Why not fish-based food?

lucicat

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I guess I always assumed cats eat fish. . .classic right, cats and tuna. Only now I seem to see the recommendation to avoid fish-based foods or limit them. (I do feed grain free and protein only--or as high protein content as possible--food and a little raw food too. All wet food unless I will be out of the house for longer than usual.)

So why is seafood not as good for cats? (Of course I already bought a case of Tiki cat food with tuna and sardines. . .although her fav is the Tiki Cat "after dark" which has organ meat with shredded chicken.)
 

abyeb

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Some fish is fine for cats, but it’s best if they don’t only eat fish for a couple reasons. This article: Can I Feed My Cat A Fish-based Or Fish-flavored Diet? explains in more detail, but to summarize, eating too much fish can cause cats to develop thiamine and/or vitamin E deficiency, which can lead to other health problems. In addition, fish may contain heavy metals, such as mercury.
 
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lucicat

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Some fish is fine for cats, but it’s best if they don’t only eat fish for a couple reasons. This article: Can I Feed My Cat A Fish-based Or Fish-flavored Diet? explains in more detail, but to summarize, eating too much fish can cause cats to develop thiamine and/or vitamin E deficiency, which can lead to other health problems. In addition, fish may contain heavy metals, such as mercury.
Yeah, I had read that tuna isn't good for the mercury reason. which makes sense (I watch my tuna intake). . .now why didn't I think of that before I bought some? ugh
 

Silver Crazy

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Is fish a natural part of cats diet in the wild?...except by chance or scavenging it is a tiny tiny part of it.
There are a couple of species of fishing cats evolved to eat fish exclusively and have adapted to it.
Not saying its totally bad because the oils in the fish are good for the bowel and furballs but as an exclusive diet no.
Variety is the key.

PS: Walt Disney and pet food companies taught everyone cats eat fish..lol
 
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KarenKat

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I read in Dr Hovfe’s book “What Cats should Eat” that there has been a link to fish-based diets and hyperthyroidism, in addition to the contaminants and heavy metals already mentioned.
 

daftcat75

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I avoid feeding fish on the regular for two related reasons. First, it’s addictive and cat guardians who feed fish regularly report that their cats are less interested in non-fish flavors. And second, for the previous reason, I reserve it as an option of last resort. I use its appeal to my advantage. I will feed Krista fish flavors only when she won’t eat anything else. Or when I have to tuck medicine into her food. Because she doesn’t get fish flavors at any other time, the appeal is still high. Fish flavored food remains my nuclear option when all other attempts to get her to eat (or take medicine) have failed.
 

ailish

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I can second the "I only want fish" syndrome. My cat is not picky. For a couple years I fed no fish, but then I started to let some in. She seemed to like it, I want to feed my cat what she likes - soon it was about half fish to half non-fish. At some point I reached a tipping point and plain old chicken or turkey that used to be perfectly fine weren't getting eaten much. So I backed off fish for a bit and chicken a turkey were again no problem. I stepped up the duck and lamb, because she does prefer variety. Now we can eat anything again, including some fish.
 

alphakitty

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I feed all eight of my kitties, two cans of tuna every other night, and on the odd nights they all get dry food. As for the mercury, since when does commercially canned fish have too much mercury for kitties but is ok for Human consumption? Am I missing something here?

However, I read the interesting and informative article cited above by lucicat, eg., "Can I Feed My Cat A Fish-based Or Fish-flavored Diet?"

I was unaware of the problem of vitamin defeciency associated with fish diets, although probably not a problem with 'bird diets', as my kitties frequently catch, eat all the song birds (bummer) every summer and everything else, including squirrels. So I went on a mad research panic this morning to learn the extend of the problem. Later after doing a fair degree of reading authoritative sites, it occurred to me that perhaps I could simply add the missing vitamin E supplement to the canned tuna that I've been serving my kitties, if it is even a problem. Truth being, its only a tablespoon of tuna per kitty, every other day, and often between canned commercial kitty food as well as (yech) dry kitty food. But interestingly, I could only find (the InterNet is so broken these days) one website dedicated to providing vitamin supplements for kitties. That suggested to me that the matter is either so obvious that there is no need for specialty vitamins for kitties or that it is a wholly poorly understood problem and that few people have resolved to correct the matter as result. It turns out, likely, to be the former, but with a caviete', and that being, there are two types of vitamins, synthetic and natural. Of course anyone with a brain should desire to source the natural form, for our beloved little fur-faces.

However, re; that kitty vitamin supplement website, eg., www.knowwhatyoufeed.com, does provide a number of useful recipes for home made kitty food along with offering, important for kitty health, vitamins. I have numerously considered, through the years to make homebrew kitty food myself, but for various reason, did not persue the subject. But I am now emboldened to do so. I go to a helluva lot of effort for all my little kitties, so why not make quality food for them as well? Four months of freezer stored kitty food per make cycle.

Another good homebrew website, catnutrition.org
Cat Nutrition Recipes

And then there is this: meat types and sources

And for the natural vitamin E supplement...tada:
"Now Foods, Dry E-400, Vegetarian, 100 Veggie Caps"

Can be had all over the 'Net, eg, Amazon, iHerbs, etc.

Well, I think that's it for now, you gals probably already know all of this,
but its news to me..

AlphaKitty
 

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I feed a variety of wet food. Some has fish but mostly meat. All I know is the omega fatty acid it good for kitty hair & skin. 😺
 

stacydc83

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Mine are on mostly fish. I tried so many different flavors, and textures and then I'd be lucky if they just licked the gravy. They now eat fish cat foods, and almost always clean their plate. Its whole hearted sardine and tuna, weruva tuna and duck(just started that one and it's a huge hit with Zoe), and salmon. They are eating wet food again and that makes me happy, its important that they are eating. It may not be ideal to be all fish but they are getting the hydration they need. I don't know why they wont touch anything wet with chicken because their hard food is chicken. :dunno:
 

Azazel

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I feed all eight of my kitties, two cans of tuna every other night, and on the odd nights they all get dry food. As for the mercury, since when does commercially canned fish have too much mercury for kitties but is ok for Human consumption? Am I missing something here?

However, I read the interesting and informative article cited above by lucicat, eg., "Can I Feed My Cat A Fish-based Or Fish-flavored Diet?"

I was unaware of the problem of vitamin defeciency associated with fish diets, although probably not a problem with 'bird diets', as my kitties frequently catch, eat all the song birds (bummer) every summer and everything else, including squirrels. So I went on a mad research panic this morning to learn the extend of the problem. Later after doing a fair degree of reading authoritative sites, it occurred to me that perhaps I could simply add the missing vitamin E supplement to the canned tuna that I've been serving my kitties, if it is even a problem. Truth being, its only a tablespoon of tuna per kitty, every other day, and often between canned commercial kitty food as well as (yech) dry kitty food. But interestingly, I could only find (the InterNet is so broken these days) one website dedicated to providing vitamin supplements for kitties. That suggested to me that the matter is either so obvious that there is no need for specialty vitamins for kitties or that it is a wholly poorly understood problem and that few people have resolved to correct the matter as result. It turns out, likely, to be the former, but with a caviete', and that being, there are two types of vitamins, synthetic and natural. Of course anyone with a brain should desire to source the natural form, for our beloved little fur-faces.

However, re; that kitty vitamin supplement website, eg., www.knowwhatyoufeed.com, does provide a number of useful recipes for home made kitty food along with offering, important for kitty health, vitamins. I have numerously considered, through the years to make homebrew kitty food myself, but for various reason, did not persue the subject. But I am now emboldened to do so. I go to a helluva lot of effort for all my little kitties, so why not make quality food for them as well? Four months of freezer stored kitty food per make cycle.

Another good homebrew website, catnutrition.org
Cat Nutrition Recipes

And then there is this: meat types and sources

And for the natural vitamin E supplement...tada:
"Now Foods, Dry E-400, Vegetarian, 100 Veggie Caps"

Can be had all over the 'Net, eg, Amazon, iHerbs, etc.

Well, I think that's it for now, you gals probably already know all of this,
but its news to me..

AlphaKitty
Presumably humans wouldn’t be eating canned tuna as a regular part of their daily meal. Some tuna in moderation is fine.

There are a lot of us here on these forums who make our own cat food. You can explore the homemade raw subforum for more info. Most of us use human supplements.

Just feeding canned tuna with a Vitamin E supplement wouldn’t be considered a complete meal unfortunately.
 
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lucicat

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I feed all eight of my kitties, two cans of tuna every other night, and on the odd nights they all get dry food. As for the mercury, since when does commercially canned fish have too much mercury for kitties but is ok for Human consumption? Am I missing something here?

However, I read the interesting and informative article cited above by lucicat, eg., "Can I Feed My Cat A Fish-based Or Fish-flavored Diet?"

I was unaware of the problem of vitamin defeciency associated with fish diets, although probably not a problem with 'bird diets', as my kitties frequently catch, eat all the song birds (bummer) every summer and everything else, including squirrels. So I went on a mad research panic this morning to learn the extend of the problem. Later after doing a fair degree of reading authoritative sites, it occurred to me that perhaps I could simply add the missing vitamin E supplement to the canned tuna that I've been serving my kitties, if it is even a problem. Truth being, its only a tablespoon of tuna per kitty, every other day, and often between canned commercial kitty food as well as (yech) dry kitty food. But interestingly, I could only find (the InterNet is so broken these days) one website dedicated to providing vitamin supplements for kitties. That suggested to me that the matter is either so obvious that there is no need for specialty vitamins for kitties or that it is a wholly poorly understood problem and that few people have resolved to correct the matter as result. It turns out, likely, to be the former, but with a caviete', and that being, there are two types of vitamins, synthetic and natural. Of course anyone with a brain should desire to source the natural form, for our beloved little fur-faces.

However, re; that kitty vitamin supplement website, eg., www.knowwhatyoufeed.com, does provide a number of useful recipes for home made kitty food along with offering, important for kitty health, vitamins. I have numerously considered, through the years to make homebrew kitty food myself, but for various reason, did not persue the subject. But I am now emboldened to do so. I go to a helluva lot of effort for all my little kitties, so why not make quality food for them as well? Four months of freezer stored kitty food per make cycle.

Another good homebrew website, catnutrition.org
Cat Nutrition Recipes

And then there is this: meat types and sources

And for the natural vitamin E supplement...tada:
"Now Foods, Dry E-400, Vegetarian, 100 Veggie Caps"

Can be had all over the 'Net, eg, Amazon, iHerbs, etc.

Well, I think that's it for now, you gals probably already know all of this,
but its news to me..

AlphaKitty
regarding tuna and mercury:
1) they only recommend two servings a week of tuna to humans and we have more body mass, thus less quick to toxicity
2) I read that they use the larger (and thus more mercury laden) tuna for pet food and use lower mercury tuna for human consumption.
 

KittyCat Angel

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Mine are on mostly fish. I tried so many different flavors, and textures and then I'd be lucky if they just licked the gravy. They now eat fish cat foods, and almost always clean their plate. Its whole hearted sardine and tuna, weruva tuna and duck(just started that one and it's a huge hit with Zoe), and salmon. They are eating wet food again and that makes me happy, its important that they are eating. It may not be ideal to be all fish but they are getting the hydration they need. I don't know why they wont touch anything wet with chicken because their hard food is chicken. :dunno:
That is interesting.😏
 

Rini

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I used to avoid fish entirely but now I let in a few flavors, mostly Land and Sea varieties from Weruva for the Omega 3s and fatty acids. I won’t buy a whole pack of anything fish flavored though, but I’ll let it slide if it it’s included in a variety pack.

If you feed 80% land protein and 20% fish I think you’ll be totally fine.

I’d also definitely avoid fish from cheaper brands, as it’s more likely to not be responsibly sourced and full of potential toxins.
 

amethyst

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Another problem people commonly say they have with feeding fish is cats can become addicted to it, and refuse to eat anything else. I have not had that problem, my cats get fish once a week as part of the wet food rotation, but apparently some people do have cats that will turn there nose up at other meats once they have had fish.
 
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