I usually give my four cats two cans of Fancy Feast wet cat food in the morning, which is about half a can of wet cat food per cat, plus the dry cat food they always have in the house.

Today I only had one cat of wet food, so I decided to mix it with tuna.

In terms of dieat & health, my question is: what's healthier, just the two cans of Fancy Feast or one can of cat food and some tuna?

Btw, I know that a cat's natural diet is carnivorous and not canned food and/or dry food. Just wanted to get this out of the way.


  • 1
    Minor warning, anecdotal: We bought some cat food that ended up being mousse instead of chunks of meat. The cats hated it but we had a giant box of it. So I decided to try and mix the good food with the mousse so it wouldn't go to waste. Not only did the cats refuse to eat it, they also stopped trusting/eating the specific good food that I used and we ended up having to buy something completely different.
    – Flater
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 17:07
  • I had the reverse of the problems as @Flater did, (cats like pate, don't really like chunks) but I was able to make a mix with more of what my cats liked. Also, I found a potato masher that converted chunks into pate. I imagine it's hard to convert pate into chunks, though.
    – aschultz
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 21:51
  • Related pets.stackexchange.com/questions/2590/…
    – user6796
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 4:26

5 Answers 5


Either or is fine, however, not canned tuna. Canned tuna has a ton of salt. Fresh from the market tuna or salmon would be ideal though pricey. The omegas in fish are a wonderful additive to your cats' diet.

That being said, in general we always prefer them to be on canned food. This greatly helps the prevention of crystal and stone formation in the bladder (also good for kidney health). Its high concentration of water makes your cat want to pee more, allowing the bladder to be flushed more frequently.


Is Fancy Feast good?

Judging by the nutritional information of both 'liver and chicken feast in gravy' and 'purely Fancy Feast', this wet food doesn't provide enough fat. Fat is the ingredient that 'tells' a cat's brain to stop eating at some point and of course it is also their main energy source. This means that they need a lot of this type of food to actually be full. Additionally there seems to be a lot of liver in the food (at least it's in the second position on the ingredient list). So no, not great.

Dry food should not be fed as a full meal either because it's dry (cats naturally aren't great at drinking a lot) as well as usually filled with wheat or other stuff cats can't even digest properly.

Can I feed Tuna?

Sure. However, fish is a special thing even among RAW diets. Fish has a ton of Vitamin D which can be 'overdosed', so to speak. Cats won't die from a fish every few months or anything, but it's not great for them either. Additionally, some fish are rich in Thiaminase (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiaminase) which breaks down thiamine (Vit B1), which in turn means that it will effectively remove that from whatever else the cat is eating at the time.

There have been studies where cats being fed fish already showed deficiencies after 11 days (Thiamine Deficiency and Associated Clinical Disorders by McCandless, 2009) symptoms of which can be loss of appetite, nerve damage (trembling, cramps, ataxia) and overall weight loss.

This all might sound very scary indeed, but again, non-supplemented fish or other meat once a month or something is perfectly within the range of 'fine' :)

  • 2
    dry foods are loaded with salt to increase the cat's thirst and water intake. also canned foods for both cats and dogs can have what appears to be meat and is in fact textured vegetable protein and made to look like meat, so the customer thinks there's more meat in the food than there is. However I like the research you've done and welcome to the site. +1
    – user6796
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 13:15
  • Just wanted to add that a lot of the veterinary cat specialist give canned fancy feast to their own cats, it's a cheap food but they seem to do well on it. Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 14:51
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    @RebeccaRVT: Well yes, its like feeding Hills or dry food only, cats survive surprisingly well on a lot of things. As do humans, you can read about a lot of smokers that lived to a high age. Fancy Feast at least is wet food, so its fine-ish. Better than dry, at least.
    – psycoatde
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 16:39
  • @psycoatde yes, it's just funny to see all these people get really upset when it comes to diet selection and then you have the specialist feed fancy feast lol Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 16:41
  • 1
    Tuna also has high concentrations of mercury, which makes it less than optimal for a core food. See now.tufts.edu/articles/…
    – Stig Tore
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 15:04

Cat food -- at least good-quality cat food -- contains dietary supplements to make it a complete diet. Tuna doesn't, and so may be better in some ways and worse in others.

Note that some cats are allergic to fish, despite the stereotypes.


All I can say is that my 9-year-old cat likes tuna (tuna-in-water) so I sometimes give him it. He also goes mad for shrimp (grey, not red ones) so when I want to reward him I give some. When I buy tuna I always ensure it has no salt added or that the amount of salt is less than 10% GDA (Guideline Daily Amount, for human-grade tuna).


Cats do not catch tuna in the wild. However they love protein and are very good at choosing food with high protein. The salt of tuna is unhealthy for your pet. Try shrimp and salmon. Yet I'd suggest cooking the food yourself. Fish is easily baked. Sautéing is good way to go but use butter with no salt or olive oil. Coconut oil is great for their coat too. And most of the rescues I work with will eat coconut oil right from the spoon. But give them small doses. Like a teaspoon or else it may have a purgative effect, resulting in diarrhea.

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