5 Reasons to Include Fatty Acids in Your Cat’s Diet

Fatty acids, those essential nutrients we often hear about in human health, are just as crucial for our feline companions. These building blocks provide a range of benefits, impacting everything from your cat’s shiny coat to their overall well-being. Let’s delve into the top 5 ways fatty acids contribute to your cat’s health

Recommendation Doses For Cat Food

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that for every 1,000 calories of food consumed by cats the food should contain;

1.4 grams of acid (LA)
0.05 grams of acid (AA)
0.05 grams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
0.03 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

In terms of supplements, it is advised by experts that cats and small dogs should receive 18 milligrams of EPA and 12 milligrams of DHA, per pound of body weight. For example, a 10-pound cat would need to intake 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 mg of DHA.

5 Benefits of Fatty Acid in Cat Food

1. Radiant Coat and Healthy Skin

Fatty acids, particularly omega-3 and omega-6, act like magic for your cat’s fur. They nourish the skin and hair follicles, promoting a healthy coat that’s soft, shiny, and less prone to dryness and shedding.

Products: Look for cat food enriched with fish oil, a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. Popular options include:

DIY: You can also supplement your cat’s diet with a teaspoon of salmon oil daily.

2. Joint Health and Mobility

Fatty acids, especially omega-3s, possess anti-inflammatory properties. This translates to reduced joint pain and stiffness, aiding your feline friend’s mobility and agility, especially in senior cats.

Products: Consider joint health supplements formulated for cats, often containing glucosamine and chondroitin alongside omega-3 fatty acids. Some popular choices include:

DIY: Consult your veterinarian before offering fish oil capsules as a supplement.

3. Improved Brain Function and Cognitive Health

Fatty acids play a vital role in brain development and function. Supplementation with omega-3s has been linked to enhanced cognitive skills, improved memory, and even a reduced risk of cognitive decline in senior cats.

Products: Several cat food brands cater specifically to senior cats, offering formulations enriched with omega-3 fatty acids for brain health. Examples include:

4. Enhanced Vision and Eye Health

Specific fatty acids, like DHA, contribute to the development and maintenance of healthy retinas. This translates to improved vision, especially in night vision, for your feline friend.

Products: Look for cat food formulations rich in DHA, often found in kitten food as it’s crucial for their developing vision. Examples include:

  • Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Dry Cat Food (around $28 for a 10 lb bag)
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food (around $30 for a 5.5 lb bag)

5. A Stronger Immune System

Fatty acids, particularly omega-3s, boast immunomodulatory properties. This means they can help regulate the immune system, potentially reducing inflammation and making your cat more resistant to infections.

Products: Many commercially available cat food brands offer formulas rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support a healthy immune system. Some examples include:

DIY Cat Food

If you’re a dedicated cat parent who enjoys preparing homemade meals, incorporating ingredients rich in fatty acids is an option. However, it’s crucial to consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure a balanced and complete diet that meets all your cat’s nutritional needs. Some fatty acid-rich foods you can consider include:

  • Fatty fish: Salmon, sardines, and mackerel (cooked and deboned)
  • Flaxseed oil: A teaspoon added to their food daily
  • Eggs: Once or twice a week, cooked and chopped

Important Note: Always consult your veterinarian before introducing any new dietary changes or supplements to your cat’s routine. They can guide you based on your cat’s individual needs and health conditions.

By understanding the benefits of fatty acids and incorporating them thoughtfully into your cat’s diet, you can contribute significantly to their overall well-being and keep them purring with health!

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