Cats adore fish so much, whether it is cooked or served raw. Will they also have the same adoration for shrimp? Let's find out!
Can Cats Eat Shrimp?
Short answer: Yes, you can let cats eat shrimps.
This seafood has the same appeal to cats. It's one delightful food for them, but pet owners must know that cats should be given shrimp in moderation. Shrimp has a valuable and sufficient protein content, but its cholesterol and sodium content is high.
Therefore, you should feed your cats with shrimp occasionally because the high cholesterol and sodium that it possesses might not create a right balance to your cats' health. Give shrimp according to the size of your pets. If you have a large cat, an enormous size shrimp is fine.On the other hand, if they're quite small, a half of a regular-sized shrimp is advisable.
Most of you may love shrimp so much, the same with your cats. But together with the delightful taste and distinct seafood flavor that it gives are some potential health risks that are not good for both humans and cats. That is why it is extremely advisable to monitor the intake of this food on day to day basis.
Raw or Cooked Shrimp?
Since the answer to the question, "can cats eat shrimp" is yes, it is alright to give to your cats moderately. But how will you give it to them? Will it be better to provide it with cooked or raw?
Some recommend giving your cats a cooked shrimp. Though cats would genuinely love raw foods such as fresh fish and shrimp, it will be safe for them to eat the cooked ones with no added fat, oil or any seasoning.
The shrimp that are caught from farms may contain fungicides, antibiotics, and other chemicals. This is what makes the raw shrimp quite risky to feed to your cats. Meanwhile, when it's cooked, those chemicals would be eliminated.
Also, you should remember that addition of some oils and spices to cooked shrimp might also cause some health issues to your cats. But if you're are eager to feed your cats with raw shrimp, make sure to choose a high-quality raw shrimp to avoid health disturbances.
If you have bought the best quality shrimp, you can keep it frozen then just thaw it if you're about to use it. When summer comes, and you want some cold treat to be given to your cats, the raw frozen shrimp is a nice treat for them. Surely, your cats will enjoy licking it.
The Taste of Shrimp for Cats
As you know, cats belong to carnivores that's why they will go for types of meat like shrimp. This seafood is a very promising catch for them because of its size, which is easy and exciting to chew, swallow then digest.
For the indoor type of cats, shrimp is a great treat to give. Since it also came from the sea, cats sense a fishy smell as well as flavor. It's appearance, and the distinct taste excites the cats. But shrimps should not serve as a substitute for cats' balanced diet.
Though you may give it as a cat snack, always remember not to give it frequently. With the taste and yummy flavor that shrimp possess, your cats may fall for it and would want it every time. If that happened, that would be a terrible thing.
Gradually Introduce Shrimp to Your Cat
A sudden change of diet may affect the digestion of your cats. So, it is better to introduce shrimp gradually to their food. Slowly include this in your cat's diet while minding the size as well as the amount of shrimp given.
While doing so, be vigilant regarding the potential reactions that your cats may have on eating shrimp. Observe the possible side effect, changes in behavior, as well as allergies. Like you, your cats may also develop such unwanted reactions to foods like shrimp.
Some cats may not tolerate shrimp so well and developed an allergic reaction to it. After your cats eat shrimp, observe if your cat has indigestion. There are also instances that cats may have trouble breathing, have a bloated stomach, start to swell, and they're troubled swallowing. When these happen, immediately take your pets to your vet.
Allergies of Cats on Seafood
Cats can also be allergic to seafood like shrimp. This type of allergy may happen if the immune system of cats overreacts to the protein content of particular seafood or cat canned foods. Like other allergic reactions caused by foods, one primary target of change is the cats' skin.
Some of the allergy symptoms that your cats may have included the following:
- Hair loss
- Paw inflammation
- Swollen limbs and face
- Rashes on skin
- Respiratory symptoms like trouble breathing or coughing
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea
- Ear infection
Allergy can be developed due to several types of foods. Other than seafood, you cats may develop unusual and unwanted reactions when they consume foods like eggs, fish, corn, dairy products, lambs, and others.
Health Benefits of Shrimps
Aside from being a good source of protein, shrimps could also be a good source of multiple and favorable nutrients. Below are some of the nutritional benefits your cats could get in a shrimp.
Shrimp is an excellent source of natural anti-inflammatory nutrients and antioxidants. In eating shrimp, your cats could have access to vital minerals such as selenium, iodine, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B-complex.
Contains fatty oil (omega 3)- Several people are addicted to shrimp.
When consumed in moderation, you and your cats would have balance access to vital nutrients. Omega 3 dramatically contributes to heart and brain health of your pets. More than that, this also helps in creating a healthy coat and skin of your cats.
Important Reminders When Giving Shrimp to Your Cat
Got to know some crucial reminders below:
- When you buy fresh shrimp, it is vital to use it within 2 to 3 days.
- Remember, cats love fresh meat. If the shrimp meat has been stocked for a couple of weeks, bacteria might grow into it causing a health risk to cats.
- But storing the shrimp frozen may keep it safe for use even after a couple of weeks. During hot weather, it will be ideal if you give it raw and frozen to your pets. That would surely be nice.
- When giving raw shrimp, make sure to clean it well. Make sure to remove the shrimps' digestive tract before feeding it to your cats. Doing it is really simple.
Refrain yourself from spoiling your cats. It may end up ruining your cats' diet and put their health at risk. Remember, a treat should be given at the right time and circumstances and not when your cats want it from you. One or two shrimps per week is enough or even more than the required amount for your cat. So, don't be generously giving it to them.
Cats can be finicky most of the times that's why don't excite them too much when giving shrimp. If that happens, they might ask for more, which is a big NO for their health.
Give shrimp as a treat and not a regular cat food. If you feed them more than the required amount in a week, then your cat could be in trouble.
What if your cats crave shrimp though it already consumed the required amount per week? In this case, the imitation shrimp will be a big help. Imitation shrimp is made of white fish.
Pets like your cats are considered one of the wonderful gifts and companion in your life. That is why when it comes to giving foods like shrimps or even fish which they love the most, you should know the do's and don'ts of feeding it.
You decide whether you want it cooked or given it raw to your cats. Both will surely provide a delightful taste to your pets. Since most cats love raw foods, raw shrimp will surely be a blast. The smell might be gross to you, but your cats will find it more delicious and appealing.
The smelly, moist, as well as a raw type of foods, are the cats preferred thing. But minding the health risks, you might want to prepare it cooked. On the other hand, if you cleaned the shrimp very well, then it will be fine.