How Much Coconut Oil for Cats Is Good? Surprising Health Benefits for Cats
You can give coconut oil to your cat in a variety of ways. It has many benefits and is not harmful to any cat. In fact, coconut oil is considered a holistic alternative to other harsh treatments especially for reducing dryness, itchiness, and other minor problems.
But can you feed coconut oil to cats? Yes, that you can too. But you have to make sure you buy the right coconut oil for your cat. And you also have to understand that feeding coconut oil to your cat should not be a regular thing.
Here’s what we know so far about how much coconut oil is good for cats and why it helps…
Is Coconut Oil Good?
You can apply coconut oil to your cat’s skin and coat. It softens the skin to prevent dandruff, flakiness, itchiness, and dry skin. If your cat has allergies that cause skin rashes, coconut oil will help with that too. It’s also very helpful for coat health, making the hair smooth and soft and reducing dryness and breakage.
Internally, coconut oil helps in digestion, inflammation, and immunity. But you have to first consult with a veterinarian before feeding your cat coconut oil.
Though small amounts of coconut oil can be fed and applied topically for cats. It’s not something that will cause problems, not unless your cat is allergic to it.
Here are some of the known benefits of coconut oil for cats:
1. Skin Health
Dry skin, psoriasis, and any other skin irritation are some of the common problems in cats. Applying coconut oil to it can alleviate some of the itchiness and dryness. It also has incredible moisturizing properties to reduce inflammation on the skin in a matter of hours.
I strongly recommend buying cat-friendly coconut oil because there is a chance that your cat may try to lick it off. And you don’t want your cat to have any kind of allergic reaction to the coconut oil were that to happen with you.
When cats lick themselves excessively, it is called “overgrooming” and there are ways to stop it if it gets out of hand.
2. Alleviates Discomfort Caused By Hairballs
Cat parents know a thing or two about hairballs and how uncomfortable it can be for a cat to vomit out hairballs. Hairballs are a common thing with cats. It is when a cat, due to grooming, swallows his or her own hair which later vomits out.
A good diet of fiber and water can make it easier for your cat to remove the hairball without any discomfort and inflammation. Thankfully, coconut oil helps with that too.
It eases inflammation in the respiratory tract and softens the hairball during regurgitating.
How Much Coconut Oil for Cats?
There are two ways to go about feeding your cat coconut oil for the first time…
1. Topical Use
This is when you apply coconut oil to the cat’s skin and coat. You must only administer a tiny amount of coconut oil at a time. Sometimes a drop of coconut oil does the trick when you’re leading with skin rashes and dryness.
If your cat has a bad habit of licking off the oil immediately after you apply it, you can opt for a shampoo infused with natural coconut oil. Bathing your cat with an OTC shampoo can soothe skin inflammation and improve overall skin and coat health.
2. Oral Use
Coconut oil is high in saturated fats so make sure you do not give your cat coconut oil excessively or regularly. According to my research, the best way to start giving cats coconut oil is gradually and mindfully.
You have to first figure out whether your cat reacts to coconut oil positively or negatively. Giving too much coconut oil too fast can cause stomach problems, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Start with 1/8 or 1/4 tsp of coconut oil once every 3-4 days or daily depending on how your cat is responding to it. Do not feed the coconut oil to your cat directly from the spoon. Dip your index finger in the coconut oil and let your cat lick your index finger for a more gentle feeding experience.
If your cat is reluctant to do that as well, you can mix 1/4 tsp of coconut oil in your cat’s food.
Once your cat adjusts and responds well to this portion, you can increase it to 1/2 tsp once every 2-3 days. This is enough to alleviate inflammation, soften hairballs, and boost immunity.
Note: It’s not recommended to give coconut oil to cats every day, or on a regular basis. It can lead to diarrhea, weight gain, and other such problems. Make sure you talk to a vet first before feeding your cat coconut oil.
Are There Any Risks of Coconut Oil for Cats?
While it’s true that coconut oil is a holistic supplement and has many benefits, according to ASPCA, it is not the best natural supplement for daily consumption. It can cause weight gain, indigestion, vomiting, and can cause an allergic reaction.
This is because coconut oil is high in fats which is not good for cats. It causes pancreatic inflammation. So you must irregularly feed your cat coconut oil that is safe and pet-friendly.
Another good reason to not regularly feed coconut oil to cats is weight gain. Since coconut oil is calorie-dense, it can quickly contribute to cat obesity or unwanted weight gain.
For topical use, however, coconut oil is 100% safe for cats. It can be applied to treat skin sensitivities, rashes, dry and brittle hair, dandruff, etc. You can apply coconut oil topically and/or use cat products with organic coconut oil such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, cream, toothpaste, etc.
Before You Go…
If you’re still unsure about feeding your cat coconut oil, you can switch to fish oil which contains omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil is another good alternative to coconut oil as they contain healthy fatty acids as well.
But it’s best to talk with a veterinarian to figure out whether coconut oil is good or not for your cat. All cats react differently to the same food, in this case, that’s coconut oil whether applied on the skin/coat or given orally.