A tuna fish diet influences cat behavior

J Toxicol Environ Health. 1988;24(2):161-72. doi: 10.1080/15287398809531150.


When observed in their home cages, cats fed commercial tuna fish cat food were less active, vocalized less, and spent more time on the floor and more time eating than cats fed commercial beef cat food. There were no differences in response to human handling between the two groups. There were no differences in learning ability on a two-choice point maze or in reversal learning in the same maze between beef- and tuna-fed cats. The behavior of the groups differed in a 15-min open field test only in the number of toys contacted. Cats fed the tuna had elevated tissue levels of mercury and selenium.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / adverse effects*
  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal* / drug effects
  • Body Weight
  • Cats / physiology*
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Fishes*
  • Food Preservation / adverse effects*
  • Learning / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mercury / adverse effects
  • Mercury / analysis
  • Selenium / adverse effects
  • Selenium / analysis
  • Tuna*
  • Vocalization, Animal


  • Mercury
  • Selenium