Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to survive but some meat carry some risks for cats. How about some delicious and juicy crab? Can cats eat crab?
In my opinion crabs don’t get the attention they deserve in human diet. Crab meat is one of the healthiest seafoods you can eat. It contains Omega-3, several B vitamins, minerals, a lot of protein, minimal fat and on top of all it has low calories and less mercury compared to fish and other common sea food. So can cats eat crab and get these benefits?
Can cats eat crab?
Yes, cats can eat crab and it is also very beneficial to our little friends. Since cats are obligate carnivores, high protein – low fat meats such as crab are very good for them.
However, crab meat does not meet all the nutritional requirements of kitties and just like other sea food such as salmon or sardines, there are a few things to consider when feeding crab to your cat.
How to feed crab to your cat?
Basics are always a must! Just like any other sea food, crabs should be cooked since they can include parasites and bacteria that can harm kitties. Boiling or steaming crabs kill those parasites and bacteria.
Another “must follow” rule is not using seasonings or flavorings including but not limited to garlic, onion and the powdered forms of these ingredients which are toxic to cats.
You may think that salt is another thing to watch however recent studies have shown that salt may not be as bad for cats as we are used to think.
A long term study finished in 2015 by American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine studied “older cats who are at comparatively higher risk for heart and kidney disease than are younger cats. Researchers determined that over a two year period, a diet that was three times higher in salt had no adverse effect on kidney function, blood pressure, or cardiac function.”
To be completely honest, I try to stay on the safe side when it comes to my babies so I keep them away from salt until more research is made. Until further evidence comes from scientists, it is best to stick with whatever your veterinarian recommends.
Another risk while feeding crab to your kitty is the shell. Although the shell contains some nutrients, it is hard to swallow and can easily splinter. This causes two main concerns: choking and tearing throat tissue which are not what you want your kitty to experience.
If you follow these simply rules, the little trouble maker can surely enjoy crab however in moderation because it does not contain all the nutrients your kitty needs. Crab can only be given as an occasional treat and can not replace the regular diet of a cat.
Can cats eat crab sticks?
Crab sticks or crab cakes (a.k.a. fake crab or imitation crab) are not really made of crabs. The main ingredient in crab sticks is surimi which is the pulverised meat of cheaper species of fish that is put together using additives.
Crab sticks contain more carbs than protein which is not good for cats. In addition, the additives inside the crab sticks can harm your cat in the long run. They may also include toxic substances for cats such as sodium pyrophosphate and potassium chloride.
Conclusion – Can Cats Eat Crab?
Cleaned and cooked crab is a healthy addition to your cats diet but can not be a main meal since it does not include all the nutrient a cat needs. As long as your cat is not allergic to crabs, there is no reason why you should not give some delicious and nutritious crab to it.
As usual, whenever you introduce a new food to your cat’s diet, consult your veterinarian first and give the food in very small amounts to see if there is any adverse reaction such as vomiting, diarrhea, any unusual behavior, etc.