Can Cats Eat Nori? (Read This Before You Feed It!)
If you have some Nori seaweed around you may be wondering if it is OK to feed your cat…
Can cats eat Nori?
While it is generally not encouraged for cats to be eating food that isn’t intended for them, it is perfectly safe for your cat to chow down on some nori if they happen to swipe some from you (or if you give them some).
So, now you know you can. But, are there any health benefits associated with it? Can a kitten also eat it? Are there any known health risks with it? Keep reading for these answers, and much more.
What is Nori?
Nori is a type of edible seaweed that is very popular and is used a lot in Japanese cuisine. Nori is part of the genus known as Pyropia. Nori is a very healthy type of seaweed that is known for its distinctive flavor.
Nori is most commonly found being sold as a batch of large dried sheets that are known as nori sheets.
What are Nori Sheets?
Nori sheets are large chunks of nori that have been dried and cut into thin paper-like shapes. Nori sheets are used when making sushi, as depending on the type of sushi, the nori is either on the outside of the sushi roll or it is inside.
Nori sheets are also used when making onigiri, which is a type of rice (what about Arroz Con Leche?) ball that typically has some kind of filling inside of it.
What is the nutritional content of Nori?
Source: USDA (per 100g) *
* See the source for the full list
Being a type of plant, nori is filled with all kinds of nutritional value. It has a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and various types of vitamin B. In fact, you can get well over your recommended daily amount of vitamin A just from eating some Nori.
Not only that, but nori is rich in healthy minerals like iron, iodine, and manganese. These vitamins and minerals are just as important for your cat as they are for you.
Is The Sushi, Wrapped in Nori OK for cats?
While it is perfectly fine, and borderline encouraged, for your cat to be eating nori, you shouldn’t give your cat sushi. It is generally recommended that you should avoid feeding your cat certain kinds of raw ingredients, and raw fish is no exception to that recommendation.
Often there is a Perhaps a few pieces of nori will help distract your cat from the nori that is part of the sushi (what if it has wasabi in it? click here) you are eating? For some cats, the reason they are pestering you for your sushi maybe because of the nori.
Are there any health benefits of Nori?
There are definitely health benefits to eating nori. Obviously, all the vitamins and minerals are good for a human. While the nutritional needs of a cat are going to be much different from what a human would require, your cat will benefit greatly from the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can be found in Nori.
Help metabolism and digestion
That said there are plenty of other additional health benefits for cats as well when they eat nori. For example, nori can help their metabolism and digestion.
Firm up loose bowel movements
If your cat happens to have very loose bowel movements, then feeding them nori can help make those movements be more firm. Best of all, nori can help prevent cancer for cats.
Are there any health risks of Nori?
Like with any healthy food, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. That said, I don’t know of any health risks to giving your cat a reasonable amount of nori from time to time.
Consider it to be like a healthy treat you give your cat from time to time, and don’t try to put them on some sort of nori only diet. Just like with humans, your cat needs to have a balanced diet that gets them all the nutrients they need.
Why is nori not the ideal staple food choice for a cat?
Cats are carnivores, which means that plants aren’t usually something they eat. That said, your cat can eat nori and nothing bad will happen. You won’t need to rush your cat out to the vet or anything like that.
In fact, Nori is actually pretty healthy for cats in many of the same ways as it is good for humans.
Should you feed your cat, Nori?
You shouldn’t feed your cat Nori regularly. But it is OK as a treat. Despite being carnivores, as mentioned earlier, there are a lot of cats that surprisingly love nori.
Even if there is no fish involved, there are cats who will annoy their human in hopes of getting some of that nori. So if your cat happens to love nori, then it would make a great treat for them.
If they also like fish, then getting a piece of sushi that is wrapped in nori is going to be a dream come true for them.
Stick to cat food as their main food
You should still be sticking to food intended for cats as much as possible, but nori would be an excellent (and healthy) treat to give to your cat.
It is a great way for your cat to get some extra vitamins and minerals. The dietary habits of a cat can vary greatly.
Some cats will happily eat up any nori that they can get, while others may prefer to ignore it and go for their dry food or wet food that is part of their routine diet.
If you are ever curious to see what your cat thinks of nori, try placing a small piece down in either their bowl or on the floor. There is a good chance that they will
Is Nori OK for kittens?
As a matter of fact, yes you can give your kitten nori. Age does not matter when it comes to this sort of thing, and it would be a great way for your young kitten to get some extremely helpful vitamins and minerals. These are especially important for a kitten since they are growing and need lots of healthy food so that they can become big and strong.
Are there better food alternatives than Nori for cats?
There are many other better food alternatives to Nori for your cat such as cooked chicken, beef, etc.
However, as discussed, nori still has many health benefits for humans as well as cats.
It is certainly something that you can talk to your vet about if you have any questions in that matter, but it will be difficult to find any processed cat foods that are healthier than nori.
What about seaweed chips for your cat?
While your cat certainly wouldn’t have any issue with eating seaweed chips, it isn’t recommended that you prioritize giving your cat chips over the nori. The reason for this is because even seaweed chips are loaded with sodium.
While some amount of sodium is good, you want to make sure you are careful that you don’t overdo it. Too much salt can actually be very harmful to your cat.
Junk food like chips is often loaded with preservatives as well. As a result, chips and snacky foods of a similar nature make for a poor choice of treat for your cat.
If you have the option, and your cat will eat it (what about vegetable-based foods? click here), make sure to give them some cut up bits of a nori sheet instead of seaweed chips. Certain kinds of cat food, especially the canned wet food, already have lots of sodium packed into them.
The last thing you want to do is add more sodium to your cat’s diet, as there is a good chance that they are already getting plenty.