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Can Cats Eat Scallops (Raw, Cooked)?

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

They say cats love fish, but what other seafood do they eat? If you are looking to try a new seafood dish for your furry feline, see if they love scallops.

Squishy and tender, scallops could be the next seafood that your cat may love if you give them a try.

Cats can consume scallops in moderation, but they must be cooked thoroughly and not eaten raw.

Learn how to properly feed scallops to your cat as well as other seafood they may enjoy.

Can cats eat scallops

Can cats eat raw scallops?

Since raw scallops carry salmonella and other metals, especially if they are found in dirty ocean water, it is not advisable to feed your cat raw scallops.

From our observation, metals including cadmium, lead, or arsenic may linger in raw scallops if not properly washed off and cooked thoroughly before giving to your cat.

There is a chance that raw scallops could also carry thiaminase which is responsible for causing foodborne illnesses for cats.

Take careful care when treating and cleaning raw scallops before cooking them to avoid possible shellfish poisoning in your cat.

Can cats eat cooked scallops?

cooked scallops
Cooked Scallops

Yes, cats can eat cooked scallops. However, there are some precautions to take so that your furry feline can enjoy them.

While humans cook their scallops with butter, garlic, pepper, and other herbs and seasonings, cats cannot have these substances as they are harmful to them.

If you add garlic or shallots or another type of onion to the scallops, it could attack your cat’s red blood cells and cause them to contract anaemia.

All the additions to cooking scallops are delicious for humans, but you must think of what your cat needs and not what will taste good for you as the owner.

To cook safe and delicious scallops that your cats will love to try as well be safe, follow these steps:

  1. Grab a regular cooking pan and put it on your stove.
  2. Put the heat on high and preheat the pan.
  3. Get your raw scallops from the refrigerator.
  4. Once the pan is preheated, place the raw scallops inside for them to start searing.
  5. Turn over every minute or so for an even sear.
  6. Be sure to cook the scallops at least for 4-5 minutes total so that they are well done and safe for your cat to consume. 
  7. Use a cooking thermometer to be sure your scallops are cooked thoroughly.

According to Cook’s Illustrated, your scallops should have a core temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit to be fully cooked. Considering seared scallops are cooked on high heat, the carryover heat may make your scallops anywhere between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hence, be sure you have a cooking thermometer on hand if you plan to feed your cat’s scallops to reassure them that they are cooked thoroughly.

Feeding your cat scallops once or twice a week in small portions is beneficial to their health. WebMD states that scallops are made up of 80% protein and have a low-fat content, which makes them not only healthy for humans but felines as well.

What seafood is bad for cats?

Since most salmon in commercially canned food for humans and cats are farm-raised, this means that there is more chance for toxins that are lingering in the fish.

Canned salmon for humans has too much salt and preservatives that could hinder a cat’s digestive system from properly functioning.

Since we think that cats like fish, you may want to feed your cat canned salmon if you are not using it. However, think twice about doing this so that the extra salt and preservatives do not harm your cat.

Even canned cat food that contains salmon should not be something that you feed your cat because of the toxins from the fish being farm-raised.

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products blog about feeding fish to your cat states that you should not feed your feline tuna or tilefish.

The overly high mercury levels in tuna could harm your cat. It is also a very addictive fish to many cats, and some may become so picky that they do not want to eat anything else given to them.

Tilefish are known as ocean whitefish on commercially canned fish for humans and on cat food.

The FDA recommends women who can become pregnant and young kids should not consume tilefish because it is very toxic to the human body. Ocean whitefish is equally toxic for your feline as well.

If fish is in canned cat food, there is a higher chance of your feline being exposed to phosphorus and magnesium which could trigger urinary tract infections or even kidney disease.

What seafood can cats eat?

Even though tuna and salmon are bad for your cats to eat in too high of portions, they are also safe seafood to eat as long as it is in moderation.

Rather than feed your cats commercially canned cat food that contains farm-raised fish, consider preparing fresh fish for them so that it is healthier with less chance of metals and toxins in them.

If you want to feed your cat salmon, this would be more beneficial than feeding your cat tuna because there are lower amounts of mercury in salmon than in tuna.

It’s also safe for your cats to consume fish bones because a cat’s digestive system is designed to consume them because they are high in calcium. Be sure to remove the bones out of freshly cooked fish before letting your cat feast on them.

Cats should consume chicken, beef, and other sources of meat protein as the basis of their diet so that they do not get too addicted to the fish.

Sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12, which are healthy for your feline’s overall health and wellness.

Cat foods that have fish oils added to them are the best for your cat. They give the feline the protein it needs without too much of the fish that could be too high in mercury or metals.

About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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