Can cats eat shrimp? Yes, you may feed your cat a shrimp or two. Your beautiful pet surely deserves the best treats – shrimp included, and you undoubtedly love pampering your feline friend. Shrimp is delicious and you enjoy it greatly and sharing it with your pet is a viable option. Your cat will surely love shrimp nearly as much as you do. However, let’s find out how often and how much you should feed your cat shrimp alongside with other useful tips about your cat’s diet.
Can Cats Eat Shrimp? How Much?
Like stated before, cats can eat shrimp.
Cats are carnivores and we can say any kind of meat is their cup of tea. Seafood of any kind seems to be the most appealing meat to a cat. Shrimp is already small in size and shape, making this type of meat easy for a cat to nibble on, swallow, and digest. Still, treats should not substitute a proper, well-balanced diet, and shrimp snacks are accountable as occasional snacks. There is something about cats and any sort of sea food – they instantly go nuts over anything smelling fishy or salty.
Shrimp is a great treat for indoor cats in particular, who do not have the chance to practice their instinctual predatory skills. Shrimp has a fishy smell and flavor and will satisfy the taste your cat has for a bit of variety. With an indoor cat, s/he may become bored with traditional kibble and wet food and really enjoy eating a treat that seems exotic.
You should not feed your pet too much shrimp – your cat might end up loving it too much and might imminently become finicky and pick his dishes. As much as you might love spoiling your cat with yummy treats, too many snacks may make your feline not want to eat his regular food which is filled with everything he needs in order to develop correspondingly. Cats also need to have the vitamins and nutrients found within cat food. Properly formulated cat food is designed to meet the needs of your cat. Human’s food does not meet these needs. So, a shrimp or two once or twice a week is more than enough to offer your kitty.
Also, make sure to introduce the shrimp gradually to your pet’s diet – you do not want to harm his/her digestion by making sudden, major dietary changes. That counts for any treat you may have in mind. Always introduce slowly, and in small bite sized amounts. Be aware of any potential allergies, side effects, or behavior changes. After moderating your cat’s behavior, determine whether you cat tolerates the new food well and move on accordingly.
Some cats might be allergic to seafood. Pay attention to the way your favorite pet reacts to the new, salty treat and see if s/he is suffering from digestive problems or any other unusual reactions. If you cat begins to swell, have an increased heart rate, trouble breathing or swallowing, or becomes bloated, take your cat to the animal hospital right away.
Shrimp – Is It Right For My Cat?
We have established that your cat will adore the shrimp treats. But is it right for your cat? Yes, it is a healthy treat for your cat. Let’s find out why. Shrimp is an excellent source of powerful natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. It is loaded with selenium, phosphorus, zinc, iodine, copper, omega-3 fats and vitamins B12, B3, B6 and E. That’s quite a nutritional value, isn’t it?
Omega 3 fatty oils are not just beneficial to cat owners, but to the cats themselves! Fish oil can help aid in circulation and blood flow. This is especially good for cats that are heavy, elderly, or going to have a surgery. Omega 3 is also great for brain and heart health, while providing a healthy skin and coat.
Moreover, shrimp embodies a very good source of healthy protein intake, which will make it completely irresistible for your pet cat. However, it does not incorporate a lot of calories and it will not raise the risk of obesity. If you are pampering your pet with shrimp treats you should not worry about weight gain becoming an issue. Keep the portions of shrimp offered to a minimum of course. Shrimp is such a low calorie, high protein meat that cats will only benefit from the food. Feeding shrimp to your pet will satisfy his hunger in an instant, as well as his cravings for meat.
When purchasing fresh shrimp, it is important to consume it in two or three days maximum. Cats may only eat meat that is fresh. Meat and fish that have been sitting for a few days have a high risk of elevated bacteria, and passing food borne illnesses to you and your pets. Bear in mind that smell is the main indicator of freshness when it comes to shrimp. Green or black discoloration on the shrimp may also occur.
Normally, fresh shrimp embodies a slightly saltwater smell. However, opting for frozen shrimp is more accessible, you may store it in your freezer for a couple of weeks. Your cat will love it either way. If the weather is hot outside, you may even feed your cat shrimp before defrosting it – your pet will love chewing on it on a hot summer day. The added frost on the shrimp will help keep your cat hydrated as well.
The bottom line is that a shrimp is healthy for your pet but only as an occasional snack.
Benefits of Shrimp to Animals
Shrimp contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid astaxanthin. In animal studies, astaxanthin has been proven to provide antioxidant support to both the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Furthermore, other animal studies have shown reduced degree of particular diabetes related issues and reduced risk of colon cancer which is associated with astaxanthin intake.
Shrimp – Is It Better Raw or Cooked?
Shrimp treats are not supposed to be cooked for your cat to enjoy them. The smell of raw shrimp is what makes this treat utterly tempting for your pet. A raw, moist, smelly shrimp will be as delicious to your feline as the crispy fried ones are for us. Cats have evolved to be hunters, and those cats that remain inside do not have the ability to hunt and eat their prey as often as outdoor cats. Offering raw shrimp to your cat may give him/her the feeling of catching a piece of meat on his own. The raw freshness and the fishy smell are sure to trick your cat into thinking s/he is a great hunter and protector of the home. You may not prefer the raw shrimp smell, but your cat sure does! Well, cats and humans are different, what did you expect?
Make sure to clean the shrimp properly. Remove the digestive tract of the shrimp before giving it to your cat. Who knows what may lie inside? Luckily, cleaning the prepping the shrimp is quite simple, so do not worry about complicated food prep.
Keeping your kitty safe while offering human food is an important task, and one you should take lightly. When it comes to tails or legs – your cat will love them, so there is no need remove them. Just wash the shrimp and remove the digestive tract and that is it – your cat can start devouring it. No cooking or anything else is required.