As carnivores, cats get most of their daily nutrients from eating meat and protein. Even cat food manufacturers have opted to make the main ingredients in their product meat-based. This meat can vary from chicken and beef to mackerel and tuna.
With the latter ingredients in mind, it is not too much of a stretch to believe things like shrimp might be a good food to feed your cats. Like fish, shrimp is also a type of seafood that are great sources of protein and nutrients.
However, before even considering giving your cat any shrimp, it is important to make sure that it is safe for consumption. Like dogs, there are a number of foods that cats simply cannot eat due to being toxic to them. It is for this reason that we must first analyze and ensure that they are safe for cats to eat.
Can Cats Eat Shrimp?
The answer to this is very much so. Like other meats such as fish and chicken, cats have no problem eating shrimp. They are not picky with shrimp either as they have no problem eating them even if they were prepared in different ways. In fact, not only are they able to eat shrimps, but many cats actually enjoy eating it quite a bit.
While it is not a natural part of their diet since cats are unable to catch shrimps naturally, that is not to say that it is bad for them, Shrimps can actually help supplement your cat’s diet with additional nutrients and supplements.
Can cats eat raw shrimp?
Yes, like other kinds of meat cats are built to eat raw meat and have no problems eating shrimps raw. However, that does not mean that you should not be careful when preparing shrimp for your cat.
Since cats are not normally able to catch shrimp on their own, you should be careful when giving it raw as sometimes foreign substances may get stuck in the shrimps.
It is important to avoid farm-raised shrimps at all costs. This is because shrimps from farms often contain many artificial chemicals that cats should not eat. Instead, wild-caught shrimps should be what you feed your cat.
To protect this, it is important to make sure that the shrimps have been properly cleaned and with the digestive tracts removed. When serving them, you should also serve them without any additional seasonings.
Can cats eat shrimp tails?
Like the rest of the shrimp, cats have no problems eating shrimp tails so there is no need to remove it when preparing it. This can be given to them both raw or cooked. Though you would just need to make sure that they are properly cleaned and washed first. If you plan to feed your cat shrimp tails it is best to be cautious as they are a choking hazard since they are harder than other parts of the shrimp.
Can cats eat cooked shrimp?
Just as cats can eat raw shrimp, they have no problem eating cooked shrimps either. In fact, in some ways, cooked shrimp is actually better than raw shrimp. This is because cooking destroys any harmful substances that might be left in the shrimp such as bacteria and brine.
When feeding cats cooked shrimp though, it is best to serve them plain and avoid adding any seasoning. Some spices and herbs may not be good for your cat and can have their own health issues.
Is shrimp good for cats?
Yes, shrimps are good for your cat. Being primarily meat-eaters, cats get most of their nutrients and sustenance from proteins. This includes many types of meat such as fish, chicken, and yes, shrimp.
Benefits of shrimp for cats
Feeding your cat shrimp actually comes with a number of benefits that may not be found in other types of meat.
-An abundant source of protein: Like other types of seafood, there is plenty of protein that can be found in shrimp. Because of this, they can serve as a supplement for your cat’s diet. This is especially true if they are suffering from nutrients deficiencies.
-Plenty of antioxidants: Shrimp, like most seafood, is rich in antioxidants which prevent the growth of free radical cells in their body. The prevention of these cells can reduce the risk of your cat contracting serious diseases like heart failure or cancer. This improves both the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.
-Vitamins and minerals: Aside from antioxidants, shrimps also contain many vitamins such as Vitamins E, B3, B6, and B12. They also have minerals such as selenium, iodine, phosphorus, copper, sodium, and zinc.
-A good source of Omega 3 Fatty acids: Omega 3 is especially good for your cat since these fatty acids can reduce blood triglyceride levels. This is the fat found around your heart and can because problems with your heart if the levels are too high. Omega 3 can help with improving blood circulation around the body.
Aside from your heart, Omega 3 can also improve brain functions and development. Studies have shown that this applies to both humans and animals. This is important especially when your cat is fairly old and you would need to find ways to keep them healthy.
Is Shrimp Bad For Cats?
While we have discussed some of the benefits of shrimps to cats, it would not be fair we do not point out some of the risks as well. Not all cats can safely eat shrimps and there are some things that might be a health risk to your cat.
-Cats might have shrimp allergies: The most glaring issue would be that your cat simply cannot eat shrimps, to begin with. Studies have shown that allergies to shellfish like shrimp can be found in cats just as they are found in humans. If that is the case then your cat may end up suffering from indigestion, diarrhea, and lethargy.
-Choking hazards: There is always an ever-present risk of your cat choking. Not all parts of the shrimps are as soft and easily chewable as the meat. The shrimps tail, shell, and head are parts that should be served with care as they might be too hard for your cat to eat properly. The latter of which must always be removed.
-Dangerous chemicals in the digestive tract: Another thing that must be removed when serving shrimp to your cat is the shrimp’s digestive tract. The digestive tract must be removed as it still might contain whatever the shrimp had consumed before being caught. This presents the risk of potentially having harmful chemicals in it that your cat might end up eating.
-Chemicals used to grow shrimp: Aside from the harmful chemicals inside the cat, there are also dangerous chemicals outside of the cat. Shrimps raised in farms often have artificial chemicals added to them which are dangerous to both humans and cats.
-Bacteria that shrimps are exposed to: Shrimps caught wild can have things like brine and bacteria, neither of which are safe for consumption. If not thoroughly washed, your cat can accidentally ingest this and get sick.
-Cholesterol: Additionally, shrimp also contains large amounts of cholesterol and sodium which can be unhealthy to your cat if fed in large amounts.
How can I feed my cat shrimp?
Wild-caught shrimps are considered better for your cat due to the lower risk of chemicals. They can be either cooked or served raw, though raw might attract your cat more due to the aroma and instinct of being a hunter. Still, cats will normally happily eat it either way.
Once you have the shrimp, you will have to remove the vein, digestive tract, and head off the shrimp. Taking off the shell and tail is also alright, but not essential. With that done, you can feed it to them as it is or chopped up into smaller pieces.
How much shrimp Can a cat Eat Daily?
Although cats may enjoy shrimps, they are best only given in moderation. It is not advisable to give it to them every day due to health risks. Shrimps also do not have the nutrients to truly substitute a regular meal for them anyway. It is better reserved only as an occasional treat or a supplement to their diet.
Normally cats only eat shrimps in small amounts too. The average house cat (of about twelve to fifteen pounds) can eat one jumbo-sized shrimp in one sitting. Smaller cats can eat only a smaller portion of that.
Feeding them too much also runs the risk of making them spoiled. If you keep feeding them shrimps, then they will become accustomed to expecting it in every meal and may begin to reject other foods in their place.
In the end, cats seem to enjoy shrimp just as much as humans do and there is no harm in feeding them as long as they are properly prepared. A little bit of shrimp from time to time can go a long way in making your feline friend happier and healthier. It can even be a bonding activity between you two.