Can Cats Eat Shrimp

September 29, 2019

Yes, Shrimp is completely safe for cats to eat. Preferably raw and fresh from the water. Pre-processed and ready to eat shrimp for human consumption are terrible ideas as these are filled with lots of preservative and high amounts of sodium. This begs the question of, “why we eat them”, but you have to remember that your cat is much, much smaller than a human. Foods that we eat will have quantities of ingredients that are not suitable for a cats body

Shrimp are a great treat and cats find seafood to be absolutely delicious. Just be careful not to give your cat too much as they can develop a taste for the shrimp and stop eating their regular cat food.

Are There Any Benefits

Yes! Your cat's diet should consist of mostly protein and shrimp are a great source of protein for cats. They are also very tasty.


Shrimp contains about 18 grams of protein which is more than enough protein for humans to eat so definitely enough protein for your cat to enjoy

Vitamin B12

This is an essential vitamin for your cat's health and functioning. Cats with low vitamin B12 can suffer from lots of issues. In cats, not having enough B12 can cause weight loss, lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting.


Irons is yet another important asset to your cat's diet. When the body is deficient in iron, red cells do not develop as they should. The lack of iron causes the cells that are produced by the bone marrow to be too small, and too low in oxygen-carrying features.

Zinc & Magnesium

Zinc & Magnesium are among the most important minerals required for maintaining a healthy cat. These are the typical minerals that your cat would get from eating their natural carnivore diet

How Often Should You Feed It To Them

I would make sure you pull the intestinal tract from the shrimp prior to feeding it to your cat. Not because these things are usually harmful, but if you’re going to go off the beaten path, it makes sense to not give your cat items that may not be tasty like intestinal tracts that have little to no nutritional value. 

Cats don’t need their protein to be cooked in order to process it, so raw shrimp is the best however cooked shrimp with no seasoning won’t be the end of the world.

Shrimp can be very delicious to cats. Giving them shrimp too often might encourage them to stop eating their regular cat food while they hold out for a delicious shrimp. There is nothing worse than a picky cat that won’t eat anything but expensive seafood.It’s okay to give them shrimp, but I wouldn’t use it as a replacement for their normal diet.

Any Concerns?


Think of what you like to eat when you eat your shrimp and assume that your cat probably has similar desires. I would remove the intestines so as to not give your cat a hard time consuming them. Yes, your cat still has the stomach of a predator, but that doesn’t mean your everyday housecat has the experience of eating living animals and understanding which parts are best to eat and which parts will likely just cause annoyance.


Shrimp have a pretty good amount of iodine in them. Consuming too much iodine could be harmful to your kitty. Keep this in mind if you’re going to frequently serve your cat shrimp.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my cat eat raw shrimp?

Yes. Your cat will probably prefer the shrimp to be raw with the legs and tails included. These are the things your cat would eat in the wild if they were lucky enough to catch a shrimp, so feel free to give them the entire shrimp

Will my cat like shrimp?

Most cats find shrimp to be extremely delicious and in fact, they will tend to prefer shrimp over their normal cat food. 

Can kittens eat shrimp?

Yes. Kittens can eat shrimp, but I would make sure to cut the shrimp into more manageable pieces for smaller kittens.

Can my cat be allergic to shrimp?

Not likely. Cats are carnivores through and through so they are not likely to have allergies to shrimp like you find in people.

Final Word

Shrimp is a great treat for your cat. They are such a great choice of treat that you have to be careful so they don’t become addicted to only eating shrimp and refuse to eat their normal cat food. If your cat is on a fully raw food diet, then adding shrimp in more frequently isn’t a bad idea. I would pull the intestines as shrimp are basically the cockroaches of the sea and I don’t want what the shrimp ate off the ocean floor getting in my cat, but other than the guts, you can feel free to give your cat the entire shrimp. Legs and all.

In fact, they probably prefer it that way. Their animal instincts like eating what looks like “live” prey.

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