We all want what’s best for our cats. That’s why we are always filling our homes with kitty toys, spending hours in the treat aisle finding the perfect flavor, and installing cat trees and shelves around our house. But sometimes we look over something important: essential nutrients and supplements. That’s where omega-3 for cats comes in.
What Are Omega Fatty Acids for Cats?
Omega-3 is a type of fatty acid. There are actually 11 types of omega-3 fatty acids. The most common for felines is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which both come from marine sources like fish and other seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids can promote your cat’s wellbeing, making it a popular supplement to provide your furry friend.
What Does Omega-3 Do for Cats?
Omega-3 fatty acids have the same benefits for cats as they do for humans. Some of the biggest advantages you’ll see are:
- Shiny coat: Omega-3 helps your cat benefit from a fuller, more brilliant coat. You may also notice a decrease in shedding thanks to Omega-3’s nourishing qualities. This means fewer hairballs.
- Healthy skin: Thanks to its soothing benefits, Omega-3 is a great addition to any cat’s diet. Of course, it can be even more beneficial for cats with allergies or dry skin.
- Joints: Omega-3 fatty acids may help ease discomfort in your cat’s joints. Older cats with arthritis may benefit from Omega-3 in their diet. You’ll notice an increase in movement — including jumping and going up the stairs — when your cat has Omega-3 daily.
- Immune Support: Omega-3 may support your kitty’s resistance to some ailments. It could also help keep their vision and digestive functioning at their best.
What Does Omega-6 Do for Cats?
Omega-6 is often found in cat food. It’s an essential fatty acid, the most common forms being linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA). Both of these are required in a cat’s diet for them to remain healthy. Cats need a sufficient amount of Omega-6 in their diet to keep their skin and coat healthy, avoid reproductive problems, and ensure they are thriving.
What Does Omega-9 Do for Cats?
Omega-9 is not an essential fatty acid like 3 and 6. Still, it has some benefits for your feline. Some common omega-9 fatty acids include oleic acid (found in olive oil and poultry fat), mead acid, erucic acid, and nervonic acid (found in salmon, nuts, and seeds).
There have not been as many studies published on Omega-9’s benefits. One test done on mice explored a connection between omega-9 and abnormal cell growth. While there’s nothing wrong with providing a cat with certain omega-9 fatty acids, it’s not quite clear how nutritious and beneficial it is for this particular species.
How Much Omega 3-6-9 is Needed for Cats?
There is no clear consensus when it comes to how much Omega-3 fatty acids cats should have each day. According to Dr. Catherine Lenox, a veterinary nutritionist, roughly 30 mg of EPA and DHA combined per 1kg (or 2.2lbs) of body weight is appropriate for cats. Pet parents should also be aware that not every Omega-3 fatty acid is beneficial for cats. Fatty acids from fish oil are likely to provide the most benefit for your cat. Since every feline is different, reach out to a veterinarian before giving extra omega fatty acids to them.
How to Give Cats Omega Fatty Acids
There are a few ways to properly provide your cat with omega fatty acids. The first is serving your cat food that contains omega-rich ingredients, like mackerel, salmon, and trout. Boil, grill, poach, or roast the fish to make sure the nutrients remain — avoid frying it! And don’t add seasonings, especially strong ones. If you want to serve your cat raw fish, make sure it’s freshly caught and hasn’t been in the fish department for weeks.
Some cat foods will also have DHA and EPA, as well as fish oil or fish meal. Check the ingredients label for these items if you want to give them cat food that already has omega fatty acids in them.
Omega-3 Fish Oil for Cats
Another way to provide your cat with omega fatty acids is through fish oil. A lot of pet stores will have fish oil bottles that allow you to drop some of the liquid into their food. Feeding instructions will show you how much fish oil to give your cat daily based on their weight.
Hemp Seed Oil for Cats
Hemp seed oil comes from plants. It is considered one of the healthiest oils available, due to a rich omega-6 and omega-3 profile. Unrefined hemp seed oil is often green, indicating its nutritional value. You’ll need to refrigerate this variation. Refined hemp seed oil lacks the same nutritional value. It has a longer shelf life but is more often used for body care.
Hemp seed oil has a lot of benefits for cats. It’s known to help them relax and may hasten recovery after an accident. Stiffness and swelling may decrease in cats given hemp seed oil. Their digestion could also see improvement.
Omega 3-6-9 Cat Treats
Treats are a great way to provide omega fatty acids to your feline. This is a tasty and fun way to give them these essential nutrients. Cat treats will often come with Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids, letting you pick the fatty acid family that works best for your feline friend.
HolistaPet’s all-natural, vegan, grain-free CBD cat treats not only have a savory salmon flavor, but also contain CBD hemp oil. It’s the purrfect way to provide your cat with some soothing relief along with nutrition.
Wondering if your dog can also benefit from omega fatty acids? Check out our article Omega-3 for Dogs to find out!
CBD Oil for Cats
CBD hemp oil is another beneficial supplement for your cat, especially if they seem to be stressed or experiencing discomfort. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring, non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp plants. It won’t get your cat high, but it will give them a sense of calm and tranquility, along with its nutritional value.
Like in all mammals, your cat’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps them maintain homeostasis — or balance. The ECS helps to regulate inflammation, sleep, mood, stress, digestion, and much more. CBD influences the ECS to perform at its best!
Whether you’re serving them salmon, upgrading their cat food, or giving them delicious cat treats, there are many easy ways to provide your feline with the essential fatty acids they need to be healthy and happy. It’s a great and easy way to promote your cat’s glossy coat, excellent vision, and healthy joints. Remember to talk to your vet if you’re looking to add omega fatty acids and fish oil to your cat’s daily diet!