Yes, cats can eat coconut oil in moderation.
Extracted from fresh or dried coconut meat, coconut oil is known for being rich in medium-chain fatty acids and good cholesterol. Because of its strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, this type of oil is used by cat owners as an edible and topical ingredient.
When used the right way, coconut oil can improve a cat’s skin and coat, help with digestion, assist in reducing inflammation, and even aid in hairball prevention. It is also known for boosting a cat’s immune system and protecting her liver and pancreas.
How to feed coconut oil to your cat: Get your veterinarian’s approval before feeding coconut oil to your cat. Start off by letting your cat lick a very small amount (as little as ⅛ teaspoon of coconut oil) and see how she reacts to it.
It is better to feed your cat virgin coconut oil since the extraction method helps keep all of its natural constituents and antioxidants. An average-sized cat can take about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of coconut oil a day. Nevertheless, be careful not to overfeed her as this may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite loss. Weight gain can also be a long-term effect of overfeeding.
Here are three ideas for coconut oil treats your cat will love:
- Melt the oil in the microwave for a few seconds, and pour it over her kibble.
- Use coconut oil for this carrot and catnip cat treat.
- Fresh blueberries and coconut oil are all you need to make this delicious snack.
In summary: Coconut oil can be a beneficial ingredient to add to your cat’s diet as long as she does not have any existing health issues that may be aggravated by it. It should not be fed to cats with chronic pancreatitis, irritable bowel disorder, and metabolic function disorders. If your cat is in the clear, speak with your veterinarian to determine how often and how much of this essential fatty acid you can give to your cat.
Aside from coconut oil, learn which human foods you can safely give your pet cat through our “can cats eat” blog category.