Coconut oil is one of few oils that packs so many different uses and benefits, you could write a book on it! The use of this amazing oil doesn’t just end with us humans, cats can reap many of the same benefits. Here are 10 amazing coconut oil uses and benefits just for cats.
Softens Coat & Skin
Much like humans, cats can also reap the benefits of this super-rich oil by applying it directly to the skin and fur. It helps to heal wounds, skin infections, burns, and sores. It also makes the coat shiny and reduces tangles and knots in longer fur. Cats who enjoy the taste will lick their fur and get the internal benefits of this oil as well.
Aids in Oral Hygiene
When taken orally, coconut oil has amazing benefits for the teeth and gums. It naturally kills off bad bacteria while feeding the good bacteria in the mouth. Have you ever heard of oil pulling? This technique involves swishing around coconut oil in one’s mouth for 5 to 20 minutes to help rid harmful bacterial, whiten teeth, strengthen gums, and even aid in cavity healing while preventing new ones! While cats can’t oil pull like we can, simple licking some up is enough to keep the mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and happy.
Improves Brain Function
Several studies have been done over the last 20 years with coconut oil and cognitive activity. The findings support that taking coconut oil internally on a regular basis helps reduce cognitive decline in both humans and animals. This is down to the medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil. It is literally brain food!
Strengthens Digestive System
Some cats have sluggish digestive systems causing issues with constipation. This is usually brought on by a vitamin or mineral deficiency, food allergy, or a poor diet. Coconut oil can help regulate bowel movements and also aid in better absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Coconut’s ability to aid the digestive system to better absorption of vitamins and minerals includes the building blocks for healthy bones. Because your cat’s body will be absorbing more nutrients into the organs and tissue, this will aid in strengthening the bones, repairing the bones, and keep them healthy.
For older felines, joint pains, stiffness, and even arthritis are all too common. This can greatly reduce your cat’s happiness and well-being. Coconut oil can help ease these pains by naturally reducing the inflammation and working as a lubricant for the bones and joints. Applying the oil directly to your cats’ legs as well as adding some to their diet will do the trick.
Natural Tick & Flea Repellent
One thing that ticks and fleas have in common is that they HATE lauric acid. This fatty acid is displeasing in smell and also will suffocate them if they come into contact with it. If your cat’s fur has the smell and texture of oil on it, fleas will avoid making homes and ticks will not be able to grip on. If your cat (or dog) currently has a tick, coating it with coconut oil will cause it to fall off by suffocating it. You will want to do this outside. For fleas, I recommend using lavender baby (tear-free) wash with a few spoons of coconut oil mixed in.
Can Reduce Seizures
More studies have to be done for treating seizures and epilepsy using a ketogenic diet for both humans and animals, but the finding they have thus far make it worth trying. When the fat content in coconut oil goes to the liver, it creates ketones. Ketones help feed and repair tissues throughout the body, including brain tissue.
Aids in Weight-Loss for Overweight Cats
The medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids found in coconut oil are said to boost the metabolism. While there is still a bit of debate on this coconut oil does do one thing for both humans and felines; It reduced appetite. If you have a kitty that can eat, and eat, and eat, this may be very helpful to add to their diet to help control that.
Kills Internal Parasites
Giardia lamblia is a common parasite in kittens and the most common parasite found in humans. It lives and reproduces within the small intestines and can lead to Giardiasis if not treated. Coconut oil effectively kills this parasite as well as many others naturally. What makes this a much safer option for parasite detoxing and prevention is that it will not kill off any good bacteria in the digestive system like many prescription medications for parasites do.
Which coconut oil is best?
When it comes to oils, virgin is almost always the best option. Refined oils (especially coconut oil) are stripped down and lose many of the benefits and nutrients of the oil. Virgin oil is always more expensive because of this but it is worth paying the extra cost for all the benefits. Non-GMO and organic is also recommended as well simply because it will be a cleaner oil for your kitty.