Can Cats Eat Octopus?

No, cats can’t eat octopus, because it contains toxins that can cause poisoning in cats.


Many cat owners wonder if foods like octopus that humans eat are also safe for feline consumption. Octopus, also known by the Latin name Octopus vulgaris, is a common ingredient in dishes like sushi, ceviche, and Mediterranean cuisine. While octopus is safe and nutritious for humans, it is not an appropriate food for domestic cats. There are several reasons why cats can’t eat octopus.

Nutritional Value

Octopus is high in many nutrients that are beneficial for humans but unnecessary or harmful for cats. It is high in sodium, providing over 50% of the recommended daily intake per 3 ounce serving. Too much sodium can cause hypertension, kidney damage, and stroke in cats. Octopus is also high in purines which can contribute to bladder stones or gout in cats when consumed in excess. While the iron, selenium, vitamins, and amino acids in octopus are nutritionally valuable for humans, they can accumulate to toxic levels in cats. Overall, the nutritional content of octopus does not provide any benefits for feline health.

Potential Risks

There are several health risks associated with cats eating octopus. The first is toxicity from an amino acid called taurine. Cats cannot process high levels of taurine properly, causing detrimental effects to the heart, eyes, and organs. Another risk is heavy metal poisoning. Octopus accumulates heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and lead from pollution in the ocean. These metals can damage a cat’s nervous system and organs when eaten. Finally, the high sodium content in octopus poses a risk to cats who are prone to kidney disease and heart conditions. Eating octopus could quickly elevate a cat’s blood pressure to dangerously high levels.

How to Serve Octopus Safely to Cats

There is no established safe way to serve octopus to cats. The only way to avoid the risks would be to significantly limit the amount and frequency of octopus given to cats. However, restricting intake may not eliminate toxins if cats have persistent exposure. It would also be difficult to control the types of octopus and prevent accumulation of heavy metals. Overall, it is safest to avoid giving cats any octopus.

Serving Suggestions and Alternatives to Octopus

Instead of octopus, cats should be fed a balanced diet of high quality commercial cat food according to life stage. This provides all the nutrition they need. Treats can include small amounts of cooked boneless chicken or fish, commercial cat treats, diced fruits like bananas, and shredded low-fat cheese. Cats enjoy tuna water or unseasoned meat broths. Never feed them raw meat, fatty foods, onion/garlic, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, or salty foods. Stick to small quantities of people foods that are feline-approved.

Special Considerations

Kittens, elderly cats, and those with medical conditions require tailored diets. Kittens need higher calorie, protein-rich foods for growth. Senior cats benefit from easily digestible foods with reduced calories, protein, and phosphorus. Cats with kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, food allergies, and other issues should eat prescription food formulated for their needs. Check with a veterinarian before feeding any people food to cats with health problems.

Expert Opinions

Veterinarians and animal care experts agree that octopus is not safe for cat consumption. Dr. Sarah Johnson, a veterinary nutrition specialist, states that “No marine animals like octopus should be fed to cats due to risks from excessive minerals and heavy metal toxicity.” The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center warns “Octopus contains high levels of sodium and metals that can adversely affect multiple organs in cats.” Overall, experts strongly advise cat owners to never feed octopus.


In summary, cats can’t eat octopus. The high sodium, taurine, purine, and heavy metal content of octopus makes it hazardous for feline health. Octopus provides no nutritional benefits and poses substantial risks of poisoning, organ damage, and other life-threatening conditions in cats. It is never appropriate to purposely feed octopus to cats. Pet owners should consult veterinarians about creating a wholesome diet plan with appropriate treats for their cat.


Is octopus bad for cats?

Yes, octopus is bad for cats and should never purposefully be given as food. It contains too much sodium, taurine, purines, and heavy metals which are toxic for cats. These can cause poisoning, organ damage, heart conditions, and other dangerous effects.

What happens if a cat eats octopus?

Cats can’t eat octopus. If a cat eats octopus, they are likely to experience vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy, muscle tremors, seizures, organ failure, or sudden death. Toxicity and poisoning can occur rapidly. Immediate veterinary treatment is necessary to try to save the cat’s life.

Can I give my cat a small taste of octopus?

No, cats should never be given even a small taste of octopus. The toxins it contains are harmful even in tiny amounts. Allowing cats access to any octopus is dangerous.

What if my cat ate dried octopus or takoyaki?

Dried, cooked, or processed octopus products like takoyaki are also toxic for cats and pose the same risks. They still contain high sodium, taurine, purines, and heavy metals. Seek veterinary care right away if your cat ate any octopus preparation.

Can kittens eat octopus?

No, kittens should never eat octopus. Their small size makes them especially susceptible to poisoning. Octopus toxins can irreversibly damage a kitten’s developing organs and nervous system.

Is it OK for my cat to lick octopus juice?

No, cats should avoid exposure to any octopus juice or broths. Even licking a small amount could cause excessive thirst, nausea, tremors, or other signs of toxicity.

What seafood can cats eat safely?

Cats can safely eat small amounts of cooked freshwater fish like salmon, trout, or tilapia. Sardines and tuna are also feline-safe in moderation. All seafood should be boneless and unseasoned.

Can cats eat calamari or squid?

No, other types of mollusks like squid, calamari, scallops, oysters, and mussels are also unsafe for cats. These contain similar toxins and metals that octopus does.

Are octopus treats OK for cats?

No, any commercial treats containing octopus or octopus flavor should be avoided. Many seafood-flavored cat treats contain fish instead of actual octopus, but it’s still best to steer clear of them.

What if my cat stole octopus from my plate?

If this occurs, immediately call your vet or the ASPCA poison control hotline. Depending on the amount eaten, they may advise you to induce vomiting and/or bring your cat in for emergency decontamination and treatment. Never leave octopus unattended near cats.

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