Can Cats Eat Shrimp?

June 27, 2022 by The Spot Pack

Any cat parent knows that, unless your cat has allergies, fish are on your cat’s list of favorite things to eat. However, just because your cat likes fish doesn’t necessarily mean that all seafood is good for cats to have or that it should make up every meal.

Shrimp is a popular food among humans. It’s a shellfish with many different ways of being eaten, from fried to steamed. It’s well-known for making a great appetizer at a party. Is shrimp a shellfish that your cat can have?

We all want our beloved pets to have the best we can give them, and many cats expect the best. They can be finicky at times, and maybe you’ve been having trouble finding a treat that your cat will love. Maybe you’re thinking about trying some human foods.

Human foods are tricky, though, since some can be toxic for our pets, while others are perfectly safe. Before giving any human food to your pet, you need to do some research to ensure it’s safe for your adorable fur baby.

We’re here to help. At Spot Pet Insurance, we want to make sure that your pet can enjoy a long and happy life with their family. One of the ways that we can help you and your cat is by providing you with helpful educational resources.

If you’re a shrimp fan and you want to share this delicious treat, there are a few things you need to know first.

Is shrimp safe for cats to eat?

The first thing you need to know before giving your cat anything is whether or not it’s safe for cats to eat. Some foods have ingredients that are harmful to cats, so you need to know if the food you’re giving to your cat has any.

Plain shrimp, without any seasonings, butter, or oils added, is fairly safe for your cat to eat. If you decide to give your cat shrimp, you need to prepare it properly first. The most dangerous part of the shrimp is the shell since it’s a choking hazard.

The heads and tails can also be a choking hazard, although some cats don’t have any problems eating them. It’s best to remove them even if you think your cat can handle them. You may also want to remove the digestive tract.

Shrimp may be safe for your cat to eat, but just because a food is safe for cats doesn’t mean you should give it to your cat. Some foods that are safe aren’t healthy for your cat and can negatively impact their health.

Should cats eat shrimp?

The next step is to figure out whether or not shrimp is suitable for cats to eat. Is it beneficial or harmful?

Shrimp does have some health benefits for cats in moderation. They are low-calorie, but they have a high amount of protein, which is one of the most necessary nutrients for a carnivore like a cat. Shrimp also contains fatty acids like omega-3, which helps with blood flow, and omega-6.

There are also antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage, promote healthy skin and hair, aid in reducing inflammation, and help brain function. One of the vitamins in shrimp is choline, which also helps with brain function.

If your cat has a seafood allergy, or they are allergic to just shrimp, you shouldn’t give any to them. It can cause allergic reactions that could lead to digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea. You should keep an eye on your cat after feeding them any new food, especially the first few times, to make sure they don’t have a reaction.

Shrimp can be a great treat for your cat, but you shouldn’t give them too much.

Can I give shrimp to my cat as a meal?

If you’re interested in making food for your cat, you might be wondering whether you could use shrimp as an easy meal. Can you just put some in a bowl and give it to your cat for dinner? Unfortunately, even though shrimp has a bunch of health benefits, it isn’t a good option for a meal.

Shrimp falls into the treat category. Treats should only be about 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake. Even though shrimp have lots of nutritional value for cats and are low-calorie, they are high in sodium and cholesterol, which can lead to other health issues.

Another problem is that an all-fish diet, which includes shrimp or tuna, another popular seafood, can lead to a thiamine deficiency. A thiamine deficiency can cause brain problems and potentially lead to severe weight loss.

It’s important to feed your cat a well-balanced diet so they can have all the necessary nutrients. If you aren’t sure how much is safe, you can talk with your cat’s vet. If you notice any unusual symptoms after eating shrimp, like vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to take your cat to the vet.

If you’re looking for advice and fast, policyholders of a pet insurance plan provided by Spot get access to a 24/7 pet telehealth service that’s provided by VetAccess™.

What kind of shrimp can my cat eat?

There are many different ways you can buy and serve shrimp. The question is, what kind should you give your cat?

There are a lot of things you need to think about when you buy shrimp. You need to know where shrimp comes from. Is it wild or farmed?

You should also consider whether or not to buy shrimp fresh or frozen. If you live in an area where shrimp are usually caught, or you’re near a shrimp farm, then you should be able to find fresh shrimp.

However, if there aren’t any places with fresh shrimp available, you may need to get frozen shrimp. It has the same benefits as fresh shrimp, and it’s also easy to keep preserved.

Whatever you pick, you also need to know how to properly prepare it. Before feeding cats shrimp, you’ll need to remove any dangerous or unwanted parts so that it’s safe for your cat to eat.

Let’s take a look at some of the options.

Should I give my cat wild shrimp or farmed shrimp?

Although there are plenty of shrimp in the sea, there are limitations on when they can be caught. In order for there to be shrimp year-round, shrimp farms grow these crustaceans in a practice known as aquaculture.

You might think wild shrimp is the better choice, but it depends on where you get it from. Sometimes farmed shrimp is safer, as long as you get farmed shrimp approved by either the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the Global Aquaculture Alliance, or the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).

Farmed shrimp with these certifications usually have a higher price, but that’s because they are of higher quality. They also have a high amount of omega-3. However, some farmed shrimp might be filled with antibiotics, so you should do your research first.

Wild shrimp tend to have a low amount of saturated fat, which can be good for your cat, but sometimes they can also contain traces of mercury, a toxic element. Continual exposure can lead to mercury poisoning, which is another reason to limit the amount of fish that your cat eats.

There are pros and cons to both farmed shrimp and wild shrimp, but certified farmed shrimp might be the safer choice.

What’s better? Raw or cooked shrimp

You might be wondering about the best way to prepare shrimp for your cat. We know that the shell, head, and tail need to be removed to prevent possible choking. Furthermore, you also need to know whether or not it should be cooked and how you should cook it.

Raw shrimp usually has all sorts of bacteria that need to be killed before your cat can eat it. That’s why it’s better to cook the shrimp first.

Although cooking the shrimp is a better option, you shouldn’t add anything to it. Many of the spices that we would add to shrimp to make it taste better can harm our cats. They might be toxic, or your cat could be sensitive to them.

When you cook the shrimp, it’s best to boil or steam it. You shouldn’t use butter or oil since they aren’t healthy for cats, even though they aren’t toxic. For us, the shrimp might not taste as delicious without any oil or seasonings, but your cat will still purr with delight after being treated to some boiled or steamed shrimp.

A treat fit for a cat

Finding a treat your cat loves can be tricky, especially if you have a picky eater, but shrimp is usually a fan favorite. If your cat is sensitive or allergic to seafood, you should probably try something else.

Shrimp has many health benefits like antioxidants and fatty acids that can aid your cat’s brain function, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy coat and skin. It’s a low-calorie treat for cats.

Shrimp or any other type of fish should not be the only thing in your cat’s diet. Fish, like shrimp, do not have thiamine, which could cause your cat to have a thiamine deficiency.

You can get wild shrimp or farmed shrimp, fresh or frozen, but you should always cook it before giving it to your cat. Cooking the shrimp should get rid of any harmful bacteria.

As long as it’s properly prepared and given in moderation, shrimp can be a delicious and nutritious treat for your cat.

Sources:

Can Cats Eat Shrimp? | All About Cats

How Many Pet Treats for Cats and Dogs? | WebMD

Mercury Poisoning in Animals – Toxicology | Merck Veterinary Manual

How to Buy the Right Shrimp (and Why It Matters) | HuffPost Life

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