Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect on humans and animals, cats being no exception. If you're feeding your cat a common grocery store diet high in grains, chances are you'll need to provide him with an omega-3 supplement.
Fish oil supplements come in either liquid or pill form. You may choose to use the pill form for ease of dosing or if you're traveling. The liquid form can be measured out and then added to your cat's food or offered alone. Your cat likely will enjoy the taste and smell.
Since each cat is different, you'll need to choose the dose accordingly. Follow the label on your preferred product when using fish oil for skin and coat benefits. Nordic Naturals suggests 1500 mg for 20 pounds of body weight or 1/4 tsp. per cat of the liquid form. Animals Essentials suggests 1 capsule per 20 pounds of body weight. If you're treating for specific ailments, your cat may need a much larger dose than is prescribed on the label. Consult your veterinarian for the most appropriate course of action.
Length of Time
Administer the fish oil for at least 12 weeks, as it may take this long to see any outward benefits.
Fish oil supplementation has minimal risk associated with it. However, it is possible to give your cat too much. If you notice any signs of overdose, such as pain, vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration, consult your vet to rule out the possibility of pancreatitis.
Fish oil contains about 9 calories per gram, so if you notice any weight gain in your cat, cut back on his treats or regular food slightly to compensate. At smaller doses, however, weight gain is unlikely.
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