For the past couple of weeks we’ve seen an energy decline in Olive, our British Shorthair cat, and Kirsten raised this with our vets. After lengthy conversations, the vets deduced that Olive’s diet may be the cause.
Unlike our other cat, Leopold, Olive really enjoys a mixed diet of cat biscuits and soft food, and her favourite soft food is tuna. The thing is, like humans, cats can get mercury poisoning from consuming too much tuna pet food. Tuna can contain high levels of mercury, which is a toxic heavy metal that can accumulate in the tissues of animals over time.
Although occasional consumption of tuna pet food is generally not a cause for concern, feeding your cat too much tuna pet food over a long period of time can increase the risk of mercury poisoning. As Kirsten describes in the vlog episode below, Olive has been eating tuna for a year – after just a few days off her energy levels are already up.
Symptoms of mercury poisoning in cats may include lethargy, weakness, lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhoea and tremours in extreme cases.
To minimise the risk of mercury poisoning, it is recommended to feed your cat a balanced and varied diet that includes a variety of protein sources, rather than relying solely on tuna pet food. This is another reason why we really like Aardvark biscuits which continue to be a favourite for Leopold.
Based on our conversation with the vets, a balanced diet for cats should include:
High-quality animal-based protein in the form of meat, poultry or fish, should make up a significant portion of your cat’s diet. If your cats don’t like soft food, you should really check out Aardvark’s biscuits that are made from sustainable insect meal and are a great source of clean protein.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for healthy skin and coat, as well as for proper immune system function. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are both important for cats, and can be found in fish, poultry and vegetable oils.
Cats require a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
Fresh, clean water should be available to your cat at all times. We love these cat fountains from Petsafe and they guarantee that both Olive and Leopold are always hydrated.