Since cats are so flexible, it’s not uncommon for them to eat different types of mussels.
Some species Naturally detoxify their mussel snacks by filtering out the unwanted shellfish, and they don’t affect the taste or texture of theAVCI-approved Mussel Bark from Petsmart.
You can rest assured that your feline friends will happily consume your secret ingredient – just make sure you keep it stored away away from the water.
So, can cats eat mussels? Cats are very flexible when it comes to their food preferences.
There are some species which naturally detoxify their mussel snacks by filtering out the unwanted shellfish, and they don’t affect the taste or texture of the mussels at all. Let’s dive in.
What Are Mussels?
Mussels are fresh or saltwater bivalves that are simple to obtain and an ideal seafood option for a cat’s diet.
Most cat owners choose to feed their felines mussels because They are high in protein, low in fat and rich in minerals like copper, zinc and manganese.
In their raw form, they are also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for your cat’s coat and circulatory system.
There are also no known risks to your cat when consuming mussels in its raw form, so fret not!
In fact, many veterinarians often recommend them as a treat for their patients.
This occurs because cats often outgrow their tendency to vomit when consuming the shellfish.
Can Cats Eat Mussels?
Mussels are good for cats since they are high In protein (19 – 25%) and low in fat (1-12%).
Apart from its protein content, mussels also contain a lot of beneficial nutrients for cats like potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
These nutrients also contribute to the growth and health of your cat’s bones, muscles, nervous system and bones.
Moreover, omega 3 fatty acids are also present in this mussel treat which helps keep the cat’s fur shiny and maintains healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
However, even though cats are naturally attracted to them, you should not feed your felines mussels raw or uncooked as it contains enzymes which could cause the shellfish to burst open in the stomach and cause choking and vomiting.
Other types of cooked mussels are also not recommended for cats since it might cause them to develop food allergies.
Are Mussels Healthy for Cats?
Mussels may be beneficial to your feline friend.
They’re a good source of vitamins, protein, and selenium and contain Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to your cat’s overall health as well as skin and coat.
However, it is still not possible to be 100% sure that these shellfish are safe for cats to eat since only a little information has been gathered from research available.
However, this does not mean that you should not feed your felines mussels since even veterinarians recommend it as a good treat from time to time.
If you’re still worried about whether or not it is safe to feed mussels to your cat, then you could always go for those canned or freeze-dried varieties which are surely cat safe.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t give your cats the cooked variety (raw or uncooked) of mussels even if they are safe foods for human beings.
They may carry parasites or harmful microorganisms that cause food poisoning or infection when ingested.
If your cat has eaten raw mussels, you should bring him/her to the nearest vet for a thorough check-up.
Keep sauces and other spices out of the mussels you feed your cat as well.
Health Benefits of Mussels For Cats
A Low-Calorie Choice
Some cats gain weight as they grow older, but this is not a reflection of their health status.
Mussels are a low-calorie treat that you can give to your cat in order to keep him/her healthy.
Mussels have an average of eight calories per one-ounce serving while a shrimp patty has just twenty-five calories in the same serving.
Vitamins and Minerals
A 6-ounce amount of mussel is reported to have more calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron than a single serving of broiled beef steak.
Magnesium and Selenium Both magnesium and selenium are required for optimum functioning of your cat’s immune system.
Magnesium helps with calcium absorption and also reduces blood pressure levels while selenium helps in preventing cancer and other illnesses.
Necessary Fat Requirement
Mussels have a high healthy fat content that make them an important food choice for cats that are fed a low-calorie diet or those that suffer from a deficiency in essential fatty acids.
Lipids are essential because they provide energy, help produce hormones and act as structural components of cell membranes.
Mussels contain two types of these acids; two omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA and two omega-6 fatty acids called GLA and AA.
These two should be part of your kitty’s diet because they are necessary for proper body development.
They’re rich in protein, with 20% of the weight of the mussel consisting of protein.
The protein in the meat is also highly digestible, so very little is wasted of it passes through the digestive tract undigested.
You may also give them mussels that give you omega 3 fatty acids that is good for our cardiovascular health.
How Often Can I Feed My Cat Mussels?
Mussels are an excellent source of protein, and an excellent alternative to fish for cats that have a sensitivity to fish protein.
They are unlikely to provide all of the nutrients your cat needs, so they should be fed in conjunction with a complete cat food or in conjunction with cooked meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
However, you may feed your cats mussels daily but I would advise that you do it once or twice a week to prevent some tummy troubles to your cats.
Mussels should be added to your pets diet in very small amounts because of their high fat content but since they are low in sodium and high in minerals, they can be safely fed to a cat on a low sodium diet.
Avoid overfeeding your furry feline friend with mussels because of the high oil content because they may cause upset stomach and diarrhea to your pet.
At a time, give your cat a maximum of six mussels because more than this may cause diarrhea or even food poisoning to your cat.
To compensate, offer your cat a bit food as reward for eating his mussels and follow this routine for a week or two until they get used to it.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Minnows?
So, can cats eat mussels? Cats are very flexible when it comes to their food preferences so there’s a good chance that your pet will enjoy eating mussels too!
In addition , they’re low in fat and high in nutrients like selenium and omega 3 fatty acids, so it’s no wonder that many veterinarians recommend feeding them to our patients as a treat!
It’s also worth mentioning that most canned mussels are completely safe for your feline friend to eat – choose those which are low in sodium and high in essential Omega 3 fatty acids and minerals for example.
However, you should also know that you shouldn’t feed them to your kitty in large proportions.
Because this can cause digestive upsets or food poisoning – make sure you feed them small amounts at first until they are used to the taste.