Giving a cat fish oil seems like a very reasonable thing to do, since they’re supposed to go gaga over fish, and this oil is derived from them. But cat’s infatuation with fish is something of an urban legend perpetuated by cartoons, and there’s very little that points to them eating fish in the wild, leading one to believe that fish oil might not do too much for them, or be any sort of necessity.
The biggest reason that people take fish oil supplements is for the Omega-3 that they contain. A lot of research out there suggests this is a beneficial thing for us humans to have, as it has a lot of benefits, including helping our brains function, and helping our joints by having anti-inflammatory qualities. But making the leap from human to cat is not exactly easy, and these benefits often don’t translate for a myriad of reasons.
The first is that a cat and a human differ greatly on how our digestive system is made up, even though we’re both mammals. Even our digestive enzymes are different, and the stomach acid is different because our diets require them to be. A human’s diet is varied and includes lots of different foods, while a cat mostly relies on cat food, which should primarily be made up of a meat product to simulate a carnivorous diet. It may sound like a subtle difference, but fish oil typically comes in capsule form, so you’ll have to figure out how to administer this to your cat, and then they’ll have to figure out how to digest it.
Can I Give My Cat Fish Oil? Answer: Yes, But Better Options Exist
You can give you cat fish oil, but it’s really a roundabout way of getting them the benefits of taking such a supplement. The better way to go would be to take the money you’d be spending on fish oil supplements and put that towards a higher quality cat food. That way you don’t have to worry whether they’re getting the right amounts of nutrients, as it’s all contained in the upgraded food.
This is a much better way to go than buying a lower grade of food and then having to give you cat a bunch of add-ons to make up for the nutritional deficiency. There’s nothing out there that says cats need to have fish oil, and these supplements are not the cheapest thing in the world, nor are the dosages given for feline consumption, so it’s all guesswork. The other thing to keep in mind is that there’s no way know how the cat is breaking them down, and if their body is able to absorb them and put them to use the same way a human does.
Something’s Fishy Here
Most people that are gung ho about giving a cat fish oil also believe that a cat would eat fish if left to their own devices. But because fish find their homes in the water, and most cats avoid larger bodies of water, lakes, and streams, it’s hard to imagine a tiger or a lion finding their next meal in a fish. They do seem to like the aroma, but that’s just because fish often comes with a pungent smell. They’re attracted more to the smell than any innate wanting for a piece of fish.
No Need for It
Since a wild cat doesn’t come into contact with a fish, and this is something that has been introduced to a cat by humans that go out and catch fish, there’s no reason to believe that there’s any need to give it to your cat, or that you’re doing them any benefit by doing so. What’s more, if you’re spending money on fish oil supplements for yourself, there’s no need to dip into your supply to give your cat some, just be sure to upgrade their cat food.
A higher price for cat food is not just a gimmick to make you think it’s better, they actually formulate it differently and include all of the nutrition your cat needs in a form that is easily digestible for them. You’ll see much better results going this way than by forcing fish oil onto them.