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The quick answer: Yes, cats can safely eat shrimp.
- Shrimp contains proteins, nutrients, and antioxidants that are healthy for cats.
- Only feed a cat shrimp in moderation.
- Make sure that shrimp is deveined and plain (without spices) for cats.
Many cats are quite intrigued by the fishy scent and flavor of shrimp and would be delighted to try a sample. The best option for your cat is fresh, wild-caught shrimp that has been cooked without any oils or seasonings. Though cats can eat raw shrimp, it isn’t recommended in case the shrimp is carrying traces of antibiotics, fungicides or other potentially toxic chemicals that the cooking process helps to eliminate.
Benefits of shrimp for cats
Shrimp is a low-calorie food that is chock full of protein. It contains nutrients and antioxidants like vitamins B12 and E, zinc, iodine, copper and omega 3.
When sharing shrimp with your cat, safety is the top priority. Here are a few key points to note:
- Moderation: Though shrimp is a tasty snack for your cat, it isn’t recommended to feed shrimp to your cat as a meal replacement. Shrimp is high in sodium and cholesterol, so it’s important to practice moderation when sharing shrimp with your cat. An average-sized cat should eat no more than about half of a jumbo-sized shrimp in one sitting. Plus, sharing delicious treats with your cat too frequently may cause him to stop eating his regular food and develop a habit of begging for people food.
- Plain shrimp only: Never share shrimp that has been cooked with spices, oils or salt, which could be unhealthy or even toxic to your cat. Plain-cooked (boiled or steamed) shrimp is safest for cats. Be sure to always wash shrimp before cooking and serving.
- No frills: Shrimp meat that is safe to feed to your cat should be deveined with the shell, head, and tail removed.
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