Abalone is an edible shellfish that has a shiny substance called mother-of-pearl inside its shell. It can also be called sea snail, mostly found in Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, one of the most rated and highly expensive meat out there. It can be eaten raw, sold with the shell canned, or frozen. But can cats eat abalone? This is a very important question that you need to know the answer to before you give abalone as a treat to your pet. Keep reading for the answer you seek is right there in the next few paragraphs.
What Is Abalone?
Abalones are marine snails that contain only one genus known as Haliotis, they belong to the animal family of Haliotidae, which has over 100 species recognized worldwide, and the size ranges from 5 to 10 inches.
The shells of abalones have a low, open spiral structure, and near the shell’s outer edge, you will find several open respiratory pores lined up in a row. It has a single shell on top and while eating Algae uses its large foot to cling to rocks. The thick inner layer of the shell is made of nacre, which is highly iridescent in many species, giving way to a range of strong and attractive changeable colors that attracts people to it.
It has strict harvesting regulations placed on it, with special preparation processes before eating, all these factors made it more special and expensive but people still believe that the whole stress is worth it.
Is Abalone Safe For Cats?
Cats require protein to survive as obligate carnivores they are, abalone is proteinous but feeding cats with abalone involves some risks. As an animal that lives in salty water, abalone is already contaminated with mercury which is highly toxic to cats. Secondly, abalone can be prepared with some ingredients that can be toxic to cats including garlic, butter, onion, and the rest.
Your cat can eat abalone if only it will be in moderation, a once-in-a-while treat, and then to be on the safer side you have to prepare it from scratch, this way you will decide the rightful ingredients to add and the ones to avoid. But avoid it entirely if you know your cat is allergic to seafood, and if mistakenly they take abalone without your guidance, kindly report to the vet immediately before it results in cat poisoning.
What Is Abalone Used For?
Aside from the fact that it has an extremely rich, flavored, and highly rated meat that people considered a special delicacy, Abalone has been harvested worldwide for centuries as a source of food and items used for decorations. The claw-like pearls and nacre together with the shells have been used as jewelry.
Do Cats Like Abalone?
Cats love meat, and if you don’t guide them they won’t know what’s good and what’s not. Without the shell, abalone looks quite enticing and this could be enough reason for attraction. Leave it in the shell and they might not be too interested but they will grab a bite once opened.
Abalone is a highly-rated meat that is loved by most people across the world, it has a butter-like salty flavor that cats will love to have, but this doesn’t change the fact that abalone is not good for cats, so you had better keep it very far away from them to avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Health Benefits Of Abalone
Abalone is a high sort-after seafood that is highly delicious and nutritious. Its nutritional benefits include improving appetite, eyes improvement, strengthening the immune system, and an overall great source of nutrition. It is a low-fat, high-protein kind of food with free cholesterol, and possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial properties in them.
Boosts Immune System
Researchers concluded that omega- 3 fatty acids found in abalone could be of high benefit because they boost the immune system, by boosting the activity of a white blood cell known as B cell.
Keeps The Liver Sound
Abalone supports the metabolic functions of the liver and prevents the liver from any damage caused by regular or excessive alcohol consumption, this is achieved by boosting the detoxifying power of the liver.
Because of the ability of abalone to support various metabolic functions of the body, it has been used in the making of most detox diets. The possession of both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties helps abalone in preventing fat accumulation by maintaining metabolic equilibrium.
Prevents Joint Pain
Abalone supports joint mobility and promotes connective tissues, and healthy joints because it is highly rich in glycosaminoglycans which helps to reduce inflammation and pains from arthritis, whereas joint injuries are common diseases that can lead to serious disability.
Abalone brings about the death of necrosis and tumor cells because it has anti-cancer properties in it, according to researchers.
Manages Thyroid Functions
Abalone provides copper which helps boost hormones and improve metabolic functions by restoring thyroid functions. It takes thyroid hormones for tissues like the central nervous system to have normal growth and development, and abalone has a high amount of iodine which helps in the function of the thyroid gland.
Keeps Bones Healthy
Abalone is beneficial to our bone health, it contains a high amount of phosphorus and calcium which helps in keeping the bones healthy by improving bone density.
Abalone Side Effects
That everyone has been singing praises for abalone because of its nutritional value doesn’t mean it does not have its side effect when abused. Below are some of the side effects or risks involved in consuming abalone.
High levels of mercury in the body can lead to kidney damage, impaired sensations, breathing difficulties, mood swings, muscle weakness and twitching, headaches, tremors, and sleeping difficulties. Other side effects include:
• Food Poisoning can occur
• Risks of memory loss
• Dioxin contamination
• Liver damage
• Bacteria contamination
• High blood pressure
Symptoms and how effective these side effects can be varies from one person to the other, it depends majorly on the quantity of abalone you ate and also how strong your immune system is in fighting a foreign body that enters your system.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Abalone?
Most cats are believed to be allergic to seafood and abalone happens to be one of them, so you have to take action immediately. If you are very sure your cat ate abalone the first thing you need to do is to call a veterinary doctor and then follow his guidance step by step.
But in a situation whereby you couldn’t reach the vet because of any reason at all, you will need to start monitoring your cat to know if it is developing any symptoms of abalone as listed above and take it to the vet immediately after you observe any. Cat allergies are always a serious one and they should be approached with the utmost importance.
What Is So Special About Abalone?
It has an extremely rich flavor and highly prized meat that is considered a culinary delicacy. The arrangement of tentacles, colors, and patterns on its epipodium is unique to each species of abalone.
Interestingly, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work just to get one large abalone because they usually only appear on the seafloor, which means that a professional driver has to drive deep into the waters to find and pick them, they only stay down there because of the weight of their hard-heavy shells.
Do Abalone Lay Eggs?
Yes, they do, abalone reproduce by broadcast spawning, releasing their eggs and sperm into the water through the open holes in their shells. Fertilized eggs hatch into larvae, settle down, and grow into juveniles and adults. The best result is produced during fertilization when groups of adult male and female abalone are close to each other when they spawn.
What Parts Of Abalone Are Edible?
Just about all of it is edible, except the viscera known as the guts, the black edges, and the tough outer skin (shell) that are removed.
Abalone is a nutrients-packed delicious kind of food for man, a cat can taste it too but only you can let them have a bite once in every long while, or just avoid it entirely if you know you can’t abide by the once-in-a-while instruction to avoid poisoning.