Due to its health benefits, humans have been consuming kelp for ages. And it’s only natural to wonder whether there are any kelp benefits for cats as well.
In this article, we will be answering the question, “is kelp good for cats” and will dive into its benefits and dangers. We’ll also discuss how to safely incorporate it into your feline’s diet. So, let’s dive in and see if kelp is the seaweed solution to your cat’s health!
Can Cats Eat Kelp?
Yes, cats can eat kelp since it has useful nutrients like Iodine, Vitamins A and C, Magnesium, and Iron which are all useful for cats if ingested in a suitable amount. However, it’s important to remember that taking large amounts of kelp can also cause nutritional imbalances and lead to problems like hyperthyroidism.
It’s also worth saying that not all cats take to kelp, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in your cat’s behavior and digestion if you decide to give it a go. The right amount of kelp is crucial to make sure your cat gets all the nutrients and vitamins it needs without any harmful side effects.
Determining the right amount of kelp can be tricky, as it depends on your cat’s individual needs. Also keep in mind that the Iodine content in kelp can vary depending on where the production is, making it that much trickier to figure out the right amount to give your cat.
The best solution is to consult your vet about the amount of kelp your cat needs and then choose a quality kelp supplement for your feline friend. Supplements make it easier to track the amount of kelp that you’re adding to your cat’s diet so you can guarantee that you’re not adding more than what is necessary.
Benefits of Kelp to Cats
A 2007 research published in the Nutrition Reviews Journal showed that kelp has many beneficial nutrients including Vitamins A and C, Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium which offer a host of useful benefits for cats as well.
Here are a few advantages of adding kelp to your cat’s diet:
Kelp is a natural remedy to help relieve allergies in cats. The iodine and other vitamins and minerals in kelp can support a healthy immune system, which helps control the body’s allergic response. Also, kelp contains necessary fatty acids that are beneficial for skin and coat health.
Some pet owners give their cats kelp supplements to help with skin irritation, itching, and other allergy-related issues. However, note that not all cats respond positively to kelp, and yours may dislike it.
Adrenal, Thyroid, and Pituitary Glands
Another benefit of kelp is that it helps in the functioning of a variety of glands including adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands. These glands play a crucial role in regulating your cat’s hormone levels, metabolism, and other body functions. As kelp has iodine, a nutrient that is essential to the metabolism of these glands, it improves your cat’s overall metabolism.
Diane Stein writes in, “The Natural Remedy Book for Cats and Dogs” that 3 weeks of consistent use of kelp reduces flea infestation. Some pet owners add kelp supplements to their pet’s food or use kelp-based shampoos and sprays to help keep fleas at bay. The idea behind using kelp for flea control is that it can support a healthy immune system and skin.
Kelp is full of minerals and nutrients that are important for maintaining your cat’s health. It has magnesium, iron, calcium, and iodine. It’s also a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to promote skin and coat health. It also boosts the immune system.
What Type of Illnesses Can Kelp Help With?
Kelp is a wonderful natural remedy for many illnesses which is why pet owners have been adding it to their pet’s diets for ages. Here are a few illnesses that kelp can help with.
As mentioned, kelp is a rich source of many nutrients, including iron. In a 2012 research published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, it was shown that iron deficiency in cats can lead to a reduction in red blood cells and oxygen transport. Additionally, iron deficiency in cats can lead to a loss in appetite which may cause weakness and lethargy.
An excellent way to overcome an iron deficiency in cats is by supplementing their diet with an additional source of iron, such as kelp. But make sure you feed your cat with a quality kelp supplement. You should also stay within the recommended serving size for positive results.
Weakened Immune System
Kelp is a valuable supplement for enhancing a cat’s immune system due to its rich composition of Iron and Zinc as well as Vitamins A and C. These essential nutrients are critical for maintaining the effectiveness of a cat’s immune system. A weakened immune system makes cats susceptible to infections and illnesses. It can result in symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, and lack of energy. Adding kelp to a cat’s diet can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to support and improve its immune system. It ensures optimal health and well-being.
Nutrients such as Iron, Zinc, and essential fatty acids can improve skin health and may help alleviate some symptoms of skin allergies in cats. These symptoms include itching, redness, and rashes.
Dangers of Kelp to Cats
While kelp is a highly beneficial supplement for cats, it is important to be mindful of the potential dangers of overconsumption. Below, we will examine the main risks associated with excessive kelp intake in cats:
Excessive Iodine intake is the primary danger of kelp to cats. Kelp is a rich source of Iodine, and too much Iodine can lead to health problems like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is due to excessive thyroid hormone production, whereas not enough thyroid hormone production causes hypothyroidism.
Though iodine is generally good for cats, it’s a micronutrient and is necessary for minor amounts. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition placed the Iodine requirements of adult cats at around 0.46 ppm. Excessive Iodine intake disturbs the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. So it’s important to consult a veterinarian whenever adding kelp or a similar supplement to your cat’s diet.
Cat foods are specifically designed with cat diets in mind. However, the same can obviously not be said for kelp. Excessive kelp intake may cause nutritional imbalances in your feline friend including Magnesium and Zinc overload. Remember to consult your vet before making a change to your cat’s diet and monitor your cat’s response afterward.
Heavy Metal Toxicity
As kelp grows in oceans, it can contain high levels of heavy metals, including Lead and Mercury. A study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery showed that lead toxicosis can cause anorexia, vomiting, and seizures in cats. Moreover, it’s also linked to neuronal, renal, and liver damage.
So, it’s essential only to give your cat kelp supplements specifically formulated for cats and follow the recommended serving size.
Is Kelp Good For Cats: FAQs
Below, we’ll answer the most searched questions on whether kelp is suitable for cats.
Cats can surely take kelp supplements. Kelp contains many vitamins and minerals, such as Iodine, Iron, Calcium, and Magnesium. These can help improve your cat’s immune and digestive systems. But note that too much kelp can cause an imbalance of nutrients in your cat’s diet.
As kelp is an iodine-rich seaweed, its excessive intake can lead to side effects like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism refers to the overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. Whereas hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone. Such imbalances are caused by high amounts of Iodine in kelp.
Kelp can indeed cause hyperthyroidism in cats if consumed excessively. It contains a lot of Iodine that can disturb the normal functioning of the thyroid gland in your cat. It may result in hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland overproduces thyroid hormones. Such a thyroid dysfunction can either be transient or permanent.
Kelp powder is highly beneficial for cats, as it contains fiber and other nutrients that improve health and boost your cat’s immune system. But excessive kelp intake can lead to side effects like abnormal thyroid gland function in your cat. If you choose to add kelp to your cat’s diet, make sure that you consult your vet for the best way to do so.
If your cat suffers from thyroid problems like hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, we recommend consulting your vet for a high-quality canned diet that is specifically designed for cats with thyroid problems. These formulas often contain little to no grains, fruits, or vegetables. Also, canned cat foods are preferred over dry foods due to low carbohydrate and high protein intake.
Research published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that an adult cat weighing 4 kg needs around 226μg of Iodine daily for maintenance. But generally, anywhere from 125-350μg when feeding your cat with kelp is usually considered safe.
Kelp offers numerous health benefits for cats and can prove to be a natural immune-boosting supplement if used correctly. But it’s important to note that the nutrient and mineral content of kelp can vary greatly. Therefore, it becomes challenging to determine the appropriate dosage for your cat.
It is recommended to consult a veterinarian for determining the best kelp dose for your specific feline. You can ensure that your cat receives the full benefits of this supplement. Also, you can avoid any adverse effects in the process.