How to get more oil into my picky cat's diet

KasimaNovember 5, 2013

My cat won't eat canned food, and won't eat her dry food if I put any kind of oil on it. I can get her to eat tiny pieces of meat now and then, but not always. Her coat is looking dull and unhealthy. I've started putting coconut oil on her coat so she will lick it off. Someone suggested putting bacon grease or lard on her paws every day, because cats can't stand anything on their feet, but I don't want her tracking grease all over the house. I could put fish oil on my other cat's dry food, but this one won't eat it if I do. First cat I've ever seen that doesn't like tuna. She's just weird.

Any tips on how to get some more fat into her diet?

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A dull, unhealthy coat isn't necessarily caused by any sort of deficiency of oil or fat in the diet. It may indicate a health concern that should be checked by your vet. A dull coat is also often the result of dehydration, which is a chronic state in cats eating kibble diets.

That said, there are fish oils with very little, if any, taste or smell that your cat may not even detect on her food. Run a google search on odorless fish oil and see what pops up.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 11:36AM
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She's fine physically. Just had her yearly checkup and shots. Not dehydrated, because she drinks plenty of water. No parasites, no fleas, no skin mites. The vet was the one who suggested the coconut oil on her fur. I just think she needs more animal fat, although the vet says she has a healthy layer of fat and is normal weight. He suggested the coconut oil as a hairball preventative too, because she won't take the hairball medicine. She's 12 years old, and was not always this picky.

Thanks for the info on odorless fish oil. I'll try those and see if I can get her to eat it. Still, cats are carnivores, so I would really like her to have some kind of animal fat.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 12:08PM
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After adoption, I noticed immediate improvement with some kitties with the change to a healthy diet. Lots of dry food in the shelters. Smooth, soft and shiny coats emerged. I understand you're having feeding issues, but maybe one of the higher quality brands of kibble would help. Look for grain free, no by products etc. Wellness is a good brand with high quality ingredients, although I have never used the dry. There are quite a few others out now. Pet Valu specializes in premium foods.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I've tried all the "high quality" brands, and most of them are made in China. I won't feed my cat anything not made in the U.S. since one of my cats died of melamine poisoning. I feed my cats Purina and Good Life when I can afford it. I don't feed her store brands. When she was young, she had bladder problems, which we figured out was because of her food. The only foods other than Good Life that don't make her bleed are indoor formulas and urinary tract formulas. There is only so much I can do on a near-poverty level income. I give her the safest and best food I can afford, sometimes doing without myself so she can have the safest food. I'd gladly feed her canned food if she would eat it, but she won't. I've wasted I don't know how much money trying to get her to eat something other than dry food, so that is a moot question. She just won't eat it. Period.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I feel for you. I have 3 very picky cats. I've gone through various wet/dry combinations, but always had at least one cat that didn't like the offering of the day :)

We recently got a new puppy and started feeding her Earthborn Holistic dry dog food. After doing some research I started the cats on the Earthborn grain free cat food. Two of them love the canned, the other prefers the dry, but all 3 of them are eating better than they have in a long time. It's also made in the US (Illinois)!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 5:52PM
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Does she pill well? I give one of my cats fish oil but he won't eat it in his food. None of them will. So I dropper it into his mouth. He's a good pill taker so this works for us. You just have to be sure not to touch the dropper to their mouths because then germs can contaminate the bottle. Got Nordic Naturals fish oil from the vet. You might also try adding probiotics to her food. Purina Fortiflora is one. Not budget friendly but lasts a while. Gut is supposed to be one of the most important functions in our health and probably affects the coat.

Can't remember if you mentioned (now in Preview mode), but maybe she doesn't drink enough water? Probably not the case, eating dry food. In the old days, they suggested adding a little salt to their food for that. Ask your vet though.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 11:11PM
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Have you tried buying some raw, wild caught sardines? Raw food is best for her anyway. Plus, sardines are high in oil (good animal fat) that carnivores need/usually love (though she does sound picky). High in Omega 3, which most animals and humans for that matter don't get enough of these days in their commercial diet.

If she likes them, this would really help her coat. Plus, she might be allergic to those fats that are good for humans but not necessarily carnivores-Ex. Olive oil, flax oil, coconut, etc. Good for humans...!

In any case, good luck, and don't be afraid to try raw, oily fishes and grass fed meats.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 11:06AM
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I'm sorry to be terse, but you are all recommending things I made it clear I can't afford. I think this is pointless. All of you obviously have a lot more money to spend on spoiling your animals than I do. I don't even buy that expensive stuff for myself. I found a frugal pet care forum where they are making reasonable, cost-effective suggestions that seem to be working, so thanks anyway. I just have to say it must be nice to be able to spend that kind of money on your pets. Be thankful, because I was once one of you, and lost it overnight.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Have you tried to put just a regular oil on her food like a cooking oil that has no flavor or smell? Maybe you could try that. Just put it on a few of the kibbles and put them in the bowl of food with the other dry kibbles and see if maybe that will get eaten. It could just be that she is old and isn't cleaning her coat like she did when she was younger. Can you brush her daily? I bet that would help the appearance of her hair.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 7:25AM
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All seven of our cats have healthy coats and are not overweight - BUT that is due to their diet. They live inside and out and I feed them kibble. They eat very little of it in the summer because they prefer hunting their raw diet.

We live on a farm and I know it isn't possible for many of you to let your cats outside even occasionally but healthy cats need real meat. I put apple cider vinegar in their water and none of them ever has ear mites. (BTW, we have plenty of coyotes but they can't climb trees!)

Once kittens reach adulthood, they are smart enough not to get eaten.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 1:23PM
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