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Spirulina Thief


This picture of my cat Gary hangs on a prominent wall in my house. Whenever I look at it, it makes me smile. I’ve been trying to come up with a reason to do a blog entry to accompany the photo (other than “isn’t my cat adorable?”). Then Gary himself provided one.

My husband and I occasionally take spirulina (blue-green algae) tablets as a supplement. Before I explain what happened, I have to emphasize that Gary doesn’t care about food much. To him, eating his dinner is secondary to cuddling. He is also indifferent to cat treats. But when he caught a whiff of the spirulina the other day, he got wide-eyed, reached up to the table where I’d placed the spirulina tablet (Gary has a long reach), and swiped it onto the floor. Before I could take it away from him, he munched it down like it was the best treat he ever had.

I quickly checked online to make sure spirulina is okay for cats, and everything I’ve found indicates that it is. We then offered a half a spirulina tablet to our other cat, Mitzi, so she wouldn’t feel left out. In a split second, she wolfed it down, too, frantically looking around for more. I don’t plan to make a habit of giving it to them until I find out more. Does anybody else out there have a cat who likes spirulina?

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • magpie November 19, 2008, 11:25 pm

    My cat (Couscous) LOVES seaweed. He goes nuts for it.

  • Anonymous November 20, 2008, 1:50 pm

    Hi Robin,I just got your vegan planet cookbook a couple of weeks ago and I love it :) I have made the Mac and cheese (page 270)(without nutritional yeast) and the tofu vindaloo (page 312). I loved them both. I was skeptical with how liquid the mac and cheese was when I put it in the oven but it came out beautifull! For the tofu vindaloo I had no red peppers in hand so I added corn instead for color and it turned out really excellent. I plan on making both dishes on a regular basis. Thank you for your really nice book.Maria

  • Babette November 20, 2008, 2:49 pm

    We had a package of sushi nori sheets left open in one of the kitchen shelves, and one day, I saw my cat Adzuki make it fall on the floor. I just placed the package back on the shelf, but when he made it fall again just a few minutes later, I observed him. He was eating the seaweed! He really loves it and whenever we eat dry seaweed he follows us to have some!

  • Maya November 20, 2008, 4:21 pm

    Yep, spirulina is OK for cats, as long as it's been well tested for toxins. Actually there has been at least one study that says it's amazing for their immune systems. Also it's known to be good for their skin & coats, and to be a good appetite stimulant when sprinkled on food – so it stands to reason that they'd go after spirulina tablets like we do chocolate.

  • Anonymous November 20, 2008, 9:59 pm

    I researched spirulina for cats some time ago, and the only caveat was that it is very alkaline, and cats, unlike humans (cats being true carnivores) like a more acidic system. So it’s ok, but in moderation!RebeccaPS I love your blog and recipes!

  • Robin November 21, 2008, 10:59 pm

    Magpie: I LOVE your cat’s name — too cute! Maria: I appreciate your kind words about Vegan Planet. I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes.Babette: these cats are just too smart, aren’t they? They seem to know what’s good for them –(sometimes!)Maya and Rebecca: Thanks for all the great info on cats and spirulina. Gary and Mitzi will be thrilled to know they can continue to have some (in moderation!)

  • Carrie™ November 26, 2008, 5:16 pm

    Gary is too funny! Now you have a healthy treat he goes nuts for.

  • Lily Girl December 4, 2008, 12:20 am

    All of my cats are very food motivated, but my one little girl Kalyra, is more picky than the other two. She *loves* seaweed. The others will eat it, but Kalyra begs for (loudly!) whenever I’m working with it. I feed my cats a raw diet and the supplement powder I make for them includes kelp powder (from the book Natural Health for Dogs and Cats) so I feel comfortable giving them treats of seaweed. It is certainly much healthier than many cat treats available.

  • jennconspiracy December 9, 2008, 10:24 pm

    I have a cat, Dobson, who is so desperately addicted to nutritional yeast that ne now attacks any bags with similarly colored foods — couscous, pasta, flour.He has, in the past, managed to wreak havoc on bags of nootch (and my apartment) tearing holes in the bag, licking it, rolling around in it, dragging the bag around the house to make a trail and jumping and dancing in piles of nootch.He is a nutty cat.

  • Max mickle February 16, 2009, 9:56 am

    My sweet & cut(pupy) cat is very obedient,he always guard & care our house, when we absent.We like very much & love him.

  • Anonymous March 11, 2009, 4:37 am

    hi —gary is adorable — of course, cuz he's a kitty — any time you have questions on kitty or dog nutrition, contact harbingers of a new age — http://www.vegepet.com/index.html — i have no affiliation with them other than my precious vegan kitty Gina was on their powder for many years & was super healthy & slim –caminante in colorado

  • James March 21, 2009, 5:12 am

    I have a 5 year old female cat, we moved house before Xmas and she has been a house cat, more her choice than ours. She has been fantastic with her litter tray, in both houses,using it to wee and poo, and she still does, BUT she has also started weeing to the side of it and I dont know why shes doing it.

  • JoAnn Alafriz July 22, 2009, 2:40 pm

    I just happened upon your blog. As I was researching and wondering if spirulina is good for cats. Spirulina has strong cleansing properties. I will be adding it to Stanley's diet.

    I'm also impressed with your recipies. Easy and delish.

    Keep it up!

  • Anonymous January 1, 2010, 6:56 pm

    Hi there,
    Our 10 years old cat Zouli is 100% a raw vegan cat and eats spirulina soup (spirulina powder with water) first thing in the morning and she loves it.
    She is also mad about Irish moss(a see weed)and asparagus,peas,olives, broccoli with tamari sauce,avocados occasionally,and our dehydrated raw vegan burgers with sunflower seeds tomaoes and onions.
    Happy new year to everyone!
    Dina
    info@ntina.co.uk

  • Kaitlin November 10, 2012, 4:58 pm

    My cat fights me for my spirulina each day! He goes crazier over spirulina than cat nip

    • Robin November 12, 2012, 9:54 am

      That’s how my cats are too, Kaitlin. They must know it’s good for them?!

  • Alanna January 14, 2013, 8:32 am

    My cat Maximo just ran over me and chowed down on my morning spirulina supplement! HAHA! (That’s when I found this blog, which I will be frequenting now.) I’d wager it’s the protein that is so attractive to them, they can smell it. Now he’s pleased with himself and is relaxing.

  • Robin January 14, 2013, 9:24 am

    Alanna, Maximo sounds like my Gary. The first time I noticed that he loved spirulina was when he grabbed it from me and ate it himself. I think the protein plug the “sea” flavor must appeal to them.

    So fun to hear about all the other cats who love spirulina!

  • wendy May 14, 2013, 6:04 pm

    I AM WAITING FOR AN ORDER OF SPIRULINA FOR MY CATS, WHICH HAS MINERALS THAT ARE TERRIFIC FOR MY KITTIES.
    I HAVE TRANSITIONED MY CATS ONTO A RAW DIET AND HAVE BEEN RESEARCHING ON IT BEFORE I MADE A MOVE TO SWITCH THEIR DIET TO RAW.
    THIS IS WHEN I SAW A WRITEUP ON SPIRULINA..
    YOU KNOW, BOTH YOU AND GARY CAN ADD THIS TO YOUR DIET DURING THE WEEK..
    HE LOOKS VERY HEALTHY AND WILL ONLY ADD TO HIS GOOD HEALTH
    PUT IN THE NAME SPIRULINA FOR YOUR KITTY AND YOU WILL SEE A LOT OF GREAT INFO..
    TAKE CARE..WENDY

  • wendy chaplinsky August 5, 2013, 5:57 pm

    CHECK OUT A SITE FOR DR. KAREN BECKER, A HOLISTIC VET..SHE’S TERRIFIC AND POINTS OUT IT’S A TERRIFIC PRODUCT FOR YOUR CAT, DOG AND YOURSELF.
    I TAKE SPIRULINA SEV. TIMES A WEEK AND ADD IT MY GREEN SMOOTHIES..

    TAKE CARE,,,WENDY

  • Aspen October 5, 2013, 2:20 am

    Be very careful with spirulina and cats. Spirulina affects urinary ph. In humans the change is good for bladder health but cats require a ph opposite of what humans urinary ph should be. This will lead to bladder infections in female cats and bladder blockages in male cats.
    My male cat recently spend 2 weeks at the vets while they unblocked his bladder. When asked if his food change recently I told them about using spirulina. The vet told me it was a bad thing to do and a rule of thumb for the future is, “if its good for human bladders, its bad for cat bladders”.

  • Leea March 5, 2014, 8:51 am

    Hi Robin.

    My Boy Merlin Maine Coon and Girl Lacey Maine Coon also go nuts for spirulina, and both live very healthy lives, I was also concerned so I did some research, and was told that Spirulina was a great source of vitamins for pets, all my animals have gone on to it. Three Dogs and Two Cats, they are all extremely healthy, my elderly male Dog is 10 years old and also suffered from hip problems, and ever since given him spirulina, he is like a pup again, runs plays and swims, really amazed. I have never had any problems, since putting my pets on Spirulina. no more vet bills, no bladder problems and no hip problems, just very healthy happy Pets.

    Hope this helps L.

    • Robin March 6, 2014, 7:13 am

      Very helpful. Thanks. I love Maine Coons — our Maine Coon, Frank, was a wonderful boy. I still miss him every day and it’s been over 20 years since he’s gone.

  • Murat Ozhan May 27, 2014, 2:38 pm

    I have three cats. One of them (6 yrs old male) is crazy for spirulina, so much that I have to lock him out before I refill my fish tank feeder.

    • Robin May 28, 2014, 7:58 am

      I hope you give him a little taste! :)

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