Crabs are a delicious and nutrient-packed food that humans enjoy. Being a common shellfish, it is used to make popular delicacies like sushi, tacos, crab pies, etc. Crabs are mostly eaten steamed, boiled, or grilled whole. People enjoy crabs for their juicy taste and their succulent meat. They are equally full of minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats.
So what do you do when your furry ball begins to yowl and meow when you reach for your plate of freshly prepared crab meat? Do you give in and give them some shredded pieces? Actually, yes you can. But keep reading to find out how to feed crab meat and what other parts of a crab your cat can eat.
Can Cats Eat Crabs?
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Crab To My Cat?
It shouldn't surprise you if your fur ball picks interest in your plate of crab meat. Cats are obligate omnivores, hence they are prone to noticing foods rich in animal protein. Cats can safely eat crabs, It is considered non-toxic to them. So, what are some of the benefits you can cat can enjoy from feeding on crab meat? Here are a few of them:
- High-quality protein: Crab meat contains high-quality protein which benefits your cat. Cats require animal protein, mostly meat, to grow as they should. You can feed your cat small pieces of crab meat occasionally to meet your cat's protein needs.
- Low in carbohydrates: Cats do not need carb-high foods. This makes crab meat an excellent snack choice for your feline. Crabs are low-calorie foods that are not likely to make your cat obese.
- Source of vitamin B12: Cats need vitamin B12 for maintaining their body's immunity. Also, vitamin B12 helps protect your cat's brain and digestive system. Cats do not readily get this vitamin. Since crabmeat is an excellent source of this vitamin, you can feed your cat small quantities from time to time.
- Source of vitamin D: Vitamin D helps to protect your cat's heart against cardiovascular diseases.
- Source of the good fats: Crab contains omega-3 fatty acids which are healthy for their hearts. Omega-3 acids act as an anti-inflammatory which protects the heart from complications that may result from unhealthy fats.
How Can I Feed Crab To My Cat?
You should only feed properly cooked crab to your cat. Cats can eat crabs that have either been steamed, boiled, or grilled. When cooking, no ingredient or seasoning should be added. Also, it should be served plainly to your cat without any oil, spice, sauce, or toppings. Any of these extras like seasoning or sauce can be toxic to your cat and as such, should be avoided at all costs.
On no account should you feed raw crabmeat to your kitty. Raw meat serves as a breeding ground for pathogens. Some of the bacteria your cat can encounter if it eats raw crab meat are Salmonella and Vibrio which can cause severe stomach upset and diarrhea. Worse, if not treated on time, such food poisoning can kill your cat.
Can Cats Eat Canned Crab?
Canned crabs are a no-no for your cat for several reasons. First of all, it contains a ridiculous amount of sodium that is usually more than the amount your cat needs. That is very toxic for your cat and should be avoided at all costs. Another reason to avoid canned crab for your cat is that the preservatives/chemicals found in cat food are harmful to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Crab Sticks?
Cats can eat canned sticks. But like cooked crab meat, it must be in moderation. Crab sticks are considered junk food for humans, so they are definitely not healthy for cats either.
Crab sticks contain a high level of sodium and this can quickly exceed your cat's daily sodium requirement. This can lead to fatal health conditions for your cat because your cat only needs a small amount of sodium which their cat food meet. Hence, it is advisable to only feed a little amount of crab stick to your cat occasionally.
Can Cats Eat Imitation Crab?
Imitation crab can be safe for cats only if given in moderation. Imitation crab is like the hot dog of seafood, it is made from a paste called Surimi, which comes from grinding different types of seafood.
People buy imitation crab because it is cheaper than real crab. It is not toxic to cats but neither is it beneficial to them. Imitation crab is low in fats and sodium than real crabmeat but it is equally low in protein and other necessary nutrients that your cat needs. It is also high in carbohydrates which is bad for your cat.
Another concern is the ingredients and additives that are mixed into the surimi paste to make it taste and look like real crab. These ingredients can do a lot of damage to your cat's digestive tract and cause your cat to experience symptoms like vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
If you choose to feed imitation crab to your feline, make sure it is a little in a long while.
Can Cats Eat Crab Shells?
Cats should not eat crab shells. Crab shells are hard and not easily digested by cats. Also, they can splinter when your cat tries to chew on them and lodge in your cat's mouth and throat. Crab shells can also pose choking hazards for your cat.
Cats can eat cooked crab meat occasionally. It is not advisable to feed them the legs or shells of crabs because they may find it hard to digest.
Like every other snack you give to your cat, crab meat should be given in small amounts and not very often. If your cat has an underlying health condition, consult with your vet before feeding them crab meat.