Supplementing your cat’s diet with healthy oils can be a great way of topping up their levels of essential fatty acids. Depending on the oil, you might even be able to reap the rewards of improved immunity, enhanced heart health, a shiny coat, and better digestion. Obviously, you’re not going to get all these benefits by splashing a few drops of corn oil on your cat’s dinner. But choose your oil wisely, and you could soon be welcoming some very appealing perks. So, which is the best oil for your cat’s health? Which one should have a permanent place in your kitchen? Before we get to our number one choice, let’s look at some of the honorable mentions.
3rd Place – Fish Oil
In bronze position is fish oil. If you take it yourself, you’ll need no introduction to the benefits. If you don’t, then expect a smorgasbord of perks that are going to do your cat’s insides just as much good as their outsides. As crocx.co writes, fish oil is packed with two essential fatty acids – eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – that can help soothe the inflammation caused by allergies, including itching, dandruff, and hot spots. Fish oils are also thought to improve skin condition, add luster to coats, and even improve heart health and immunity.
If you decide to add the oil to your cat’s diet, be sure to store it in the fridge – rancid fish oil is unlikely to do your cat’s health (or breath) any favors. The recommended dosage is typically around 30 mg per pound of body weight. However, as needs vary, be sure to ask your vet for their recommendation before settling on the right dose for your cat.
2nd Place – Flaxseed Oil
In second place we have flaxseed oil, a very helpful oil that thenest.com describes as an “effective means of including essential fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6 and arachidonic acids in your feline’s diet.” Affordable and readily available, flaxseed oil is reported to help soothe the symptoms of allergies, relieve the pain of arthritis, and even improve blood pressure and kidney function.
A lot of pet owners also report an improvement in digestion with continued use. Cats benefit from around half a teaspoon of oil per day, but as needs vary depending on weight, always consult your vet before beginning a new regime. To avoid any digestive upset, start with a smaller dose split between morning and evening and gradually work your way up. Like fish oil, flaxseed oil should be stored in the fridge to maintain freshness.
1st Place – Coconut Oil
Over the past few years, coconut oil has become hugely popular in our own diets. Some people have even taken to using it as a moisturizer, a hair conditioner, and occasionally, a mouth wash. But it’s not just us that can benefit from some coconut goodness in our lives. As moderncat.com outlines, coconut oil offers our feline friends a whole host of benefits, including:
- A Shiny Coat – Whether it’s applied topically or orally, coconut oil can make a big difference to your cat’s coat. It’s not going to do any harm to their skin either – if your cat’s prone to dry, itchy, or inflamed skin, coconut oil can help soothe the symptoms and prevent the problem from returning. It can even work as a parasite treatment: the fatty goodness of the oil essentially works to ‘suffocate’ mange, fleas, and ticks. It may sound grim, but if the end result is a flee-free cat, who cares? In case a flea does manage to sink its teeth in before meeting its grisly end, a few drops of oil on the affected area should work wonders at reducing any inflammation or soreness. As a rich source of vitamin E, coconut oil can encourage healthy skin growth and moisturize from the inside out. Thanks to its high lauric acid content, it’s also known for its excellent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, making it a great weapon against viral infections and bacteria.
- No More Hairballs! – If you’re sick of hearing your cat coughing up their lungs every few days, relief might be closer than you think. Coconut oil doesn’t just reduce shedding when applied topically, it can also help reduce the formation of hairballs in the stomach and make their natural passage through the digestive tract a much smoother experience.
- Better Digestion – If your cat struggles with a tricky digestion, a regular dose of coconut oil could soon put them on the right track. Coconut oil is a fabulous source of medium-chain fatty acids – used in the right amount, these acids can help increase nutrient uptake and soothe any strain on the digestion. Meanwhile, the anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties of the oil can help reduce any inflammation and heal injuries to the digestive tract.
- No More Smelly Kisses – If your cat’s morning kisses are starting to turn your stomach, you’re not alone. Oral health is a huge problem for a lot of kitties – and as you’ll know if you’ve ever tried to approach one with a toothbrush, most of them aren’t big on preventative action. Fortunately, help may be closer than you think. According to cats.lovetoknow.com, a small amount of coconut oil rubbed directly on the gums can help reduce the inflammation and pain of mild gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease in cats.
- Relieve Constipation – A cat with constipation is grumpy, miserable, and more often than not, in quite a lot of discomfit. To soothe away their blues and get their system up and running, try introducing them to some tasty coconut oil. As well as relieving the immediate problem, the lubricating effect of the oil should do a great job of making sure it never returns – providing you keep to a regular dosing schedule, of course.
- Increased Brain Power – If you’ve started to notice a decline in cognitive function in your cat as they age, coconut oil might be able to lend a helping hand. Although it’s not going to make your cat feel like a kitten again, its abundance of medium-chain triglycerides are believed to improve brain function and keep the little grey cells ticking over nicely.
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