Just like humans, cats love the taste of crab. But, can cats eat crab meat safely? You should ask yourself if there are any potential health hazards when introducing new foods to your pets. Crab, as well as other seafood, can be both beneficial and harmful to felines.
It’s up to you as a pet owner to provide your cat with much-needed health supplements in the form of a diverse and balanced diet. A healthy diet ensures the happiness of both your feline and you.
We know how vet visits can be scary for cats and their owners, not to mention expensive. Why not make sure you avoid them? A little research online and a quick chat with your vet could do wonders.
Felines are curious creatures and this can sometimes mean a hard time for humans.
If you’re scared to leave your crab dish alone for five minutes, you’ve come to the right place. Here we will provide you with all of the needed information on whether cats can eat crab meat.
Do cats even like crab meat?
Every cat is unique, that’s why we love them, right? Just like humans, felines have a mind of their own. Besides that, they are stubborn little creatures and will do anything for things to go their way.
One of those case scenarios could easily take place on your kitchen counter or dining table. It’s your furry monster wanting a taste of that crab meat. Should you give in or yell at her for even trying?
We can’t stay mad at those big, doe eyes, though. As with every cat owner, the goal is to keep them happy and try to satisfy their needs. Cats being domesticated for such a long period of time has brought us so much joy.
However, as the main caregivers, we must meet our felines’ demands and needs. And their main dietary need is protein. Cats are obligate carnivores and meat is a must for them. Crab meat offers plenty of protein that serves as cats’ fuel.
Cats are attracted to foods that are highly nutritional to them. Crab meat can obviously offer some nutritional value. Therefore, the answer is yes, cats can eat crab meat. And they usually like it.
Is crab meat safe for cats to eat?
Generally speaking, crab meat is safe for felines. However, not everything is tolerable when it comes to cats eating crab meat. Felines are prone to allergies, just like people. And one of them includes seafood allergy.
Seafood allergy in cats
Seafood allergy can be a pain in the neck. Although seafood isn’t natural to a cat’s diet, it would be a shame if your pet had to pass on these delicacies. Cats can be born with this allergy or they can develop it later on in life.
The easiest way to see if your cat is allergic to crab meat is if she develops a skin rash. If you notice your fluff excessively scratching skin after eating crab meat, it could be a sign of an allergy. Accompanied by skin rashes, your cat could also show signs of respiratory problems.
Shortness of breath, as well as swelling of the throat, are other symptoms of allergies in cats. You can never be sure if your feline is going to react to some foods. Therefore, it’s best to introduce crab meat to cats as slowly as you can.
Small portions in the beginning will help a lot. They will tell you if your cat has any allergies and will also tell you her likes and dislikes about crab meat. If you see her nose scrunch up, it’s probably best to not try to force it but rather avoid crab meat.
Can cats eat raw crab meat?
No, cats can’t eat raw crab meat. In fact, cats shouldn’t eat any raw foods. There are some people who feed their cats raw meat but that meat is usually from a certain brand. Raw-fed kittens enjoy a variety of foods that are certified and checked.
You should never feed your pet raw foods on your own. It’s risky and can unexpectedly compromise your cat’s health. Some of the risks that raw foods carry are bacteria and germs.
These microorganisms, called pathogens, can be the reason your cat develops some diseases. Possible viruses and parasites carried by raw crab meat can also be fatal to your feline.
Therefore, make sure you refrain from feeding your cat raw crab meat.
Why you should cook the crab meat
Crab meat is best cooked. This is because high temperatures kill any possible parasites and viruses contained in raw meat. This way you can ensure your cat is safe while eating this delicacy.
Besides, cooked meat is much easier for your kitty to eat! Raw meat is tough, whereas properly cooked crab meat can help cats chew better and therefore, digest better.
Still, even cooked crab meat has its limits when it comes to cats. Watch out for any spices and additional seasonings. These are known to harm your cat and can cause some mild symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
Crab meat as a source of nourishment
It’s not just that crab meat is safe for cats to eat, it’s highly nutritious as well. This seafood offers a diversity of health supplements in the form of essential vitamins and minerals.
This is good news for cats, especially those who love indulging in crab meat. Felines need certain vitamins and minerals daily. We must provide our pets with these crucial nutrients, as they would for themselves in the wild.
1. High protein content
Crab meat is a great source of protein for felines. Protein is a vital nutrient that serves cats’ health in many ways. It provides them with energy and essential amino acids. Animal protein is easier for cats to break down than proteins found in plant material.
This seafood is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to keep your cat’s skin and coat. These fats make sure your pet’s fur stays shiny and her skin isn’t dry.
Because of the strengthening of hair follicles, omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce shedding in cats. They also play a part in preventing heart disease and regulating heart rate.
Crab meat is a great source of vitamins for felines. Some crucial vitamins can be found in this seafood. Some of these are vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Cats don’t produce enough of these on their own, so regular intake is required.
Vitamin B is one of those vitamins that need to be regulated. This supplement helps with cell growth and in preventing anemia. Vitamin B deficiency can result in lethargy and weight loss.
Next to vitamin B, vitamin C also plays an important role in a cat’s life. It helps regulate metabolic functions in their bodies and maintains tissue growth. It’s a good immune system booster as well.
Then, vitamin B6 is important for the production of red blood cells. The lack of this vitamin in a cat’s body can lead to some health issues. One of the consequences of vitamin B6 deficiency is anemia.
To help maintain a healthy nervous system, crab meat offers vitamin B12. It also benefits cats’ digestive and immune systems. The lack of this vitamin can also impact your cat’s weight and ability to fight off illness.
A number of minerals can be found in crab meat. This is another reason to feed your cat this type of food. Minerals are crucial for your cat to stay healthy and safe from any potential diseases.
This seafood is a great source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, and zinc. Crab meat also offers certain amounts of iron, selenium, and phosphorus.
Both copper and zinc serve as the body’s antioxidants. Because of these minerals, your cat’s wounds and bruises are able to heal quicker.
Copper and zinc are anti-inflammatory and help prevent anemia. Another mineral that’s responsible for preventing anemia is iron. It helps with red blood cell development and it’s unusual for cats to have iron deficiency.
Calcium and magnesium are necessary to your cat’s health. Your cat’s bones rely on these supplements. Phosphorus is tied to calcium in that these two make calcium phosphate. The deficiency of these minerals can lead to poor bone health.
Potassium is responsible for muscle contractions. Besides that, it keeps the body’s functions going and improves heart and nerve functions. Next to potassium, selenium takes part in supporting the immune system as well.
Can cats eat crab shells?
Unfortunately, your fluff will have to pass on these. Actually, you should never try offering your cat crab shells. These are a hard and sharp part of the crab. Although the shell contains some vitamins, it’s better removed.
Crab shells are unsafe for cats to eat because they are a choking hazard. Your pet can easily choke on pieces of shell because they are hard to crush.
Moreover, shells can be sharp. If your cat tries eating some crab shell, she can cut herself. If she still manages to swallow some, she will probably have a hard time digesting it. Besides, what cat would want to eat crab shells if they’re offered crab meat? As if they aren’t picky eaters already.
What about crab legs? Are they edible?
When it comes to eating crab legs, the same goes as for crab shells. Even cooked, crab legs are hard for felines to digest. It’s best to have them removed, as well as the shell.
Some cats can be curious and aim for those legs. Make sure they are properly cooked, without any seasonings or spices. Chop them up into bite-sized pieces and offer in tiny portions.
Crab legs also pose a choking risk to your pet. Therefore, it’s best to avoid feeding your cat crab legs. For the sake of your sanity and your cat’s safety, just stick to crab meat, plain and de-shelled.
Are crab sticks safe for felines?
This one can be tricky. Crab sticks are made from pulverized white fish and starch. While crab sticks aren’t toxic to felines, they don’t hold much nutritional value. Most of their health benefits are lost during the process of making.
Starch isn’t necessarily bad for cats. It isn’t poisonous, but it isn’t great either. The good part about starch is that cats can digest it easily. However, it doesn’t have any health benefits and should be avoided.
All in all, crab sticks aren’t a necessary part of your cat’s diet. It’s better to stick with regular, plain crab meat. That way you will preserve all the health benefits and your feline will be thankful for that.
Can cats eat canned crab?
Yes, cats can eat canned crab meat. However, there are some potential risks of feeding this to your cat. You may reason that canned crab is cheaper than fresh, and you’re right. But the truth is, it’s cheaper because it’s not as healthy as fresh crab.
The reason for concern lies in all the flavorings and preservatives used to ensure long shelf life. But all these added ingredients are not what felines need.
Your cat should avoid foods that are high in sodium. One of these is canned crab. Salt can be poisonous to cats if taken in large amounts. Sodium toxicity can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, even seizures and coma.
If you want to be on the safe side, then you should opt for cat-safe canned food. Tiki Cat offers many different options, including tuna and crab flavored one. Since it’s specifically made for felines, you can be sure that it won’t harm your kitty.
Are crab sticks dangerous to cats?
To some degree, yes. Crab sticks (also called imitation crab meat) are a cheaper version of crab meat. Actually, it isn’t crab meat in the first place. This meal is made up of surimi – fish that’s ground up to a paste-like texture.
Imitation crab meat is packed with additional flavors and artificial preservatives. These can include garlic and onion which are highly toxic to felines. Imitation crab meat contains small crab extract and contains much less nutritional value to cats than actual crab meat.
Bottom line, though: It’s not recommended for cats because of the salt content. Just like canned crab meat, imitation crab meat can impact a cat’s health negatively. No proper health benefits, with the risks of flavorings and additives, won’t serve your cat’s health.
Cats can eat crab meat as it’s rich in nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in crab meat, which makes it a great snack for felines.
Never feed your cat raw crab meat though. Raw crab can carry certain pathogens that could make your cat sick. Various diseases come from uncooked meat and some can be fatal for cats.
Cooked crab meat can be given in moderation. When cooking crab for your pet, make sure to not add any flavors or spices. These can upset your feline’s stomach and she probably won’t be able to keep her meal down.
So go ahead and give your cat some crab meat as an occasional snack. Just remember, no shells or legs as they are hard to chew on, hard to digest, and potential choking hazards.
Read more: Can Cats Eat Anchovies? Safe Or Harmful?