Is seaweed safe for cats / how to prepare it?

NadiaRey

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For those who know me, you already know, Sueño has cancer, and right now, I'm trying Fitoteraphy, which is the fancy way to say a diet with food known to help a particular ailment. And seaweed came up. Now, I know seaweed is dangerous for its high levels of iodine, even for a human being, so I'm letting it simmer in boiling water for 20+ minutes to be sure to remove all of it.

The remaining problem is with salt. The dried seaweed products all have remnant of sea water, so: high levels too. Heating won't help, and if I distilled the water, well, I'd only get the water, and the seaweed (that's more important here) would still be salty.

So, I know there is cat food with seaweed, but it mostly seems to be "seaweed derived calcium", when what I need the algae for is the "Fucoidan" in it, not the bone.

So, 1- do you know of ways to prepare the seaweed that's safe for cat consumption? 2- Ways to remove salt from water (maybe there's something that absorbs salt? I'm trying uncooked rice as we speak.) 3-Do you know of seaweed-based catfood that has any Fucoidan, or if the aformentioned "derived calcium" product that has it?

Just how do you give seaweed to cats, in a nutshell.
 

Columbine

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You could try ProDen Plaque Off for cats. It's a dental supplement based on seaweed, and it is a safe way to feed seaweed to cats - just stick to the recommended dose. I've used it for a few years now, though not all my cats will eat it :rolleyes2: You can get it in kibble-style treat form too.

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but its what springs to mind ;)
 
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NadiaRey

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Hey, thanks for answering, sorry, I thought I had replied. I couldn't find any of those supplements. And also, I need the Fucoidan properties so I'm not sure if something that's only for plaque would have it. (It seems to be the "seaweed derived calcium" products I was talking about.)
Still, it wouldn't hurt, her mouth is pretty affected because of the location of the tumor... I'll keep asking around if the petstores have anything like that here.
 
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ArchyCat

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Asian food shops will probably have various forms of eatable sea weed. I have eaten sea weed in Hong Kong and Kyoto, Japan. Various forms of stir fry.
 

Columbine

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I'm sorry - I've only just realised where you are :paperbag: I assumed you were in the USA :doh:

I guess some vets might carry it. At least, mine do here in the UK.

Ok. The seaweed used in Pro Den Plaque Off is a variety called Ascophyllum nodosum, commonly known as rock weed or bladderwrack. It's a brown algae seaweed. As it's part of the Fucaceae family, it should have the properties you're after. I don't think that particular seaweed is sold commercially, but other seaweed of the same family would likely be ok. Definitely double check with your vet first though.

The dosage per day of the Plaque Off is approximately 1/16 of a teaspoon (easiest would be to get a set of measuring spoons for cooking that includes a 1/8th tsp measure, and do half of that). Its a powder, similar in texture to freshly ground salt or pepper from a salt/pepper mill. So, at a guess, the same amount of a similar seaweed ground to that texture might be ok.

I hope that makes sense. Do please check with your vet before actually trying it. I'm not an expert by any means, and I'm just working off logic and Google research here ;)
 
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NadiaRey

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That's helpful, yeah. Especially the dosages. Yeah, I'm not in the UK (I don't think I even finished filling my profile data even) but I had hoped we had *some* resemblance of these products. I only got regular seaweed, the noodle kind. Kombu, which has a relatively high ammount of fucoidan. I boiled some of it in water for an hour to take away the excess of iodine, then boiled it some more with rice to have it absorb the excess of salt (Sueño, my cat, has kidney problems now, so salt is a no no). Still, she wouldn't eat it so, I guess it is pointless at this point...
 

CHIKITTIES

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I am not sure if it is helpful but I came from country where people always eat seaweed, so here is some info.

When we prepare seaweed which in many cases packed with salt (something like this), we take portion and simply wash off salt, then leave in water for a while. You will need to change water few times until it become not salty. Usually if you keep it too long in water it become rather bland taste (for human consumption), I am guessing if you keep changing water and take some time, almost all salt will dissolve?
 
Here it says (again for human consumption)
De-salted Mozuku - 0.2 g salt per 100 g
 

Columbine

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Kombu is particularly tough. I'd try and get a softer seaweed, crumble or pound it down in a pestle and mortar, and use it dry in the quantities I mentioned. I've only ever fed seaweed to animals in its dry form. Like that, it can easily be mixed into some wet food for feeding.

I notice that wakame is listed as another good source of fuciodam. That's another fairly common Japanese seaweed, and it'll crumble and crush much more easily (I go through phases of eating a seaweed myself, so I know a little about the different types humans eat ;) ). My first instinct, though, would be to try and get hold of some sort of rockweed or bladderwrack seaweed. As I know that type is used in a cat supplement, it's the one I'd feel most comfortable feeding. Iodine toxicity is a risk with seaweed, especially with someone as small as a cat. Far better to err on the side of caution. If you do go ahead, especially with something like wakame or kombu, I'd be tempted to have your vet run regular blood tests to make sure everything is still in balance.

Lastly, carrageenan (used as a thickener in some cat foods) is a type of seaweed too - Irish moss to be precise. I'm not sure if it will contain any fuciodam, but it's another safe option to look into. Especially so if you can find foods that already contain it.
 

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Iodine can be extremely important to overall health, but you do have to be careful. When my doctor tested my iodine levels (no need to elaborate on the reason here and take up space), I was almost devoid of it in my body despite using salt. Most salt that we use does not supply iodine appropriately even if you are using iodized salt. I was put on an iodine supplement ( and it is hotly debated how much humans should be given and how) and within a couple of weeks I was through the roof red zone high. I should add that I felt fine and had no side effects. We cut it back to half the dose and I still remained too high, so now I am on an even lower dose. It is something that has to be watched in supplementation.
 
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NadiaRey

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Thank you all, it's all helpful. Chikitties, thanks. The re-watering thing I'd probably try. The chart it's interesting, if a bit disorienting. Besides, I don't know which of the many kombus I bought (it doesn't say anything on the package... that I can read). It does look like they have major quantities of sodium, that's for sure.

Columbine, I'll be honest, I didn't so much "pick" kombu as it was the only thing I could find when I asked around. I live in a big city, mind. But apparently, seaweed never got popular enough here to be commonly distributed. It was a lucky chance that Kombu is one seaweed that had relatively high levels of Fucoidan.
But even if I was looking particularly for fucoidan seaweeds, I did read algae are good for tumors regardless of the fucoidan content. I'll keep everything in mind in case I can get hold of any other kind of algae. Though now that Sueño was diagnosticated kidney problems, the presence of salt is a big deal.

Hey, fionasmom, good to see you. From what I've been reading, only Japanese people, who have their organism used to the thing, can eat seaweed daily no problem. The iodine thing, for everybody else... should not cause more than an upset stomach, unless you try to emulate the Japanese and take it every day. I think you may have high levels of the stuff and not suffer any major setbacks, so long as the organism gets to cleanse of iodine -aka not be fed too much of the stuff. The bottom line seems to be, this is supposed to be a once-every-so-often treatment. I wouldn't even consider giving Sueño any seaweed, considering the risk, if not for the fact her situation is what is it.

But, all things considered, other than Sueño not eating any given to her, I am having second thoughts about this whole thing. If I'm reading this right, iodine can actually *cause* cancer. So I think I might just abandon this plan altogether. (Or do what Columbine suggested and stick to the safe option.) Thanks anyways, everyone, if anything, for letting me simmer in my thoughts about this whole thing.
 

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I found it really interesting researching seaweeds a bit last night :) I'm sorry for not fully understanding what is and isn't available where you are. I'm sorry, too, that Sueño has so many health issues. I really hope you find something that helps her. :vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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NadiaRey

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Thanks, Columbine. I really appreciate you went out of your way to research. I have been doing a lot of reading for the last months. I agree, it's all very interesting. There's a lot about cancer, particularly (that I would have never thought about even touching, because I'm as much of a coward as any evitative person) that now feels like I should have known from the start.
 

Columbine

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Not at all. It's always worth researching things like this, even if you end up not trying them. Cancer is a horrible disease, and its natural to want to investigate any possible option that might help. At least you know now that this approach isn't suitable for your girl's current issues.
 

CHIKITTIES

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I saw your other thread ... you and Sueño are going through A LOT! I don't even think I comprehend everything. Sending :vibes::vibes::vibes: from me and my :caticon::caticon: !

(I did not know that we are the only mutant able to eat seaweed everyday?? Gosh! Yeah, I think I ate them almost every day when I was growing up ...).
 
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NadiaRey

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XD you are japanese, Chikitties?
 
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