Seaweed, you either love it or hate it. While it’s proven to be an extremely healthy snack for humans can the same be said for our feline friends?
It’s likely not on their menu in the wild but can cats eat seaweed if given the chance?
Let’s find out!
Can Cats Eat Seaweed?
The short answer is yes, cats can eat certain types of seaweed. Seaweed is not on the official list of toxic plants for cats and can actually provide them with some small nutritional benefits.
The most common type of seaweed is kelp, nori, and dulse, both of which contain vital nutrients and vitamins. More on the benefits of the vitamin and minerals later though.
There can be an abundance amount of iodine in seaweed which some cats can be sensitive to. If cats ingest high amounts of iodine they can be susceptible to thyroid problems.
So while it’s not toxic to cats we need to understand that cats don’t need to consume human food to have a healthy balanced diet. Most human foods will offer no real nutritional benefit over high-quality food.
Are There Any Nutritional Benefits For Cats?
There are a number of health benefits seaweed can provide for your cat. Not only does it contain vitamin and minerals such as fiber it also contains some properties known to fight free radical cells in their body. These properties are believed to be effective in helping to reduce the risk of cancer in both us and our pets.
Further benefits of seaweed include essential amino acids and trace minerals all of which contribute to better pet health.
Acting as an anit-oxident, the various breeds of seaweed such as brown, red and green all contain different yet vital ingredients that both you and your cat can benefit from.
It’s not uncommon for pet owners to offer small amounts of seaweed to their cat for an upset stomach or to help aid with deworming.
It’s not just your cats insides that will benefit, their coat will also improve as well as helping them fight against some allergies.
- Gut Health – Seaweed mineral content is an excellent way to address the challenges of the intestinal tract. Prebiotics in seaweed provides healthy bacteria to the guts of cats. Facilitating digestion, aiding the digestive tract, nutrient absorption and immune system helps achieve good results.
- Improved Coat – The omega-3 fatty acids found in seaweed, can help keep a cat’s coat shiny and healthy.
- Overall Health – When cats consume antioxidants they are more capable of protecting themselves from damage caused by free radicals. This makes them more adapted to fight off diseases.
It’s quite unique as it’s one of only a handful of human foods that actually do offer some benefits to your cats health. For this reason seaweed supplements have become popular with pet owners around the globe.
How To Feed Your Cat Seaweed Safely
Just because seaweed is non toxic and healthy for our cats doesn’t mean we should be rushing out there to feed them large quantities for a daily diet.
The same can be said for other non toxic vegetables such as corn, broccoli or potato.
Cat’s won’t be able to solely rely on the benefits to sustain a healthy diet. You can however incorporate it into their diet slowly over time in moderation.
Only feed them fresh high-quality human-grade seaweed, never give them anything that has been left to dry or sit for too long. Keep it to a few bites at a time with no more than 3 servings a week.
Make sure the seaweed is free of any pesticides, bacteria or herbicides as these pose a health risk to your cat.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before you decide to purchase and include some commercial seaweed products into your cat’s diet.
It should only really be seen as a snack for your cat!
Conclusion On Can Cats Eat Seaweed
With some proven health benefits there is no reason you can’t include small amounts of seaweed into your cats diet.
You should see it more as an occasional treat rather than a diet replacement. Consulting with your vet before any diet change is always recommended.
There is really no need to supplement your cat’s diet with human food so long as you are feeding them a high quality cat food.
If your cat likes the taste of seaweed, a little bit here and there won’t hurt!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Cats Eat Seaweed Nori?
Cats are obligate carnivores and don’t need to eat plants. Feeding your cat small amounts of Nori shouldn’t cause any health problems.
Can Cats Eat Seaweed With Salt?
Cat owners should avoid feeding your cat any foods containing high amounts of sodium or salt as it could poison your cat.