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The Benefits of Fish Oil in Your Cat's Diet


Fish oil is a golden supplement for your feline friend's diet, offering a multitude of health benefits. It promotes healthy skin, supports joint mobility, boosts the immune system, aids cognitive development, and assists in managing allergies. Easily incorporate it into your cat's diet through fish-first cat food, liquid oil toppers, or treats. 

As cat lovers, we're constantly seeking ways to enhance our pets' health and wellness. Well, look no further than the natural goodness found in fish oil. 

We’ll cut right to the chase. If you’ve ever wondered if cats can have fish oil, the answer is a resounding yes! This popular dietary supplement is often called liquid gold – and for good reason. 

Today, we dive into the depths of understanding why fish oil is not only good but essential for our cats' overall well-being. So, curl up with your curious kitty and prepare to learn all about how fish oil can make a splash in your cat's life. 

Can I Give My Cat Fish Oil? 

You’re likely familiar with fish oil supplements and their benefits for humans. But did you know your feline friend can also benefit from taking fish oil? 

The experts at VCA Animal Hospitals explain that fish oil is a supplement often derived from coldwater fish, such as salmon or Alaskan Pollock. It is extremely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - which both deliver a boatload of health benefits. 

Benefits of Fish Oil for Cats 

Not only is fish oil safe for cats, but it’s also extremely beneficial for their overall health and vitality. Since the effects of fish oil have been studied in animals, there’s extensive evidence supporting the way it can reduce inflammation, benefit the immune system, and more. 

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of this liquid gold: 

Promotes Healthy Skin and Coat 

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, play a vital role in maintaining skin health by nourishing the skin cells and supporting the production of oils that keep the coat shiny and lustrous. Fish oil can also help alleviate dry, flaky skin and reduce itching and irritation, making it particularly beneficial for cats prone to allergies

Supports Joint Health and Mobility

Fish oil is also renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. 

As we’ve talked about before on this blog, fatty acids can decrease inflammation in joints to help your cat feel more comfortable at any age. In combination with Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Collagen found in fish, this supplement can improve your cat's mobility and range of motion. 

Fish oil can be especially beneficial for older cats or those with certain medical conditions that can take a toll on their joints.  

Contributes to a Healthy Heart 

Those same Omega-3 fatty acids that give your feline friend a soft, shiny coat also provide vital support for their internal health. Research shows that Omega-3 fish oil supplements can contribute to a properly functioning heart for cats (and humans too!). That’s because the Omega-3s have been linked to maintaining a regular heart rhythm, potentially reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation (a condition where the heart beats irregularly).   

The Animal Medical Center of Chicago also found that fish oil can act as an anti-coagulant and prevent blood clots from forming in cats with heart disease. This can be especially important for senior cats who may be more prone to heart problems. 

Boosts Immune System Function 

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to possess immunomodulatory properties, meaning they can help regulate the immune response and enhance the body's ability to fight off infections and diseases. A 2013 study found that providing a cat with a fish oil supplement in addition to a nutritious diet improved their immune system.  

Every pet parent wants to do everything they can to ensure their cat lives a long and healthy life. Fish oil can be the key to bolstering your cat’s immune system and reducing the risk of common feline ailments such as respiratory infections and urinary tract infections. 

Aids in Cognitive Development and Brain Health 

Supplementing your cat's diet with fish oil can also support cognitive (brain) function throughout their life. DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, is especially crucial for both kittens and older cats.  

Another study from 2013 found that feeding a nutritional diet with a blend of nutrients including fish oil could support the brain function of middle-aged and older cats. There is also a lot of fascinating new research exploring how diet can help mitigate the risk factors associated with brain aging and dementia in our feline friends! 

Assists with Managing Allergies 

Allergies, especially dietary allergies, are a major cause of inflammation.  

The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, providing relief for cats that have allergic reactions and inflammatory conditions. 

Fish, in general, can also be a great alternative protein for cats that are allergic to other proteins. Food allergies in cats are more common than you think, and a change in their diet can go a long way in ensuring they’re happy and healthy.  

Adding Fish Oil to Your Cat’s Diet 

Ready to help your feline friend feel their absolute best with help from fish oil? The good news is that it’s easy to add this supplement to your cat’s meals. Here are some ways: 

  1. Fish-First Cat Food: This is by far the easiest way to make sure your cat is getting the benefits of fish oil. At Simply Naked Pet Food, our fish-first dinners are complete with fish oil, naturally occurring probiotics, and a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals to provide your pet with a well-balanced meal bowl after bowl. 
  2. Fish Oil Topper: It’s also easy to find fish oil in liquid form to use as a supplement during mealtime. Simply add the recommended amount based on your cat’s weight to their meal! 
  3. Fish Oil Treats: There are also plenty of options for treats and snacks that use fish oil as an ingredient.  

Can Cats Have Fish Oil Capsules? 

While cats can technically have fish oil capsules, it’s not the most practical or safe way to feed them. Have you ever tried to get your cat to swallow medicine? It’s not easy! 

A better option might be a liquid fish oil that you can easily mix into your cat's food. Some fish oil supplements also come in chewable forms that might be more appealing to your cat. Of course, the easiest way is to have it as an ingredient in their primary cat food. 

Which Fish Oil is Best for Cats? 

Not all fish oil is created equal. You want only the best for your kitty, and that means fish oil that comes from derived from cold-water fish. These fish tend to be higher in the essential Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA.  

We use Alaskan Pollock oil in our fish-first recipes. This natural, unrefined oil is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Browse more of our fish-first dinners for cats today!

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