One of the favorite foods in our house is shrimp. We don’t care if it’s raw, cooked, steamed, grilled, stir fry, whatever. If it’s shrimp, everyone is our house is up for it. As a two-cat family that loves shrimp as much as our does, it wasn’t long before I found myself wondering can cats eat shrimp?
Thankfully for us and for you if your family loves shrimp, cats can indeed eat shrimp. It’s not toxic. Shrimp is also a treat that most cats will absolutely love. Shrimp has a fishy flavor and smell that your cat will naturally be drawn toward. But like all good things, too much shrimp can be problematic. Read on to find out the details on what you need to know if you decide to let your cats eat shrimp.
Can Cats Eat Shrimp Raw?
Raw shrimp is great, and cats will enjoy it just as much as you do. One thing to keep in mind though is that cocktail sauce that is often served as a dip for raw shrimp can contain ingredients that are harmful for your cat. So, feed your cat raw shrimp but make sure it’s plain and keep the dips for yourself. Your cat won’t be any the wiser anyway and it’s not worth the risk.
Can Cats Eat Shrimp Cooked?
When it comes to cooked shrimp, it’s okay for cats to eat as long as it’s plain. Make sure cooked shrimp your cat eats hasn’t been flavored with anything toxic such as onions or garlic.
This means that brining home leftover shrimp from a restaurant for your cat is probably a bad idea. Most restaurant cooked shrimp dishes will have additional spices and seasonings and could have onions, garlic, or even onion powder or garlic salt, all of which are highly toxic for your cat.
You also want to check to make sure any cooked shrimp has cooled off thoroughly before giving it to your cat to protect them from accidentally burning their mouth, tongue, or throat.
Can Cats Eat Too Much Shrimp?
It is possible to let your cats eat too much shrimp which can cause problems. Even though shrimp isn’t toxic for cats, it is a food that is relatively expensive. If your cat becomes used to eating shrimp regularly, they may stop eating their regular cat food. This can be hard on your wallet and could be detrimental to your cat’s overall health. Cats need a balance of nutrition to stay healthy and cat food is designed to give them that balance.
If you decide to let your cats eat shrimp, it’s best to limit it to once or twice a week at the most. When you first feed your cat shrimp, watch them carefully for any adverse reactions. Although most cats can eat shrimp without any problems, some cats may experience an allergic reaction. If you suspect your cat is having an allergic reaction or has eaten too much shrimp, seek assistance from your veterinarian.