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Anyone Else Use Coconut Oil?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

I had posted on another thread about using coconut oil. I'm just wondering if anyone else uses it with their cats, or even themselves for that matter. 

 

In addition to it being extremely healthy for them, IMO, it's also a great bonding experience for us. I give it two ways, I put a bit in their food (to make sure they get some of it each day) but I also rub some on my hands and let them lick it off, when they're done I rub my hands over them. I do this for my dogs as well. They all love it. 

 

Coconut oil is great for skin and coat, helps with hair balls, naturally repels fleas, aids in digestion, is an antiviral (great for kitties with cancer!), antifungal, antibacterial, boosts metabolism, can help reduce bad breath, may help prevent neurological problems, thyroid problems, cholesterol problems and is generally very well tolerated. I have read a few reports of it even helping with worms, although I haven't experienced that personally. 

 

It's very cheap, I pay less than $10 for 16oz (I use Omega Nutrition Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil). We replace about half of our butter with it for our own personal use, the pets get about a teaspoon a day each. 

 

You can read a bit about it here: http://www.cocotherapy.com/faq_cocotherapy.htm

post #2 of 51

Love the stuff, I buy organic raw fresh pressed virgin coconut oil, smells heavenly. I have used it for years on my face,hair & body. My cats coat gets a light coating  of the oil once or twice a week. I make popcorn using coconut oil yum scrumptious.

post #3 of 51

I like to cook with it on occasion - created a lowcarb recipe for coconut curry chicken that uses it. :)

post #4 of 51

It never occured to me to give it to my cats or use it on them.  Aside from me not liking the smell (nor that of broom which is similar) it's a plant oil, from a bit of the world where as far as I know there are no native cats.  It may be good for us, I can't see why it would be good for cats.

post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrientalSlave View Post

It never occured to me to give it to my cats or use it on them.  Aside from me not liking the smell (nor that of broom which is similar) it's a plant oil, from a bit of the world where as far as I know there are no native cats.  It may be good for us, I can't see why it would be good for cats.

It's metabolized as energy instead of fat and is very easily digestable by all animals. The coconut oil I buy is not scented.

As far as it being from an area where cats aren't native, I really don't see the point you're trying to make there. There are tons of things that we give our pets, either food or medicinal, that are from areas where cats aren't a native species. I prefer to be proactive and natural with my pets' health, so giving them something that is natural, organic, proven to be easily digested and beneficial is what I choose to do. I feed them a lot of things that they wouldn't eat in the wild (beef, turkey, vension, moose, etc) so that doesn't really bother me.

If you can show me a study that shows that coconut oil specifically is hard for cats to digest then I may reconsider, but I've only read studies regarding unspecified plant matter and digestion. All studies with coconut oil have been extremely positive.
post #6 of 51

i put it on nasty cuts - mine and the cats. 

my ancestors did not come from a part of the world where coconuts grow, but I can eat 'em just fine btw.

Thailand is known for its cat breeds (siamese, burmese, tonkinese, khao manee) and coconuts so now you know that they exist in the same parts of the world.

post #7 of 51

A litte additional research pulls up...

 

The history of the domesticated cat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat#Ecology

"cats were probably domesticated in the Middle East, in the Fertile Crescent around the time of the development of agriculture and then they were brought to Cyprus and Egypt."

 

A map of global distribution of native coconut species:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coconut_distribution.png

Note the Red Sea coast of Egypt which overlaps with the fertile crescent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile_Crescent

 

I bet the very first domesticated cats like 10,000 yrs ago were getting some coconut table scraps.

post #8 of 51

My friend has a family coconut farm on Guam, they have been using the raw fresh pressed unrefined virgin form of this oil for many generations ( native to the island.) The oil has a ever so slight sent of coconut, my friends family has the most beautiful skin & hair. They feed the pets ( dogs,cats & birds )  the coconut meal after the pressing, nothing goes to waste. They have some very long lived dogs & cats, these cats roam about freely and are hunting so of course coconut is not the exclusive diet. For free roaming dogs & cats they sure do look good, not one of them has ever been brushed.

post #9 of 51

I heard coconut oil is the highest in saturated fat of all cooking oils. If that is true, I am staying away from it as a feeding supplement. What cats really need is a fish oil high in omgea-3 fatty acids, not what a cardiologist would tell you to stay away from.

post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

I heard coconut oil is the highest in saturated fat of all cooking oils. If that is true, I am staying away from it as a feeding supplement. What cats really need is a fish oil high in omgea-3 fatty acids, not what a cardiologist would tell you to stay away from.

But not all doctors will tell you to stay away from saturated fats...try reading Dr. Peter Attia - http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/how-did-we-come-to-believe-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-are-bad-for-us
This is also an interesting link: http://www.paleoplan.com/2012/05-26/are-coconut-oil-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-really-ok/  Good food for thought!

*disclaimer - I do not follow a paleo diet, though I like some aspects of it.  I do have a cardiac issue, so I take the topic seriously.


Edited by Pat - 7/22/12 at 6:06pm
post #11 of 51

I don't believe that saturated fat is bad - I believe the empty carbs in processed foods are. My blood cholesterol levels support this belief.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fat_and_cardiovascular_disease_controversy

post #12 of 51

The problem with saturated fat is people eat too much of it. I assume many cats do too with so much junk food out there.

post #13 of 51
I've never given it to my cats (never occurred to me), but it works wonders as a skin moisturizer. My daughter has psoriasis and it really helps clear her up. The rest of us also use it in place of lotion, smells nice and makes skin really soft. When my kids were in diapers, it quickly cleared up diaper rash too. I know you can cook with it, but I don't care for coconut flavor, so never tried that one either.
post #14 of 51

How much is too much?

 

Fat doesn't go directly into you blood stream like sugar. Blood cholesterol is produced by the liver independent for the most part by ingestion. 

"cholesterol intake in food has little, if any, effect on total body cholesterol content or concentrations of cholesterol in the blood."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholesterol

 

Traditional Inuit populations ate a straight up diet of saturated fat/protein (think whale and seal blubber) - no heart disease. 

Look up the French Paradox as well.

 

Just offering a different point of view. Take it for what it's worth.

post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeevr View Post

I don't believe that saturated fat is bad - I believe the empty carbs in processed foods are. My blood cholesterol levels support this belief.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fat_and_cardiovascular_disease_controversy

We think alike.  My stats improve *significantly* when I eat the way I now do, but I don't want to highjack the thread so won't go into how I eat here :)

post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

The problem with saturated fat is people eat too much of it. I assume many cats do too with so much junk food out there.

Emily, I really hope you'll go read at least one of those two links, I find it very interesting stuff!  I no longer believe that saturated fat makes one fat or necessarily impacts cardiac health.

post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat View Post

Emily, I really hope you'll go read at least one of those two links, I find it very interesting stuff!  I no longer believe that saturated fat makes one fat or necessarily impacts cardiac health.

I never said saturated fat is outright bad all the time. I just always thought of the phrase "too much of a good thing." Of course, with cats, there is a different story: they need more of it than we do. I guess that is one reason heart disease is not a leading cause of death in cats.

 

Those two links will keep me busy for a long time.

post #18 of 51
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid and these should not be given to cats. I found this out when I started using it for my cats for hair balls. When I told my very she became very concerned and gave me some information she printed from a vet only website, I think it was from UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine

I lost Tolly to a very fast growing carcinoma 6 weeks after starting (and two weeks after stopping) the coconut oil. It is unlikely there is any correlation, but still, the coincidence hurts.

I wasn't able to access the links, so took pictures of the material:

4c1b50e7.jpg

1e9d3ede-1.jpg
post #19 of 51
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeevr View Post

I don't believe that saturated fat is bad - I believe the empty carbs in processed foods are. My blood cholesterol levels support this belief.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fat_and_cardiovascular_disease_controversy

 

 

One of the biggest influences on our blood cholesterol levels is our genetics, not our food.  And just how influential saturated fats are is, as the Wiki links makes clear, controversial e.g. not clearly proven one way or the other.

 

The other issue is that cats are not humans - they have different metabolic pathways and the sorts of fats they require are probably different.  If I wanted to know what the perfect fat composition for a cat is I'd look at the fats in a mouse since it's a typical prey animal.

post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeevr View Post

hmm...
contradictions....
http://winnfelinehealth.blogspot.com/2010/06/cats-and-dietary-medium-chain.html

9 week study with safflower oil vs long term use of daily coconut oil.

Not the same thing.

I won't take the risk, again, with my cats and feel that others should be made aware of the risks.

Because there may be some benefits for cats with certain mal-absorption issues and other disorders, controlled use in some cats with these certain disorders might mitigate the risks.

For healthy cats, no. Pumpkin is effective and safe. smile.gif
post #22 of 51
If someone is going to use coconut oil, I'd recommend extra virgin coconut oil cold pressed from FRESH COCONUT, NOT the stuff made from the dried chopra. There are very few of these on the market. One I'm aware of is Nutiva.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

If someone is going to use coconut oil, I'd recommend extra virgin coconut oil cold pressed from FRESH COCONUT, NOT the stuff made from the dried chopra. There are very few of these on the market. One I'm aware of is Nutiva.

 

Nature's Way is advertised as cold pressed as well. It's currently on my shopping list so I looked it up.

post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

If someone is going to use coconut oil, I'd recommend extra virgin coconut oil cold pressed from FRESH COCONUT, NOT the stuff made from the dried chopra. There are very few of these on the market. One I'm aware of is Nutiva.

I use Nutiva..like it very much.

post #25 of 51

Just watch how much you all use as I've had my vet and the vet from Little Big Cats state that medium chain triglycerides are not good for cats. I have my own questions about this as I've seen very positive results with Nutiva pure cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil as well. But because of those comments, I am careful about how much and how often I give it. 

post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

If someone is going to use coconut oil, I'd recommend extra virgin coconut oil cold pressed from FRESH COCONUT, NOT the stuff made from the dried chopra. There are very few of these on the market. One I'm aware of is Nutiva.

That's the brand I was using. smile.gif But after seeing the information from my vet on medium chain triglycerides and cats, I gave the rest away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnlacey View Post

Just watch how much you all use as I've had my vet and the vet from Little Big Cats state that medium chain triglycerides are not good for cats. I have my own questions about this as I've seen very positive results with Nutiva pure cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil as well. But because of those comments, I am careful about how much and how often I give it. 

Yes. I posted some info earlier on this. I couldn't post the links because the printed info my vet gave me was from a vet member only site, but I took pics of the page smile.gif

I too saw some positive results when using it, as far as coat improvement and hair ball reduction, (and It also supposedly repels fleas.) but decided it wasn't worth the risk. Plus worried the luxurious coat brought on by feeding them the oil might hide other issues if they came up.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by finnlacey View Post

Just watch how much you all use as I've had my vet and the vet from Little Big Cats state that medium chain triglycerides are not good for cats. I have my own questions about this as I've seen very positive results with Nutiva pure cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil as well. But because of those comments, I am careful about how much and how often I give it. 

If I see a cut on the cat I rub some on. In the 1.5 yrs I have had the two cats, I smeared some on one cat's head for  ~week.

 

I have on occasion, let them lick some off my hands (~ once a month?)

 

They steal butter, so they get more than enough fat that way, I think.

 

Sometimes I give them a little coconut milk although they seem to have lost interest in it.

 

I personally believe that if your cat has hairball problem - you should give them fish oil, butter, bacon grease or coconut oil instead of something like Petromalt.

There is NO WAY anybody is going to convince me that it is better for the cat to ingest a petroleum based oil than actual food based oils.

post #28 of 51
Since this thread popped up via a link from another one, I thought I'd address this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post

Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid and these should not be given to cats. I found this out when I started using it for my cats for hair balls. When I told my very she became very concerned and gave me some information she printed from a vet only website, I think it was from UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine

The issue with warnings about MCTs and cats is NOT that they are dangerous to cats. In the Nutrition Research Council's "Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats" (on which the AAFCO basis all food/nutrient recommendations), it is not recommended that coconut oil be used in cat foods for its source as a fat - it contains none of the EFAs required by cats, and studies with foods using coconut oil were found to be unpalatable to cats, so they lost weight (because they wouldn't eat the food).

But this has nothing to do with MCTs being dangerous for cats. So it can be used as a supplement. Just remember when using it, it adds calories - and animal-based sources of anything, when possible, are always a better choice for cats.
post #29 of 51

Laurie I have a word document uploaded from The Winn Foundation to my Facebook group about this if you want to check the files. 

post #30 of 51
Is there more current info that contradicts what's in the NRC? If so, you might want to share it in the thread for the benefit of others.
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