With seafood gaining popularity worldwide, it is with no doubt that you can easily find crab as a dish on the dinner table. If the crab is one of your favorite delicacies, you might be wondering if you can share the same with your cat. Now you are sitting at the table with your feline friend on your laps, asking yourself:
Can cats eat crab? Yes, cats can safely eat crabs which might be contrary to conventional wisdom. However, crabs are not packed with enough nutrients necessary to your feline hence not fit to replace the normal cats’ diet.
As you will see in this article, we will tackle crucial information to help you understand more about cats and crabs.
- Which crab is safe for my cat?
- The nutritional profile of crab
- Potential Health Benefits of Crab
- Possible risks
- Can cats eat artificial crab?
- What is artificial crab made of?
- What are the health risks of artificial crab to your cat?
- Is Artificial Crab OK for Kittens?
- Are there any health benefits of Artificial Crab?
Which crab is safe for my cat?
A question you might have asked yourself so many times. Cooked crab is preferable compared to raw because you may expose your cat to potential risks that come along with the uncooked crab.
There are few chances that your cat might get sick from eating raw crab but it is not worth risking. You better stick to the conventional way because prevention is better than cure. If you love seeing your kitty happy and healthy, cooked meals are always the best.
But, before feeding your cat with any seafood, you should note that most human and cat allergens come from seafood. So when you introduce it to your cat, keep it in low quantities as you observe.
Although there is no means to determine if your cat is allergic to crab or not, it lies within your capacity after the first exposure. However, there are rare cases of reaction to seafood because most cat foods are prepared with kinds of seafood. So there is no point in panicking if you find your crab missing and your cat licking the lips in appreciation.
The small amounts should not confer with the preparations for human beings. Cats’ food should be prepared simply and with no seasonings like salt and spices. In case of any reaction, contact the vet ASAP to avoid any complications.
If you do canned crab meat, you should consider the preparation before sharing it with your kitty. Sharing might not really mean caring especially if the canned one is prepared with seasonings like salt, garlic, and onion. Avoid such treats to your kitty because they may cause more harm than good. You can also see our article on whether cats can eat crab meat for more information.
The nutritional profile of crab
Apart from protein, crab meat is also rich in fatty acids like Omega-3 and essential amino acids.
They also have minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and many more. Although the level of sodium is a bit high in crab meat
Lastly, crab meat is rich in vitamins like Vit B, A, D,6,12, thiamine, niacin, Riboflavin, and folate which are all essential for cats and other pets.
Potential Health Benefits of Crab
Packed with proteins, makes crab meat vital in building and maintenance of muscles. The high levels of Vitamin B 12, Omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium makes crab meat an excellent choice for general health and immunity against some chronic conditions.
Let’s look at the benefits in detail.
Nutrients richly available in crab meat like folate and Vitamin B 12 play an integral part in the prevention of vitamin deficiency-related anemia. Cats suffering from vitamin deficiency anemia experience lethargy due to a lack of enough healthy red blood cells.
Improve heart health
The cats’ hearts reap numerous benefits from the Omega-3 fatty acids readily available in crab meat. Vitamin D specifically, plays the role of steroid hormone and therefore offers cardiovascular illness prevention and vaso-occlusion issues.
Keep your cat’s brain strong
Research has it that consumption of seafood like crab once a week reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This is because seafood products are highly rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Cats are sensitive animals and crab meat can easily cause allergic reactions. After a cat has eaten crab for the first time, look out for the following signs: Diarrhea, stomach upset, vomiting, itching among others. Such might be due to allergic reactions.
High levels of sodium readily found in crab meat are a potential threat to the cat because it could be a source of kidney, heart, or liver problems.
The processed ones are even worse because the seasonings like salt and other spices pose a serious health threat to your cat.
Despite crab meat being lower in mercury unlike other kinds of seafood, it can still be risky to your cat depending on how they are caught and prepared.
Lastly, always cook the crab meat before you offer it to your feline friends. Raw crab meat could be harboring germs that are harmful to your cat, so cooking not only kills the germs inside the meat but also those that are attracted to the surface.
Can cats eat artificial crab?
You just arrived with your artificial crab, then your feline companion arrives and signals you that it will be great to have a bite. Then you ask yourself, could it be harmful? Well, artificial crab is not recommended for your cat but it couldn’t be a grave mistake if it had a bite.
If you have to give it to your cat, do it cautiously because the artificial crab is high in starch which could be so disastrous to your cat’s stomach if taken in plenty. Consider other healthy snacks if your feline friend isn’t getting enough of artificial crab.
What is artificial crab made of?
Artificial crab is made of starch mixed with white fish paste and then crafted like a real crab. It has gained popularity and you will find it referred to as ‘seafood sticks’ or ‘crab sticks’
Alaskan pollock fish is the commonest type used in making artificial crab, it is fished from the Northern Pacific Ocean. It is mixed with other ingredients to achieve the right texture
- Crab flavoring
- Egg white
- Food coloring
- Binding ingredients like transglutaminase
What are the health risks of artificial crab to your cat?
The preparation of artificial crabs entails a lot of flavorings, preservatives, coloring, and other seasonings that make it a bad choice for your cat. Here are some of the potential risks that you will be exposing your kitty when you decide to feed it with artificial crab.
1. High in sodium
It is estimated that 100 grams of artificial crab contain 35% of sodium. These levels are so toxic to your cat and can predispose your cat to various health risks like kidney stones, heart disease, or even liver problems. Would you want to risk that? Of course not. Save your cat such nightmares by avoiding such snacks.
2. Preservatives and Additives
As we discussed earlier, any processed food is poisonous to your cat if not harmful. So it is prudent to stick to the instructions and avoid such foods. For example, artificial crab is made of many additives and preservatives to prolong the shelf life. However, these ingredients are not the best when it comes to felines. They may cause diarrhea, vomiting. constipation among other health problems. Please save your cat from all these troubles by avoiding such treats.
Is Artificial Crab OK for Kittens?
No crab meat is safe for the kittens be it real crab or artificial crab. There is nothing profitable in artificial crab that should warrant giving to these little ones. In case you are not sure of what to give to the kittens, consult your vet for the go-ahead.
Are there any health benefits of Artificial Crab?
We might have cast a spell on artificial crabs but it could not be all that bad. However, for any food that is given to your cat, the benefits should outweigh the risks. Let’s look at the positive side of artificial crabs.
This is a vital element that plays an integral part in the healthy teeth and bones of your cat. It also augments healthy nerve function and heart. However, there is a limitation on phosphorus intake for cats with Chronic Kidney Disease because the limiting delays the progression of the disease.
The phosphorus amount recommended for cats with CKD should not exceed 0.6 %. Since phosphorus is directly related to protein, a change in the intake affects both.
2. Low in fat & calories
The low in calories and fat make artificial crab a healthy snack and the real deal when it comes to weight issues. But the best alternative for your cat is to watch the amount of fat intake and you will sort out the weight for your pet.
In case you had a lot of questions concerning this subject, you must be at home now. Don’t forget that however safe crab meat is, never serve it raw or spicy to your cat. It is always advisable that food that causes allergies to your pet should be stopped immediately and avoided.
As you give your cat a special treat of crab, remember that it is not sufficient enough to replace your cat’s routine diet, maintain it as a special treat occasionally. If you have ever done the mistake of feeding your cat with artificial crab before, thank God that your cat has not been affected but then stop because it isn’t healthy for them. Both real and artificial crabs have high amounts of sodium that has many health risks to your cat.
If you love your kitty, play safe with its food and always consult your vet for treats that you are not sure about.