Can Cats Eat Crab Meat?

Do you live along the coast? Do you enjoy seafood? If so, you may be among one of the people who've pondered "can cats eat crab meat?" As I love my three cats and am fond of crab sushi, I've decided to research the question "can can eat crab meat?" and seaweed for that matter.

Can Your Cat Eat Crab Meat without Concern?

While the shortest possible answer to this question is "yes," there are multiple ways of looking at the issue as well as several stipulations and restrictions. While this section addresses a variety of factors in regard to adding meat crab to your cat's diet. Either as a staple or just as a treat, the greatest factor in the decision is whether or not your cat has an allergy to shellfish.

Can Cats Have Shellfish Allergies?

As this YouTube video explains, shellfish is among the most common allergies in humans and animals. Although this article is concerned with the relationship between crab meat and cats. A cat with shellfish allergies should still be safe when consuming meat derived from clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. If you notice any of the following symptoms after your cat's first exposure to shellfish, chances are high that it has an allergy.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives beneath the fur
  • Impaired breathing or swallowing
  • Swollen tongue
  • Faint pulse
  • Erratic movement
  • Scratching at the skin
  • In the unfortunate instance where you discover that your cat has an allergy to shellfish. Ask your veterinarian should be able to confirm the issue and help it recover from the trauma. Fortunately, severe allergies to shellfish are rare among cats.

    Can Cats Have Crab Meat That is Uncooked?

    While the lack of preparation is a surefire way to make yourself sick. A small portions of raw crab meat are no more or less likely to harm your cat than any other form of raw meat.

    Can Cats Eat Crab Meat That Has Been Cooked?

    Not only can cats eat crab meat that has been cooked, the act of cooking unlocks additional nutritional benefits within the meat (and is an obvious requirement if you plan to share one of your meals with your cats).

    When cooking crab for your cats, it is imperative that you avoid using any oil, margarine or butter.  These substances can harm your cat's digestion; giving your cat any more than 1 tablespoon of oil a day can lead to diarrhea.

    Can Cats Have Crab Meat If the "Crab" Is Spelled "Krab" On the Packaging?

    Imitation crab meat, known in the food trade as "crab sticks" or "krab," is not actually derived from shellfish. Krab is actually a mixture of starch and white fish that is mixed and formed into the shape of spider crab legs. As it is a highly processed foodstuff, krab should only be given to your cats in the smallest of portions and not as a daily part of its diet.

    Can Cats Eat Crab Meat In Large Quantities?

    Whether you are feeding yourself or your pets, every proper diet calls for moderation. That being said, most crab meat on the market is usually processed to a large degree and would be unsuitable for cats in medium to large portions. A single serving of only a few ounces of crab meat once a week is more than sufficient. Despite some of the health benefits covered below, crab meat is moderately rich with sodium, which cats' bodies are not able to process in large quantities.

    Can Cats Eat Crab Meat and Benefit Nutritionally?

    As "obligate carnivores," cats can greatly benefit from the lean proteins found in crab meat. Three ounces of cooked king crab contains 0 carbohydrates and 16 grams of protein. Protein is useful for maintaining a healthy coat, healthy skin, plenty of energy and a positive mood. Crab meat is also a useful means of supplying your cat with Vitamin B12. Insufficient amounts of Vitamin B12 can have a negative effect on your cat's energy, strength, brain, mobility and digestion.

    Can Cats Eat Crab Meat in the Form of Crab Cakes?

    Considering that most crab cakes are heavily breaded and likely cooked in butter or seasoned oils, even giving your cats a small portion of crab cake is quite a gamble with its health. If the mood to share strikes you and you happen to be having some crab cakes. Use a fork to skewer a bit of identifiable crab meat out of the mixture and give that tidbit to your cat.

    Is Crab Meat Superior to Other Proteins?

    If you want to give your cats the best protein and all proteins are being judged by the same weight, 3 grams of ground turkey offers the most protein at 27.4 grams. When looking for the protein that affords the least calories, 3 grams of scallops is only 74.8 calories. If you are more concerned with trimming fat from your cat's diet, half a cup of red kidney or pinto beans contains only 0.4 grams of fat while offering between 20 and 22 grams of protein.  If you would prefer to give your cat meat, any white meat, including fish, should more than suffice.

    Our Final Thoughts

    I hope this article clarifies the answer to "can cats eat crab meat?"
    • Yes they can.
    • Avoid oil or butter when cooking it for them.
    • Stick to small portions.
    If there is any aspect you feel is unanswered, please ask in the comments section below.
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