Can Cats Eat Shrimps?
Now you probably are thinking that cats love all sea foods including shrimps. After all, don’t cats love fish? But since you are reading this it is safe to say that you have some doubts and questions like ‘can cats eat shrimp?’
Well, to put your mind at rest, the simple answer is yes, cats can eat shrimp. However, you cannot feed it to your cat on a daily basis. In addition, it cannot be a substitute to protein rich cat foods.
Naturally, cats are carnivorous animals and as such, shrimp is in the category of right foods for your cat. Your cat will not fumble too much or wonder what to do with it. The only thing you need to be aware of is not to feed it to them too often such that your cat starts preferring shrimps to normal cat food, or stop eating its normal cat food altogether.
Generally, several times a week is far too many times to feed your cat shrimp. A single shrimp will do if it is the small breed. If it is a jumbo shrimp, a morsel will do just fine each week.
Should you feed your cat on shrimp?
As earlier pointed out, yes they can. However, you should give it as a special treat or as an occasional snack. You should never feed your cat shrimp in large quantities or worse still, attempt to replace its normal meat diet with shrimp.
Yes shrimp is rich in proteins. However, it also contains a considerable amount of cholesterol and sodium as well. Because of these, you will want to go slow on them. Serve your cat small shrimp portions according to the size of the shrimp and your cats size (note that male and female cats vary in size). A big cat may gobble down a jumbo shrimp with great ease with minimal or no side effects. A small cat on the other hand can only handle a small amount of regular shrimp –probably just a fraction of it.
Usually, cats go gaga for seafood. There is something about seafood that cats seem to find irresistible – you probably have noticed in your cat as well. I tend to think it is the smell of the ocean on the fish or just the saltiness – whichever it is, point is, cats love seafood and shrimp is not an exception. But be it as it may, you want to go slow on the shrimp to keep your cat from experiencing some adverse effects.
Can Cats eat Raw shrimp?
If you do not have the time or patience, you can always feed your cat raw shrimp. As a matter of fact, if you have a back of precooked but frozen shrimp, you just need to defrost it and feed it to your cat. In the summer months, when the heat is too much, you could even feed it frozen to your cat. Your cat will enjoy licking the cold and frozen shrimp until it thaws and it can eat it.
If you prefer serving your cat cooked shrimp, you should ensure that you do not add seasoning, oil or fats.
It is important to note that shrimps marketed as farm raised shrimps often contain traces of fungicides, antibiotics and some potentially poisonous chemicals to your cat. Cooking such shrimp is recommended as the heat destroys all such kinds of chemicals.
If you are not up to buying your cat some real shrimp, ow about getting imitation shrimp? This is also great for them. Imitation shrimp is created from white fish and as such, it is safe to feed it to your cat. Some cats that have tasted real shrimp may, however, want nothing to do with the imitation. You cannot blame your cat for this. Real shrimp tastes way better than imitation shrimp.
Remember that even with the imitation shrimp, you should be careful with how much you feed your cat. Too much of it and your cat will not want the high caloric food you normally feed it.
Cleaning the Shrimp
Before you give the shrimp to your cat, you should ensure that its digestive tract is clean (the shrimp’s). Why is this? Well, you never know what the shrimp was feeding on while in the ocean. It might something your cat is allergic to or is poisonous to your cat.
The beauty of it is that this cleaning process is easy. All you need to do is butterfly the shrimp. If you have honed the shrimp cleaning skill, you can yank it out whole. If you buy packaged shrimp, you might not have to worry about the cleaning as usually these kinds of shrimps are already clean. If you are like me, you will only get packaged shrimp. As you never have to get your hands dirty with this cleaning process.
Additionally, you need not get rid of the legs, tail or head. Your cat is just fine crunching these up. It will even enjoy it as it is used to catching its prey whole and crunching them. If your cat sleeps all day, you might never see it catch prey.
Shrimp health benefits
- Low calories – medium sized shrimps contain about 7 calories. And since your cat only eats a small bit of the shrimp, it means that your cat will get only a fraction of the 7 calories. Feeding shrimp to your cat will help it maintain a healthy weight.
- Great skin, nail and fur – shrimps are rich in protein. Protein is used to nourish the skin, fur and nails of your cat. A shrimp’s body contains about 29 grams of protein on average. But while it is a great source of protein, you should not be tempted to feed your cat with too much of it. This is because shrimp is too salty. Salt can have adverse effects on your cat’s health.
- Boosts Energy – shrimps are rich in iron. Iron helps to improve the performance of your cat and makes it more active. It improves the energy.
- Healthy fat – shrimps contain different types of fats. These include polyunsaturated fat, omega-3, omega-6 and mono-saturated fat which is commonly referred to as heathy fat. All these improve your cat’s health rather than causing all kinds of health complications.
- Strengthens your cat’s bones and teeth – shrimp contains phosphor and calcium. These two nutrients ensure that your cat has strong teeth and bones. It is recommended that shrimps are consumed with their skin. Yes, the skin is healthy and nutritious as well. It contains a fair amount of glucosamine which prove beneficial to shape cartilage in your cat’s joints.
And there you have it, a comprehensive answer to, ‘can cats eat shrimp?’ Shrimp is rich in proteins. It is a great occasional treat for your cat. It is perfect as a special treat as well. When feeding it to your cat, you should not include any seasoning. Let it be plain. For this reason, wild caught shrimp are the best (they are hard to find in the market).