Does your kitty go crazy for fish? Most cats are irresistibly lured by the potent aroma of a fishy meal ticket, which happens to be as good for their health as it is to their taste buds. Marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids can help your cat stay frisky longer.
Marine vs. Plant/Nut Sources
Marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are more efficient because they cut out the middle man. Your kitty’s body can directly use EPA and DHA but doesn’t have enough of the necessary enzymes to convert ALA from plant and nut sources into the EPA that it needs. While plant or nut sources of omega-3 won’t harm your little purr monster, it won’t do much to help her intake of essential fatty acids either. For best results, supplement your kitty’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oils.
Treat your special kitty to a sardine snack. Sardines are naturally high in the omega-3s that will help your spunky kitty stay healthy and happy. Just one small sardine contains approximately 100 mg of EPA/DHA. Not only do sardines pack a healthy punch, but your kitty will love the taste.
Add a splash of krill oil to your kitty’s diet. Puncture a small hole into a krill oil capsule and drizzle the contents over your cat’s wet food. Krill are miniature crustaceans at the bottom of the ocean food chain that boast high levels of omega-3. The taste of krill oil may not be as appealing to your kitty as canned fish, so you may need to start with a few drops at a time until she learns to love it.
Spice up your kitty’s diet with a dash of salmon oil. Salmon oil is an excellent source of omega-3 for cats, but getting your hands on high quality salmon oil can sometimes be tricky. Since salmon are often bred and fed in crowded conditions that are frequently polluted with pesticides and various chemicals, fish oil derived from farmed salmon is not ideal. Read the labels carefully in search of high quality, wild-caught salmon oil capsules. Like the krill oil capsules, puncture a small hole in the shell and mix the contents into your cat’s wet food.
Don’t rely on the omega-3 that commercial cat food claims to contain. The essential fatty acids your kitty needs rarely survive the commercial food preparation and preservation process, so supplementation is crucial to your kitty’s health.
While some fish oil sources like cod liver oil capsules do provide useful omega-3 fatty acids, most manufacturers add excess amounts of vitamins A and D that can be toxic to cats. If you choose to supplement your kitty’s diet with cod liver oil, make sure that the product you purchase does not contain added vitamins.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.