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Can Cats Eat Shrimp? Red Flags Explained!

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Can cats eat shrimp? The short answer: Yes, cats can safely eat shrimp. Pretty much like most seafood, cooked shrimp smells like fish, and cats will love to give it a try.

It is not weird to assume your cat’s love for shrimp because of her strong association with eating fish. Felines are carnivores, so they need meat every day to get the nutrients they need.

And shrimps are just one type of meat for them, and likewise, they are safe for your cats to consume. But there are some details to keep in mind.

Keep reading to find out!

can cats eat shrimp

Can Cats Have Shrimp?

Can cats eat shrimp? The short answer is yes, cats can safely eat shrimps. In fact, many cats would love to have raw shrimp. Plus, they are a low-calorie food with a chock-full amount of protein. Shrimps are highly nutritious; they contain vital elements such as vitamins B12 and E, zinc, iodine, copper, and omega-3 fatty acids.

And as we know, cats are fastidiously picky eaters. But nearly all cats would respond if you give them shrimps.

But why do even cats like shrimp? Are shrimp even a well-suited type of meat for your cat? The answer to these questions is yes—felines like both shrimp and fish.

Felines are carnivores[1] by birth, so they need meat to thrive and survive. And shrimps are just another type of meat that falls under this category. Likewise, shrimps provide a rich source of taurine as well as healthful amino acids.

Overall, shrimp is an excellent treat for your cat that is flavorfullow-calorie, and high in protein.

So, cats love shrimps, but are shrimp safe for cats? Are shrimp good for cats?

Let’s find out!

Are Shrimps Safe for Cats?

is shrimp ok for cats

Yes, shrimps are highly nutritious and safe for cats to consume. They are just another kind of meat that your sweet kitty would love to eat. Shrimps are jam-packed with a lot of nutrients, antioxidants, and other vital elements such as:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Copper
  • Omega-3
  • Iodine
  • Zinc
  • Selenium

Furthermore, shrimps are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and unlike fish, they contain a relatively low level of toxins such as mercury.

Shrimps are also high in omega-3 fatty oils; cats can benefit from this, as omega-3 fatty oils can help in blood flow and circulation. Senior cats can make the most out of this if they are overweight or are recovering from disease or surgery.

Moreover, shrimps are a low-calorie food with a high level of protein value; it is a perfect cat food snack that your cat would be delighted to have.

At last, not only are shrimps safe for your cats, but they are also flavorful, and your cat will promptly respond to the smell and taste. And as with all tasty snacks, shrimps are best enjoyed by our feline friends in moderation and following your pet’s diet.

Can Cats Be Allergic to Shrimp?

Can cats be allergic to shrimps? Yes, possibly.

A shrimp allergy will appear when your cat’s immune system overreacts to the elements present in the shrimp that she ate. Shrimp allergies in cats usually manifest with dermatological symptoms.

Some common adverse reactions may include:

  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Hair loss
  • Swollen face
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

While some cats enjoy eating shrimps without any sign of allergic reactions, some cats may become ill or start throwing up later after consuming shrimps. If you are feeding shrimps to your cat for the first time, beware of any potential side effects that your cat may exhibit.

Determine whether your cat can stomach shrimps or not. If you see any change in cat behavior or think your cat is showing an allergic reaction after lunching on a shrimp snack, you must contact your vet immediately.

The Many Variants of Shrimps!

Feeding your cat shrimps certainly has its nutritional benefits, assuming she is not allergic to them. Likewise, you must feed shrimps to your cat within limits, considering the amount you offer and how often you offer it.

can cats eat raw shrimp

But what type of shrimps can cats eat? Raw or cooked shrimp for your cats?

Here are a few types of shrimps that you can buy/cook to introduce to your cat:

Raw Shrimp

Cats would love to have raw shrimps as a treat. If you plan to feed your cat raw shrimps, you should do so in small quantities only. Moreover, it’s safe for cats to eat raw shrimps, unlike eggs. Fresh, unseasoned, wild-caught shrimps are the best, and cats would love them the most.

Before giving raw shrimps to your cat, make sure you devein and wash the shrimp thoroughly (like us humans, cats cannot eat the digestive tract of the shrimp, so remove it).

Likewise, steer clear from farm-raised shrimp options. They can be harmful to your cat, as they may be contaminated with harmful antibiotics.

Fried Shrimp

Feeding fried shrimp to your cat is not toxic, but they are too fatty for your cat. We don’t recommend feeding fried shrimps to your cat. It can lead to health problems and obesity in your cat.

Moreover, digestive and other health issues are also likely to follow along. Fired shrimps can be very unhealthy to your cat, so they are out of the question.

Shrimp Shells

Shrimp shells are also safe for cats; they can safely eat them. Cats best enjoy cooked shrimp shells as a crunchy treat. Make sure the shrimp shells are plain and not priorly soaked in brine.

The high levels of sodium and cholesterol can be harmful to cats; they can also lead to weight gain, so only serve shrimps shells that are plain. Likewise, your cat’s diet should not include any additional seasoning or salt either.

Frozen Shrimp

Well, cats can’t eat a frozen shrimp itself, but they can eat it if it has been defrosted. Generally, there are two types of frozen shrimps — fresh frozen shrimps and processed frozen shrimps.

Processed frozen shrimps are a big no if you are thinking about feeding them to your cat. These kinds of ready-to-eat, processed shrimps are high in sodium, and this chemical compound usually acts as a preservative.

Such considerable amounts of sodium can be unhealthy for your furry pal. Further, they also contain seasoning, and that is not good for cats either. So, steer clear from processed frozen shrimps.

On the other hand, fresh frozen shrimps are a resounding yes. If you are thinking, “can I feed frozen shrimp to my cat?” the lights are green. However, it is only safe to serve frozen shrimps after you have defrosted them. Also, the shrimps should not contain salt.

How to Cook Shrimp for Cats?

Raw and fresh shrimps are the cat’s most favorite choice. However, we don’t recommend that you feed your cat shrimp that is raw, as they can contain traces of fungicides or other potentially toxic chemical substances or bacteria that can be harmful to cats.

cats can eat shrimp

On the other hand, cooking shrimps for cats is the best way you can eliminate these risks. You can cook shrimps for your cat that are plain by steaming, grilling, baking, and boiling. Your furry friend will love the soft-firm texture with the delicious flavor.

Overall, cats will enjoy cooked shrimps as a healthy, occasional treat. You should make sure the cooked shrimps do not involve butter or oil in the cooking process if you are going to feed it to your cat.

Can Kittens Eat Shrimp?

Can kittens have shrimps? Yes, kittens can have shrimps. It can be a good idea to feed your kitten a few pieces of shrimp from an early age to develop eating preferences.

Your kitten would love to have shrimps, just how they love to have fish[2]. Further, you can also feed raw shrimps to your kitten in small amounts, assuming they are thoroughly cleaned and deveined.

All in all, shrimp is not only a tasty and healthy treat for your cat but kittens as well.

Can Cats Eat Shrimp?

Can cats eat shrimp? The short answer is yes, cats can safely eat shrimps. In fact, many cats would love to have raw shrimp. Plus, they are a low-calorie food with a chock-full amount of protein. Shrimps are highly nutritious; they contain vital elements such as vitamins B12 and E, zinc, iodine, copper, and omega-3 fatty acids.


Back to the question, “can cats eat shrimp?”; the answer is indeed a big yes. Feeding shrimps to your cat in moderation and with a slight modification in cooking is the key takeaway of this article.

Shrimps are enriched with healthy protein and plenty of other nutrients, which can benefit your little carnivore furball’s health.

We recommend that you feed your cat wild-caught, fresh, plain-cooked shrimps, as this will make certain there aren’t any harmful bacteria left behind. Always remember to give single regular-sized shrimps to your cat, and not more than one piece per serving.

Approved by Veterinary – Anthony Brooks, DVM!


  1. Jgauntt. (2022, March 11). Cats are carnivores, so they should eat like one. VMBS News. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from
  2. Coates, J. (n.d.). Of cats and fish. PetMD. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from

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