Seaweed is eaten by a wide variety of herbivores. It’s a type of marine algae that consists of several nutrients useful to us as well. It’s a superfood that can be added to our regular diet either during meals or as a snack. But can cats eat seaweed as a part of their diet without experiencing any adverse effects?
Yes. It’s safe for cats to eat seaweed. Plain seaweed has no ingredient that is toxic to them. In fact, adding a small amount of seaweed to your cat’s diet can assist in easing some common stomach problems and digestion issues they face. Being a good source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, seaweed offers other health benefits as well.
So, there is no need to be concerned if your cat eats it either on purpose or by accident. Plus, since cats are carnivores by nature, it is highly unlikely for your cat to crave for it or raid your kitchen in search for seaweed snacks. She would prefer meat on any given day.
The sections below discuss some more facts that are important when it comes to feeding seaweed to cats. Always consult your vet if you are unsure about feeding something to your cat.
Health Benefits of Seaweed for Cats
Seaweed is not toxic to cats and can be a major source of nutrients for them. It’s also a key ingredient in kitty supplements. So, let’s look at the numerous health benefits it has to offer.
Helps Cats with Stomach and Digestion Issues
One of the most common problems that affect cats is stomach upset and indigestion. While there can be various reasons for an upset stomach, such as eating too fast, food sensitivities, and eating grass, among others, a little bit of seaweed can be a natural remedy to ease these problems.
Helps Overcome Fiber Deficiency in Cats
It is a good source of fiber, which can be beneficial for cats who lack it. A diet rich in fiber can help improve digestion, promote regular bowel movements, and prevent hairballs.
Fights Free Radicals (Cancer Causing Compounds)
It has antioxidant properties, which can help protect your cat’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radical damage can lead to various health problems, such as heart disease, and premature aging. It can also cause cancer in cats.
Certain seaweeds do, in fact, possess powerful cancer-fighting agents that researchers hope will eventually prove effective in the treatment of malignant tumors and leukemia in people. While dietary soy was long credited for the low rate of cancer in Japan, this indicator of robust health is now attributed to dietary seaweed.Credit: NOAA. What is seaweed?, 02/26/21.
Good for Cats with Itchy Skin
If your cat is scratching herself more than usual, it could be a sign of skin irritation. Itchy skin can also be a symptom of allergies. Adding a small amount of seaweed to your cat’s diet can help relieve the itchiness and prevent skin dryness thanks to the Omega-3 fatty acids.
Improves Coat Sheen and Texture
The nutrients present in seaweed can also improve the quality of your cat’s coat. It can make the coat softer, shinier, and less prone to tangles.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should consider adding seaweed to your cat’s diet. It’s a nutrient-rich food that can offer many health benefits.
Types of Seaweed that Can be Fed to Cats
Seaweed refers to thousands of species of marine plants and algae. Listed below are some of the most popular ones.
“Seaweed” is the common name for countless species of marine plants and algae that grow in the ocean as well as in rivers, lakes, and other water bodies.Credit: NOAA. What is seaweed?, 02/26/21.
It doesn’t matter which type of seaweed you buy from the health food store, just make sure it is good quality human grade seaweed.
The taste of seaweed may be different depending on the type of seaweed you choose. But the bioactive compounds in them are great for your cat’s heart health and intestinal health.
It’s a large brown seaweed. It is a rich source of Iron, Iodine, Magnesium, Folate, and Calcium.
Also known as Palmaria Palmata, Dulse is a red alga that is rich in potassium and iodine.
This is also a red alga that contains potassium and aids in clearing skin defects.
This is also a part of the red alga, and it has a large content of calcium.
Found mostly in East Asia, Kombu is a very nutritious seaweed with a mushroom like flavor. It’s high in glutamic acid.
This is a very sweet seaweed. It can be used in soups and salads. It’s low in calories, helps burn fatty tissue and reduces risk of diabetes.
Sea lettuce is a family of green algae that is rich in protein and amino acids. Helps condition your cat’s digestive tract.
How to Safely Serve Seaweed to Cats
Follow these steps to safely serve seaweed to your cats.
- Prepare a flesh meal for your cat.
- Chop some fresh seaweed in a bowl.
- You can decide to roast or sauté the seaweed.
- Mix the seaweed with the flesh meal.
And there you go, a delicious and healthy meal for your cat with many health benefits is ready.
When it comes to feeding seaweed to cats, always start with small amounts first to see how your cat reacts to it. Some cats may be allergic to seaweed, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Can Cats Eat Raw Seaweed?
Yes. Cats can eat raw seaweed. It’s rich in nutrients and has more nutritional benefits than cooked seaweed. It is also more palatable for cats and easier to digest. Processed seaweed on the other hand could contain spices and other ingredients harmful to cats.
Can Cats Eat Dried Seaweed? (Nori)
Your cat can eat some dried edible seaweed (also called as Nori). Nori is used in most Japanese cuisines to sweeten up meals. Making Sushi, for example. Give it in small amount as too much of it can upset your cats stomach.
Can Kittens Eat Seaweed?
Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If seaweed can be safely fed to adult cats, then it can also be given to kittens. Just make sure to chop them into small pieces and to start with small amounts first.
Can Cats Eat Seaweed Every Day?
Yes. Cats can eat seaweed every day but in moderation. While seaweed is packed with nutrients that can be beneficial to your cat’s health, it is best given as an occasional treat or supplement to your cat’s daily diet.
Giving too much seaweed can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. It can also lead to nutrient imbalances.
How Much Seaweed Can Cats Eat in a Day?
The amount of seaweed you can give to your cat will depend on her size, age, and health condition. It is best to start with small amounts and increase gradually as needed. Asking your vet is the best option.
Can Cats Have Seaweed Snacks (Like Chips)?
No. While seaweed chips may be safe for humans to eat, they can be harmful to cats. Seaweed chips are usually fried in oil, which can be toxic to cats. They may also contain spices and other ingredients that can be harmful to your cat.
So, it’s best to avoid giving human food like seaweed snacks to your cat.
Watch Out for Any Side Effects?
As with any new food, always watch out for any side effects when feeding seaweed to your cat. Some cats may be allergic to seaweed, so it’s always best to start with small amounts.
If you do notice any adverse reaction, such as vomiting or diarrhea, stop feeding seaweed to your cat and consult your veterinarian.
To Sum Up
Seaweed can be a healthy addition to your cat’s diet. It’s packed with nutrients that can offer various health benefits to cats.
Can cats eat seaweed in higher quantity? They shouldn’t. Seaweed should be fed only as a supplement. As any responsible cat owner would do, start with small amounts and increase gradually as needed.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some other commonly asked questions about feeding seaweed to cats.
Can Cats Eat Seaweed with Salt?
Salt is harmful to cats. Roasted seaweed sheets may sometimes contain salt. So you shouldn’t feed them seaweed sheets with salt.
Is Seaweed Good for Cat’s Teeth?
Yes. Seaweed can help keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy. The iodine in seaweed can help prevent oral plaque, cavities and gum disease.
Can Cats Eat Sesame Seaweed?
Yes. Cats can eat sesame seaweed. However, fiber in sesame seeds can be harmful to cats if ingested in large quantities. So, it’s best to give them in small amounts as a treat.
Can Cats Eat Seaweed Salad?
Yes. Cats can eat seaweed salad. Just make sure the salad doesn’t contain any ingredients that can be harmful to cats, such as onions, garlic, or spicy spices.
Is Seaweed Good for Cats with Kidney Disease?
Yes. Seaweed can be beneficial for cats with kidney disease. The iodine in seaweed can help prevent or slow down the progression of kidney disease.