Cats are a strange little animal at times. Generally, cats prefer their cat food, dry or wet, and not human food. They are also curious and when they see you eating something, they just have to have a sniff, maybe even a lick to see if they like it and want a bite. When you see they are curious about what you are eating, it is a basic instinct to break off a piece and offer it to your cat to try. Before you do this, you want to make sure that it is safe for your cat to even have a tiny bite as you do not want to make them sick or poison then accidentally.
Olives have their own unique flavor. Some have described the taste as very salty and a little rubbery, with the green olive being a bit milder and the black olive being a bit stronger. Some think that an olive is a vegetable but in actuality, they are fruit. If cats smell the olives, they may be turned off by the smell or texture but if the cat wants a little taste, it may be okay to give them a little taste, depending on the olive.
For cats, olives are non-toxic but you should only feed them natural olives. Try to avoid the ones with artificial preservatives. Before you give your cat olives, make sure that you check with your vet to be sure you can feed them an occasional olive if your cat wants it. With natural olives, there is nothing in them that hurt the cat, but on the other side, there is nothing good they can offer either.
One important thing to note is that it is advisable not to give olives to kittens as they are more sensitive to the laxative effects the fiber in olives can cause. This could possibly lead to dehydration and diarrhea.
Although there is nothing olives can actually offer cats, there are some health benefits if they do decide to eat them. Cats are obligate carnivores and if they were in the wild, they would not eat them. They do not need them to have a nutritionally, balanced diet. The vitamin C and A their body can produce on their own or get from the flesh of other animals. For cats, olives do not contain any vitamins that are beneficial to them. You should use olives as a rare treat.
So, what health benefits do olives have for cats? Olives can be used for medicinal purposes. There are many varieties of olives and most have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. They will help to take care of the cat’s free radicals to help aid against many illnesses. They can help prevent cancer and help those with arthritis. The anti-inflammatory compounds can help you reduce their pain and increase their mobility.
Risks of giving olives to your cat
- Too much salt—olives are not poisonous for your cat but you do have to watch if you decide to give them one with added preservatives. These have a high level of salt, which can be extremely dangerous for your cat. Natural olives do have some salt but not as much as the ones with added preservatives. Too much sodium can result in sodium poisoning. Some of the symptoms of this type of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, tremor, loss of appetite, extreme thirst, and seizures. All of this can cause your cat’s kidneys to fail, and lead to death. Even if you rinse the olives it is not going to remove the excess salt, so it is best to use unsalted olives.
- Choking hazard—always remove the seed before you give it to your cat as it can get stuck in their throat. It might be better if you cut it in smaller pieces so the whole olive does not get caught in their throat, either.
Why some cats love olives
One of the reasons cats love olives is that olives contain a chemical called, isoprenoids. This chemical can have a similar effect on the cat’s receptions like the chemical that is found in catnip.
Yes, your cat can have olive oil but in moderation, no more than one teaspoon a day.
- It is filled with antioxidants such as Polyphenol, vitamin E, and Chlorophyll, which all help to promote a healthy immune system for your cat.
- It helps to burn fat and improve their metabolism
- Can help them to lose weight as it breaks down fat
- Can help prevent constipation and improve their bowel movement by making the stool softer
- Good for their skin and coat to help improve the softness and shine, and aids with the hairball issues
To give your cat olive oil you could mix a little in with their wet food.
It is okay to feed your cats olives, black or green, but do it in moderation, especially if you are not giving them the unsalted ones. And do not give them to kittens. Cats are meat eaters and do not need olives in their diet. If they were wild and olives were presented to them, they would most likely not eat them. What they might do is rolled on them, lay on them, lick or smell them, and get high because the chemical in the olives is basically the same as in catnip. We have all see the effects of catnip on cats.
Make sure that if you give your cat an olive that it has no pit in it. This can cause them to choke. Olives have no nutritional value to cats but do have anti-inflammatory compounds that can help them with their mobility. And if your cat does not like the smell or taste of olives use a little bit of olive oil and rub it into their skin and coat to help make it shiny. You should not need more than an eighth to a fourth of a teaspoon of olive oil to rub into their skin while you are petting them.