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Can Cats Eat Clams? What You Need to Know

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Cats Eat clams

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Tabitha Henson

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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If you’ve been a cat parent for a while, then you know that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a lot of protein in their diets and that most of that protein must come from meat. You also probably already know that there are very few cats that don’t go bonkers for seafood!

But what about clams? Can cats eat clams? The answer is yes, they can, but you don’t want to feed any feline a strictly seafood diet, and certainly not just clams.

In this article, we’ll look at everything you need to know about feeding your cat clams.

Can Cats Eat Clams?

Cats can certainly eat clams but clams don’t need to be a large part of their diet. It’s also best to avoid canned clams, and you’re going to feed your cat clams, make sure they are fresh and cooked properly. It’s never a good idea to feed any type of raw seafood to a cat, as it may contain potentially harmful bacteria and parasites that can make your furry friend very sick or worse.

Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

Are Clams Good for Cats?

The answer to this question is yes and no. While it’s not going to hurt your cat to eat clams occasionally, they are full of sodium, which isn’t the best substance for your cat. When feeding your cat clams, make sure they are fresh so they don’t have as much salt. If you’re going to feed him canned clams, make sure to wash the clams as well as possible to remove as much salt as you can.

While a small number of clams won’t hurt your cat, it’s best to avoid them because of the amount of sodium that they contain.

On the other hand, clams are rich in taurine, an amino acid that cats need, so a few clams can be a good thing from time to time.

What Are the Symptoms of Salt Toxicity in Cats?

There are several symptoms to look out for when it comes to your cat and a possible overdose of the sodium from clams, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Confusion
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

If your cat exhibits any of the symptoms above, it’s best to seek emergency veterinary care.

Can Cats Be Allergic to Clams?

As with any other food, it’s possible your cat could have a seafood allergy. If your cat has never had seafood or clams, it’s best to contact your vet before feeding it to them for the first time. If your cat has an adverse reaction to clams that you’ve fed them, call your vet right away. Seafood allergies can be just as dangerous to your cat as they can to a human, so make sure you take him to your vet as soon as possible.

Are There Any Benefits to Feeding Clams to Cats?

Even with all the warnings about not feeding too many clams to your cat, there are a few benefits to be had. Clams are a good source of taurine, and feeding them to your cat occasionally isn’t an entirely bad choice. In fact, a lack of taurine in your cat’s diet can lead to quite a few health problems, and while this doesn’t mean that you need to give your cat clams all the time, they can certainly be beneficial. Moderation is key, just as with every other food you feed your feline.

a tabby cat eating from a white bowl
Image Credit: Clari Massimiliano, Shutterstock

What is the Best Seafood for Cats?

While you can give your cat a few clams from time to time, you might be wondering what the best seafood for cats truly is. Salmon is said to be an excellent source of protein for your cat and they’ll certainly love it. However, as with any seafood, make sure to talk to your vet before feeding your cat fresh, cooked salmon.

It’s best for your cat to get the seafood they love and the vitamins and minerals they need from high-quality cat food. If you’re unsure of what the best cat food is for your feline pal, consult your vet. They’ll be able to tell you what the best seafood is for your feline, as well as some of the risks and benefits.

Final Thoughts

Cats certainly can eat clams occasionally, but too many clams may cause a sodium overload. Make sure to feed your cat clams only in moderation, never give them raw clams, and be sure to clean and cook them thoroughly before feeding them to your cat.

Featured Image Credit: zcw, Shutterstock

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