Olive oil is a staple in many households throughout the world. It makes food taste better, and it is full of antioxidants that help keep us healthy. It can stay on the shelf for a while without going bad, and it is relatively affordable. Sometimes, olive oil can even be found in the ingredients list of commercial cat foods.
But is it okay to give our cats some olive oil at home? The short answer is yes! Cats can have some olive oil added to their diet. However, it’s not something that you should give freely without understanding how olive oil benefits cats, how much they should get at any given time, and how to offer it to them. Let’s explore these topics more in this article.
Is Olive Oil Beneficial for Cats?
The same benefits that olive oil offers humans can also be extended to cats. The antioxidants in olive oil help fight free radicals and promote proper cellular function. They can keep cancer from developing and growing, and keep inflammation in check. Olive oil can also help keep your cat’s coat soft and supple as they age.
Maintaining strong, healthy muscles is another benefit that cats can get from consuming olive oil. Cats also seem to enjoy consuming olive oil for whatever reason, so it can help make food more appealing which can be helpful if your pet is older and starting to show less interest in eating.
How Much Olive Oil Should Be Given to Cats?
Cats do not need a lot of olive oil to benefit from it. So, there is no need to add it to all their meals or snacks. Cats need no more than a teaspoon or so worth of olive oil in a day, and they do not even need it daily to reap the oil’s benefits. It is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before introducing new food to your cat, and same goes with olive oil. Your vet can recommend how often and how much olive oil to give to your cat as time goes on.
Remember that it is not necessary to give your cat olive oil at all. Your cat can get the nutrition they need from the food you provide them with at mealtime. No research says olive oil will help your cat live longer.
How Should Olive Oil Be Given to Cats?
There is no secret technique for offering olive oil to cats. You can let your kitty lick it from a teaspoon, mix it in with their commercial wet or dry food, or use for cooking homemade snacks like chicken pieces that your cat would love to eat between meals. If your cat takes any medication, you can mix a little olive oil with it to make it more palatable.
You can mix some olive oil into a premade gravy mix and moisten dry food or dip treats in. You can even use the oil to soak catnip in so that it stays fresh during storage. The options are almost limitless! Use your judgment and consider your cat’s preferences to determine the best method of administration.
Can Other Oils Be Given to Cats?
Olive oil is not the only type of oil that cats can consume to gain health benefits. Not all oils are optimal options, and some, like canola oil, should be avoided altogether. Here is a list of oils that you can allow your cat to splurge on occasionally:
Any of these oils can be used like olive oil when it comes time to feed your kitty. Just be sure not to overfeed any oil to your pet because it could lead to weight gain and associated health problems like diabetes.
Olive oil can be a healthy addition to your cat’s diet. However, it should be treated as an occasional supplement rather than a meal staple. When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian, and they can provide you with feeding recommendations based on things such as your kitty’s personal health history, weight, and age.