Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
There is a popular notion that cats love fish and thus seafood might also be included in what you think is healthy for your pet. Of course, not all things that are thought to be good actually are, milk being one prime example in this category. Can cats eat shrimp? Let us find out together!
These are extremely healthy for us if they come from sustainable sources as they are packed with selenium, phosphorus, zinc, iodine, copper and Omega 3 fatty acids. They are a natural source of antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties and contain the vitamins B12, B3, B6 and E.
For cats the one that stands out the most is the Omega 3 oil as this can help their circulation and blood flow. If your cat is a bit older or is going to have surgery soon then the fatty Omega 3 acids are essential. Aside from that the fish oil has shown benefits for the brain and heart health in cats as well as for their skin and coating.
The proteins coming from shrimps don’t have too many calories so these reduce the risk of obesity and thus they are one of the best treats you can give your cat. They also reduce the risk of diabetes and colon cancer while at the same time improving their muscles.
Quantities and Frequency
Giving them too much though isn’t a good idea and recommended quantity is somewhere between one or two shrimps a week. They should be introduced gradually so that their digestive system gets used to the new food and this way you can see if the cat shows any allergy signs, side effects or changes in behavior.
Raw or Cooked
Cats love the smell and taste of raw shrimp and it won’t cause any problems for a cat if you know how to clean them properly. The digestive tract of the shrimp has to be removed as it can contain many bad things and then you should butterfly the shrimp. The tail, head or legs don’t need to be removed as the cat’s teeth can easily crunch through them and it will give them the impression of actually eating something that they caught, appealing to their predatory nature.
Frozen shrimp is also fine once it was properly defrosted and you can also find some pre-cooked varieties so if that is the case check for the other ingredients they might contain. Even if shrimps are great for cats some of the other things on them might not be as good or could potentially even do serious harm.
Yes, cats love shrimp but they should only be eaten as an occasional treat since they can get adverse reactions when the quantity is too much for them.