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Can Cats Eat Lobster? What You Need to Know!

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

lobster tail

It’s nice to treat ourselves to a surf ‘n’ turf dinner occasionally, and sometimes the temptation to give our cats a bite of succulent lobster is too big to ignore. You already know that cats tend to like seafood, so you can’t imagine that they wouldn’t like lobster, right? Before feeding lobster to your cat, you must ask yourself if giving them lobster is safe.

Cats can eat lobster but only under a few conditions. First, it has to be safely cooked. This means that the lobster meat is plain without any seasoning. Second, it is only okay to feed lobster to cats in small amounts. Too much of it could lead to an unbalanced diet.

Is Lobster a Safe Food for Cats?

Lobster is safe for cats to eat in moderation. Cats enjoy many different seafood flavors, such as shrimp, salmon, and tuna. Still, you might not know if lobster is safe for them. Lobster is an excellent protein source if you are trying to add a little more seafood to your pet’s diet. However, too much seafood alone will not be enough to sustain them and won’t give them all the nutrients that they need to survive. Treat lobster more like a treat than as a daily food source.

Keep in mind that just because lobster is safe for cats in general, there are some cats that have a seafood allergy, and you might need to avoid giving this crustacean to some cats. If you’re unsure about whether your furry friend has this allergy, consult your local vet before giving them any seafood, not just lobster.

Is Raw Lobster Safe for Cats?

Never feed your cat raw lobster. Lobsters must be cooked first to avoid spreading dangerous bacteria and parasites to your pets. We know what you’re thinking— if I can eat raw sushi, then why can’t my cat eat raw seafood? A lot of us have this idea in our heads that all cats have an instinct to hunt, kill, and eat raw fish. This may be true for some specialized hunters amongst our pets, but it is not commonplace.  Domestic cats are descended from desert cats who had little exposure to fish.

Raw seafood poses some serious health issues. Raw crayfish, crabs and lobster can carry a parasite called Paragonimus, lung fluke, which can be passed on to cats. Cats eating lobster contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella or Vibrio could experience severe stomach pains and other digestive problems due to the bacteria in the shellfish. Avoid making your cat sick and always cook the lobster thoroughly before feeding it to your fur babies.

The Safe Way to Feed Lobster to Cats

We mentioned before that cooking lobster is crucial if you’re feeding it to your cat. It’s very important to remember that certain spices or too much butter could cause health issues. If you insist on giving your cat lobster, do not cook it with anything else. The lobster meat needs to be plain and cooked all the way through. Salt and pepper aren’t even a good idea if you want to avoid diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Are Lobster Shells Safe for Cats?

Even though the meat of the lobster is safe for cats, the shells are not. Lobster shells can be really sharp. Your cat might have some sharp teeth that you think can easily break through the shell, but they aren’t going to be able to chew it properly before swallowing. These sharp pieces can easily pierce your cat’s gums, mouth, throat, or esophagus. It could also lead to choking and cause pain while you try to remove the pieces from their mouth.

Sometimes lobster is served inside the shell, but this is only to make it look fancy on a plate. The safest way to feed it to your cat is to give them small pieces of meat inside their bowl. Before serving it, wash your hands and sort through the flesh to ensure no small, sharp parts of the shell are still in it. If your cat does accidentally eat some shell, you don’t need to worry about it being toxic, but you should keep an eye on them to ensure that they aren’t having any discomfort while it digests over the next couple of days.

Cat Eat Lobster
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Does Lobster Have Health Benefits?

One great thing about lobster is all the amino acids in it. Not only does lobster taste delicious to your cats, but these amino acids help to build proteins in the body. It is also low in carbohydrates. Lobster meat also has many vitamins that are beneficial for cats, like phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. 

Final Thoughts

Most of us go through life believing that cats and seafood go together. This is only partially true. While cats do enjoy seafood, there are safe and unsafe ways to serve it to them. A few bites of plain, cooked lobster meat make a wonderful snack for your kitty, and they’re going to love you even more for giving them the opportunity to eat it. If they really can’t get enough, you might even consider switching their daily kibble to a seafood flavor instead of the traditional chicken or turkey flavors.

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Featured Image Credit: Tara Turkington, Shutterstock

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