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Can Cats Eat Squid? What You Need to Know!

Squid isn’t common table fare in all locations, but depending on where you’re at, it might be a popular dish. In America, squid is most commonly served fried with a side of marinara sauce in a dish known as calamari. But in other places, namely the Mediterranean, squid is a much more common dish and can be prepared in numerous ways.

Seafood is already polarizing; you either love it or hate it. Squid is even more so. But if you love squid, you may be thinking that sharing a bite of your squid is a great treat for your cat. The question is, will your cat feel the same, and is it a safe treat for them to consume? Truthfully, it’s not recommended that you offer squid to your cat. That said, when it’s done right, squid could be a safe dish for your cat in small amounts.

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Risks of Feeding Your Cat Squid

It’s not necessarily the squid itself that’s unsafe for your cat, but the way it’s prepared. When prepared properly, free of seasonings and boiled, squid won’t be too dangerous for your cat. But if you offer your cat squid prepared in some other way, then it could be a terrible treat that’s just waiting to cause your cat a problem. Remember, squid isn’t part of your cat’s natural diet, so it’s definitely not something necessary for their health.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Foodborne Illness

Though squid is sometimes consumed raw in the form of sushi, it’s never a good idea to feed it to your cats this way. Raw seafood, squid included, can cause foodborne illnesses like salmonella or Vibrio vulnificus.

Choking

Even if you prepare your cat’s squid boiled and without seasonings, it’s still going to be rubbery and chewy. This could present a choking hazard for your cat who’s never encountered such a texture before.

Fried with Seasonings and Oil

In America, calamari is the most common way to serve squid. Calamari is fried and seasoned. Obviously, fried food is not healthy for your cat. It’s not healthy for humans either, but we can make our own decisions. Beyond the fried factor, calamari is covered in seasonings; some of which could be harmful to your cat, such as onion or garlic.

grilled squids
Image Credit: Pixabay

They Might Not Want Regular Cat Food

When you feed your cat something new and exotic, there’s always the possibility that it loves the new food too much and will refuse to eat its regular cat food. While this is possible with any food, cats’ affinity for seafood is well known, and you could be setting your cat up for a squid addiction.

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Are There Benefits to Feeding Your Cat Squid?

Squid doesn’t really possess anything that could be beneficial for your cat, except for zinc. Squids are full of zinc; a mineral that’s essential for your cat’s health. Granted, too much zinc can be detrimental, though eating a bit of squid isn’t likely to overload your cat with squid. And aside from this one minor benefit, squid doesn’t really have much to offer your feline.

cat eating dried squid
Image Credit: Anciens-Huang, Shutterstock

Healthier Alternatives to Squid

Your cat loves seafood and you want to offer it a treat that it will love. Squid’s off the menu, but that doesn’t mean seafood has to go entirely. There are plenty of seafood alternatives that are safe for your feline. For instance, shrimp and salmon are both great foods to offer your cat that are similar to squid but don’t pose any health risks. Of course, you don’t have to prepare these fish yourself; many cat foods exist with similar seafoods listed as the primary ingredient and your cat won’t know the difference if you buy its treat instead of cooking it yourself!

How Cats Can Eat Squid

If you’re dead-set on feeding your feline some squid, then the best way to do so is by boiling the squid plain. No spices or seasonings should be added as these can be unsafe for your cat. Once boiled, make sure you cut the squid into sufficiently tiny pieces to ensure your cat doesn’t choke on the chewy texture.

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Conclusion

Squid isn’t toxic or poisonous for cats, but it’s still not a great dietary choice. When served undercooked, squid poses risk of foodborne illness. Served as calamari, this fried and seasoned food could be toxic for your feline or at least contribute to weight gain. Alternatives such as salmon and shrimp are much safer, though you can offer squid to your cat if it’s boiled and free of seasonings or flavors.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay