Can Cats Eat Shrimp?

can you feed your cat shrimp

The quick response is “absolutely, yes they can.” But we’ll dive deep into all the pros and cons along with tips on how to prepare shrimp as a cat food.

The fishy odor and taste of shrimp will intrigue just about any cat. Fresh, wild-caught cooked shrimp without any oils or spices is an excellent choice for your cat.

Benefits of Cats Eating Shrimp

Shrimp is a low-calorie meal. It is food that is full of protein and has nutrients and detoxifiers such as vitamins B12 and E, iodine, omega 3 fatty acid, copper, and zinc.

Rich in other B Vitamins as well (B3 and B6 in addition to B12 mentioned above), studies have shown shrimp to have anit-inflammatory benefits. The omega 3 fatty oil in shrimp is necessary for cats as they get older as it helps with circulation and blood flow. Shrimps are low in fat and high in protein and have been connected to preventing cats from getting colon cancer. So there is benefit in giving your car shrimp, raw or cooked, along with his regular cat food.

Risks of Shrimp to Your Cat

Prioritize safety when you share shrimp with your cat. Remember these few significant points:

Moderation: while shrimp is a delicious food for your cat, your cat shouldn’t feed on shrimp as a meal substitute. Shrimp has high cholesterol and sodium levels. Therefore, you should moderately share shrimp with your cat. A cat of average size should not eat more than half of a jumbo-sized shrimp in a single meal. Besides, sharing tasty meals with your cat more frequently may make him stop eating his regular cat food and foster the behavior of begging for food.

Only plain shrimp: do not share shrimps cooked with spices, salt, or oils, which may be unhealthy or even poisonous for your cat. Plain cooked (boiled or steamed) shrimp is safer for cats. Always emake sure to wash shrimp before cooking and serving.

Without frills: The safest way to serve your cat shrimp is deveined while discarding the head, tail, and shell.

If you make sure to follow the above, you can defnitely let your cats eat shrimp now and then as it is a food cats love.

How to Feed Shrimp to Your Cat

These are the basics of what to do and what not to do if you decide to let your cats eat shrimp.

Cats can feed on frozen shrimp and pre-packed (and pre-cooked) shrimp. Processed, ready-to-eat, pre-packaged shrimp is not recommended for cats. These foods have incredibly high preservative sodium content. The extreme sodium levels are not healthy for your cat. Besides, these types of shrimp have some preservatives. Various ingredients and herbs can be hazardous to your beloved cat. Avoid them even if it appears your cats love the food with it on there.

Conversely, frozen shrimp offers a safer alternative. Provided that there is no addition of any salt brine or heavy frying batters to the frozen shrimp, you can safely treat your pet to a frozen shrimp.

Can cats eat shrimp that is uncooked/raw?

Fresh, uncooked shrimp is safe for cats, and many cats enjoy the meal. You can utilize raw recipe shrimps or only as an irregular meal.

But you don’t want to add any spice to the raw shrimp as almost all spices are not good for cats. Before serving your cats, thoroughly wash the shrimp and discard its digestive parts. Just like people, cats, too, cannot eat the digestive tract of the shrimp.

Raw Shrimp Vs Cooked Shrimp

The raw or cooked question comes up a lot. Many vets are fine with your cat eating raw shrimp now and then. There are some who say if given the choice, cooked shrimp would be better for cats than raw shrimp since boiling helps remove traces of fungicides, antibiotics and potentially harmful chemicals associated with commerical shrimp.

This is very similar to how tuna has mercury, but we still eat tuna sushi and cans of tuna all the time. Just like anything, keep it in moderation and don’t overdo it with allowing your cat to eat raw shrimp all the time.

Can cats eat shrimp you cook at home?

Honestly, shrimps that you cook at home are among the safest for your cat. When you home-cook fresh shrimp, you take full control of seasoning and production. If you choose to cook shrimp for your cat, avoid salt, black pepper, and other spices that you, as a human, might enjoy on your shrimp. Avoid excess butter or frying oils and always clean it thoroughly before cooking or before you let your cat eat raw shrimp. These tips make it more safe for cats.

Can cats eat the tails, heads, and legs of shrimp?

Many people consider the tails, heads, and legs of shrimps to be unpleasant or even disgustingly repugnant. Your cat does not share that opinion. If these shrimp parts lower your appetite, give them to your cat. Cats will savor legs, heads, or tails as they would enjoy the meat from the shrimp’s torso.

You can feed your cat these parts of the shrimp. You can cook it first or they can eat raw parts as well. Both will be delicious, and both will have an appealing odor for the cat.

Ensure that you abide by the rules discussed above. Avoid the seasonings and ensure to wash the shrimp before your cat starts eating the shrimp meal.

Can cats eat shrimp chips?

Although shrimp chips have a light taste and the seafood meal suggests it is healthier than potato or corn chips, it remains junk. It has a base full of starch and fat. If you don’t prepare the shrimp personally at home, it has high sodium content and hazardous additives such as onion, garlic, and so forth (which you don’t want your cat to eat).

You can treat your cat with your home prepared shrimp chips. Avoid dangerous seasonings and treating your cat too frequently.

Can cats eat the shells of shrimp?

Cats can safely eat shrimp shells in some instances. If there has been no use of salt, brine, or seasonings, then you can feed your cat the raw shrimp or cooked shrimp shells.

Additionally, you can deep fry them. Even finicky kitties savor crispy textured foods. Make sure you don’t allow your cats to eat too much shrimp as a fried food.

Can kittens eat shrimp?

Yes. Kittens, too, can eat shrimp!

It is essential to introduce various textures and tastes to your cat early to develop its eating behavior. Shrimp has numerous flavors and textures. Provided that the shrimp has no heavy processing and salt preservation, your kitten can feed on it uncooked or cooked.

If your cat vomits or suffers indigestion for some reason (for instance, if you somehow give it parts of the digestive tract) after a meal call a vet. While it seldom happens, there is a possibility of your cat being allergic to shrimp.

However, this likelihood should not prevent you from the idea of giving seafood to your cats to eat. Shrimp has beneficial nutrients, and is a delicious, and healthy meal that most cats will enjoy. Don’t deny your feline furball an opportunity to eat shrimp as it is a delightful treat for your cat.


So we have deep dived into everything about how cats eat shrimp. It is a legitimate treat for your cats to break up the monotony of their day to day cat food.

Can Cats Eat Shrimp?

Yes. Cats can eat shrimp. The same as when you eat shrimp, make sure you thoroughly wash it first and remove the digestive parts. Because shrimp is high in sodium, only feed your cats shrimp in moderation. Don’t use salt or other seasonings on the shrimp as these are not good for your cat.

And there you have it. It’s a food considered safe for cats and they certainly love shrimp.

Athena P.

I'm Athena. I have been a Veterinary Assistant for 8 years. I work with Veterinary professionals for years getting the best advice for pet owners for their beloved cats.

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