much has been done to eliminate mercury from consumable products, there are still relatively high amounts of it in canned fish. One of the biggest culprits is tuna, with the levels of mercury in this canned fish increasing substantially over the past 15 years. The Environmental Protection Agency warns that a child weighing 48 pounds is at risk of developing neurological damage if they consume more than roughly one third of a can per week. Depending on the breed of your cat, they likely weigh between 5 and 25 pounds; you can only imagine what an equal amount could do to them.
Cats have excellent memories -- they've proven to be capable of retaining 200 times more information than dogs. If your kitty has a favorite ball or toy that they've always played with, but they now spend more time searching for it than actually using it, they may be suffering from mercury poisoning-induced memory loss. The effects of mercury poisoning are often irreversible. Get your cat to the vet immediately if you feed them tuna fish and you suspect they are suffering from memory loss or any of the other symptoms of mercury poisoning listed above.
Tuna fish has a high nutritional value and is good for your cat, but only when provided in very, very small amounts. If you've got a cat who demands canned fish, limit them to one teaspoon mixed in with their regular food a couple of times per week. Furthermore, buy canned light tuna as opposed to the canned white variety. Canned light tuna fish has .12 parts per million mercury contamination, while white tuna has more than double that amount at .32 parts per million mercury contamination.Share
14 April 2016
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