Can Cats Eat Crab? Let Us Find Out


by Cindy Smith


Are you curious to know if cats can eat crab? Of course, crustaceans, including crabs, can make an attractive and potentially nutritious snack for cats.

But can cats eat crab? This article will discuss the nutritional benefits and risks of feeding your cat crab. 

Table of Contents

Can Cats Eat Crab?

A crab.

A crab.

Cats can eat crab – the meat is rich in many nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, don’t substitute crab meat with regular cat food.

Crab is seafood and contains heavy metals, which can build up in your cat’s body over time and cause health issues.

Consequently, give your cat crab in moderation, usually as an occasional treat. Also, cook the crab first; raw crab contains parasites and bacteria that can poison your cat.

Furthermore, ensure your cat isn’t allergic to seafood before giving it crab meat – consider consulting your vet for the same.

Cats that are allergic to crabs might experience symptoms such as itching, coughing, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and inflamed skin.

In this case, take your kitty to the vet immediately.

Can Cats Eat Crab Shell?

A crab with a shell.

A crab with a shell.

No, cats can’t eat crab shells. The shells are rock-hard and might choke your cat or damage its digestive system.

Also, most cats have sensitive teeth and can’t chew overly hard food. Yet, some people believe that crab shell has Vitamin B, which is nutritious for cats.

With this in mind, you may feed your cat crab shell once in a while. Crush the shell into small pieces first, and monitor the entire feeding process.

In case your cat ingests crab shells, call the vet immediately.

Can Cats Eat Imitation Crab?

Chopped imitation crab meat.

Chopped imitation crab meat.

Yes, cats can eat imitation crab. The main ingredient in imitation crab is surimi – pasted fish.

Moreover, it contains almost similar nutrients as actual crab meat, although in low concentrations. Also, it is lower in mercury, carbs, and cholesterol.

Still, feed your cat imitation crab in moderation; excessive amounts could cause health issues.

On the same note, imitation crab contains several artificial additives, including salt, sugar, starch, and phosphorus.

That explains why you should not substitute imitation crab with real cat food.

How to Feed An Imitation Crab to Your Cat Properly?

Note: don’t feed your cat the whole crab. Break it into smaller pieces, so it doesn’t choke your kitty, and serve one piece at a time.

It’s just that imitation crab contains sodium bisulfate and can be toxic to cats in high concentrations.

The compound can also damage red blood cells and cause life-threatening conditions, including methemoglobinemia.

So, here are ways to feed your cat imitation crab so the pet won’t ingest anything harmful.

  • Make a fish broth

Add canned tuna fish into a potful of water.

Next, boil the contents, letting them simmer for a few minutes. Then add imitation crab per serving size. Finally, let it cool, and feed it to your cat.

  • Make a quick sandwich.
Crab meat sandwich ingredients.

Crab meat sandwich ingredients.

Slice bread into squares with bits of crust. Then, add mayonnaise, imitation crab meat, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Next, toast the pieces (with butter or margarine) over low-to-medium heat. Let it cool before giving it to your cat.

  • Use breaded fish sticks.
Breaded fish sticks with coleslaw and tartar sauce are on a serving plate.

Breaded fish sticks with coleslaw and tartar sauce are on a serving plate.

Serve your kitty imitation crab meat with breaded fish sticks. You can purchase the fish sticks from your local grocery store. 

Can Cats Eat Canned Crab Meat?

Canned crab meat.

Canned crab meat.

No, cats can’t eat typical canned crab meat as it’s packed in salted water. Yet, salt contains sodium, which can be unhealthy (and fatal) to cats in excessive amounts.

Furthermore, canned crab contains preservatives that may be toxic to your cat’s digestive system.

Note: it’s not easy to find cat-friendly canned crab meat – plain, unseasoned, and without added ingredients.

If you find canned crab meat that ticks all of these boxes, you can safely give it to your cat in moderation. Never substitute it with real cat food.


Cats can eat cooked crab in moderation, provided the seafood is void of seasonings or sauces. For more information about cats and crab meat, contact us today.