Last updated on December 12th, 2021
Seaweeds are tasty and healthy nutritional options that make up the human diet, no doubt about that.
Every time you’ve cook seaweed for yourself, you may have wondered whether these green seaweeds are okay to share with your feline friend.
Let me tell you that it’s not only safe to feed seaweeds to your cat, but it’s actually a healthy component of their diet.
Cats can eat seaweed because it’s an excellent source of plant-based protein since it also has nutrients like iron, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids which supplements your cat’s diet, however, most cats won’t eat seaweed naturally so you will have to buy dried seaweed in pet stores to feed them with and this must only be added to their diet once or twice a week.
This shouldn’t be the only type of food being included in your cat’s daily diet as these feline creatures need to have a balanced nutritional meal that consists of animal-based protein as well to maintain proper bodily functions.
Also, it’s important that you check in with a professional vet in your area before changing your cat’s diet.
Table of Contents
- What are Seaweeds?
- Types of Seaweed
- Benefits of Seaweeds for Cats
- How to Serve Seaweeds to Your Cat Safely?
What are Seaweeds?
Seaweed is the name given to some of the plants that grow in water bodies, like oceans, rivers, lakes, etc., and it includes marine plants and brown algae.
Some seaweeds like phytoplankton are microscopic, and they usually remain suspended in a water column. These microscopic seaweeds also form a supportive base for a number of marine food chains.
Others are large and enormous in size, examples of which would include the giant kelp. This normally grows in bundles or rather as underwater forests.
Yet some others are medium-sized and come in multiple colors, such as red, brown, black, and green.
These seaweeds can be found randomly almost everywhere along the sea beaches.
In short, seaweeds can be defined as the primitive plants that belong to the algae family and are known to inhabit the seawaters.
Although there’s no perfect definition of these marine species, we can say that seaweeds are a group of plants that can be classified by their distinctive characteristics.
Types of Seaweed
Just like other terrestrial plants, seaweeds, too, can be classified into different types. And yes, many of them are not just edible, they are actually quite healthy to eat and are good sources of a low-calorie diet.
Seaweeds are generally associated with Japanese cuisine more often. Other significant countries situated along the coastline, like China and Korea, have been harvesting seaweeds, too, for more than thousands of years for several culinary and medicinal purposes.
Today, these marine algae have been a good part of our diet and they’re a regular ingredient in dry snacks and smoothies. They can even be used as a healthy alternative to chips!
The most popular types of edible seaweed include:
- Sea lettuce
- Irish moss
If your feline friend enjoys snacking on seaweed, it’s certainly a sign that you can use this as an occasional treat.
Benefits of Seaweeds for Cats
Well, seaweeds may not seem to be a usual component of a cat’s diet. Also, it’s not every day that you see a cat feeding on seaweeds.
You will be surprised to know that seaweeds have a lot of health benefits for feline creatures and can actually be an excellent health supplement for them.
If these seaweeds were in the wild, cats would have probably never even touched them.
1. Comes with Numerous Nutritional Benefits For Cats
Did you know that the nutrients present in these underwater plants are quite soothing for a cat’s stomach?
Yes, these substances act as antacids for our feline companions as they help to neutralize acidity, thus preventing or curing issues like indigestion and heartburn.
You would even find some seaweed varieties for cats being sold with the label, “worming herb”.
It means that the particular food item helps prevent worm formation in cats or eliminate them.
However, vets recommend that cat owners serve seaweeds safely to their cats and in moderation to avoid any side effects or health issues.
You should consider meeting your veterinarian once before feeding your feline pet with these marine plant species.
2. Minimizes Free Radical Damage
Like us, feline creatures struggle with oxidative stress and free radical damage too. Free radicals, the oxygen-containing molecules present in our body, come with electrons of an uneven number.
This uneven number of electrons allows these free radicals to react easily with other molecules, thus causing major chemical reactions.
These reactions cause many harmful side effects in both humans and cats. Thus the process is also called oxidation.
Seaweeds help cats to fight and prevent the impact of these free radicals. Besides, these marine algae come loaded with a number of beneficial antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
These can help cats from having cell damage and negates the damaging impacts of aging.
Additionally, the antioxidants present in seaweeds can help a feline mammal become more resilient and immune against diseases.
3. Seaweed Improves Your Cat’s Coat Sheen
We all adore and cuddle pets that look more fluffy and have a great appearance. They even look beautiful and more desirable if they have the right sheen.
Felines having a nice sheen to their coat also signify that they are receiving a good amount of fat in their regular diet.
To ensure that your furry companion has a shiny and healthy coat sheen, try feeding them seaweeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
These components enable your cat to develop more shiny and smooth coats. The best part is omega-3 fatty acids won’t let your kitty gain any additional weight.
Kelp, a variety of seaweed, is also a very good option for cats, as these are rich in vital nutrients.
4. Cats Love It!
Well, most of them do! In fact, for some, seaweeds are a tasty treat.
So, the next time you’ve made yourself some lovely seaweed dish, make sure to share it with your furry friend. They will be more than delighted to enjoy such a special treat!
Seaweeds are not toxic to cats as they are loaded with many nutritional benefits.
The most popular seaweeds known for their medical properties and health benefits include kelp, dulse, wakame, etc.
Each of these types of seaweed come with their own set of essential minerals and vitamins.
How to Serve Seaweeds to Your Cat Safely?
First and foremost, ensure that you are providing your cat with only high-quality human-grade seaweed.
You can easily find health food stores that supply a variety of these underwater plants that are safe for both humans and pets to feed on.
Always make it a habit to double-check every ingredient of the product you are buying, and there should be no additional spices or preservatives, which may be harmful to your feline friend.
Besides, it’s safe to go for the plain dried seaweed varieties that are not processed into any other form of food, such as chips or dried snacks, because they usually come with a lot of spices.
Keep things simple to make a healthy and yummy diet for your kitty.
The next factor you must consider while feeding seaweeds to your cat is to serve the dish in small or moderate amounts.
The best idea would be to chop it off in small, easily digestible pieces and mix it up with other food items that are regularly included in your pet’s diet.
By doing this, you can test whether your kitten is fine with this unique addition to their meal.
Well, as mentioned, seaweeds should be treated as supplements and not as an entire meal in itself.
Never replace a whole meal with seaweeds as it may deprive your pet of other essential vitamins, nutrients, and proteins.
Some seaweeds are full of preservatives, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, bacteria, fuel oil, etc.
All these additives don’t make the food item healthy at all, even if it’s edible.
Just like humans, cats need a balanced diet, and it’s never good to go overboard with seaweeds, even if your cat absolutely loves it!
Limit it to feeding a few leaves only and make sure they are not deprived of the other essential nutrients.
Also, you should consider your pet’s weight before preparing any meal for them, in which case, it’s safe to consult your local vet.