Can Cats Eat Olive Oil? Check out the Benefits

The health benefits of olive oil for humans are clear and well-documented. Adding olive oil to your own diet, however, may have led you to wonder, can cats eat olive oil?

The answer is yes, and doing so can improve their health in a myriad of ways. Here's a look at why not only can cats eat olive oil but why some of them absolutely should.

What are the benefits of Olive Oil for Cats?

olive oil benefits for cats
  • Helps to reduce Hairballs
  • Prevents Constipation
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Leads to a healthy heart.

Hairballs

Cats groom themselves a lot and ingest large amounts of hair while doing so. Some of this hair simply passes through their digestive system and out of the body. Sometimes, however, a cat will ingest more hair than her digestive tract can process.

The result is the coughing up of a nasty hairball, often left somewhere you would rather it wasn't. A regular olive oil regimen can greatly reduce hairballs by lubricating the digestive tract, making the hair easier to pass into and through the intestines.

Constipation

Routine consumption may offer health benefits, but can cat's eat olive oil as a natural medication? When they are constipated they can. If your feline friend hasn't left you any presents in the litter box for a day or two, he is probably constipated. Fixing constipation in cats is important since the condition sometimes becomes chronic and is potentially fatal if left untreated.

Olive oil is a healthy and natural way to relieve a bout of constipation in your cat. If his constipation is frequent, add more fiber to his diet by changing his food or offering high-fiber treats.

Healthy Skin

Not only can cat's eat olive oil, but they should if they have a dull coat or dry skin. If your cat's coat is dull and stiff, her diet may be lacking in fat. Although avoiding excessive amounts of fat is a good thing, cats do need small amounts of it in their diet. They use this fat to create natural oil for their skin, among other things.

This oil acts as a lubricant that keeps her skin supple and her coat soft and shiny. Too little fat causes dry skin, coarse hair and excessive shedding. You can remedy these issues by feeding olive oil to your cat or, if she lets you, rubbing a bit onto her fur during a bath and then rinsing it off.

Inflammation

In humans, inflammation is just a fancy way of referring to swelling, and it can occur in any part of the body. One way to reduce inflammation is by eating a diet full of the omega-rich fatty acids found in olive oil. If this works for humans, can cat's eat olive oil and get the same effect?

Yes. Using olive oil to reduce inflammation in your cat will help reduce arthritis, ease inflammatory kidney problems and reduce bowel inflammation to improve digestive health and regularity.

Heart Health

Can cats eat olive oil for its heart health benefits? The answer is once again a resounding yes. Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants such as vitamin E, polyphenols and even chlorophyll that improve heart health both directly and indirectly. These antioxidants reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease while giving your cat's overall immune system a boost.

Antioxidants also reduce the likelihood of diabetes, which increases an animal's chance of having a heart attack or stroke just as it will a human's. A healthy intake of these powerful molecules will also help combat obesity, which puts a tremendous strain on the heart, arteries and lungs.

Olive Oil Risks

Although the answer is an affirmative to can cats eat olive oil, it is important that you don't overdo it. It is possible to give your pet too much of this good thing.

If your cat eats too much olive oil he is likely to develop a case of diarrhea. Some experts have concluded that excessive amounts of olive oil may destroy vitamin A, potentially causing a vitamin deficiency. It is of note that olive oil itself does not contain vitamin A.

Olive oil does contain fat, however, which is beneficial in low doses but causes obesity when overdone. Although olive oil's potential side effects are admittedly few, it is always a good idea to ask your vet "Can cats eat olive oil?" and "How much does my pet need?" before jumping whole hog into olive oil feeding.

Recommended Dosage

Once you've answered can cats eat olive oil, you'll want to know how much. The recommended dosage of olive oil for a cat varies from one-quarter teaspoon a week to a teaspoon a day.

The proper amount will vary based on your cat's individual health needs and how well he tolerates it. If your cat's food is already high in oil, your cat will need less olive oil than a cat whose diet is low in oils. Not only can cat's eat olive oil, they can also eat too much.

When in doubt, start with a small dose and work your way up to higher doses. If your cat experiences diarrhea or puts on weight, lower the dose again. Check in with your vet, too, for dosing help and monitoring. 

Feeding - Can Cats Eat Olive Oil Alone?

Can cats eat olive oil? Yes, but that doesn't mean yours will do so without some encouragement. Most cats don't express any particular dislike for olive oil, but that doesn't mean yours will simply lap it up if you put some in a dish. Instead, mix olive oil into her cat food. Can cat's eat olive oil is a much different question than will cat's eat olive oil, so you may have to get creative if your pet is a picky eater. 

A little bit of olive oil can greatly improve your cat's health by reducing inflammation and hairballs while making her skin and coat healthier. It will also treat episodes of constipation. Make sure you feed the proper amount, however, and introduce this new food gradually. Can cats eat olive oil? Yes. Should they? In most cases, yes. So buy some olive oil today and get your pet on the path to better health. 


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