Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
I thought it was time to start bringing back the posts about what cats can eat since it seemed like a number of you enjoyed the previous topics I talked about such as if cats can eat pecans, can cats drink almond milk, can cats drink soy milk, can cats drink coffee, and if cats can eat watermelons. So today I’m going to a popular fruit known as the olive! So, let’s get cracking, are cats able to eat olives?
Eh… depends on the olive! Natural olives (with no artificial preservatives) should be fine for cats to eat, but if they are salted or seasoned they’re a definite no go. But let’s dive into the reasons you may want to avoid olives with your cats!
They Have 0 Nutritional Value
Some fruits and veggies can be beneficial for our furry friends, even if they are obligate carnivores. Although this is true, olives have no nutritional value for cats. For humans olives are great since they supply us with vitamin A & C, however, cats produce their own vitamin C and vitamin A can be found in the flesh of the animals they eat. The only time you want to feed your cat fruits or veggies is if they’re lacking specific nutrients or fibres.
Are Olives Ever Beneficial?
Yes, olives can be beneficial when it comes to antioxidants. The thing is there are lots of other fruits and veggies that have antioxidants (and other vitamins and minerals your cat will benefit from). An example of a perfect fruit/veggie to include in your cat’s diet if they are lacking antioxidants is pumpkin. Pumpkin is commonly added to wet foods, dry foods or can even be fed to your cat on its own.
Now, I will admit that olives have shown signs of preventing cancer in cats, and have also shown signs of helping with arthritis (due to its anti-inflammatory qualities), but again these properties can be found in other foods that have other benefits for cats. If your cat is suffering from either of these ailments, I would definitely speak to your vet about whether or not to feed your cat olives, but I would also make sure to research other foods (or medicines) that may help.
Are there any risks to feeding olives?
As mentioned, sometimes there are risks to feeding olives. The olive itself isn’t poisonous, although the way they are handled can be. Lots of olives are overly salted which can actually poison your cat. Sodium poisoning usually manifests itself with extreme thirst, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, loss of appetite, lethargy and can even lead to kidney failure (which is one of the top causes of death in cats.) Cats may also develop high blood pressure if fed too much salt, which will lead to long-term health problems such as strokes or heart attacks (note: this is not from the olive itself but from the salt on the olive).
You may think that you can just wash the salt off of olives, but it won’t actually help. If you are going to choose to feed your cat olives, you will want to make sure that you buy unsalted, unseasoned olives.
Olives are also dangerous if they still have the seeds in them. They can be a choking hazard, so make sure you always remove the seed before giving the olive to your cat.
Olives are also highly acidic, this can give your cat a very upset stomach or can even change the pH in their urine leading to other problems such as urinary tract infections (if fed frequently).
I heard Olives can create a Euphoric Reaction like Catnip
Yes, this is true. Olives actually have chemicals that are similar to catnip, but this is from the scent and not the taste. So, if you are curious in seeing whether or not your cat likes the smell, let your cat take a big whiff from an empty can of olives and see if they roll around like hooligans like Walker does with catnip! Now, please note, not every cat will react this way. Just like catnip and valerian, some cats just aren’t affected by it and to be honest, since Beau is not affected by both I’ve been very tempted to try this with him (although, we never have olives in the house.)
Would I feed olives to my cats? No, never. Would I look down on folks who do? Probably not as long as they are being very careful when feeding their cats. I personally see no reason to feed your cat olives, since there are so many other things you could be feeding your cat that will benefit them more.
So Pet Parents & Pet Lovers, have your cats ever eyed your olives before? Have they ever tried to eat them? Let me know in the comments below!
Other foods you might be curious if cats can or can’t eat: