Pros And Cons Of Giving Coconut Oil To Your Cat: Is It Safe Or Bad For Kittens?

In recent years, coconut oil has grown popular as a key ingredient in health and skincare. In fact, it has even gained popularity among pet parents.

As such, it’s only natural for cat owners to raise some important questions:

Should we or should we not give coconut oil to our cats? Is it bad for them or is it safe? Can they eat it?

Truth be told, this oil does have its benefits.

Research has concluded that it can, in some respects, be as healthy for dogs and cats as it can be for humans.

Coconut oil is affordable and can be applied not only to your pet’s diet, but also to its routine grooming care, to give your pet’s fur and skin a nice boost.

Viva Naturals – Our Top Pick For The Best Coconut Oil For Your Cat

If you’re just looking for the best one to get, try out Viva Naturals. It’s affordable, super high quality, and insanely popular, so we’re comfortable knowing that it’s been used in pretty much every way imaginable by the thousands upon thousands of people who use it.

There are all kinds of vitamins and supplements for cats out there. You can get most of them without a special prescription. And coconut oil is one such supplement.

However, there are some downsides to coconut oil, so watch out. We’ll be discussing the pros and cons below, so you can make a fully-informed decision about whether or not to share it with your kitty.

Pros Of Giving Coconut Oil To Your Cat

Healing Wounds

Coconut oil is no miracle ointment, but it does possess healing properties for some wounds. Kitties suffering from abscess or other infections and skin inflammations might benefit.

Apply some coconut oil around the wound – not on it – and the oil’s anti-inflammatory properties will speed up the healing process. Just remember to gently rub it on the cat’s skin and to not apply it over the wound.

Serving As A Protective Top-Coat

If you’re one of those pet parents, who take their cats out for a walk on a leash, then coconut oil can serve as a protective top-coat when applied on your kitty’s paws before going outdoors.

You can also rub a thin layer into your feline’s skin as protection against sunburn and skin cancer. And if your beloved furball has a pollen allergy, coconut oil can help prevent skin irritation.

Moisturizes Skin And Fur

Coconut is great for dry human skin, and the same goes for cats.

By gently rubbing some coconut oil into your furry pal’s skin you’ll moisturize it and prevent flakiness. Moreover, the essential oil will also make your pet’s fur shinier and sleeker. Just be careful not to overdo it because there are numerous cons to the cat licking it off.

Helps Against Swallowed Hairballs

Every cat owner knows that controlling cat hair sometimes seems like mission impossible. Unless, of course, they own a hairless breed like the Sphynx cat or any of its hairless counterparts.

Whether you’re using special vacuum cleaners for cat hair or not, your feline furball will inevitably swallow some hairballs every now and then. These  can ultimately lead to digestive problems that might even require surgery. Fortunately, feeding your pet some coconut oil can help lubricate their digestive system so things move through that might otherwise stick.

Cons Of Giving Coconut Oil To your Cat

With all the good coconut oil can do, here are some notable negatives.

Can Be Licked Off

If you’re rubbing the oil into your pet’s skin, it probably will be licked off. Cats are notorious for cleaning themselves by constantly licking and nibbling on themselves. As such, there’s always a chance that the oil will be licked off before it can do anything beneficial for your pet’s skin and fur coat.

Even though this is extremely rare, it’s possible for a feline to develop allergies towards coconut oil over time, or to have an instant allergic reaction to it.

High On Fats

Coconut oil is especially rich in various types of fats, including healthy fatty acids. Unfortunately, that’s not good enough for your feline furball.

Cats with diabetes should never, ever get their tongues near coconut oil! And as often as your kitty is exercising with play sessions, cat scratchers or even interactive cat trees, too much coconut oil will make it gain weight.

Can Cause Diarrhea

As we noted earlier, coconut oil can be a great tool in the battle against hairballs. Unfortunately, it can also cause diarrhea. This can then lead to physical pain, dehydration, and other types of unpleasant health-related issues.

Should You Give Coconut Oil To Your Cat?

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the pros and cons of giving coconut oil to your cat, it’s time to ask one vital question. Should you or should you not give this oil to your beloved furball? Well, for starters, coconut oil isn’t cat food, and it’s not an ingredient in edible cat food items. The oil is really only meant to serve as an occasional supplement.

You should always consult with a vet before adding coconut oil to your cat’s diet or using it on its skin and fur!

If your vet rules the oil as safe, go ahead and use it in moderate quantities, but not 24/7. Make sure that if you do get the okay and use coconut oil on your beloved kitty, that you use the non-hydrogenated kind. That is absolutely critical. Hydrogenated fats are bad for humans and worse for pets!

Again our top choice is Viva Naturals, and it’s totally worth trying it out once to see if it’s good for your cat, since it’s so affordable.

And if kitty doesn’t like it, well there are SO many ways to use it for yourself!

Virgin and fractionated coconut oil are the most pet-friendly varieties. You can get them without a prescription. Fractionated oil is best because it’s more stable and has a bigger concentration of healthy fatty acids. Regardless of which option you choose, don’t forget to consult with a reputable veterinarian before giving it to your kitty.

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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Lynn Berkery - December 3, 2017

This article, like so many others fails to mention one of the major benefits of coconut oil – that it is a medium chained fatty acid and is partially water soluble – which allows it to be metabolized much easier than other types of fats. It does provide energy very quickly to ill pets who are eating. Yes, you do need to proceed with caution, of course. As for consulting a vet, I have yet to meet one that knows or researches anything beyond what they’ve learned about drug therapies; or any that care to.

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Elisha Slater - December 18, 2017

Hi, My cat Aurora. Loves I mean loves coconut oil. She can’t get enough of it all she does is let the spoon till it’s dry I don’t know what to do LOL. She is a great cat yet has so many strange things she likes. Do cats like coconut oil ?are they prone to the taste almost like catnip?

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