Is Olive Oil Safe for Cats?
With so many foods available to us today, questions always come up about sharing our human food with our feline friends. This includes olive oil.
Although, it may be a strange question to ask 'is olive oil safe for cats,' because who would actually think to share this cooking condiment with a feline? However, the answer may surprise you.
In this article we are going to explore all about cats and olive oil. Plus, is olive oil poisonous to cats? Read on...
What Is Olive Oil?
We most likely use olive oil for cooking, but do we really know what it contains?
According to the Olive Oil Times, this wonder food is mostly made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. These are known to lower the "bad" cholesterol levels in a human's blood, while increasing the "good" cholesterol.
Extra Virgin olive oil is considered the best of the bunch because it is less-refined, which allows it to retain more of its healthy benefits (antioxidants, vitamins, inflammatory and free-radical-fighting properties etc.).
So how does that affect our cats? Read on...
Is Olive Oil Poisonous to Cats?
Since olive oil contains some mild laxative-properties, overdosing your cat with it can lead to diarrhea. If this condition turns chronic, then your feline could develop more serious health issues.
In addition, because olive oil does contain a higher fat-profile, it can cause weight gain in your feline. This could pose a health risk if Kitty is already overweight or obese.
So if it isn't poisonous to felines is olive oil safe for cats?
The answer is "Yes." In fact, I was surprised at all the extraordinary benefits this product has for our feline pets and you most likely will be, too.
Benefits of Olive Oil to Cats
1. Hairball Remedy
Cat's spend a lot of time bathing themselves and each other. For this reason, loose hair is swept up by the rough tongue, then swallowed. Once in the stomach the accumulated hair will begin to work it's way through the digestive tract to either be eliminated in the feces, or back up in one of those nasty, wet, furry "rolls" (that we usually end up stepping on).
A bit of olive oil can help your cat's intestinal tract become more lubricated, so the hair can be whisked away through the bowels. However, since the olive oil will also be absorbed, this treatment will not work on severe hair blockages.
2. Healthy Skin & Coat
Olive oil is rich in a fatty acid called, linoleic acid. This is crucial to giving your cat soft supple skin, which then in turn nourishes the fur. Without enough linoleic acid your feline's coat will become dull and dry and her skin may be itchy, flakey and irritated. Once her skin dries out, your cat may shed more. Olive oil will enrich the skin and hair, leaving your cat's coat soft and shiny.
3. Constipation Cure
Cats can become constipated for a number of reasons these include hairballs, stress, food that is difficult to digest, it's overall diet and other health issues. Adding a bit of olive oil to your cat's daily diet will help loosen the stools, lubricate the digestive tract and stimulate the bowels.
4. Inflammation Fighter
The high levels of Omega-3's in olive oil have been known to reduce the painful inflammation of chronic joint issues. Additionally, it may also be helpful in aiding inflammatory kidney problems.
5. Ear Mite Treatment
According to Pets WebMD, ear mites are microscopic, eight-legged external parasites that live on the wax and oils found in your feline's ear canal. Although, each mite only has a three-week lifespan, together they can cause an infection in your pet's ears. This is contagious from pet-to-pet and is usually characterized by a dark coffee ground-like discharge in the animal's ear.
Oil olive can help treat this itchy and irritating issue. Just add a few drops into each ear daily and gently massage.
How Much Olive Oil Can I Give My Cat?
As we discovered, olive oil has many health benefits to our feline friends, but everything in moderation. If you are treating constipation in a cat, it is recommended to only use one tablespoon mixed in with the kibble once-a-day.
If you plan on using it long-term, introduce it slowly to your cat's diet and be sure to pay attention to how your cat is reacting to this supplement. But again, do not exceed one tablespoon each day.
You will also want to read the side of your cat food bag to see if the company includes olive oil in the recipe. Many top-brand foods will use olive oil to boost the vitamin and antioxidant properties of the dry kibble mix. If you see it listed, you may want to only use a small amount as an added supplement.
Is Olive Oil Safe for Your Cat?
We've covered the many benefits of olive oil for your feline friend; however, every cat's system is different, so before using olive oil on your cat's food or ears, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
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