When you think of Olive Oil, it’s easy for your mind to wander to thoughts of delicious Mediterranean dishes and sun-filled afternoons. But did you know that this golden oil has a myriad of health benefits not only for humans but cats too? In moderation, olive oil can be super healthy for your cat and can help with a number of ailments. It’s also a great option if you want to fry them a little chicken, and can be drizzled on their food. Like everything, it should be consumed in moderation and never as a substitute for vet-approved food. However, as a supplement, it can be highly beneficial for your kitty. In fact, to many, it is praised as being a superfood and its multiple benefits and uses are well celebrated across the world!
NB: Always use Extra Virgin olive oil. This is the healthiest form of olive oil as it’s in its purest form.
Let’s Look at Some of the Top Benefits of Olive Oil for Cats
- Great for skin health and fur
Olive oil is an excellent choice when it comes to fur and skin health. It is filled with healthy fats known as polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic. These fats are super important for skin health because they ensure that skin stays supple, soft, and properly moisturized. They’re also important for healthy hair growth and will support your kitty’s body in creating a shiny, thick coat. If your pet suffers from dry skin, olive oil can be a godsend. Dry skin can lead to irritation and flakiness, and in extreme cases can leave hair looking dull, or even patchy, and skin red and irritated. Thus, adding small amounts of olive oil to your cat’s diet can do wonders for their skin health and their coat. When your cat’s coat is looking luscious and shiny, they are bound to feel like the picture of health! A healthy cat is truly a happy cat and adding in just a tablespoon of this wonderful oil can offer a plethora of benefits that will boost their immunity and overall health.
- Helps cats to pass furballs
Now, this might sound a bit strange, but olive oil can actually help cats to pass their hairballs. Hairballs are unfortunately a standard part of the feline life, especially for those beautiful long-haired kitties. Since cats spend so much of their time grooming, it’s only natural that they consume a great deal of hair. While some of this is expelled when they excrete, there is often a great deal of hair that remains and this often comes right back up through their digestive tract. For this reason, all cats will cough up hairballs from time to time. However, if your cat struggles with big furballs frequently, you can bet they’re having a miserable time. Olive oil, however, can help to make the process a little less uncomfortable, since oil can help to lubricate their digestive tract and make it easier for them to pass hairballs. If they are dealing with a persistent hairball problem, it is of course better to consult your vet and get a medical opinion. However, as a supplement, olive oil can be beneficial and help your kitty to pass hairballs more comfortably if they aren’t too big. Head over to our review of cat food for hairballs for more alternatives.
- Helps cats with constipation
Much like humans, sometimes cats can deal with constipation. It’s uncomfortable, and if they deal with it for too long, it can cause a number of health problems. Adding some olive oil to their diet can help to soften their stools and this can make it easier for them to pass them. Simply put a tablespoon on their food and give it a few hours. This said, if your cat’s constipation issues are reoccurring and do not subside, it is important to take them to your vet. Constipation can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious underlying medical condition and if left untreated, could cause serious harm. If your cat is struggling with chronic constipation, your vet might opt for an enema or another medical treatment. Keep an eye on your cat’s litter habits to ensure that their constipation isn’t reoccurring. However, for a once off issue, olive oil is certainly worth a try and could offer your precious fur-baby some serious relief.
Check out our guide on Cat Food for Constipation for more info.
- It’s a powerful antioxidant: hello optimum immune and brain function!
Extra virgin olive oil is super rich in antioxidants. Ingredients including polyphenols, chlorophyll, and vitamin E do wonders when it comes to boosting and supporting their immunity. This will make their bodies stronger and ensure that they are better equipped to deal with ailments and health issues down the line. A healthy cat will naturally be happier too and this will also enhance their overall wellbeing. Antioxidants also do wonders when it comes to optimizing brain function and thus these can help boost your fury friend’s cognitive abilities. Antioxidants can support overall health and wellbeing and can give your four-legged best friend a better quality, and possibly even quantity of life.
- It can even be used to get rid of ear mites!
While all the other benefits are a result of your cat ingesting olive oil and it working its magic from the inside out, this method is a little different and is certainly worth a go if your cat has an ear mite problem. Ear mites are microscopic parasites that can affect both cats and dogs. They feed off skin cells and earwax and often live in the skin and within the ear canal itself. If left untreated they can cause serious irritation and inflammation. Cats with ear mites might constantly shake their heads or paw at their ears. You might also notice a black residue in their ears and sometimes you might notice an odor. If the problem persists and cannot be treated at home, you should consult your vet and get a professional medical opinion. However, many pet parents have used olive oil to get rid of mites and have seen some promising results. Before doing this though ALWAYS consult your vet and if they give you the go-ahead, simply put a few drops in your cat’s ears for a few days to see if there is any improvement.
NB: It is super important that you consult your vet before doing any at-home ear treatments. Ear infections that are not properly treated can lead to more extreme problems like permanent damage of the ear canal. Always get a professional opinion first to ensure optimum safety for your feline friend. For more options, check out our detailed review of ear cleaners for cats.
- It can help to reduce inflammation in the body
It has been said that inflammation in the body is the root cause of many ailments and diseases. A body riddled with inflammation is going to struggle to maintain optimum health and fight off illness. Inflammation can cause anything from skin issues, to bowel problems, to arthritis, and thus can be serious if not treated. Luckily olive oil contains an amazing ingredient known as omega-3. This fatty acid is extremely nutritionally dense and works absolute wonders when it comes to fighting inflammation in the body. These polyunsaturated fats are great when it comes to the reduction of swelling and can also help to lessen any associated pain. If your cat is dealing with a serious inflammatory condition like arthritis it is of course important to consult your vet and get them examined, however, including olive oil into their diet (as part of a balanced and vet-approved treatment plan), can certainly help them and possibly reduce any pain and discomfort.
Key Things to Remember:
- Olive oil should be used as a supplement to an already nutritionally complete and healthy diet.
- It should be given in moderation and not utilized as the sole treatment for serious health conditions.
- Cats should never be force-fed olive oil. A little should be drizzled in their food and only a few times a week.
- Always use Extra Virgin olive oil and not oil mixes. You need to feed your cat the healthiest and purest form of olive oil.
- It should never be used to treat chronic problems like reoccurring constipation, or ear mite infections. While it’s definitely worth a try and can often yield promising results, it won’t work for every condition and some ailments need medical attention so that they can be swiftly treated.
- When you’re unsure, just call your vet. A medical opinion can go a long way and put any doubts you might have to rest.
Olive oil can be a brilliant addition to your cat’s diet and can offer a number of glorious benefits that can enhance their health and overall wellbeing. Consult your vet, since they will know your cat’s unique history, and if they give you the green light, see what benefits olive oil can add to their life.