Can Cats Eat Nori?


A wide range of people from a wide range of cultures eats seaweed. Furthermore, the practice could become even more widespread because there is an enormous interest in new ways to feed the world throughout the coming decades. Seaweed grows in the sea, thus enabling possibilities that its landbound counterparts cannot. In any case, cat owners share a great deal with their cats. As a result, if you are wondering whether your cat can eat nori or not, Cattime says it should be fine with certain limitations.

What Is Nori Anyway?

Historically speaking, people were willing to utilize a wide range of food sources. After all, the overwhelming majority of the population was always at risk of starvation because they were always at risk of encountering something disastrous for their food situation. As a result, the willingness to utilize a wide range of food sources could mean the difference between starving and not starving, thus making it an easy choice. Seaweed was very much one of those food sources for coastal peoples.

Of course, there was still the issue of food preservation. Essentially, food lasts for a limited period. As a result, people couldn’t have settled down in agricultural communities without finding a way to store food for a long time. In some cases, they chose foods that can last for a long time when stored under the right conditions. It isn’t a coincidence that grains have played such an important role in the rise of human civilizations because Readywise points out that grains can last for years and years.

Food Information

In other cases, they decided to provide more perishable foods with some assistance in the matter. Chances are good that you are already familiar with some of the results of such assistance. Nowadays, people tend to make hams and sausages because of their flavor, but there was a time when keeping them edible was the more important concern.

Nori is an excellent example of the importance that people put on food preservation. Fresh seaweed remains edible for several days. In contrast, dried seaweed remains edible for several years. Given that, it isn’t hard to see why people would want to make nori rather than stick with the fresh stuff. With that said, Jigsaw Japan says nori-making is more complicated than just drying the seaweed out in the open air.

Even once people had harvested the seaweed, there was a labor-intensive process of chopping it up before grinding it down to produce a sort of slurry. Then, the slurry is poured into square molds to drain away some of its water content, thus leaving behind sheets of paste. Those sheets of paste are dried in the sun. Finally, they are roasted, at which point, they are ready for consumption. Nowadays, machines handle much of this process, thus enabling more efficient production than ever before. Still, the fundamental process remains much the same.

Consult Your Veterinarian

For starters, you should always consult your veterinarian before you feed your cat something new. There are a couple of very good reasons for this. One, different cats can eat different things. Your veterinarian should have a good understanding of your cat’s general condition plus their veterinary expertise and experience. Put together, those things should make them the person most capable of figuring out whether your cat can eat nori or not.

Two, just because a cat can eat a particular food, that doesn’t mean that cat can eat unlimited quantities of that particular food. Getting the portions right is important, particularly since it is so easy to mess up when humans are so much bigger than cats. Theoretically speaking, your veterinarian should be able to provide you with guidelines on how much nori your cat can eat tailored to your cat’s general condition.

Use Testing Portions

No veterinarian can predict outcomes with perfect certainty. They are trained professionals, but at the end of the day, even trained professionals have limitations on what they can and can’t do. For instance, it is very much possible for a cat to have undiscovered allergies. Furthermore, it is very much possible for a cat to be allergic to seaweed. Using testing portions is an easy way to minimize the potential complications if a cat has a bad reaction to nori for whatever reason. Generally speaking, a smaller portion should make for a weaker reaction, which should be much more manageable than otherwise possible.

Nori Should Never Be a Staple For Cats

Nori contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. There is a reason why some nutritionists have been encouraging people to eat nori and other kinds of seaweed. Unfortunately, cats can’t benefit from nori as much as humans because they are obligate carnivores rather than omnivores. Supposedly, they can still benefit from eating nori to some extent. Even so, nori and other kinds of seaweed should never make up a major element of their diet because that won’t help them get all of their needed nutrients.

Nori Contains Salt

Speak of which, nori isn’t necessarily salted. Despite that, nori is salty anyway because seawater is saltwater. That is one more reason to be careful when feeding nori to cats. Your cat needs some salt to live, but chances are good your cat is more sensitive to large amounts of salt than you are. As a result, you need to be very careful about your cat’s salt intake.

Be Careful How You Serve Nori to Your Cat

Similarly, you should be careful about how you serve nori to your cat. Nori might be fine on its own, but the same isn’t necessarily true for the other ingredients in nori-containing dishes. To name an example, nori sees a lot of use in sushi. That is an issue for several reasons. First, rice isn’t poisonous for cats, but rice isn’t something they should eat in great quantities. Second, raw fish poses the same risks for cats it poses for humans. Third, sushi can contain other ingredients that are problematic for cats in the short run or the long run. If you want to feed nori to your cat, you might want to stick to just nori for the sake of simplicity.

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