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Olive oil & cat food

cubbie

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Feb 12, 2006
385
1
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.
 
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cubbie

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Feb 12, 2006
385
1
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...
 

katiemae1277

TCS Member
Veteran
Nov 28, 2005
20,445
17
NE OH
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.....
 

arlyn

TCS Member
Top Cat
May 9, 2005
9,306
47
Needles, CA
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.
 
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cubbie

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Feb 12, 2006
385
1
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?
 

apric0t

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Feb 19, 2006
284
1
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!
 

sharky

TCS Member
Veteran
Jan 30, 2005
27,233
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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
 

shengmei

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jun 21, 2005
1,425
5
College Station, TX
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.
 

cearbhaill

TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 5, 2006
821
4
Podunk USA
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.
 

arlyn

TCS Member
Top Cat
May 9, 2005
9,306
47
Needles, CA
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.
 

cearbhaill

TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 5, 2006
821
4
Podunk USA
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.
 

jcat

Mo(w)gli's can opener
Staff Member
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Feb 13, 2003
69,359
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Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
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).
 

jennyr

TCS Member
Top Cat
Dec 6, 2004
13,339
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The Land of Cheese
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.
 

eliseabengi

TCS Member
Kitten
Feb 17, 2013
5
1
Bronx, NY
I spoke to my vet last week and showed him the dandruff my cat has developed. He recommends omega 3&6 oils. I told the vet I have flaxseed oil which contains both for humans. He recommends 1/4 teaspoon every day to improve skin and coat. She won't eat it if I put it in her food, so I have to catch her off guard, hold her in a cuddlie and administer it with her plastic spoon. It's a little bit of a challenge but at least she'll get the dose.
 
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