Octopus is often considered a delicacy by people and a special treat at that, so sharing with the cat might not be the top of your mind!
Of course, your cat might have other things to say about that and while you’re eating it, you may see a hopeful face staring at you. So, can you share your octopus treat with your cat or should you keep it well away?
Can cats eat octopus?
Short answer: Yes, but only a small amount and it has to be fresh and well cooked. It actually makes a pretty healthy treat for cats, if a rich one.
Do Cats Like Octopus?
This is going to vary wildly. Most cats are going to be willing to at least try octopus – after all, they’re curious and if you’re eating it, there must be something to it. And having tried it, some cats are probably going to enjoy it.
Octopus is not something that a wild cat would commonly come across, so it’s not something that’s precisely ‘hardwired’ in them to eat, but neither is fish and you’ve seen how cats go nuts for fish!
You’re not going to know if your cat likes octopus until they try it. But any cat that likes seafood is probably going to like an octopus as well, especially if they are already accustomed to eating things like shrimp.
Do Cats Hate Octopus?
Upon trying octopus, your cat may back off looking annoyed and flounce away. Or they may not beg for it at all! Some cats aren’t so into seafood of any sort, perhaps recognizing that seafood isn’t something that they normally eat and furthermore, that it might make them sick.
The texture of octopus might also put some cats off and even the appearance might spook them!
If your cat isn’t so into octopus, don’t worry about it. While octopus has some health benefits, it’s nothing that cannot be made up elsewhere and now you can enjoy your treat without your cat underfoot!
Can Eating Octopus Kill My Cat?
It’s pretty unlikely that eating octopus will kill your cat.
Eating cooked octopus brings the chances of killing your cat down to none because the main danger of octopus is vibrio bacterium which is found in raw octopus and is linked to several problems, ranging from stomach issues (vomiting and diarrhea) to limb loss and even death.
But this is pretty rare – the cat would have to have a weakened immune system and eat raw octopus (or raw oysters) that are infected with the bacteria.
The other potential danger of octopuses is that heavy metals can be found in them, particularly cadmium which can be found in high concentrations in octopus heads.
Heavy metal toxicity hits cats hard because it takes a lot less to make them seriously ill, which is why they should only have a small amount of octopus once in a while.
Octopus can also be high in lead, so it’s important to know where your octopus is coming from and only eat a small amount.
And finally, cats can be allergic to seafood – in fact, it’s one of the most common allergens!
The image of cats eating fish is fairly misleading actually; cats weren’t evolved to eat seafood and so their systems aren’t always up for it either.
The first time your cat has octopus, keep an eye on them and watch for vomiting, skin irritation, upset stomach or diarrhea, or any other sign that they aren’t feeling well.
A seafood allergy shouldn’t kill your cat, but it will make your cat uncomfortable and be messy. Obviously, if your cat is allergic to seafood, they shouldn’t eat it.
Otherwise, as long as you are feeding your cat fresh, well-cooked octopus in small amounts once in a while, it’s extremely unlikely it will even make your cat sick, let alone kill them!
Kittens are a different matter. Kittens have a much more delicate digestive system than adults and they are more prone to getting sick from parasites and bacteria.
Kittens shouldn’t be eating anything other than food that is specifically meant for them so that they can get all the nutrition they need.
How Much Octopus Can I Feed My Cat?
Assuming your cat can handle octopus, it’s still not something you want to give them too much of. A small amount of plain, fresh, cooked octopus once in a while is enough for cats to get some nutritional benefit (And lots of enjoyment) without all of the other problems.
A few nibbles or bites of it once a month or so is sufficient. And the octopus should be plain, well-cooked, and sourced as organically and safely as you can manage. ‘Cheap’ octopus is more likely to be higher in heavy metals which can cause your cat to get sick.
Octopus should be well cooked and fried is the most common way to get it. If you are frying your octopus, make sure to use high-quality oil and drain it well before letting your cat have any of it.
Octopus can also be boiled (which is a lot safer for cats), BBQed, grilled, or poached. Make sure there’s no garlic or onion on an octopus that your cat is going to eat, and pepper should really be avoided as well.
Health Benefits of Octopus for Cats
Octopus does have plenty of health benefits for cats (and humans!), so assuming your cat enjoys it and isn’t allergic to it, it makes for a somewhat healthy treat.
It’s not something cats should be living on because it’s missing a lot of stuff that cats need, but it can be part of an overall well-rounded diet.
Octopus is high in:
- Protein (arguably more protein than beef!)
- B6, B12, Vitamin C and Vitamin A
- Copper, Zinc, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and selenium
Octopus does not have taurine in it is which is something that cats require to stay healthy, so it’s definitely not something they should eat too much of, or else they will be too full to eat their actual food. But octopus is a particularly good source of protein and minerals.
Cats certainly cat eat octopus, barring allergies, and they may well enjoy it! If your cat likes other seafood like shrimp, it’s more likely they will also enjoy octopus. Just make sure to keep it an occasional treat and that the octopus is properly cooked, and your cat can enjoy it with you.
Does your cat like octopus? None of my cats have ever had it since I don’t cook it myself, so I’m not sure how they’d go for it!
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.