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Can Cats Eat Oysters? What You Need to Know!

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

fresh oysters

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Vet, MVZ

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

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Image: Pxfuel

We all know that our sweet kitties go gaga over seafood—so, it’s natural to wonder what they can snack on. Of course, you probably don’t want to know about oysters as a primary diet, but what about an occasional snack? The answer is yes, cats could eat oysters, but you have to take some precautions.

What Are Oysters?

Oysters are bivalve mollusks with irregular shells. When you think of an oyster, pearls or seafood dishes might come to mind. Oysters are both wild-caught and farmed for these purposes.

Oysters are typically prepared raw, though some are served cooked. While this might seem like a tasty treat your cat would enjoy, it could have negative consequences on your feline.

Oyster Nutrition Facts

Per 6 medium oysters

  • Calories: 175
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Cholesterol: 62 mg
  • Sodium: 367 mg
  • Potassium: 215 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Vitamin C: 3.3 mg
  • Iron: 6.1 mg
  • Magnesium: 18 mg
  • Calcium: 54,6 mg
  • Cobalamin: 25 mcg
oysters close up
Image: Pikist

Raw Oyster Bacteria

Often, oysters are served raw. While cats will be immediately drawn to their savory flavor and intense aroma, uncooked oysters carry a bacteria called vibrio vulnificus. If this bacterium gets into your cat’s intestinal tract, it can cause problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and even death.

Once an oyster is boiled, this bacterium dies rapidly.

If your cat gets into your seafood dinner when you aren’t aware, and the oysters where raw keep a close eye on your kitty. If you notice any sign of gastrointestinal infection vomit, diarrhea, or behavioral changes it is safer to visit the vet.

Oyster Closeup
Image Credit: jsbaw7160, pixabay

Seafood Allergies

In addition, certain kitties can be highly sensitive to shellfish. Like any other protein, a sensitivity or allergic reaction is another possible risk
While allergic reactions are often an annoyance, the reaction should pass and will not reappear as long as the cat is not ingesting oysters.

Oysters Aren’t All Bad

Although we don’t condone feeding your cat oysters in any way, it is a shame they can’t have them for a frequent snack. Oysters contain incredible components like omega-3 fatty acids and high protein. In fact, there are many benefits for humans who eat oysters. You can read more about that here.

Luckily, cats can reap the same benefits with perfectly safe foods you can offer them at home.

Oyster
Image Credit: jsbaw7160, Pixabay

What to Do If Your Cat Ate Oysters

There is no need to panic if your cat ate an oyster, especially if it was cooked. Keep the cat under close observation for a couple of hours and if you see any signs of physical discomfort or stress, gastrointestinal symptoms, or an allergic reaction, bring the cat to the vet. The vet can give you exact instructions based on your unique situation.

However, if your cat is already showing signs of discomfort, don’t hesitate to take them in for evaluation.

Cats + Oysters: Final Thoughts

Even though cats crave seafood, oysters should be taken with precautions and moderation. If they had a very tiny amount, and the oyster was cooked it likely won’t have any serious negative consequences.

-Related Read: Can Cats Eat Fish Bones? What You Need To Know!


Featured Image Credit: Pxfuel

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