Did you open a fresh black olive can in front of your cat and the increasing meowing started? So, as an owner that spoils their cats to an extreme, you can be very tempted to give them a taste of the olives. but…
Are olives bad for cats?
Olives aren’t poisonous by themselves for your cat. In fact, many cats enjoy the flavor and the smell of it.
Nothing wrong is going to happen if your furry friend has decided to take a Mediterranean snack with one or two olives.
The only problem with olives and cats is sodium. Canned olives are high in sodium so it’s better to soak them in water and change the water multiple times to remove as much sodium as possible before giving them to your cat.
Sodium is the number one enemy for kidney disease on cats (this disease is quite common in elderly cats). So, if your cat has some form of kidney failure, DO NOT give them olives in any form.
But as long as your cat is a healthy cat, olives can be a good treat.
Not every cat will be automatically interested in olives because every cat is different. Some may not react as strongly as others to the same stimulus.
Do olives make cats high?
We know that catnip and other herbs like Valeriana, dill, and mint make cats “high”. But did you know some cats go crazy about olives as well?
They are attracted to the smell of olives and they can become extremely affectionate. They can start purring out loud and rubbing on you.
Most cats are more interested in just sniffing the olives.
As I said, this is different for every cat. In my house, we have two cats: Aslan and Luna (the orange and white cats of the logo). We made the olive test with them and we got mixed reactions.
Aslan — orange tabby male — was super interested and playful with the green olive. Luna — white Persian female — was not that impressed.
Here’s a video with their reactions. Cuteness alert!.
So, it will depend on your cat’s liking at the end of the day.
Does it make any difference if the olive is black or green?
No, both types of olives have the same nutritional value. Black olives are a bit bitter in taste, so cats enjoy more eating green olives.
Nutritional benefits of cat eating olives
Cats are carnivores that can meet their nutritional needs by only consuming meat. They obtain their vitamins, amino acids, and minerals mostly form the organs of their prey.
Especially Taurine, which is a major amino acid that contributes to the overall development of cats. Taurine can only be obtained through animal meat.
Yes, your lovely furbaby is a deathly machine. But what can we do if they are so adorable and purrfect?
Your cat doesn’t need to eat olives to live and probably wouldn’t eat them in the wild.
Besides the beneficial monounsaturated oil, vitamins won’t be bioavailable for them as they are for us. This means that no matter how much vitamin c, potassium, or magnesium olives have, your cat can’t process it and use it.
Cats don’t get any nutritional benefit from eating olives. Hence their diet can’t be relying on this food.
So make sure your cat has a balanced diet with tons of protein sources.
Olives are a safe treat or toy — as I said, most cats will sniff and play with the olive instead of eating it.
What about Olive Oil?
Healthy oils are extremely beneficial for your cat’s overall health and hair care. Cats thrive when you include some form of omega3 rich oil on their diet. The most common is tuna or fish oil.
But olive oil can be just as beneficial. Especially if your cat tends to form hairballs or digestive problems.
Oils help to unstuck big objects in cats’ intestines. That is why when your cat is suffering from hairballs that don’t move vets recommend malt paste to clean their digestive system and regulate it.
The oil will help big chunks of food or hair to pass through their intestine much easier and faster.
Olive oil can help in the same way. Just be aware that the amount must be small — about ½ tsp per day — or your cat’s feces will be too soft and runny and NO OWNER wants that!
Here is a great idea of homemade cat treat using olive oil.
Oils, also, play a major role in the health of the hair. They give shine and strength. So, olive oil in long hair cats could be extra beneficial.
What is the right way to feed your cats with olives?
First, as I mentioned before, olives are a treat, not the core of their diet.
You can feed your cat olives that are unsalted and unseasoned. Remember that cats are particularly susceptible to kidney problems. So, keeping their sodium intake to a minimum is the key to a long and healthy life for your furbaby.
Also, you can remove the “bone” of the olive to prevent any choking. It’s unlikely for this to happen because the olive’s seed is quite small but it’s better to prevent any accident, especially with small kitties.
In general, a good portion is 1 or 3 unsalted, seedless olives for your cat. Once per week.
Cats are highly susceptible to salt intake so if you suspect your cat ingested too much-salted olives and is presenting the following symptoms: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Inappetence, Lethargy, Abnormal fluid accumulation within the body or Excessive thirst or urination. Take your cat to the vet as soon as you can.
These can be a symptom of salt poisoning.
But, to give you peace of mind, salt poisoning happens when a cat ingests up to 4 grams of salt per lb of weight.
5 olives — unwashed — have 0.5gr of sodium.
Your cat would have to eat a huge amount of olives before salt poisoning. But, I just wanted to give you the potential risks so you can make an informed decision.
What happens if my cat ate an entire pit?
As I said, olives seeds are small and not toxic for animals. So, probably nothing will happen and your cat will be fine and any problem will be solved in the next visit to the litter box.
Pits can only become a choking hazard in small kittens. And this is extremely rare to happen.
By themselves, olives are a great source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for us.
Green or black olives are not poisonous for cats in any way. Not even its seed. They don’t provide nutritional benefits to their diet but it can be a fun treat every now and then.
But, it’s way more productive to use your expensive Mediterranean olives for a good pizza or as an appetizer for you.