Can I Give my Cat Fish Oil?
I get asked this question when ever someone finds out what I do for a living. The answer is absolutely – Yes! Fish oil and cats go together like – well, like bread and butter. Fish oil is safe for cats to take. Of course, each cat is different and you need to be aware of the source of your fish oil. You want a fish oil that comes from a reputable manufacturer, not necessarily the lowest price. There are different grades of fish oil and processing, and many supplements sold for the pet market are not regulated, a manufacturer can get away with a lot more “cost cutting” steps in the pet world than with nutraceuticals sold to people.
The important thing to remember when looking at all the brands, and options, is that cats ( and dogs too) are meat eaters and they use the Omega 3 derived from fish oil best. I know there are a lot of supplement manufacturers and pet stores that will market vegan sources of omega 3 for cats and dogs, but the reality is, their bodies cannot convert flax, coconut oil, or olive oil into the necessary step to utilize the vegetable source of Omega 3.
Many labels and stores use terms like “Omega 3″, “Fish Oil”, “Fatty Acids”, “Salmon Oil”, or “Flax Oil”.
I would like to point out that although they are all related, they are more of a hierarchy of category than the same thing. So the broadest category would be “Fish Oil” and that would be oil processed from a fish source like salmon, cod, mackerel, sardines or a combination of all of them or part. “Omega 3″ is the part that you really want from the fish oil – this is what you are really after when you give your pet a fish oil supplement. Omega 3 is what helps keep us and our pets with glossier hair or fur, better skin, better brain function, and healthier hearts. Omega 3 is a class of “Fatty Acid” – there is also Omega 6 and Omega 9. But what makes Omega 3 so special is that it is a fatty acid that does not cause inflammation. Omega 3 has two Fatty Acid components: EPA and DHA. EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid each combined are the particular fatty acid chains that makes up the Omega 3 molecule.
The interesting aspect of Omega 3 is that it’s absence is usually the trigger that causes the itchy – irritated skin, dandruff, dull hair or fur, and some types of joint inflammation. When the body needs to create the skin or hair – it looks to the fatty acids that are available, if only Omega 6 or Omega 9 is available and no Omega 3, we will eventually start to get these inflammation symptoms. We do not make Omega 3 ( this includes cats and dogs ), so we need an outside source to get our fatty acids like fish, or a supplement. What makes things especially tough for us and our pets, is that Omega 6 and Omega 9 are pretty readily available in our diets (especially for pets with packaged, dry pet food)- it’s the Omega 3 that has a hard time getting to our meals. It usually gets broken down by processing .
We are busy and that means are pets are living on our schedule, if there is no convenient way to get our cats and dogs Omega 3, they usually just go without and you’ll see this evidence by chronic dandruff, or dull fur, or brittle fur, or red, irritated skin.
I want to make sure that you know, we recommend taking your pet to your vets and have them diagnosed first before starting on any supplement regimen. It’s best to be absolutely sure about what’s bothering your pet, but if you already know that your vet has recommended fish oil as a remedy, then please read on; We have some more information for you.
What is the best source of fish oil for cats?
We believe that Salmon oil is the best and just so we get this out there right up front; We sell a pure salmon fish oil, omega 3 capsule that is 500 mg: Packenzie Petite Omega 3 Softgels™ for Cats and Small Dogs. Why do we believe that salmon is the best? It all comes from the natural state of salmon – which is one of the three highest natural sources of Omega 3 in nature. Ounce per ounce, salmon has one of the greatest ratios of Omega 3 fatty acids per ounce of weight as opposed to other sources like cod or krill. The higher the ratio – the less processing, the better for everyone.
What is the recommended fish oil dosage?
We specialize in cat and dogs 10 lbs and under. We are for the little guys – Yeah!
Small cats, Toy breeds, and Miniatures. Our Omega 3 source is a pure salmon oil (rated for human use) – it’s 500 mg and the dosage of the Omega 3 is gentle – it’s 100 mg of essential fatty acids and it’s balanced between DHA and the EPA. What this means is, you can be rest assured that your cat or small dog will never have symptoms of having too much Omega 3, and the symptom of that is gas and diarrhea. Not pleasant. Not good for you – because you’ll be the one to clean it up, and not good for your pet, as we all know, it’s no fun having the runs.
For me, I can’t stress this highly enough. Many, many, supplement brands are marketing an Omega 3 softgel that is really geared for the size of an adult human male of roughly 5’10″ and 190 lbs. An Abyssinian or little Chihuahua at 8 lbs is no comparison. Everything is different for an 8 lb dog or cat. Livers are smaller, kidneys are smaller, intestines are smaller; the entire system of a cat or small dog is much more highly sensitized to change. Many experts, and vets disagree on an appropriate dosage for cats and small dogs – we’ve heard it’s OK for a 16 lb cat to have 300 mg of essential fatty acids, and the expert still warned us about the overdose symptoms of gas and diarrhea. Many experts disagreed on what was right for a 10 lb or even an 8 lb cat, the significant thing to notice is that when talking about that 300 mg for a 16 lb animal, that is twice as big 8 lbs. We recommend, keeping it simple, safe and gentle.
As our testimonial; our cat – Mac (15 lbs ) has been taking the Packenzie Petite Omega 3 softgel for about a year now, and it’s been incredibly important, actually – critical that the supplement is a success as a very costly operation rides on if whether his symptoms come back or not. Mac had a very serious operation to his nasal passages and inner ear, and Omega 3 was the remedy prescribed by our vet to make sure the problem never returned. So far, Mac has been living illness free and he also looks good with his glossier fur coat. What’s even better, He takes the Packenzie 500 mg Omega 3 every day without trouble because of the small size fish oil tablet.
The added bonus of the small dosage Omega 3:
An easy oval shape means that it’s easy for cats and small dogs to take. The softgel can be cut and spread over your pet’s food, or placed in a dish to be lapped up on it’s own. (One of our cats does this) But if you have a picky eater like our Mac, who does not like the taste of fish oil, but needs to get his Omega 3, the small size is easy to swallow. We put his dosage into a Greenies Pill Pocket ( chicken flavor ) and he takes it on his own in about 8 seconds. Most dogs we have seen, can simply take the Packenzie Petite Omega 3 with no extra effort on the part of the owner: no need to disguise it. Simply toss or place the capsule in front of your dog, they think it’s a treat – so it’s gone in about 3 seconds. We like to call this “Stress Free Omega 3™”. We think that once you try this – You’ll agree.
Thank you for reading this and please feel free to leave any feedback.