Crayfish are aquatic crustaceans that belong to the class Malacostraca, along with shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. Crayfish are a tasty, crunchy food that humans enjoy, either by itself (deep-fried) or as a part of other foods. They are, however, majorly served boiled or steamed. Like other types of seafood, crayfish are packed with nutrients that are especially beneficial to humans.
But what about cats? Can cats eat crayfish? Are crayfish beneficial to cats? In this post, I talk about all you need to know about feeding crayfish to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Crayfish?
Cats can eat crayfish, but only in small amounts. Crayfish are a great source of protein for humans but it is not the same for cats. While cats can get protein from crayfish, crayfish do not contain all the nutrients that your cat needs. Cats can be fed crayfish occasionally but it should not replace their cat food. However, if your cat shows any allergic reaction, you must stop feeding them crayfish.
What Are The Benefits Of Crayfish?
Crayfish, like other crustaceans, are delicious treats that humans sometimes eat as a side dish. As a cat owner, you may be tempted to give crayfish to your cat. Here are a couple of benefits your cat can enjoy from eating crayfish:
- Source of lean fat: Crayfish are a good source of low fats and only contain traces of carbohydrates. This is good for your cat, especially if you are concerned about its weight.
- Source of high-quality protein: Protein is necessary for building and developing muscles in the body and also developing tissues. Your cat can eat crayfish occasionally as it can serve as a supplement for the protein they need.
- Source of minerals: Crayfish contain minerals like magnesium and calcium which can be beneficial to your cat. Calcium and Magnesium help in the development of bones of teeth. Crayfish also supply Iron which reduces the chances of developing anemia.
- Source of omega-3 fatty acids: Crayfish is a source of omega-3 fatty acids which is good fat. Omega-3 acid help in developing your cat's brain and equally provides energy for the brain. Omega-3 acids also give your cat healthy skin.
- Source of vitamins: Crayfish is high in B vitamins. Vitamin B1 improves the functions of the nervous system of your cat's body. Also, Vitamin B12 is important for good vision and healthy fur.
Will Crayfish Harm My Cat?
Crayfish can serve as an occasional source of protein for your cat but it is not on the list of the healthy foods that you can feed your cat. Crayfish contains high levels of cholesterol which is unhealthy for your cat. Research shows that crayfish contains about 4times the amount of cholesterol that your cat needs in a day. Hence, cats should only be fed crayfish in small amounts. High levels of cholesterol in your cat's body can cause health complications.
Crayfish also contains a high amount of sodium which can be toxic for your cat. Cats do not need a lot of salt in their diet. Feeding crayfish in excess to your cat can lead to salt poisoning which is known as Sodium toxicosis, this may lead to death.
How Should I Feed Crayfish To My Cat?
Cats can enjoy crayfish as an occasional treat. The best way to feed crayfish to your cat is by boiling or steaming it. Cooked crayfish, either boiled or steamed, is considered the safest way to feed the crunchy delicacy to your feline.
When preparing the crayfish, make sure it is cooked without any seasoning or ingredients. These ingredients can be harmful to your cat, which is why only plainly boiled or steamed crayfish should be given to them.
Humans sometimes, enjoy a dish of deep-fried crayfish. This should never be offered to cats. Cats do not need the extra fat that comes with frying. Deep-fried crayfish are toxic to your cats and therefore, they should not be allowed to eat them.
Can Cats Eat Raw Crayfish?
No, cats should not eat raw crayfish or any kind of raw fish at all. Raw seafood like lobster, shrimp, crab, and crayfish carry a parasite known as Paragonimus (lung fluke) which can be passed on to cats. This can lead to several digestive tract complications.
Some seafood can also contain bacteria such as Salmonella or Vibrio which could lead to severe stomach upset and other health challenges if consumed by your cat.
Can Crayfish Kill My Cat?
Cats are prone to choking from consuming crayfish. Crayfish are not as big as other crustaceans such as shrimps and lobsters. However, cats can still suffer from a choking hazard due to their shells and legs.
Therefore, the best way to feed crayfish to your feline is to cut it into small pieces and serve them to your cat. Although cats can chew the shells of crayfish, it is safer to avoid feeding them the shells and legs of crayfish to avoid any possible choking hazard.
Can I Feed Crayfish To My Kitten?
It is not advisable to feed crayfish to kittens. Kittens are smaller than a regular adult cat and as such, require certain necessary nutrients to keep growing. Kittens need a balanced and complete diet to grow properly and the cat food that is formulated for them is your best shot at feeding them right.
Kittens should not be fed crayfish to avoid choking hazards and digestive issues. To get suggestions on the healthy snack options that you can feed your baby cat, consult with your vet.
Cats can eat crayfish but only under certain conditions. It must be cooked plainly and given occasionally to them. Crayfish is a great source of high-quality protein, which your car can benefit from. However, too much crayfish can lead to health challenges for your cat.
Although crayfish is relatively safe for cats, some cats may experience allergic reactions such as stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, make sure to consult with your vet immediately.