Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
A lot of pet parents make the conscious decision to make sure that their cats don’t eat any human food, but if you’re a pet parent who wants to treat their cat with a bit of cooked chicken what should you cook it in?
Are certain oils toxic to cats? Should you use water instead? Does cooking chicken in water even work? Should you simply make a broth or stew out of the chicken?
I’m sure you’ve all heard the craze about olive oil and how olive oil is now considered a super food.
Haven’t heard of a super food? Well, olive oil has been deemed one because it helps with the overall functionality of the body and provides great nutrients.
That being said… if olive oil is so great for humans, does it mean that it’s good for cats? Let’s break down some facts!
You can absolutely feed your cat olive oil. However, if you do make sure that you only feed olive oil in moderation. Olive oil is considered non-toxic to cats and can actually be a great supplement in their diet.
BENEFITS OF FEEDING YOUR CATS OLIVE OIL
1. Olive Oil can be a very powerful antioxidant
Olive oil contains, vitamin E, chlorophyll, and polyphenols (which are bio-synthesized plant compounds). These three components help boost and improve the function of the immune system, making sure that your cat can fight off any germs they come into contact with.
2. The fats olive oil contains are monounsaturated
Often-times we’re warned that certain oils are actually terrible for us because they can cause cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, however olive oil allows fat to burn more efficiently and will help raise your cat’s metabolism.
3. The fats inside of the oil are great for growth and ageing
4. Olive oil can be used as a weight loss agent
Due to the fact that olive oil raises the metabolism and the fact that it only has monounsaturated fat, olive oil can actually help break down fats that are stored in single cells. Olive oil can help aid cats who have obesity problems or cats that are at risk of strokes (due to being overweight.)
5. Olive oil is great for supporting muscle functionality
6. Olive oil can cure constipation
If you’ve ever had a constipated cat you know how expensive medications can be. We learned this the hard way when Beau had his “PU Surgery” and while I do not recommend giving your cat olive oil if your vet has prescribed something else, I do recommend feeding your cat olive oil if they are beginning to show signs of constipation.
Olive Oil helps to stimulate bowel movements, however, it will make stools softer or even liquid, so don’t overfeed your cat this oil.
7. Olive oil is great for skin & fur!
Olive oil has excellent moisturizing properties that will help improve the shine and softness of your cat’s coat.
8. Olive oil helps aid the passing of hairballs
9. Olive oil is actually a natural cure for ear mites
Always check with your vet to make sure that this is the treatment they recommend, but olive oil has actually been used as a cure for clearing out ear mites as well as infections within the ear canal. This can be achieved by dropping a few drops into your cat’s ear. Again, please check with a vet before you give this treatment, especially if you’re not sure how to put drops into your cat’s ear.
*Photo from Can Cats Eat Olives and What Happens If They Do?
WHICH OLIVE OIL IS BETTER?
If you choose to feed your cat olive oil you’re going to want to buy extra-virgin olive oil if it’s in the budget/is possible.
Extra-virgin olive oil is less acidic and is not chemically treated, making it safer for your cat to consume. Extra-virgin olive oil is also a much higher quality oil that will ensure your cat doesn’t get sick.
HOW MUCH OLIVE OIL SHOULD I FEED?
As mentioned, I would make sure not to overuse olive oil, and currently, there isn’t a concrete “recommendation” for how much you should feed your cat.
Some experts recommend giving your cat a tablespoon a day if your cat is struggling with constipation and a teaspoon a day for conditioning. That being said, you should always start off by feeding your cats small amounts and then increase the feedings.
I personally would only feel comfortable feeding my cat one teaspoon every three days for conditioning.
HOW SHOULD I FEED MY CAT OLIVE OIL?
You can mix the oil into their wet or dry food.
I would not try to syringe feed olive oil or try to feed it on its own due to its taste.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FEED MY CAT TOO MUCH OLIVE OIL?
Olive Oil is great and has so many benefits, but when it is overfed it can actually do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
Some signifiers that you are overfeeding your cat olive oil are:
Your cat may have diarrhea
Your cat may develop very dry skin
Your cat may become overweight
*Photo from Can Cats Eat Olives and What Happens If They Do?
IF OLIVE OIL IS SO GREAT, WHY DON’T MORE VETS RECOMMEND IT?
Well, it’s not a matter of vets not recommending it as much as it’s the fact that a lot of foods already contain olive oil inside of them.
That being said, take a look at the ingredient list on your cat’s food to make sure you’re not going to overdose your cat with olive oil.
At the end of the day, as always, I recommend talking to your vet about whether or not olive oil is suitable for your cat. Not every cat will need an olive oil supplement in their diet, but if your cat suffers from things like constipation or a dry/rough coat it may be a good idea to talk to your vet about this natural supplement.
Olive Oil is a great supplement that I would recommend including in your cat’s diet if they suffer from constipation or a dry/rough coat.
Please always make sure to be safe with the amount of olive oil you give your cat as it can get your cat sick. Make sure you’re “okay-d” by the vet and you’re good to go!
I personally don’t feel comfortable using it for conditioning (daily feedings), and would only use it when my cat is constipated, when my cat is having difficulty passing hairballs, or every 3 days if their skin & fur is getting too dry or brittle (for example in the winter.)
So pet parents & pet lovers, let me know have you included olive oil in your cat’s diet? Did it help with any of these symptoms? Have you had good or bad experiences?
Let us know in the comments below!