Can Dogs Or Cats Eat Kanikama Imitation Crab Sticks?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 2, 2022

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Kanikama are the imitation crab sticks you often see in sushi or other Asian dishes.

But what happens if your pet gets a hold of one?!?

There’s a reason you don’t want to feed kanikama to them, and I’ll tell you why in this article.

Can dogs eat kanikama

Kanikama imitation crab is not suitable for your dog or cat because it is high in salt, which could lead to immediate problems for your pet. Other ingredients like sugar could lead to problems down the line, but only if they eat them more often.

What’s in kanikama?

Kanikama is made from white fish meat, pounded into a thick paste after it has been cooked, and then processed further with additives and seasoning to make it taste like crab meat.

It’s made from steamed, poached, or grilled white fish so it doesn’t contain any raw fish. But is does contain shellfish like crab to get the right flavor.

It does also contain a lot of salt, sugar, egg whites, and other additives so people should eat kanikama in moderation as well.

Let’s look at if your pet can eat it.

Can cats eat kanikama imitation crab?

Cooked whitefish is great for cats, as long as it doesn’t have any added salt. Too much sodium isn’t good for your cat.

When they eat too much sodium, they can get hypernatremia (salt poisoning), which is a serious ailment and can even be fatal.

If your cat suffers from this, it usually starts as vomiting and will, in most cases also cause diarrhea and a loss of appetite.

So because kanikama contains a lot of salt, your cat shouldn’t be eating it.

There is only a small amount of sugar in it, so that shouldn’t be a problem here. Cats can eat a little bit of sugar, though it’s best to avoid it.

The egg whites shouldn’t be a problem because they have been cooked and so has the shellfish from crabs to get the crab flavor.

It isn’t beneficial for your cat, but eating crab meat is fine in small amounts.

Out of all of these ingredients, sodium is the real killer here. So you should not feed your cat kanikama, not even a little regularly.

What can I do if my cat ate a fish cake?

Kanikama imitation crab contains lot’s of sodium, so if your cat ate one, you have to give them enough water so they won’t dehydrate.

Also, watch out for the signs of salt poisoning to make sure it isn’t worse than it is, and consult a vet if needed.

If your cat starts vomiting and also gets diarrhea, it might be time to see if your vet can administer extra fluids.

Can dogs eat kanikama imitation crab?

Even though dogs tend to love imitation crab, it isn’t safe for them to eat. You shouldn’t feed your dog any at all.

Whitefish is great for dogs, and many dog food brands contain white fish to supplement the meat choices.

It’s the sodium in the imitation crab meat that your dog can’t eat. Since there is a lot of sodium in the kanikama, plus even more in the fish sauce used, it isn’t a great addition to your dog’s diet.

Salt poisoning can cause dehydration in your dog, which can even spread to the brain. Signs of severe dehydration are lethargy and even confusion.

Your dog can also experience muscle cramps and stiffness from the large amounts of sodium in their system.

The sugar in the kanikama isn’t all that bad for them if they ate one, but eating foods that contain added sugars, like these, could lead to weight gain if eaten regularly.

The egg whites are fine, they are cooked, and a little should not be an issue, and so are the shellfish or crab extracts used to flavor the paste.

Also read: can my dog eat chicharron pork rinds?

What should I do when my dog ate a kanikama crab stick?

Dogs usually are fine when eating one piece of kanikama. The slices in your sushi are probably pretty thin, so that shouldn’t be enough salt to cause serious immediate problems with your dog.

Still watch out for signs, though, and if your dog ate more than just a little piece, keep a close watch on him.

The sodium in kanikama could lead to dehydration, so make sure your dog has a large bowl of water he can access and perhaps try and make them drink as much as possible.

If they start showing signs of salt poisoning, being confused or overly tired with a loss of appetite, try calling a vet and see if anything else should be done to avoid severe dehydration.

Also read: can dogs and cats eat kamaboko?

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.