The Spry Cat

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Can Cats Eat Shrimp? You May Want to Know.


How many times have you thought to yourself, hmm.. can cats eat shrimp? Having a cat as a home pet mean that you are sure to pamper it at some point and time, if not always, definitely once in a while. For us, cat owners (speaking for myself) feeding our cats off the dinner table is something that typically happens.

I know for me this is something very hard to resist, every time I sit down to eat my cat comes running on cue. You end up sitting at the dinner table for dinner and your cat struts up to you making cutest little face ever. We as humans and pet owners, can’t resist the temptation to feed them something that maybe they shouldn’t have.

However, we finally need to understand that we are humans and they are cats; they cannot consume everything that we eat. There is no reason to panic – the lists of things that can’t be fed to your cat is actually very small. Things like onion, garlic, kelp, grapes or raisins, sugary treats, chocolate, and alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, should never be fed to the cat under any circumstances. There are some other things which can be fed to your cat, however in minimal quantities or on an occasional basis. What are these items that should not be fed on a regular basis? Can cats eat shrimp?

Do all cats love shrimp ?

shrimp plate

If its One thing we all know is that cats love fish and shrimp are pretty close to fish if you ask me, I’m sure that it all smells very similar to a cat. Most people can’t resist the tantalizing flavor of shrimp and with enhanced smell and taste senses, cats are definitely crazy about shrimps. So coming back to our question – Can cats eat shrimp? Yes, cats can definitely eat shrimp. It needs to be on an occasional basis and not on a regular basis as too much shrimp can be harmful.

What do you think would happen if you left your cat alone in a room with open raw shrimp? I’m sure we could both guarantee that after 15 minutes all the shrimp would be gone! However, we need to be careful as a pet owner as to what we allow our feline friends to eat. Cats can eat shrimp in very small portions. If it is small, then the entire shrimp can be given to your cat. However, if it is a jumbo shrimp then it would need to be just a small morsel and not the entire piece that can be given to your cat.

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Benefits of cats eating shrimps

cat 3The main thing is that shrimp is high in protein and low in calorie and on top of that very flavorful. The scent and flavor of  shrimp are so tempting that not even your average adult can resist shrimps. Shrimps are also loaded with a lot of nutrients and antioxidants like selenium, B12, and omega-3, all of which are extremely beneficial for our pet cats. Along with this, they have a lot of anti-inflammatory properties and include vitamins E, B6, B3, and B12. Even though shrimp has a lot of health benefits, on the other side it is also very high in cholesterol and sodium. Both of these can be extremely harmful and  can lead to weight gain, bloating and many other health issues for your cat. Hence, shrimps should not be treated as a meal replacement option.

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Can cats eat raw shrimp?

shrimp infographic

After answering the question – Can cats have shrimp? Comes another question – how should you feed your cat shrimp? Should it be raw or should it be cooked? Shrimp is meant to be a great seafood but typically only for people. Figuring out how to prepare shrimp for your fish might be a strange task. Firstly, raw shrimps and cats go along famously of course. Cats in the wild are dominant predators and hunt for their food.

I can honestly say that most cats thoroughly enjoy eating shrimp. The fresh smell of raw shrimp is also a perfect way to trick your cat into thinking that they have hunted for their own meal.The reasons cat love raw shrimp are also the reason cats don’t enjoy cooked shrimp as much. Another thing to be aware of is that while it’s fine to give your cat raw wild-caught shrimp, you need to be careful about feeding your cat farm-raised shrimps.

A key factor to be aware of is farm-raised shrimps are most of the times fraudulently sold as wild. The problem with farm-raised shrimp farms is that they often use fungicides and anti-biotic along with other possibly toxic chemicals. Most of these chemicals are destroyed while cooking which is why they aren’t a major concern for us. Since cats like to eat shrimp raw it is something to keep in mind as it can be very harmful to your kitty.

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Things to know about feeding your cat shrimp?

cat roll

Two things to keep in mind when feeding your cat shrimp are quality and quantity.  However, please keep in mind that it needs to be a treat, not a meal replacement. Before giving your cat shrimp, you need to ensure that the shrimp has been cleaned properly. The main thing to remember is to remove the digestive tract as it contains all of the waste from the shrimp and this is not something you want your cat to eat.  You don’t need to worry too much, cleaning shrimp is relatively simple.

You need to remove the head and the vein, and then the tail. After removing these items, you need to wash the shrimp thoroughly. Now comes the next step, which is the removal of the digestive tract. The best way to get this done is to butterfly the shrimp and the rip the digestive tract wholly from the shrimp.


Finally, coming back to our topic – Can cats east shrimp? Shrimps are very rich in protein along with being low in protein. Thus making them an ideal and occasional treat for our feline friends. Another thing to remember and follow is feeding the cat a wild-caught fresh shrimp or a very plain-cooked shrimp, as the seasoning has the possibility of harming the cat. Another crucial point to remember is that the shrimp should be properly cleaned and deveined before it can be fed to the cat.

Also, it’s extremely important to ensure that the digestive tract is removed, so that the unknown chemicals in the digestive tract of the shrimp do not cause any harm to the cat. Finally, it’s important to ensure that the shrimp is given in minimal quantities and occasionally to your cat and not something that is fed to your cat on a regular basis.

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