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Olive oil & cat food

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

One of my cats has a little dandruff problem. I've searched for suggestions and read a few things regarding adding olive oil to their food. Is any plain olive oil from the grocery store ok? How much should I add to their food and how often? Does it matter if it is with their wet food or dry food?

Also, I have my 2 cats on Iams mult-cat formula. Is this food ok for them? What is the best food you can buy for cats at a store like Petsmart etc?

Thanks in advance for your help! My cats appreciate it.
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just did some more reading and found some positive feedback on Nutro Natural Balance food. The interesting thing is that Nutro is not any more expensive than Iams and may actually be cheaper. I'm fine with that price range. I thought Iams was a good food to feed my kitties. I'm changing to Nutro now.

Still curious about the Olive Oil though...
post #3 of 16
A fish oil would be better than olive oil for this purpose. Good luck!
post #4 of 16
Originally Posted by vanillasugar
A fish oil would be better than olive oil for this purpose. Good luck!
you can buy the capsules for humans at your local drugstore and break them open and put them in the food, not sure how much though.....
post #5 of 16
I feed Nutro Natural, no real dandruff issues here except in the winter when what little humidity we have is gone.

I do give olive oil though, once a week.
Extra virgin.
I mix two tablespoons into three 6oz cans of catfood for all 6 to share.
And my large dog gets 1 tablespoon once a week in his food.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone! I don't want to hurt my boys and I read everything from 1 tablespoon a day to 1 teaspoon a week. I heard it makes their coats nice and shiny too.

About the fish oil, does anyone know how much to give them? Does anyone else have a vote for fish oil or olive oil?
post #7 of 16
I vote for fish oil, especially salmon oil. Cats can digest animal based oils better than plant based oils. The plant oils, like olive oil, just run through the body because cats are not made to digest plants, but animals. The bottle should say how much oil to feed, usually a squirt or two on top of their food. As to what good foods are at Petsmart, IAMS is definately not one. I, personally, would never feed it. Ever. It's full of corn, fillers, grains, meat by-products, etc. I also don't like the animal testing debute. There are some good foods at Petsmart, however. I suggest BLUE Buffalo Spa Select, Pro Plan, Nutro and Royal Canin at Petsmart. These are mid-quality foods, but better than IAMS. Good luck!
post #8 of 16
Olive and cod liver or salmon oil mix seems to work here ... I would avoid flax as Apricot is correct on the plant oils but the my vet advised olive or salmon
post #9 of 16
Omega oil supplements work excellently.

Make sure when you buy cod liver oil you buy bottled Norwegian cod oil from a reputable supplement store (GNC for example). The regular capsules are only 40% cod liver oil and they are usually of the lower quality.

Same with taurine. I was able to get a excellent taurine supplement at one quarter of the regular price by purchasing the human equivalent from GNC.
post #10 of 16
Olive Oil contains very little omega 3's, which is exactly what you are trying to add by using a fatty acid supplement, i.e to help remedy skin and fur problems such as allergies, dry skin, hair loss, itch, scalp, and dull fur.
Olive oil contains a smattering of omega 6's, but it is primarily composed of omega 9 heavy oleic acid, and omega 9's are not even classed as essential fatty acids.

Most cat diets are heavy on the omega 6's (as are most humans) and if not balanced by a proper ratio of omega 3's degenerative health issues will begin to surface. The omega 3's also stimulate the immune system and act as an antioxidant.

You need the omega 3's, primarily because that is where you find the fatty acids called EPA and DHA which are only found in fish. For cats I like salmon oils (cod liver oil is very high in Vitamin A- dangerously so), or even better yet a blend that is higher in omega 3's like "Missing Link". Using a higher proportion of omega 3's, especially in the initial phase of supplementation, gets the body back into balance after a typical diet that emphasizes omega 6's.

So no, I wouldn't consider using olive oil.

Whatever oil supplement you choose, the source and processing process are crucial to it being a beneficial food supplement and not a detriment. Many manufactured fish oils are heavily contaminated with mercury, PCB's and dioxin, as well as industrial pollutants from the manufacturing process. Buying cold pressed oils are the first step in finding a good, healthy oil source. I don't consider 90% of the "fish oil" capsules to be deccent quality- you have to read the labels with an eye towards how they are manufactured.

It is a fascinating topic- balanced fatty acid supplements are IMO the most important supplement for cats eating commercially prepared diets, and their human friends, too.
post #11 of 16
Actually Olive oil has a 10:1 ratio of Linoleic acid (omega 6) to Linolenic acid (omega 3), so it does have some, but it is low.

If you want higher Omega 3 go with Flaxseed oil.
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Actually Olive oil has a 10:1 ratio of Linoleic acid (omega 6) to Linolenic acid (omega 3), so it does have some, but it is low.
Right- my calling it zero omega 3's was incorrect. Olive oil is 0-1.5% linolenic acid. Not quite zero, but still too low to be of any benefit in supplementing omega 3's.

Thanks Arlyn for the correction.
I've edited my previous post to read correctly so as not to confuse anyone.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by churchi4cubs
About the fish oil, does anyone know how much to give them? Does anyone else have a vote for fish oil or olive oil?
I use the fish oil in capsules - one 500 mg. capsule/cat/week. I buy the capsules at a pharmacy, rather than the supermarket, pierce them with a knife, and squeeze the oil over canned food. One capsule per week would be for maintenance. If the dandruff is severe, give one per cat a day for three or four weeks, and then go down to one a week (this is my vet's advice re dandruff).
post #14 of 16
I second the cold pressed oil commment. I forgot to add it to my post myself.

GNC has some excellent choices.
post #15 of 16

Just a thought. I read a post earlier about not using cod liver oil. They mentioned it depletes the Vitamin A in their bodies, their bodies can't handle it and can end up causing problems. See website answer by hudsongray. 

post #16 of 16
Although the information mentioned here is always good to know, I want to remind people that this thread is 9 years old, and you are unlikely to hear from most of the previous posters.
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