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Can Cats Eat Lobster? Is it Healthy for Them?

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	Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet) Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Not only is lobster nutritious, but it’s also something we humans look forward to spoiling ourselves with, especially in certain parts of the world. If you’re wanting to share the enjoyment and give your cat the treat of a fancy, high-dollar meal, the lobster will likely be one of the first main courses that come to mind. But is it safe for cats to consume this pricey entrée?

The short answer is yes, cats can eat lobster as long as they do not have a seafood allergy. But that doesn’t mean they should go hog wild every night with a pair of lobster tails. Let’s dig into how much is too much and all the rest.

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Lobster and Cats

Lobsters can make a great occasional treat for your cat as long as they do not suffer from any seafood allergies. This delicious shellfish is packed full of beneficial nutrients and most cats will enjoy gobbling it up.

Despite what the cartoons portray when it comes to feline diets, seafood is not a normal part of a cat’s wild diet and alone would not be enough to sustain your cat’s dietary needs. Even if your cat is free from any food allergies, it is important to only offer lobster in moderation as an occasional treat, rather than a main staple in the diet.

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Health Benefits of Lobster

Since cats are strict carnivores that get all their needed nutrients from meat, having a meat source as a snack is the best way to go. Lobster is most well known for being a very high source of protein that is low in carbohydrates. In addition to being protein-packed, lobster is also a great source of the following:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Phosphorous
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

Cooked vs. Raw

Cats should only be offered lobster that is cooked properly and should never be offered any raw meat. Raw meat can contain bacteria and lead to food poisoning and severe digestive upset. It’s not just raw lobster that should be avoided, but any raw meat.

When cooking up some lobster for your cat, you need to ditch the butter, oils, spices, and other seasonings that are typically included when preparing it for human consumption. All these additional ingredients can wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive system and potentially cause gas, diarrhea, stomach upset, and vomiting.

Now that’s not saying that you should skimp on all that delicious, melted butter, salt, or seasoning for your dish, just make sure to prepare your cat’s serving separately.

Lobster Shells

Your cat should not be offered the lobster shell in any capacity. Make sure you remove all the meat from the shell before offering it up to your cat. The shells can be sharp and if your cat is too vigorous in the eating process and was to swallow pieces of shell, it could cause injury or even result in choking. The safest option is to remove the shell and only allow them access to the meat.

Canned Lobster

While you typically get fresh, frozen, or pre-cooked lobster, there are canned varieties out there. It’s best to keep in mind that canned foods that are geared toward humans tend to be high in sodium, which can lead to severe health complications for your cat if the levels of sodium in the blood were to become abnormally high.

Some cat foods on the market contain seafood ingredients, including some that have lobster. This would be the safest way to offer any form of canned lobster. Any canned lobster meat for human consumption would need to be sodium-free.

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Signs and Symptoms of Food Intolerance and Allergies

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Image Credit: one photo, Shutterstock

You will want to be aware of the signs that indicate a potential food intolerance or allergy. Allergies to fish and seafood can be fairly common in cats and you will want to avoid offering them lobster if this is the case.

  • Excessive grooming
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin lesions (from excessive grooming or scratching)
  • Hair loss
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Dietary Needs

You will want to best mimic a cat’s wild diet to ensure they are getting the proper overall nutrition. Since you’re not offering them small prey animals such as rodents or birds, you need to find a high-quality cat food that meets these needs.

Cats require a natural diet that is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and offers a balance of nutrients and amino acids. Since their prey in the wild also gives them much of their hydration, you need to keep fresh, clean water out always. Some owners prefer offering wet food varieties for added moisture.

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Finding the Right Cat Food

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Image Credit: Nom Nom Now

There are many different types of cat foods on the market but not all are created equal. Finding the right food can be overwhelming. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing cat food:

Food Label- Knowing how to properly read the label on any pet food is beneficial for owners. Having a general idea of what you need to look for and what you need to avoid will help you in determining the overall quality of the food. Try to find brands that complete additional safety and quality testing by meeting AAFCO standards.

Life Stage- Your cat’s life stage will play a huge role in their nutritional requirements since these requirements vary throughout their lives. Most foods will be labeled by the manufacturer by life stage, so ensure the food you are buying is appropriate for your cat’s age.

Size and Activity Level- Your cat’s size and activity level will play a role in food choice. Is your cat extremely active and/or spend time outdoors getting lots of exercise or are they a couch potato? Nutritional requirements vary by energy expenditure. Also, those that are overweight may require a restriction in calories for the sake of their health.

Preference- You and your cat will have your preferences. You will need to decide what type of food works best for both of you. You can choose between a wide variety of food types including dry kibble, canned wet food, freeze-dried, fresh, or even a mixture. This will come down to your convenience, personal preference, and your kitty’s taste.

Veterinary Recommendation- The best thing you can do before making a final decision on your cat’s diet is to discuss it with your veterinarian. They will be well aware of any health concerns your cat has and will be able to help you best tailor the food choice to your cat.

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Healthy Treat Options

Everyone loves an occasional treat. Below is a list of the best types of treat options to offer cats to ensure they are being provided a healthy treat rather than something potentially toxic or unnecessary:

  • Cooked, unsalted lean meats (small amounts)
  • Dried liver
  • Pieces of Kibble
  • Bits of wet food
  • High-quality commercial treats

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Conclusion

Cats can eat lobster provided they are not allergic to seafood, are kept away from the shells, and the lobster is cooked thoroughly and properly with no butter, salt, or seasonings. Lobster meat should not make up a large percentage of your cat’s diet and should only be offered as an occasional treat.

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Featured Image Credit: ndemello, Pixabay

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