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Can Cats Eat Tuna In Oil?

Can Cats Eat Tuna In Oil?

You may think that tuna in oil would be a great choice of treat for your cat, after all, there are loads of tuna-flavored cat food pouches and snack items out there.

Cats love the taste of fish, right? So it’s only natural that you’d think you were doing something good by sneaking your favorite feline friend a sizable portion of the tuna from the cupboard. 

However, you’d be surprised to know that while your kitty may love the taste of tuna in oil, they shouldn’t really be eating tuna made for human consumption.

While it is okay to give your pet a taste of tuna now and again, they shouldn’t really be eating it often as the oil can make them really dizzy and lethargic. 

Tuna In Vegetable Oil

Every now and then, as an occasional treat, yes you can give your cat tuna in vegetable oil. I really would not recommend doing this too often though as canned tuna tends to have mercury in it which can be really toxic for your cat’s vital organs and therefore fatal. 

If your cat suffers from dry skin, you can always feed them a small amount of tuna in vegetable oil every now and again to help this.

Never keep it as an integral part of their diet though, as it can really harm your kitty if it’s consumed often. 

Tuna In Olive Oil 

Tuna in olive oil can be eaten by your fur baby in moderation. 

In this case, it’s not actually the oil itself that’s the problem. Olive oil can be consumed by your cat and in fact, it’s actually a great remedy if they have constipation as it acts as a laxative.

Adding a spoonful of olive oil a day to your cat’s diet will actually keep their fur super soft and shiny! Just ensure that the oil is fully absorbed into their food if you do this! 

It’s actually more the tuna that is the issue. Eating an excessive amount of tuna can be really harmful and dangerous to your cat. Canned tuna contains taurine and this can cause heart issues for your kitty. 

Tuna In Sunflower Oil

As mentioned before, really it’s the tuna that can cause the majority of the problems if consumed regularly, so any tuna needs to be eaten in moderation.

However, if you want to keep your house clean I would recommend ensuring that you don’t let your kitty consume too much sunflower oil either as it can cause very upset stomachs and give your cat diarrhea.

Oils tend to be quite heavy on cats’ organs and this causes sickness and diarrhea.

Microplastics In Tuna

Cats can seem to be quite obsessive with tuna, however, no matter how much they seem to beg for it, you should not let them eat tuna too often. One reason for this is the microplastics that can be found in canned tuna. 

Microplastics are from all the plastic that has been breaking down in the ocean. It breaks down and down until it is microscopic in size.

It’s very likely that the fish in the ocean that we eat have consumed these particles. So your cat then consumes these particles that are not good for their health.    

Vitamin E Deficiency 

Can Cats Eat Tuna In Oil?

Eating a lot of tuna in oil can actually cause a vitamin E deficiency in cats. Because your kitty is consuming too many fatty acids, they need to produce more vitamin E. 

Tuna itself already has loads of these fatty acids so your cat is already in high demand of vitamin E and then the oil the tuna is in only increases this demand.

If your cat eats tuna in oil too regularly they won’t be able to produce the amount of vitamin E that they need and thus become deficient. 

A deficiency in vitamin E can then lead to lots of other issues like steatitic and myocardial muscle issues.


This may be the last thing you expected, but yes, your cat can become addicted to tuna if you continue to let them eat it. Tuna has this really strong taste and smell and many cats can become quickly addicted to it. 

If your cat does become addicted to tuna, you need to try and wean off it as soon as possible as it is not good for their health.

I would recommend starting by switching from tuna to other fish-based foods. Start with fish-flavored cat pouches and then slowly introduce poultry and meat into their diet. 

Mercury Poisoning 

Eating too much fish can cause your cat to get mercury poisoning. This is something we really want to try and avoid.

Mercury poisoning is a lot less common than it once was but it is always worth familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms because the sooner you catch it, the better chance you have of treating it. 

The symptoms of mercury poisoning in cats are: 

  • Ataxia (may seem drunk and wobbly)
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hypermetria (involuntarily moving)
  • Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement)
  • Paralysis
  • Vision loss

Mercury poisoning can be fatal if you suspect your pet does have mercury poisoning, see your vet immediately.

The damage done by mercury poisoning can often be irreversible but vets can sometimes administer activated charcoal that can absorb the mercury if it’s ingested in a large amount. But this can not be done if it is consumed over time. 

Final Thoughts

Tuna can effectively be a little bit like a drug to cats. It’s highly addictive and can be irreversibly damaged in the long run.

A tiny treat here and there won’t cause any major issues but you don’t want to be wasting one of your cat’s nine lives on a silly mistake such as letting them eat a little too much tuna. 

Keep it in moderation and try to limit their access to tuna, especially tuna in oil. A little bit might taste nice but too much can result in the loss of a beloved family member – and that just isn’t worth the risk.