Coconut oil is touted as something that could heal everything. Many experiments carried out on people proved that monosaturated fats from the oil help ward off inflammation, bacteria, hydrates skin, beats diabetes and even the toughest diseases such as cancer.
However, does coconut oil have the same, miraculous effects on cats? It’s curing effects hasn’t been really confirmed experimentally. Pet-owners reported some improvements in their cat’s skin condition, digestive system, and fur quality. Also, some of them say it turned out to be a potent supplement to their pets’ nutrition which aided diabetes, cancer, dementia etc.
While coconut oil has its advantages, we have to take into consideration their side effects: by feeding it to your cats you’ll put your cat at risk of gaining weight or getting an allergy if it naturally doesn’t tolerate the oil well. We will now see both good and bad sides of the coconut utilization as well as which of the claimed merits have been confirmed and which have to be fully approved yet.
Where coconut oil works 100%
Dry skin: Cat’s skin is very gentle and susceptible to dryness. What dehydrates their skin the most is exposure to the sun, cold weather and dry weather overall. If you apply coconut oil on the nose and on the tip of their ears, it will prevent these critical places from getting dry and the infection this it can trigger.
Wound healing: Coconut oil has great anti-inflammatory properties and its topical use not only reduces skin issues but also heals wounds.
Eases constipation: If you veterinarian concludes that your cat has little issues with the digestive system, you’re free to give your cat half a tablespoon of the oil per day. It will soften the cat’s stool and relieve it of these little but uncomfortable problems with pooping.
Cognitive dysfunction: Senior cats tend to get a bit on the slower side-they react more slowly and move with more difficulty, just like people. Therefore, coconut oil could help prevent this and prolong the sharp-mindedness of your furry friend.
Hides medication: Giving medications to your cat could sometimes be chaotic. What you can do is make the pill into a powder and stick it to the cat’s paw after spreading some oil on it. It will lick its paw in no time and effortlessly consume the medication.
Stops hairballs: Coconut oil, better than any other hairball medication out there, can prevent excessive ingestion of hair.
Energy deficiency: The fats of the coconut oil are easily breakable. This means everything your cats eats will go to its blood quicker, providing vigor it needs to keep itself active.
Claimed benefits that are not so credible
- Cancer retardation
- Dental calculus and periodontal disease prevention
- Weight loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
Side effects of coconut oil that your pet can suffer from
The only things cats need from coconut oil are linoleic acid and arachidonic acid. Cats can synthesize other healthy fat acids from the two acids we’ve mentioned. Cats pretty much don’t need other fatty acids from the oil so it is questionable what kind of an impact they will have on them. The main problem is medium-chain triglycerides that have a negative effect on palatability in cats.
The MCT could cause hepatic lipidosis, a life-threatening liver disease. There are a few theories about why MCTs actually result in the liver disease: it is thought MCT damages liver on one hand, but on the other hand, it is considered that it makes food taste bad. When food tastes bad, cats won’t eat it, and this sort of starvation is one of the reasons for the liver disease to come up.
How to properly give coconut oil to our cats
Cats are very picky eaters. They change their dietary habits with age and we need to constantly observe what they need in order to provide them with a quality life. Reading the labels in great detail is just some of the steps you can ensure your cat is healthy and happy but sometimes even all that proofreading is not enough. Not so rarely, our cats will react badly or will just refuse the best and the most expensive products. In these situations what we have to consider is how we present our cats with new food.
Coconut oil is a tricky super food, especially for touchy tummies! It could cause loose stools and diarrhea which is why we should start our cats on it really slow. For the first 5-7 days, give your cat less than vets usually prescribe. This is how you’ll be able to see how it reacts to it. Pay special attention to the litter box, coat, and weight during this period. Any strangeness should be an alarm that tells you to stop it or consult a veterinarian. Should everything goes well during the trial period, then you’re free to continue.