Can Cats Eat Olives?


Olives have a strong association with the Mediterranean Basin. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that they originated in said region before spreading elsewhere. After all, olives are very useful, as shown by how they can be eaten once processed as well as how they can be used to produce olive oil. Amusingly, it is possible to eat fresh olives as well. However, most people don’t do so because fresh olives contain large amounts of oleuropein, which is very bitter-tasting. Instead, we eat processed olives that have had the oleuropein leached out of them. On top of this, olive wood is much prized, though it is on the more expensive end of things for a number of reasons. For example, olive trees are small, meaning that each one results in a small amount of olive wood. Similarly, olive trees produce useful fruit, meaning that people aren’t exactly enthusiastic about cutting them down. Regardless, olives are popular, so it is natural for cat owners to wonder whether their cats can eat olives as well.

Can Cats Eat Olives?

Chances are good that interested individuals can guess that cats shouldn’t be gorging themselves on lives. After all, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that cats shouldn’t be gorging themselves on any kind of fruit. Having said that, olives aren’t one of the fruits that are straight-up poisonous to cats, though there are a number of things that interested individuals should keep in mind if they are thinking about feeding olives to their cats.

Consult Your Veterinarian

Cat owners should always consult their veterinarian when they are thinking about feeding their cat something new. Veterinarians are excellent sources of information about what cats can and can’t eat. Furthermore, their veterinarian should have a good understanding of their cat’s general condition, thus enabling said individual to provide more insightful advice than otherwise possible. This is important because cats aren’t 100 percent the same, meaning that it is very much possible for some cats to have issues with a particular food even though most cats can consume it with no issues whatsoever.

Feed Your Cat Olives in Moderation

Even if cat owners get the go-ahead from their veterinarian, they should feed their cat olives in moderation. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea. For example, people can’t predict the future with perfect certainty. Experts are much better at predicting things about their field of expertise than non-experts. Even so, they can’t predict the future with perfect certainty, particularly since they are working with incomplete information. As such, feeding a new food in moderation to a cat is the most sensible course of action in case something bad happens. Similarly, olives are one of those foods that should always be fed in moderation to cats anyway. They aren’t suitable for making a bigger part of a cat’s diet than that, so it is important for cat owners to keep their cat’s consumption of these fruits at a low level. There is a recommendation that cats should receive less than a whole olive a couple of times a week.

Olives Contain a Lot of Fat

Olives contain a lot of fat. This is one of the reasons that cat owners need to be careful about feeding too many olives to their cat. In the short run, eating too much fat can cause cats to experience gastrointestinal distress, which won’t be fun to deal with to say the least. In the long run, eating too much fat can cause cats to become fat, thus increasing their chances for getting a wide range of serious health problems. Something that can be very unpleasant for both the cat and the cat owner.

Olives Contain a Lot of Salt

On a related note, olives contain a lot of salt as well. As mentioned earlier, they are almost never eaten until they have been processed. That means that olives tend to contain a lot of salt because said substance is the most common curing medium. Cats need some salt to live. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of salt before they are at risk for salt poisoning, particularly since they are so much smaller than humans. Thanks to that, cat owners need to be very careful about how much salt their cat consumes, which includes being very careful when it comes to their olive consumption. Be warned that washing olives won’t reduce the amount of salt that can be found within, so interested individuals shouldn’t see that as a potential solution for this particular problem.

Be Careful About the Stuffing

Olives are often pitted before being filled with some kind of stuffing. This can be an issue because some of those stuffings can be problematic for cats. For example, cheese can cause issues for cats. It is both high in fat and high in salt. Moreover, cheese contains lactose, which is important because most adult cats are like most adult mammals in that they are lactose intolerant. Similarly, sausage can cause issues for cats as well. Yes, sausage is meat. The problem is that sausage is processed meat. Cats don’t do so well with either the large amounts of salt or the large amounts of other preservatives, meaning that fresh meat is better than processed meat for them. Apparently, olives stuffed using pimentos are safe for feline consumption. However, pimentos are safe for most cats rather than every single cat out there, so interested individuals might want to check in with their veterinarian regarding them as well.

Never Feed Cats Unpitted Olives

Some cat owners might wonder whether their cat can eat unpitted olives or not. If so, they should avoid testing that because olive pits can be a choking hazard. On top of that, if cats swallow olive pits, those can block their digestive system. Combined, these two things mean that it is always better to avoid cats coming into contact with olive pits, particularly since cat owners shouldn’t be feeding their cats whole olives anyway.

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