Is it safe to serve my cat clams?

Yes, it is safe to treat your cat to clams, but only as an occasional treat and not as part of a regular diet. Clams are high in taurine, an essential amino acid needed by cats—but a clams-only regular meal results in an unbalanced diet. If you’re using canned, select brand low in sodium. Fresh clams are fine, too.

Many cats crave clams, so don’t be surprised if she starts begging when you eat that bowl of clam chowder—but don’t give it to her, as it could contain some ingredients harmful to her.

Sometimes, even a low-sodium clam juice is recommended to put on the cat’s food if she is experiencing renal failure and doesn’t have much appetite. Feline kidney disease, which occurs when the kidneys lose their ability to concentrate urine, is a common problem in older cats. The traditional approach used to be severely restricting protein–once almost universally recommended, but now there is some debate.

According to the Feline Chronic Renal Failure website, some believe that a low-protein diet contributes to weakness and muscle wasting, and they state that giving high-quality protein may be preferable to simply reducing overall protein. And, since many cats seem to find the commercial low-protein foods unappealing, getting them to eat can be a problem. The current consensus seems to be that keeping the cat’s food intake and body weight up is of paramount importance.

If your cat with kidney problems is reluctant to eat, there are techniques you can use to encourage it to take in vital nourishment—and one of them is to stir some clam juice into the food. These extra liquids will not only help to keep your cat hydrated, but will make the food more appealing

That said, any raw seafood carries some risk. Parasites, such as worms often infect fish and other types of seafood including clams, and these can affect cats and dogs as well as people.

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