Can Cats Eat Lemon Pepper Tuna? (Surprising)

The short answer is: No, cats cannot eat lemon pepper tuna. Lemon is citrus and is toxic for cats. Pepper contains piperine that is irritating to a cat’s sense of smell. Tuna doesn’t have all the nutrients cats need, and it can be harmful to cats if eaten regularly. Thus, feeding your cat a combination of these three won’t benefit your cat. Further, it can even cause your feline harm.

Lemon pepper tuna is a sure treat for us, and there’s no doubt about it. Tuna has a lot of nutritional value for humans.

Add in the flavor of both the lemon and black pepper, and it will make a satisfying meal for us.

Still, as much as it’s a good treat for us, it is harmful.

A particular recipe states that there are five ingredients in a lemon pepper tuna. These are tuna, mayonnaise, red onion, lemon pepper seasoning, and fresh lemon juice.

However, let’s just tackle the three main ingredients: lemon, black pepper, and tuna.

Knowing how these ingredients affect our feline pets can help us understand how harmful it is for them.

What is in the lemon pepper tuna? (Ingredients)


Lemons, together with other citrus fruits, are toxic for cats.

According to ASPCA, lemons contain essential oils and psoralens. These components can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and potential dermatitis.

Further, felines hate the citrus scent coming from lemons and other fruits of the same family.

The shredded lemon zest in a lemon pepper seasoning is enough for our feline pets to stay away from it.

While lemon is already toxic, it’ll be much worse if combined with black pepper and tuna.

Black Pepper

The lemon pepper seasoning is a mixture of lemon zest and crushed black pepper.

All kinds of seasoning are unnecessary and harmful, and black pepper is on that list.

Black pepper contains piperine, which is irritating to our noses if we inhaled an ample amount of it.

Thus, you can only imagine what it would do to our pets since they have a keen sense of smell and sniff a lot.

If you want further details on how black pepper affects our pets, check out our related article here.


Contrary to the belief of many, tuna has some harmful effects on cats, and it can be lethal if eaten regularly.

Tuna can be an occasional treat. But, if it becomes a regular part of their diet, it can harm our feline pets.

While tuna is low in carbohydrates and rich in protein, it can’t sustain the nutritional needs.

Thus, a simple treat from time to time is alright, but regular intake can cause harm.

Felines that regularly eat tuna is prone to mercury poisoning. Lemon pepper tuna usually uses albacore tuna, and it has three times more mercury than a canned one.

As much as lemon pepper tuna can be a good treat for us, it can’t be the same for our kitties.

Now, how about other kinds of flavored tuna? Are they all bad for cats?

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Can cats eat flavoured tuna?

lemon pepper tuna and cats

Cats cannot eat flavored tuna.

For starters, felines should eat something unprocessed and unseasoned. Canned tuna can be a good treat, but not the flavored ones.

If you want to give your pet a canned tuna treat, be sure it is 100% fish and packed with water and not oil.

The flavors in a canned tuna often cause hyperthyroidism to our feline pets. It is because these flavors are usually artificial and contain chemicals.

Thus, they can safely eat tuna as long as it’s unseasoned and unflavored.

Now, let’s get back to lemons. Since the lemon fruit itself is bad, is the tree also harmful to them?

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Is Lemon Tree safe for cats?

The lemon tree is not safe for cats. Together with the rest of the citrus trees, both the leaves and fruits can be toxic.

Lemon trees contain essential oil such as limonene or linalool, which is toxic. This component is present in both the tree and the leaves.

Your kitty may nibble on the leaves or play with the tree, as long as it’s reachable. However, chewing on it can be harmful, so prevent your feline friend from going to such places.

What about durian? Can cats eat it? Read here.

Is lemon scent bad for cats?

The scent of lemons can be fragrant for us, but not for our cats.

Citrus, such as lemons, doesn’t smell appealing for our feline pets. It’s an obvious reaction since the lemons are toxic for them.

Thus, the scent of its fruit, its leaves, and the tree itself can repel cats.

In Summary

The richness of a tuna with the fantastic flavors of lemons and black peppers can be quite satisfying. Unfortunately, it’s not the same for our cats.

Lemon pepper tuna can be delightful to our palates, but it can be harmful.

Indeed, it is quite tempting to share some of this fantastic meal with our cats. However, you must consider the harm it can bring.

As cat owners, it is our responsibility to treat our cats. But, it is also in us to keep them safe from harmful food.

Give your pet something safe instead, and it will be a sure treat for them.

Are you looking if cats can eat mayonnaise with tuna? Read our article just about that.

And what about other fish? Can cats eat sardines in tomato sauce? Or canned sardines?


Lemon pepper tuna recipe

ASPCA study about lemons and their toxicity to animals

Image credits – Photos by Erda Estremera and Taylor Grote on Unsplash

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