Crawfish, also known by a variety of other names like crawdads and rock lobsters, are small crustaceans that look a lot like small versions of lobster.
They are a popular component in a lot of seafood cooking and are found in swamps, rivers, and lakes all over the world. They are quite common and have a sweet flavor that is similar to shrimp and lobster.
It’s popular with humans, but it is as popular with cats? Can cats eat crawfish?
Crawfish are crustaceans and crustaceans are generally safe for cats to eat. But mind the shells as they may pose a choking hazard. It’s also important to make sure that they are part of a well-rounded diet as crawfish are missing some of the minerals that cats need to stay healthy (mainly taurine).
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Do Cats Like Crawfish?
This will really depend on the cat, but if your cat likes shrimp or crab, it’s more likely that it will also like to eat crawfish – after all, they taste similar and fulfill a similar craving.
But if your cat isn’t so into seafood, they probably won’t care much for crawfish either. I haven’t tried any of my cats on it, simply because it’s not something we keep around the house anyway.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they liked it though, especially the younger cat who seems to enjoy seafood more than the old one.
Do Cats Hate Crawfish?
Just as some cats will like or even love crawfish, other cats won’t like it. They may not like the flavor, they may be scared of them when they are alive, and they may not like the smell.
Some cats simply don’t like seafood. If this is your cat, you don’t have to worry too much about it. While crawfish does have some nutritional benefits for cats, it’s nothing that cannot be made up elsewhere.
Furthermore, a diet too heavy in seafood makes it harder for cats to stay healthy because they may struggle to get the taurine that they need, so at least you won’t have to worry about that!
Can Crawfish Kill Cats?
It is highly unlikely that crawfish will kill your cat – there’s not much in there that would harm most healthy cats. That being said, there are a few things you should be aware of before letting your cat chase, hunt, or eat it:
- Fish is actually responsible for a sizable percentage of cat allergies. That whole trope about cats eating fish in the wild? Not actually true – most cats don’t eat fish in the wild, even if they love them when they are domesticated. The only foods more likely to cause allergic reactions are beef and dairy. If your cat has an allergy to fish, it should not eat crawfish and if you don’t know, make sure to monitor your cat for any sign of distress after eating it to be sure it doesn’t have an allergic reaction.
- Crawfish aren’t very big, but those pincers could snag on a cat and cause injury. It’s best to feed a cat already cooked crawfish for their protection.
- Cats often enjoy crunching up the shell of crawfish as well, but be careful that your cat doesn’t choke or do itself injury on it.
- Kittens can eat crawfish, again, assuming they don’t have an allergy
- Cooked is best as raw seafood contains bacteria that could make your cat ill.
Assuming your cat doesn’t have any allergies to crawfish and can manage the shell or enjoys it cooked and ‘peeled’, there shouldn’t be any mortal peril associated with your cat enjoying these as part of an overall balanced diet or as a treat.
How Much Crawfish is Safe for My Cat To Eat?
Crawfish is far from the unhealthiest thing you can let your cats eat, but it’s also not going to be enough to keep them healthy.
Like any seafood, crawfish don’t have several minerals that cats need to stay healthy, primarily taurine which is found in red meat. On the other hand, it has plenty of health benefits which makes them better than most treats and a good supplement for a meal.
You can probably safely feed your cat a piece of crawfish about the size of your thumb along with their regular food. If your cat gobbled a pet crawfish or stole one that you were preparing, you probably don’t have much to worry about – just keep an eye on it for allergic reactions.
Most healthy cats could have a small piece of crawfish just about every day without feeling any negative impacts, though they may get tired of it after a while and want a different treat.
One thing to watch out for is sodium. Crawfish have 97mg of sodium per 100g of fish, which isn’t much for humans, but cats should not have very much sodium in their diet, or else they can become dehydrated or have heart problems.
Cats should have no more than 42 mg of sodium per day, so 100 g of fish is going to blow that away.
Health Benefits of Crawfish For Cats
Crawfish doesn’t have everything a cat needs to stay healthy, but it does have some nutritional benefits like any seafood. A major health benefit is the B vitamin which is good for nervous system function and for eyes, skin, and coat health.
Crawfish are also a good source of protein which of course, every cat needs to stay healthy.
An overlooked benefit of crawfish is that it is low calorie, but nutrient-dense, containing not only B vitamins and protein, but also magnesium, iron, potassium, and selenium.
This makes it a good snack for cats who need to watch their calories since there are plenty of healthy things in it, but you’re not trading off a massive number of calories for it.
100g of crawfish has only eighty-seven calories, so even 10g of crawfish will only contain about 8 calories – not bad at all for a cat to eat! It’s also low in fat.
Like with anything else though, a little goes a long way. Cats should really have no more than 10g of crawfish (mostly due to the sodium content) and make sure that it’s cooked to protect your cat from bacteria.
Call it what you like: crawfish is a popular seawater fish and as a result, it’s not unlikely that cats will come into contact with them too.
If your cat enjoys crawfish, you probably don’t have to worry too much about it eating some of your fish on occasion – barring allergies, it’s usually pretty safe in small amounts and has some good health benefits.
Does your cat eat crawfish?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.