Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Cats Drink Sunflower Oil? Vet-Reviewed Benefits & Potential Dangers

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

sunflower oil in a bottle

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Cats are pretty good about shunning foods that they shouldn’t eat and focusing on foods they should. Most cats will not touch a piece of an apple offered to them, but they will not hesitate to accept a piece of cooked chicken. Sometimes, cats will take a liking to foods and ingredients that we aren’t sure are safe for them.

For example, if you leave sunflower oil out on the counter and your cat starts lapping it up, you might wonder if the oil will harm them in any way. The good news is that sunflower oil isn’t toxic to cats, and in fact, a little bit can be included in their diet. However, cats should not drink too much as it might have negative consequences. Here is everything you need to know about giving sunflower oil to your furry feline family member!

What Benefits Does Sunflower Oil Offer Cats?

Sunflower oil contains vitamins and minerals that are essential to the good health of cats. One such nutrient is vitamin K, which is known to help blood properly clot and reduce the chance of developing osteoporosis. Sunflower oil can also help keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy as time goes on.

It even provides a decent source of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. Another benefit of sunflower oil is that it can help make mealtime more appealing. However, fish oil will generally be more attractive to cats. Besides, fish oil is a better oil to offer due to its omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA.

sunflower oil
Image Credit: Pixabay

What Dangers Does Sunflower Oil Pose to Cats?

Sunflower oil is not a toxic food for cats, but there are some precautions to understand before offering any oil to your kitty. First and foremost, if your cat consumes too much oil regularly, it could quickly lead to weight gain and health problems that are associated with obesity, such as diabetes.

A single tablespoon of sunflower oil contains 124 calories, which is close to half the daily allowance of a 10-pound cat. Since this won’t fill up your cat, they will end up overindulging. Most of your cat’s caloric intake should come from animal-derived proteins, not vegetable fats.

Feeding your cat too much sunflower oil could also lead to digestive problems and diarrhea. Also, sunflower oil is not a replacement for real food and should only be treated as an occasional supplement in their home-cooked treats.

Additionally, you should consider that senior cats are not as efficient at digesting fats as their younger counterparts, so if you have an older cat, you should probably avoid sunflower oil. 

Can Cats Eat Meat Cooked in Sunflower Oil?

Cats love to eat cooked meat from their human parents’ kitchens. We know that any meat we cook for our cats should be free of additives like salt and onions. However, we can add a little sunflower oil to the pan before putting chicken or beef chunks in to cook for our furry friends.

The sunflower oil will help the meat cook evenly and will add a little extra nutrition to the treat overall. Cooked chicken or beef should only be offered to your cat occasionally as a treat and should never replace their regular food. If you make homemade food, please ensure that the meats, oils, or any other ingredients are complete and balanced for your cat. 

Image Credit: semirh, Pixabay


Sunflower oil is safe for cats and is even included in some cat food recipes, but that does not mean they can freely consume it. Like other oils, sunflower oil is calorie-dense and does not provide any protein source to your cat, so large amounts should be avoided.

Small amounts are okay to include in preparing some of your cat’s treats or food as long as the meal remains balanced and the daily calorie allowance is considered and maintained. It is always a good idea to consult a qualified veterinarian before adding a new food or ingredient to your cat’s diet, including meat cooked in sunflower oil.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Authored by

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens. She is an artist at heart and loves...Read more

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database