Coconut oil has gained popularity with numerous health benefits to humans, and you must be wondering if the same applies to your feline family. For this reason, we will have an in-depth discussion about this. Let’s find out.
Is coconut oil beneficial to cats? Yes, cats can also reap some of the benefits of this superfood. However, it would be best to learn how to incorporate coconut oil into the cat’s regular diet.
- What are the benefits of coconut oil to cats?
- How Can you Use Coconut Oil?
- Can I add coconut oil to my cat’s diet?
- Risks of Coconut Oil for Cats
What are the benefits of coconut oil to cats?
Despite the insufficient scientific evidence, coconut oil, like other foods containing MCTs, is believed to have antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. To cats, this oil can be another miracle solution, and here are the benefits.
1. Coconut oil can boost your cat’s immune system
Thanks to lauric acid and caprylic acid readily found in coconut oil. They have antiviral effects and play a vital role in the immune response of the cat.
2. Coconut oil can help to deal with skin conditions
If your cat has issues with the skin like being irritable or dry, coconut oil can help. The oil is effective whether applied topically or swallowed orally.
In case your cat has a skin infection, you can avoid hard-medicated shampoo and use coconut oil. The excellent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties make coconut oil a perfect choice for your pet.
There is a shift towards using coconut oil to treat skin allergies and inflammations in cats, giving superb results. This oil has high levels of Vitamin E, which essential for skin repair and overall skin health that your cat needs.
If you want to use it as a moisturizer, apply a small amount and rub it on the affected area once daily until you get the desired results.
3. Coconut Oil Prevents Hairballs
Apart from improving the health of your cat’s hair, coconut oil reduces shedding. Essentially, hairballs won’t be a big issue to your cats, and even if they form, they will pass easily.
Coconut oil can act as a laxative, thus making hairballs pass through the digestive tract with ease. It is safer and preferable to petroleum-based and harsher hairball remedies. If you cant access coconut oil, supplements that have coconut oil can also work perfectly.
4. Alleviates inflammation
Coconut oil has a high lauric acid composition that is about 45-53%. Among the many benefits of lauric acid is anti-inflammatory effects on top of antiviral and antibacterial benefits.
Studies have revealed that coconut oil does not only alleviate inflammation but pain also. For your cat to enjoy optimum benefits, the oral route is the most preferable.
5. Coconut Oil and Pancreas Health
Saturated fats are available in two: Long-chain triglycerides and medium-chain triglycerides MCTs.The latter is found in coconut oil and substantial health benefits from the way they are processed.
MCTs are processed differently from the long-chain triglycerides that involve mixing with bile and broken by digestive enzymes. When MCTs are ingested, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, transported to the liver, and converted to energy in ketones.
In this case, animals that have pancreatitis or any fat malabsorption disorders can easily tolerate MCTs.
For cats with intolerance of other fats, MCTs can be the best calory booster.
Coconut oil plays a vital role in speeding up the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. For cats that are sick to an extent, they can’t swallow food or drugs; coconut oil can be the hack.
6. Coconut Oil Aids Digestion
MCFs found in coconut oil make the digestion process smooth. These fats don’t strain the digestive system and aid in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients.
The lauric acid guards the gut against harmful parasites, fungi, viruses, and bacteria because of its therapeutic effects. Coconut oil has excellent properties like antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral, keeping the digestive system healthy. They also speed up the healing process in case of any injury tu the gut and prevent inflammation.
7. Improves brain health
Is age catching up with your cat? You can boost its brain function by offering it coconut oil as a gift of the golden years. MCTs found in coconut oil are an integral part that improves the function of the brain hence improving the cognitive effect on your feline comrade.
The proper measure should not exceed ¼ teaspoon /10 pounds of your cat’s body weight; at least twice a day is ideal.
8.Coconut Oil Promotes Lean Body Mass
The National Institute of Health carried out research with 50 overweight cats.Researchers discovered that cats that were fed on coconut oil on a daily basis recorded leaner body mass and weight loss unlike those without the oil.The result was because the coconut oil aids in metabolic function of the cat.
If you want to give it a try with your overweight cat,here is how to do it.
Add one-half teaspoon coconut oil to the cats daily diet and observe.
How Can you Use Coconut Oil?
Yes, coconut oil is healthy and beneficial to your cat, but how do you go about it. Before you begin offering this precious oil to your cat, always consult your vet for advice on appropriate uses and the right measure. Also read our article on whether cats can eat coconut?
Oral use of Coconut Oil
Make sure you work with your vet concerning the amount and frequency of use of coconut oil to your cat. They will measure the risk versus the benefits and advise you on the appropriate dosage. However oral use is effective but can be hazardous too because it can cause serious health issues.
You should be cautious if your cat is prone to health conditions like pancreatitis, obesity, irritable bowel disorder, or other metabolic conditional. Oral use might accelerate health issues to your cat, especially if they are metabolic-related, but you might get it right in the arms of your vet.
Topical use of Coconut Oil
This is quite an easy but challenging way. It could be as simple as buying and apply but then here comes the challenge. If the cat’s skin has an issue and is irritable, be sure that the cat will lick off the oil. Because it is so definite that the cat won’t spit, it will ingest the oil.
Alternatively, you can try an over-the-counter shampoo with organic coconut oil(Although a full bath sounds like a nightmare to most cats), ensure it is safe for cat use.
In case your vet gives you the go-ahead to use coconut oil, use virgin/unrefined oil. The cold-pressed one is even better. The refined oil is unhealthy and may not have the above benefits; they also come in different flavours and tastes; hence hard to determine what works for your cat.
Can I add coconut oil to my cat’s diet?
With all those benefits, you might want to consider coconut oil as one of the daily treats for your cat. You can be right or wrong, but the best way is to consult with your vet. Despite coconut oil not being harmful, it may not go well with some cats. Any change in the cat’s diet, either by medication or supplements, may interfere with its health. Therefore it is prudent enough that your vet gets the general assessment of your cat to establish the safety of the coconut oil.
Remember, the benefits outlined are from individual cat owners but without a scientific basis. But coconut oil is not unanimously approved by vets for use in cats.
Risks of Coconut Oil for Cats
With all those benefits of coconut oil to cats, it is surprising that the ASPCA categorizes the oil under “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets,” with its dangers of diarrhea or stomach upset. Although no much harm is associated with coconut oil, it can still be risky.
Coconut oil has high saturated fats that make it potentially risky associated with pancreatic inflammation, and some cats can adversely react to it, as alluded by Gardener.
Coconut oils are also associated with unwanted weight gain because of the rich calories. Therefore feeding your cat with this oil should be under strict control.
There are many health benefits of organic coconut oil that your feline can reap. All you need is to take precautionary measures and you will enjoy a happy healthy life with your feline friends. There are many brands of coconut oil but make sure that you get yourself extra virgin oil for effective use to your cat.