Coconut oil has many surprising benefits for humans and the same goes for cats and other animals. It is good for heart health, contains healthy fatty acids and protects the skin, hair and teeth. But is it safe and recommended for cats? Read on and let us discuss in detail how coconut oil may be beneficial for felines.
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of matured coconuts and the unrefined and cold-pressed type, extra virgin coconut oil, is the best choice for your cats because of its health benefits. It is considered the purest form since it has not been hydrogenated or chemically processed.
How to apply coconut oil to cat’s skin?
To apply coconut oil to a cat’s skin, simply take a dollop or small lump of coconut oil, rub it in your hands to soften and apply all over your cat’s skin. Make sure that your cat will not lick off the oil by placing an Elizabethan collar on her neck.
What are the benefits of coconut oil for your cat’s skin?
Here are the benefits and uses of coconut oil for your cat’s skin:
1. It moisturizes your cat’s skin.
Coconut oil is proven to work wonders on your cat’s skin. It soothes and reduces dry and itchy skin. It also makes your cat’s coat soft, shiny and healthy.
2. It can be used as a top coat to protect your cat’s paws.
If you are fond of taking your cat out for a walk in the park, you may use coconut oil on her paws to protect it from wounds should there be rocks or sharp pebbles in her path. Simply apply a thin coat on your cat’s paws to protect your cat’s skin.
3. It heals wounds.
Coconut oil is effective in healing wounds like cuts and scratches faster. It helps prevent infections because of its anti-microbial properties that kill bacteria and fungi.
4. It can prevent bites from fleas and parasites.
Coconut oil effectively repels and kills fleas and parasites because of the lauric acid.
Other benefits of coconut oil for your cat
Aside from applying coconut oil topically on your cat’s skin, it may also be given orally. However, before you start to incorporate it into your cat’s diet, make sure to introduce it first to her by placing a small amount on your finger and letting your cat lick it off. Observe closely if your cat enjoys the taste and if there are no allergic reactions after two to three hours. If there is none, you can safely add it to her food or coat some of her toys so she can lick it off during playtime.
Here are the benefits of coconut oil when incorporated into your cat’s diet:
1. It soothes stomach troubles and constipation.
If your cat tends to have constipation most of the time, coconut oil can bring relief. Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids or MCFAs which makes it a potent and natural laxative. To help ease constipation, give your cat at least half a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of her body weight, once daily. Aside from constipation, coconut oil also relieves bacterial gut infections, aids digestion and prevents painful stools.
2. It alleviates inflammation due to arthritis or swollen joints.
Adding coconut oil to your cat’s diet may help alleviate inflammatory health issues like arthritis and swollen joints especially among elder or senior cats. This is because coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties of lauric acid.
3. It eases the discomfort caused by hairballs.
Cats are prone to ingesting hairballs because they are meticulous groomers. However, this can be easily remedied with the help of coconut oil. It reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract when cats regurgitate hairballs. It also helps cats to pass hairballs more easily as it adds moisture and bulk.
4. It helps prevent gingivitis.
Gingivitis is common among cats and it can be very discomforting. Coconut oil helps relieve inflammation and prevents gums from becoming swollen. Simply rub a pinch of coconut oil directly into your cat’s gums.
5. It improves brain, liver, heart and pancreatic health.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs that are clinically-proven to improve brain health. It may also help your cat to maintain cognitive function especially if she is a senior cat. Simply add one-fourth teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight to your cat’s food at least twice a day.
Similarly, coconut oil is good for heart, pancreatic and liver health. It easily absorbs fat-soluble vitamins and protects the liver from tissue injury and free radical damage.
6. It slows down kidney disease and cancer.
Coconut oil contains Omega-3 and amino acids that provide protein and energy for cats. These components may help in slowing down kidney dysfunction and cancer progression.
7. It promotes lean body mass.
According to the National Institute of Health, coconut oil helped with weight loss and created leaner body mass when they tested it with more than 50 overweight cats. This just goes to show that coconut oil improves metabolic function. Simply add one-half teaspoon of coconut oil to your cat’s food at least once a day.
Coconut oil is considered a superfood but it is comprised of mostly saturated fat and contains at least 117 calories per tablespoon. Thus, it should be added gradually to your cat’s diet and you should closely monitor her for any negative physical reactions. Opt for virgin coconut oil and do not force your cat to like it if she does not enjoy its taste.
Discontinue giving to your cat if it results in vomiting, diarrhea and other digestive issues as well as rapid weight gain.
Coconut oil has many surprising benefits for cats. It moisturizes your cat’s skin, heals wounds and prevents bites from fleas and parasites. It also eases the discomfort of hairballs, relieves inflammation and helps with digestion and brain health. To apply on your cat’s skin, simply take a small lump of the oil, rub between your hands and apply or massage on her skin.
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