Can Cats Eat Lobster, Oyster, Mussels and other Shellfish?

Shellfish refers to “exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoderms,” notes Wikipedia.

We have already looked at crabs, prawns, and shrimp individually. We will be focusing on the following:


Lobsters are a common seafood delicacy whose common dishes include Ginataang sugpo, lobster bisque, Newberg, rolls, stew, and Thermidor.

These large crustaceans are a source of protein and fats with some small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. They also have other nutrients including vitamin A, calcium, iron, selenium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin E, among others.

Can cats eat lobsters
Can cats eat lobsters?

Can cats eat lobsters? Yes. Cats can eat lobsters in moderation or in small quantities occasionally. Once or twice a week will be ok unless you go for commercial brands like the Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Wet Chicken & Lobster Pate.

They are quite nutritious considering their nutritional profile. However, they should not replace the normal diets for your cats or even weaned kittens since they are not nutritionally complete. Your feline will end up with deficiencies.

When giving your kitties lobsters, go for cooked ones to ensure they do not have any additives such as sauce, garlic, onion, salt, preservatives and so on.

Finally, although cats will love to eat raw ones, most seafood has parasites as well as some disease-causing germs. This makes it necessary to have them cooked.


Squids are cephalopods with a long body, eight arms, two tentacles, and large eyes. They form part of cuisines found in places such as Asian, Middle East, Europe, North America among other places.

Can cats eat squid
Can cats eat squid?

They can be fried, dried and shredded, served with source, eaten raw or used in sushi, sashimi, tempura, and so on.

Nutritionally, they have protein, some carbs, fats, vitamin B12, vitamin A, E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, choline as well as mineral such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, selenium, manganese among others.

Can cats eat squid? The answer is yes. However, they should have them in moderation or as an occasional snack.

While they are not toxic but nutritionally unbalanced and cannot replace normal feline diet as they some nutrients in their required levels.

Secondly, go for only plain cooked without any seasonings, oil, or any other additive and when serving, cut it into small slices to make eating easy and avoid choking hazards because it becomes rubbery when cooked.

Also, like lobsters, avoid raw (carry foodborne disease and parasites) or most of its dishes such as calamari or any other as they often have additives.

Finally, if you can get commercial feline foods with squid such as Monge Delicate Chicken with Squid Canned Cat Food, they should be ok.


Oysters are mollusks with hard shells with some of their species a delicacy in different parts of the world.

Can I give my kitties oysters
Can I give my kitties oysters?

They are low in calories, have proteins, fats, vitamin D, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin A as well as mineral such as zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, selenium, among areas.

Oysters also have a phenolic compound known as DHMBA which a very powerful antioxidant that ensures a healthy liver in human beings.

Can cats eat oysters? Yes. Cats can eat them in moderation or small amounts occasionally (as a small part of their diet). They are nutritious but do not contain all the nutrients required by these pets optimum, growth, development or adult maintenance.

Furthermore, raw oysters have been associated with enteroviruses and bacteria (vibrio). Also, oysters may have heavy metal contaminants such as mercury, cadmium, and lead.

Finally, avoid any that have additives. Instead, give your felines only the plain cooked ones.


Like oysters, mussels are bivalve mollusks that have been part oy human beings’ diets for ages. They live both in salt and freshwater with those in freshwater considered not palatable although still eaten in North America.

Should I give my cats mussels
Should I give my cats mussels?

Nutritionally, they have proteins, carbohydrates, and fats including omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). They are also a good source of selenium, manganese, vitamin B12, zinc, and folate. All these nutrients are vital for your cat.

Other nutrients they have are iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, niacin, thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin A, and C.

Can cats eat mussels? Yes. As the Honest Kitchen notes you should be “giving your pet a mussel as a treat or as a component of his meal.”They have minerals, vitamins, proteins, and essential fatty acids.

However, only give them plain cooked ones. Raw ones have thiaminase that will degrade thiamine leading to deficiencies. Also, raw mussels may be having parasites, bacteria and other pathogenic germs.

Finally, Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food Marbella Paella cat food and mussel bites such as PurePets New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs and Cats, and Fish4Cats Finest Tuna Fillet with Green Lipped Mussels are safe for these pets.


Scallops are also bivalve mollusks with some of their species a highly prized delicacy. They have a shell and meat (scallop). They can be grilled, fried, steamed, dried (conpoy), and so on.

Can cats eat scallops
Can cats eat scallops?

Can my cats have scallops? Yes. They can have them as a treat or a small portion of their diets occasionally. However, do not give them a complete meal as they are nutritionally lacking.

They are a good source of proteins, fats including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium. They also have iodine, choline among other nutrients.

Only give your cats cooked scallops as raw ones have thiaminase and can cause foodborne diseases.

Finally, they may have heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercy or lead as these metals often accumulate in them if they live in polluted waters.


Octopuses are soft-bodied cephalopods. Others that have a soft body are the squids, nautiloids, and cuttlefish. Several human cultures across Europe, Asia, some parts of Africa and in the United States find them a delicacy.

Can cats eat octopus
Can cats eat octopus?

Can you give your cat some of your octopus? Yes. Kitties can eat octopus as a snack or treat or a small part of their diet occasionally.

Your cat will get proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, B12, vitamin C and vitamin C. Octopuses also have iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, just but to mention.

However, octopuses should never be a diet replacement since they don’t have all the nutrients that cats need.

Finally, only give your felines cooked octopus as raw ones could be harboring parasites, bacteria and other germs.

Possible risks of this seafood

Besides the risks we have mentioned individually, there are some common risks associated with the above seafood that include:

a). Allergic reactions

All these seafood present a risk of causing allergic reactions. Check for signs as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upsets, itchiness, among others.

b). Raw ones contain thiaminase

We do not recommend raw seafood due to foodborne disease risks. Additionally, all except oysters and short-bodied squids, the rest have thiaminase that will breakdown vitamin B1 or thiamine leading to deficiency symptoms.

See also

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