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I'm worried about my cat getting Hg (mercury) toxicity

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Dothemo, Dec 8, 2017.


  1. Dothemo

    Dothemo PetForums Junior

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    Hi folks,

    I've been feeding my cat a lot of tuna lately, the premium human brand because he loooves it. I have read that it contains mercury and am now a bit concerned that he'll ingest too much Hg. So I've switched him to premium dried food, the occasional Dine satchel and a small tin of Sardines daily. I have read that Sardines do not contain or contain minimal amounts of Hg. Luckily he's getting a taste for Sardines now as much as Tuna. Does anyone else have similar worries?
     
  2. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Tuna can contain higher levels of mercury. Fish itself is ok as a treat but isn't as nutritionally balanced for cats as they need. It generally has high phosphorous and is low in some other nutrients. Also if the fish is in oil then this high fat can also cause problems. Unless you cat has allergies then a high meat content wet food is a good source of nutrients and perhaps keep the sardines for an occasional treat.
     
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  3. Pinto

    Pinto PetForums Member

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    My cats love Hunan grade tuna as well I don't give it to them, they won't touch sardines. At least you are aware of the problem and made changes to their diet.:)
     
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  4. Saf

    Saf Banned

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    Sorry to put this bluntly but you've got your cat on an absolutely crappy diet, highly nutritionally deficient and providing an inadequate moisture content.

    Everything you're giving is bad. Throw it all in the bin, eat it yourself or give it to the pigeons.

    Feed your cat a nutritionally balanced wet food high in meat content and low in fillers and general garbage. Your cat will develop health problems associated with malnutrition long before being driven mad by mercury poisoning. It doesn't matter that your cat likes. A cat probably eat a tub of ice cream if fed it.
     
  5. Saf

    Saf Banned

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    It's actually low in phosphorus, too low. It's just a bad thing to give cats full stop.
     
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  6. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    @Dothemo
    Try him out on a few different wet foods to see if you can find other brands/foods he likes. Tuna occasionally is ok but I would stay away from it for awhile as he has gotten quite used to it.

    Almo Natural brand, has sardine and mackerel, as well as tuna mixtures in small serve supplemtal food packs you can give as an occasional snack, once you get him eating other complete wet food.

    Best thing I have learned, limit or eliminate dry food and feed primarily wet or raw.
     
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  7. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    As a very occasional treat, if you are opening a tin for yourself, say, tuna's fine (in spring water, not brine); but if he's happy with an occasional sardine that's fine.
     
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  8. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    I really can't see OP tucking into a bowl of dried food (maybe like cereal with milk?).

    @Dothemo: there are several posters on the cat section who are very knowledgeable about diet/nutrition and will give you names of the best stuff to give him. Keep the dry to an absolute minimum as an occasional treat if he loves it; a good wet diet is best for cats.
     
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  9. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    I assume you’re in Aus by the mention of Dine satchels?
    We don’t have the same brands here that will be recommended in other parts of the forum.
     
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  10. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Ooops Must have got that the wrong way round then. :( Either way it's not nutritionally balanced.
     
    #10 kittih, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  11. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    The main nutritional problem with much of the food we feed our cats is the calcium/phosphorus ratio. In general, there is far too much phosphorus. I have no reason to doubt the information provided here http://maxshouse.com/Tuna_and_Cats_Nutritional_Facts.htm If anybody has alternative information please share.
     
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  12. Saf

    Saf Banned

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    I've always gone by Tanya's CKD site for phosphorus levels of tuna: http://www.felinecrf.org/canned_food_uk.htm And as you can see Applaws Tuna is one of the lowest levels of phosphorus foods, which is theoretically "good" for a CKD cat but it every other way it's utterly abysmal food for any cat. Obviously the actual phosphorus and calcium content depend on what part of the tuna is in the food, but whether it's Applaws, John Smith or whoever, tuna is a terrible thing to feed to a cat and I'd actually ban it's sale as cat food if I had the power.

    I think the idea of phosphorus as a kind of bogeyman is actually becoming a narrative of the big pet food companies, when in fact it's an essential nutrient that plays vital role in many bodily functions. The phosphorus content of the NI Venison I feed in rotation to my kittens is on the high side and I questioned them about this as I thought they gave an excellent and accurate response that mirrors my own thinking:

    "Our phosphorus and calcium ratios are naturally occurring within the meat and bone we use, the food also has a naturally high moisture content which helps to reduce the risk of Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure as this moisture helps to continually flush the system through, so you may notice your pet drinking less which is perfectly normal ... You will notice that many commercial dry and pouch diets are very high in sugars, carbohydrates etc. which will put unnecessary stress on the system which in turn is likely to cause issues such as renal failure/disease, pancreatitis etc. so simply putting your cat on to a biologically appropriate diet is more than likely to reduce the risk of these types of illnesses dramatically. Our meals have been designed with our Holistic Vet and Pet Nutritionist to ensure that they are complete and balanced and contain everything your pet will need, including the all-important taurine levels ... You also have to consider the quality of the products used in a diet and their bio-availability to the body. Because all of the products we use within our formulations are of the best quality, this therefore means that the body is going to be able to absorb and utilise them effectively, which in turn should minimise any health risks. We would always recommend where possible feeding a variety of different proteins, there are many benefits to feeding a range so if you are able to do this then this would certainly be advisable."

    So, the way I look it is, that phosphorus is an essential nutrient but it's more difficult to process than other nutrients and can cause problems if you feed your cat food containing lots of unnecessary garbage that puts additional strain on the kidneys. The path the major pet food companies seem to be following is reducing the phosphorus to sub optimal levels while keeping the garbage (carbs, sugars etc) levels the same, because that's what brings the highest profit margin, and this is to the overall detriment of your cat's health.

    Here's the best info on calcium/phosphorus ratios: http://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/dont-let-calcium-phosphorous-ratios-scare-you
     
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  13. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    Just to add that Applaws Tuna fillet is not just tuna. It is 75% tuna, 19% fish broth and 6% rice so not comparable to tuna alone. Also the 'danger' in the calcium/phosphorus ratio arises if the calcium is too low which will be the case if feeding muscle meat or fish which has little calcium but plenty of phosphorus. This is why a supplement is essential in that case. (In a cat with healthy kidneys, excess phosphorus is excreted without a problem but some cats with CKD will need to have a product such as Ipakitine to bind the excess phosphorus but that is not relevant here nor is feeding raw.)

    @Dothemo I think the mercury is only a secondary concern with feeding tuna exclusively. Your boy will become calcium deficient which can be life threatening. Feeding more biscuits does not seem to be a better alternative since the dangers of a dry diet are probably greater than the slight possibility of poisoning from too much mercury in tuna.
     
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  14. mewtoo

    mewtoo I speak cat language

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    Just give your cat tuna as a treat here and there.
    Watch his face light up as you start to open the tin.

    My old cat Little Baby used to squeak at me as I opened the tuna cupboard, then squeaked louder and faster as I opened the tin.
    She sounded like a fire alarm by the end of it.

    How her lovely big green eyes lit up when she realised that she was getting a treat.
     
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  15. mewtoo

    mewtoo I speak cat language

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    Oh and also, get the flakes and add water.
     
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  16. bluecordelia

    bluecordelia Footy

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    Hi thank you for posting as you obviously want to do the best. Cats eats meat/ protein and tuna is a treat and should only be in spring water as no one feeds fresh.

    You need to replicate a raw diet. I thought I was doing the right thing feed a breed specific dry food or kibble. How wrong was I!!

    Best is either raw or high protein good quality cat food. Wet food only as dry food contains lots of cheap fillers cats don’t eat like cereal. Cats are also poor drinkers of water and dry absorbs water from their bowel. Vets promote dry food quite often but don’t understand cat nutrition very well. You see this in cats with kidney issues as they never have enough water for a long time. Any wet food is better than dry kibble.

    Have a look on here for raw feeding. I give my two a mix of raw food ie chicken thigh or pork. Cheap meat with muscle in is best not chicken breast. You can feed raw chicken wings and thigh with bone in but Never feed cooked bone to a cat as it splintersand can kill. Raw bone is fine and helps clean teeth.

    If might be step too far to do raw so you need to get good at reading and looking at cat food tin labels. Cheap tins have shockingly low levels of protein and cereal. The more better and probably expensive tins contain less rubbish. I tell people in England to look at Zooplus but scout your internet for high protein complete cat foods. Watch for complimentary foods as they don5 have everything your cat needs. Maybe you have an expensive pet shop and they have good or better foods in. I add warm water to wet to get water in the mogs too.

    Hope this helps and encourages you . You feed less good quality stuff and pay less vets fees as cats are healthier so there are benefits against the cost of better food. You will move your cat from a McD’s diet to a good wholesome one
     
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  17. Saf

    Saf Banned

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    I had a rather overweight girlfriend a while back and her eyes lighted up at the sight of Häagen Dazs Pralines and Cream but I don't think it did her any good. Just because your cat likes something doesn't mean you should feed them it. The same goes for Dreamies, Temptations and all the other similar garbage. It just encourages a bad relationship with food.

    My kittens eyes light up at the sight at the sight a one day old chick and they're getting a little bomb of nutrition when they eat them.
     
  18. mewtoo

    mewtoo I speak cat language

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    Naaa, it's ok to give them treats.
     
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  19. Saf

    Saf Banned

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    I gave her treats all the time. She used to talk too much when the football was on so I gave her a pack of Mars bars and a tube of Pringles too munch on.
     
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