Fish oil is one of the nutritional supplements that have many health benefits. For humans, fish oil can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, manage high blood pressure, and relieve arthritis pain. Does fish oil have the same benefits for cats?
Fish oil can be considered one of the most commonly used supplements for pets like cats due to its various health benefits. Even cats undergoing FIP treatment can benefit from fish oil. Before discussing the benefits of fish oil for cats, let's first learn some basic things about fish oil.
What is Fish Oil?
As the name suggests, fish oil is a supplement derived from cold-water fish, such as salmon. Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are fats that serve many functions. Fish oil supplements, available in pill or liquid form, have two types of omega-3 fatty acids:
EPA and DHA act as anti-inflammatory agents and can, therefore, be used for inflammatory diseases, including skin allergies (atopy) and dermatitis, joint inflammation, kidney disease, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and some types of cancer.
Benefits of Fish Oil for Cats with FIP
Just like fish oil supplements for humans, fish oil for cats contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help build cell membranes and provide energy. The body cannot produce these fatty acids on its own, so the only way to get these nutrients is by consuming them. Cats need the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; a deficiency in these nutrients can lead to skin abnormalities, reproductive issues, and other health problems.
In cats affected by the FIP virus, fish oil is useful in aiding faster recovery. Fish oil can be used as an additional supplement during the treatment period.
There are many benefits of fish oil for cats, including:
Fish oil supplements are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. EPA and DHA, present in fish oil, act as cellular signals to reduce inflammation. Therefore, fish oil supplements can be beneficial in addressing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and heart disease. Additionally, fish oil can alleviate inflammation caused by skin allergies, providing relief to your pet and reducing itchiness.
If your pet suffers from severe arthritis, fish oil supplements can be used in conjunction with traditional pet pain relievers to maximize pain relief.
Enhancing Brain Development and Cognitive Function
DHA, in particular, plays a very crucial role in brain development and function. For kittens, DHA supplementation can assist the learning process and the retention of various skills. In adult cats, DHA can reduce the effects of cognitive dysfunction.
Slowing Tumor Growth
Fish oil can also inhibit tumor growth by stimulating cancer cells to differentiate (change into a specific type of cell). When cells undergo differentiation, their capacity to divide becomes limited, ultimately hindering survival of cancer cells.
DHA, a component of fish oil, has been shown to increase cancer cell differentiation, impeding their continuous division and consequently restricting tumor growth.
Protecting Cat's Heart
Another valuable benefit of fish oil for cats is its ability to protect their heart health. The omega-3 content in fish oil contributes to the improvement of heart function in feline companions.
Specifically, fish oil helps normalize irregular heartbeats, commonly known as atrial fibrillation, promoting a healthier heart rhythm. Additionally, fish oil acts as an anticoagulant, preventing blood clot formation in cats with heart disease, which can be highly beneficial for their overall heart health.
Slowing Kidney Disease Progression
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, fish oil for cats can slow down the progression of kidney disease. The supplement aids in lowering high blood pressure and reducing unwanted protein loss in urine, thereby supporting kidney function.
Not only that, the content in this fish oil is beneficial to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory substances that will eventually worsen the cat's kidney condition. By mitigating inflammation and supporting kidney health, fish oil plays a significant role in slowing the progression of kidney disease in cats.
How is fish oil administered?
Fish oil is given orally in liquid or capsule form. It can be given with or without food; however, if stomach upset occurs when given on an empty stomach, administer the next dose with food. Fish oil can easily be mixed into wet food.
When choosing a fish oil supplement for your cat, there are numerous options available. To ensure the best recommendation, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian who can help determine which fish oil is most suitable for your cat's specific needs.
Does Fish Oil Have Side Effects for FIP Cats?
Fish oil is generally safe to be used as a cat supplement. For cats suffering from FIP, administering fish oil is also recommended to aid in a faster recovery process. However, it is crucial to ensure that the administration of fish oil aligns with the cat's individual requirements. Therefore, consulting with a veterinarian is vital to determine the correct dosage. When given excessively, cats may have difficulty digesting the excess fish oil, leading to digestive issues. Other possible side effects, especially at high doses, may include vomiting, drowsiness, a fishy odor on the breath or skin, increased itching, or oily fur and skin flakes.
If any of these side effects occur, it may be beneficial to discontinue the supplement. Some cats may be more sensitive to these effects, and their overall diet and any underlying health issues could also play a role in their response to fish oil supplementation.
Fish Oil Recommendation for Cats
After understanding the importance of fish oil for cats, it's essential to choose the best fish oil product for your beloved feline friend. Always consult with a veterinarian before introducing any supplements, including fish oil, to your cat's diet. Some fish oil brands that can be considered for use during FIP treatment.
FIP is a serious disease, but early detection can help improve the chances of a positive outcome. If your cat is showing FIP in cats symptoms, please take them to your nearest veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment and if you have any questions or concerns about FIP and its treatment, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Facebook or visit our Instagram to get in touch with our expert team. You can read the Complete Guide to dealing with FIP Cats by clicking here.