Can Cats Eat Wasabi? (Read This 1st…)
If you have some wasabi, or your cat has accidentally eaten some you may be wondering if it is OK and what the effects may be…
Can Cats Eat Wasabi?
Cats can eat Wasabi, but it should not replace their standard cat food. And, at best, it should only be consumed as a rare treat. It does not offer enough nutritional benefits for a cat. Also, wasabi is related to the horseradish plant, which is known to be slightly toxic to cats.
So, now you know. But, what is it mainly used for? Is it OK for kittens? Are there any health risks associated with it? Keep reading to get these answers, and more…
What is Wasabi?
Wasabi is the green, spicy paste that is served with sushi. Also known as the Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a plant that comes from the Brassicaceae family. Other plants in this family include mustard and horseradish.
Freshly grated wasabi is pungent but delicate enough to not overpower the flavor of the sushi. There is a small hit of heat that fades as quickly as it starts. Fake wasabi that is made from horseradish and mustard has a much spicier kick to it and will often outshine the taste of sushi.
Because “real” wasabi is difficult to cultivate, most of the green paste wasabi on the market can be horseradish and spicy mustard dyed green.
Do cats enjoy the taste of Wasabi?
Usually, if your cat gets one taste of wasabi they won’t be interested in it anymore, so there is no harm in letting them try it out.
Cats are incredibly nosey, especially when you are eating. If you enjoy sushi, you might notice that your cat is interested in your wasabi.
This is an ingredient that causes debate when it comes to if it is safe or not for your pet, but it is not likely to cause any harm if your cat does eat some.
What is Wasabi Really Used For?
Wasabi serves a greater purpose than adding some extra spice to your sushi. It has antimicrobial properties that can effectively fight against bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
Wasabi might also be able to fight and protect your teeth from tooth decay. It has also been researched to determine that wasabi has some anti-cancer properties as well. It has been shown that stomach cancer cells changed and started to die when exposed to wasabi extract.
What is the Nutritional Content of Wasabi?
Source: USDA (per 100g) *
* See the source for the full list
One cup of raw wasabi contains 142 calories. There are 30.6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.8 grams of fat, and 6.2 grams of protein. It also has a decent amount of dietary fiber at 10.1 grams.
Wasabi is also packed with vitamins and nutrients. There is 5mg of vitamin C, which is 91% of the recommended daily value. You will also get 25% of the daily value of manganese at 0.5mg. One cup of wasabi also has 89.7mg of magnesium, 738mg of potassium, 166mg of calcium, 0.4mg of vitamin B6, and 1.3mg of iron.
One teaspoon of horseradish-based wasabi paste has only fifteen calories. But, watch out for this type, there is no protein or fiber in this “fake” wasabi.
There are 2 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat, and 2 grams of sugar. Wasabi paste also includes magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.
Are There Any Health Benefits of Wasabi?
There are several health benefits of wasabi that you will want to experience.
01. Help to prevent food poisoning?
The first benefit is that it may help prevent food poisoning. Wasabi contains allyl isothiocyanate, which prevents the growth of salmonella, E. coli, H. pylori, and Staphylococcus.
This also makes it naturally antiparasitic, effective against parasites that live in seafood.
02. Help to reduce your cholesterol levels
Wasabi is also useful for keeping your cholesterol under control. It may also decrease your risk of stroke and atherosclerosis when eaten regularly.
In vitro and in vivo studies have shown decreased levels of LDL in rats who ate wasabi root in their diet.
03. Prevent cavities and tooth decay?
Eating wasabi can also prevent cavities and tooth decay. It also prevents Streptococcus from growing, which is where tooth decay comes from. Wasabi is good for your teeth, so eat away!
Wasabi may also prevent cancer from developing. The anti-cancerous property of wasabi is 6-MITC and can induce cell death in stomach cancer cells and leukemia cells. This property can also get rid of free radicals, which are the prime reason for cancer development.
04. Anti-inflammatory properties
There are also anti-inflammatory properties in wasabi and it can help promote fat loss. Research shows that edible wasabi plant leaves contain compounds that prevent the growth and formation of fat cells.
Are There Any Health Risks of Wasabi?
Wasabi has been proven to slow blood clotting. This could increase the risk of bleeding and bruise in people who have blood disorders.
It’s unclear if wasabi is safe to eat when you are pregnant or not. If you love wasabi, you should steer clear of it while you are pregnant or nursing.
When it comes to “fake” wasabi, most of the recipes include soybean oil. This can cause an allergic reaction in those who have a soy allergy. You should try to stay away from wasabi unless you are sure there are no soy products.
Should You Feed Your Cat Wasabi?
There is no reason why your cat should not eat wasabi. It is not likely to cause any harm to your cat, but you should limit the amount that they eat. In most cases, cats won’t even like the taste of wasabi, so after one taste they won’t want anything to do with it.
If your cat is feeling curious, go ahead and give them a taste. Chances are, they will make a funny cat face and run in the opposite direction as fast as they can.
Is Wasabi OK for Kittens?
Kittens have bellies that are constantly growing and changing. In their baby phase, they have super-sensitive tummies, so you should avoid feeding wasabi to your kitten. It might be too spicy for them, causing a tummyache.
Are There Better Food Alternatives Than Wasabi for Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores so cooked meats such as chicken or beef is ideal as well as purposely made cat food, ideally wet cat food for the added moisture it offers to keep your cat hydrated.
Vegetables are not a priority for cats. but they can eat some safely.
Avocado is not safe for all small animals, but it is actually safe for cats to eat. Make sure you remove the outer layer and the pit of the avocado. Your cat should not have any issues with the avocado.
Cats can also eat seaweed. It is best to feed in small amounts, but your cat should be able to digest it perfectly fine and should not have any issues with it.
Cucumber is another alternative that your cat would like better than wasabi. There are some benefits that your cat will get from eating cucumber. This vegetable is high in vitamins, nutrients, and water content.
How Can You Prevent Your Cat Eating Your Wasabi?
You don’t necessarily need to prevent your cat from eating wasabi. If you are concerned that wasabi might cause some stomach issues for your cat, or you just don’t want your cat to eat it, the smell of wasabi should be enough to keep your cat away.
If your cat really wants some wasabi, and you can’t keep them away but you don’t want them to eat any, you should consider putting your cat in a separate room while you are eating sushi with wasabi.
Is Wasabi Related to the Toxic Horseradish Plant?
Wasabi is part of the Brassica family. This plant family includes mustard, cabbage, and horseradish. It is most common that the wasabi we buy in grocery stores is a mixture of plants that resemble wasabi.
Wasabi is related to horseradish because they are in the same family. They are so similar that horseradish can even be passed off as wasabi.