Yes, your cat can eat a little bit of olives. But, before going ahead and giving your cat a big bowl of olives, it’s important to understand the right quantity and ways to feed olives to your cat.
Olives are a fruit that grows on a small tree or a shrub. One interesting fact is that about 80% of the world’s olive production is turned into olive oil, and the remaining 20% is then used as table olives. Two more interesting facts for you - The Great Seal of the United States first used in 1782 depicts an eagle clutching an olive branch in one of its talons, indicating the power of peace. In 1946, the flag of the United Nations adopted a world map with two olive branches.
Do Cats Like Olives?
If you ever see a cat near a bowl of olives, it may look like they’ve found true love. We may never know the exact reason why it is so, but it could be because of the smell, taste, or even just the feeling they get after eating olives. Green olives contain a chemical compound similar to the compound in catnip. What cat doesn’t like catnip? And what cat parent doesn’t like a playful, silly, or even crazy version of their cat sometimes? If you ask us, we’d say that cats love olives the same way some of us love Marrying Jane.
Are Olives Good for Cats?
Now we know that most cats wouldn’t say ‘no’ to olives. But should we as pet parents give it to them? It’s important to understand that cats are carnivorous. So, they are not supposed to be fed fruits or vegetables daily. Many vegetables are even toxic for them to eat. But among the few human foods that are safe for them, olives are one. To check the impact of olives on cats, let us look at their nutritional composition.
A serving of 4 large olives, that is approximately 15g, contains –
Carbs – 1g
Calories - 25
Protein – 0g
Fat – 2g
Fiber – 0.4g
Sugar – 0g
Apart from this, olives contain –
They are rich in antioxidants which can help reduce the risk of health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
These are all the benefits that humans can extract from olives. Can cats do the same?
Health Benefits of Olives for Cats
Olives have a high concentration of Vitamin C, A, and E. Cats produce their own Vitamin C, and the remaining two they can get from their daily diet. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in olives can destroy the free radicals that can cause cell damage. They can also help ease symptoms of arthritis in cats and regain mobility by reducing their pain. So, olives can be good for your furry pet. But how many olives are good for them?
How Many Olives Can Your Cat Eat?
Your cat loves olives, and now we know they are safe and good for your cat. But don’t go ahead and feed olives to your cat all day. Olives should be treated only as an occasional treat and not a part of their daily diet. It should never exceed 10% of your kitty’s daily calories.
Are Green Olives Good for Cats?
Olives come in 2 color options. The green ones may be intriguing to your cat because they contain isoprenoids. This compound binds to receptors in a cat's vomeronasal organ resulting in common behavioral changes. While your cat may love to eat them, it’s better if you restrict this treat to not more than 1-2 days per week, and less than a whole olive each time.
Are Black Olives Good for Cats?
Black ones are nothing but the ripe version of green olives. They transform from green to light brown, to a vibrant red and purple, to the deepest, darkest black. They are also safe for cats but they contain pits that can be dangerous for your cat. Black olives contain more oil and less salt. So, when given in moderation, black olives can turn out to be a great treat for your cat.
Is Olive Oil Good for Cats?
Olives are good for your cat and so is olive oil. For humans, olive oil is actually considered a superfood because of its rich nutrient content and especially the antioxidants. Feeding 1 tablespoon (never more than that) to your cat occasionally can help improve their immune system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help with constipation and hairballs. It also contains a low amount of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids making it more digestible for cats.
How Can You Feed Olives to Your Cat?
Before offering your cat olives, it is important that you know how to serve it to them.
Raw – Raw olives are the safest form of olives to give to your cat.
Washed thoroughly – We do not want any type of dirt or pesticide to enter your cat’s digestive tract. It is important to wash it thoroughly before chopping.
No Preservatives – Make sure that the olives you are feeding have no added preservatives or any type of additives and are unsalted.
What Can Happen if Your Cat Eats Too Many Olives?
Olives have a high sodium content and can cause sodium poisoning. The symptoms of the same can be very dangerous and can lead to kidney failure. If you end up feeding a lot of olives to your cat or they end up eating a lot of them, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if you see –
The moral of the story is – Olives, be it green or black or in the form of oil, can be perfectly safe for your cat given that you feed it only as an occasional treat and in the right quantity, in the right way. All of them have their unique properties and benefits that your cat can extract. Just remember, moderation and infrequent are the 2 keywords here.
One more interesting fact - External use of the plant and oil can promote healthier teeth, nails, and fur for cats.
How Spot Pet Insurance Can Help
We know that cats can be mischievous when they want to be and can end up getting in trouble. Our cat insurance plans can cover all the above medical conditions with up to 90% cash back on eligible vet bills and access to a 24/7 Pet Telehealth helpline so that you can always have someone by your side to help guide you through questions you may have about your pet’s health or behavior.
“Can Cats Eat Olives?” Noots Pets, https://nootspets.com/blogs/news/can-cats-eat-olives, Aug. 03, 2021.
“A Beginner’s Guide to Olives,” Odysea, https://www.odysea.com/2021/07/a-beginners-guide-to-olives, July 29, 2021.
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.