Can My Cat Eat Shrimp?

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Most cats are curious about the fishy scent as well as the unique flavor of shrimp. They might beg you to feed some shrimp to them when they smell it in your fridge. Many cat parents question if they should do so. Yes, you can feed shrimp to cats. However, it comes with certain conditions.

The best way to feed shrimp to your cats is a wild caught shrimp that has been cooked without any oil or seasonings. Generally, it is not advisable to provide your cats with raw shrimp. It is because when shrimp are farmed, they carry a certain level of fungicides and antibiotics. By heating them, these toxic chemicals are eliminated.

Why Do Cats Love Shrimp?

Have you ever thought about why cats are such a big fan of shrimp? Since cats are predators by instinct, catching shrimps in the water can trigger their hunting interest. Also, the delicious taste of the shrimp makes them long for more. Besides great taste, texture is what attracts cats. Shrimps have a unique meaty and chewy texture that cats highly favor. You will often find your cat chewing on various spongy objects as they love to do it. The same is the case with shrimps. So, to sum up, cats love to feed on shrimp.

Benefits of Feeding Shrimp to Your Cat

The following are some of the benefits of feeding shrimp to your cat

Features of ShrimpBenefits for Cats
Excellent Protein SourceShrimps are an excellent source of protein. As measured, 3 ounces of raw shrimp contains 12 grams of protein. Proteins are essential to enhance the immune system of cats.
Low-Calorie ContentShrimps are a very low-calorie food, meaning your cats will feel full despite eating a small amount.
AntioxidantsBy feeding shrimp to your cats, you can prevent cell damage, which is majorly caused by free radicals called astaxanthin. This element also reduces the risk of colon cancer in cats.

Hazards of Eating Shrimp for Your Cat

You can feed shrimp to cats. However, it is something you can only provide your cat occasionally. Some of the health issues that your cats may face if you overfeed them with shrimp are

1. Gastrointestinal Diseases

Cats, in particular, can suffer from food allergies after eating shrimp. It can cause them to puke and end up falling sick. If such things happen, make sure to contact your vet immediately.

2. Choking Problems

Though cats can eat shrimp tails and legs, they shouldn’t be fed. These are parts that are notorious for choking. Moreover, these tails and shells can also cause constipation in cats. Thus, it is not advisable to feed your cats raw shrimp.

3. Bacterial Infection

Shrimps can contain some amount of bacteria. Hence, it can cause bacterial infection in cats if not adequately washed or cleaned.

One of the most common bacterial infections cats can face after eating shrimp is toxoplasmosis. It is a type of infection with a parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. The symptoms of this condition are fever, loss of appetite, and allergies. In certain extreme cases, it may also cause pneumonia in cats.

Some Seafood Alternatives to Shrimp

While shrimp is an excellent seafood choice for cats, you can also try some alternatives. Some of the best seafood alternatives to shrimp are:

  • Tuna

Tuna is a rich source of calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and other essential nutrients. So, feeding tuna fish to your cat can help them stay healthy.

  • Whitefish

Whitefish is a high source of healthy fats such as Omega-3. It can be easily digested and is also a great source of protein for felines.

  • Salmon

Salmon comprises high quantities of vitamin B12, which keeps the cat’s nervous system, gut, and immunity healthy.

How to Feed Shrimps to Your Cat?

The following are some ways you can feed shrimps to your cat.

  • Serve Moderate Amounts

Indeed, shrimp are a tasty treat for your cats; however, they cannot replace a meal. Because shrimp is relatively high in sodium and cholesterol, you should practice moderation when feeding your cats.

An average-sized cat should eat half of a jumbo shrimp in one sitting. Also, try not to provide your cat shrimp regularly, as it can be hazardous for the feline’s health.

  • Cook Plain Shrimp

Never feed your cat shrimp cooked with spices, salt, and oil, as it is pretty toxic for your cat. Try to feed your cat plain-cooked shrimp, which is boiled or steamed. Also, before you cook or serve your cats, these shrimps try to wash them properly.

  • Ensure There are No Frills

You should feed only the meat of shrimp to cats and nothing else. It can be a shell, head, or tail.

You can also feed your cats with a shrimp-flavored appetizer like Purina Fancy Feast Entrees. These have a flaked texture and serve as a complement to your cat’s diet.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Falls Sick After Consuming Shrimp?

Shrimps are a great source of protein for cats. Hence, consuming shrimp can be incredibly beneficial for felines. However, the quantity of shrimp you feed your cat should be carefully monitored. Feeding excessive shrimp can lead to various allergic reactions or digestion problems in some cats.

You should consult the vet immediately if you notice your cat nauseating, vomiting, groaning, or showing any other unusual symptoms after consuming shrimp. Visiting the vet will provide you with an expert opinion on the condition of your cat. Also, after you have visited the vet, let your cat rest adequately and provide them with access to clean water throughout the day.

Can Cats Eat Shrimp Chips?

Though shrimp chips are light in taste and comparatively healthier than potato chips, they are still junk food filled with starch and fats. Therefore, if you make it from scratch, it is not advisable to feed shrimp chips to cats.

You can make shrimp chips at home. However, ensure it is made with the least amount of spices and oil possible.

Can Cats Digest Shrimps with Shells?

Although cats love the taste of shrimp, maintaining certain precautions before providing it to your cat can help combat a lot of potential mishaps. The shells of shrimps are not poisonous, but they can trigger severe digestive problems in some felines.

Also, cats have a delicate food pipe, which can get badly affected by pieces of shrimp shells if they get stuck while your cat eats them. The shells have sharp edges and can even lead to cuts and injuries in their mouth. So, instead of feeding shrimps to your cat with shells, feed shrimps by removing the shells to keep them healthy.

Where to Buy Shrimp for Your Cat?

If you wish to include shrimp in your cat’s diet, ensure its quality. Feeding good quality shrimps will help elevate your cat’s immunity system, whereas bad quality shrimps can severely degrade their health. Fresh farm-raised shrimps are the best fit for a cat’s diet.

However, you can also buy it from convenience stores. When purchasing shrimp, try buying it only from renowned stores and sites. If you purchase it online, browse the reviews for the best quality shrimp.

Summing Up

It is safe to feed your cat shrimp. However, ensure you provide your pet with a moderate amount. It is best to follow the instructions mentioned above.

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