8 Best Fish Oil for Cats and What to Look Out For When Buying Fish Oil Products?
Fish oil is popular among cat owners, and it’s not surprising knowing its excellent reputation as an essential part of a healthy cat’s diet.
If you look around, there are a lot of kibbles and wet foods that contain essential fatty acids from fish oil, and of course, there are tons of fish oil supplements in the market, which makes it hard to spot the best fish oil for cats.
If you don’t know what to look out for, and you have never bought a fish oil cat supplement before, you can be swayed easily into buying the “so-so” options.
As a pet parent, we know you don’t want anything but the best for your fur babies. So, we’ve made this guide and list to make it easier for you to decide and narrow your options with only the best choices out there.
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- What is Fish Oil?
- Why Should You Give Your Cat Fish Oil Supplements?
- What to Look For When Buying Fish Oil Products?
- Our Chosen Best Fish Oil for Cats
- 1. Zesty Paws Core Elements Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
- 2. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Liquid Supplement
- 3. Iceland Pure Pet Products Unscented Pharmaceutical Grade Salmon Oil
- 4. Omegease Omega-Rich Fish Oil
- 5. American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
- 6. Vetoquinol Triglyceride OMEGA Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement
- 7. 21st Century Essential Pet Alaska Wild Salmon Oil
- 8. Bayer Free Form Snip Tips Fatty Acid Capsules
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you give cats human fish oil capsules?
- How much fish oil is too much for cats?
- Is fish oil good for hairballs in cats?
- Can fish oil make a cat sick?
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements for cats and dogs. It is lauded for its many health benefits for our furry friends – thanks to its excellent omega 3 fatty acids concentration. Fish oil is typically found in cold water ocean fish like wild salmon, tuna, and trout.
Fish oil contains two essential fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). Both EPA and DHA are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids bonded to glycerol, its three-carbon backbone structure.
When combined together, this molecule is called triglyceride. Fish oil is a triglyceride. And this is also why when buying fish oil, it’s preferable that you buy those that use the triglyceride form of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Why Should You Give Your Cat Fish Oil Supplements?
It’s not as if your cat’s life will depend on it. However, if you do add fish oil to your cat’s food, you will notice a significant improvement in his overall health. Also, cats need a balanced diet that is rich in protein, important nutrients, and fatty acids.
While a cat’s body can produce its own Vitamin C, it can’t synthesize omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can come from dietary sources and cat supplements.
As mentioned earlier, cold-water fish like wild caught salmon, tuna, sardines, bakala, and anchovies are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Adding fish oil supplements to your cat’s diet can increase his intake of these essential fatty acids.
Fish oil has an extensive list of health benefits not just for us, humans, but also for our furry friends. In particular, it can boost your cat’s immune system, provide support for dry, itchy, and flaky skin, and promote a healthy coat.
With its anti inflammatory effects, fish oil can help cats with joint pain, heart disease, kidney disease, and inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and a lot more.
What to Look For When Buying Fish Oil Products?
Not all fish oil products are created equal, and we couldn’t emphasize enough how important it is to make sure that you are sourcing the best fish oil for dogs and/or cats for your furry friend.
So, whether it’s your first or nth time to purchase a fish oil supplement, we’d recommend that you look for the following on your next shopping spree:
Choose the Triglyceride Form
Fish oil supplements come in two forms: the natural formulation that contains oil in its “natural triglyceride form,” and the manufactured formulation which uses synthetic oil, known as the ethyl ester form.
The term “natural” should already give you a hint, and you are definitely right – between the two forms, you should choose the supplement fish oil in triglyceride form.
In comparison, the manufactured form is cheaper. However, along with its less expensive price is its inferior health benefits.
Fish oil supplements that use the ethyl ester form contain higher concentrations of EHA and DHA, but they are also harder for your cat’s body to absorb.
Purchase from a Reputable Company
This should be self-explanatory since no pet parent would want to purchase pet food or supplement that was produced by a questionable company.
However, the challenging part here is knowing how to spot pet products that were made by trustworthy companies.
Reputable companies don’t necessarily need to be decades in the business. What’s more important is that they have excellent production standards, and their products are tested regularly by third-party labs for heavy metals, oxidation, as well as other contaminants.
Some fish oil products feature the National Animal Supplement Council seal, which validates that they participate in random product testing, quality audit, and quality training every two years.
If a company doesn’t have this, you can search for similar information provided by third-party labs to ensure that they have quality control over their products.
Avoid Cod Liver Oil or Fish Oil That Comes from Cod Fish
Fish oil products that were derived from cod fish contain a good source of vitamins A and D. However, we don’t recommend cod liver oil in giving your cat his extra dose of EPA and DHA in his diet.
Doing so may put him at risk of having toxic levels of vitamins A and D, as they can easily absorb these nutrients. Your cat will most likely exceed his intake of these vitamins if you were to give him the correct dose for him to meet his body’s EPA and DHA requirements.
Consider Fish Oil Supplements in Glass or Aluminum Containers
We don’t usually pay importance to the container of our cat’s supplies. It may not be known to most of us, but the container of our cat’s fish oil supplements plays a crucial role since the oil is sensitive to oxidation and contamination.
Hence, we recommend that you stick with either glass or aluminum containers to maintain freshness. The only obvious advantage of an aluminum container is that it won’t break when it accidentally slips your grip.
Choosing Between Wild-Caught and Farmed Salmon
Many companies source their fish oil from wild caught salmon. However, being a predatory fish, the issue here is that salmon may be at higher risk of having heavy metals and toxins, including mercury. This is also why it’s important that a company should have lab results done by a third-party laboratory.
Moreover, overfishing of salmon has raised sustainability concerns and has lessened their omega-3 fatty acid concentration. Hence, came the farm raised salmon as alternatives. But even these varieties have some issues.
Apparently, farm-raised salmons eat grains, groundfish, and corn, and they don’t get the same amount of exposure to algae and plankton, which is where wild-caught salmons derive their omega-3 fatty acid content from. Farm-raised salmon have lower omega-3 fatty acid concentrations than wild-caught salmon.
To address the sustainability issue, toxicity concerns, and the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, more fish oil products now use smaller wild-caught non-predatory fish that contains high fatty acid concentrations.
Anchovies, sardines, herring, and mackerel are examples of these smaller fishes with higher fatty acid content than farm-raised salmons.
Our Chosen Best Fish Oil for Cats
Zesty Paws Core Elements Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
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Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Liquid Supplement
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Iceland Pure Pet Products Pharmaceutical Grade Salmon Oil
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Omegease Omega-Rich Fish Oil
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American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Formula
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Vetoquinol Triglyceride Omega Supplement
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21st Century Essential Pet Alaska Wild Salmon Oil
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Bayer Free Form Snip Tips Fatty Acid Capsules
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →|
- Zesty Paws Core Elements Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
- Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Liquid Supplement
- Iceland Pure Pet Products Pharmaceutical Grade Salmon Oil
- Finest for Pets Omegease Omega-Rich Fish Oil
- American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Formula
- Vetoquinol Triglyceride Omega Supplement
- 21st Century Essential Pet Alaska Wild Salmon Oil
- Bayer Free Form Snip Tips Fatty Acid Capsules
1. Zesty Paws Core Elements Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
At first glance, this may be the most adorable and palatable fish oil supplement in the market today with its playful use of colors and striking visuals. But if you dig deeper, Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is not just a feast to the eyes.
More than its attractive appearance, Zesty Paws is a healthy, safe, and mouthwatering fish oil supplement for cats and dogs.
With its liquid form and easy-pump bottle, you can quickly add fish oil to your furry friend’s cat food, which can make it even more tempting and tastier with its strong fish odor and salmon flavor.
This premium fish oil contains pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil that is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help promote a shiny coat, prevent dry skin, and support your cat’s hip, joints, heart, and immune health.
2. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Liquid Supplement
Nordic Naturals fish oil is derived exclusively from wild anchovies and sardines and offers the essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
These fatty acids help support your cat’s skin, promote a healthy coat, joints, heart, and aid in the healthy development and maintenance of his eyes and brain.
This premium fish oil is specially formulated for cats and dogs, and it is distilled for purity and tested by a third-party laboratory to ensure its quality and safe use for your furry friend.
Nordic Naturals Pure Omega-3 Oil Supplement uses a glass bottle to preserve the oil’s freshness, and it comes with a marked dropper so you can easily give your cat his daily dose of essential fatty acids accurately.
3. Iceland Pure Pet Products Unscented Pharmaceutical Grade Salmon Oil
If your cat is easily discouraged by the strong fishy odor of some fish oil supplements, Iceland Pure Pet Products Unscented Pharmaceutical Grade Salmon Oil is your best bet.
Made with high potency Norwegian salmon oil that is loaded in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, this supplement can help soothe dry, and itchy skin, reduce inflammation and promote heart health and overall wellness in cats.
It also comes in an eco-friendly, brushed aluminum bottle with a convenient pump for easy administration. With each slight pump, you can easily provide your cat with his daily dose of essential fatty acids.
Your feline buddy will definitely love its fish-tastic taste either on its own or mixed with his favorite kibbles or wet foods.
4. Omegease Omega-Rich Fish Oil
Are you torn between the sustainability issues, risk of toxicity, and inferior omega-3 fatty acid concentration of wild-caught and farmed salmon, respectively?
If so, then, as mentioned earlier, your best alternative is to look for a fish oil supplement that is derived from smaller non-predatory fish such as wild-caught sardines, anchovies, and mackerel. And these are the exact sources of essential fatty acids from this omega-3-rich fish oil supplement.
Finest for Pets Omegease Fish Oil comes in a sturdy bottle with a convenient pump applicator. The supplement’s fishy flavor blends easily with your cat’s food and it adds a mouthwatering flavor that he would purr over with delight.
Packed with EPA, DHA, as well as omega-6 and -9 fatty acids, this high-quality fish oil helps promote a healthier coat, reduce shedding, relieve inflammation, and soothe aching joints, and itchy skin.
It also supports your cat’s brain development, heart health, and immune system. And it uses 100% pure, safe, and effective human-grade ingredients, and is tested regularly for quality and purity.
5. American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
Add your cat’s food with a boost of tasty flavor and nutrients with American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Formula. This nourishing oil is packed with a 51/49% blend of oils derived from wild-caught Alaskan salmon and pollock.
Every palatable drop of this premium, yet affordable fish oil is loaded with EPA, DHA, omega-6, and -9 fatty acids, as well as other important omega-3 fatty acids, which help support your cat’s skin and coat health, brain development, eye health, and overall wellness.
It also comes in two sizes and a convenient squeeze bottle with a drip-free cap to help control mess. So, you can easily add this nutrient-packed liquid gold to your cat’s favorite meal.
6. Vetoquinol Triglyceride OMEGA Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement
Are you looking for an omega-3 fatty acid that can provide quick relief to your cat’s rashes from allergies or skin disease? If so, Vetoquinol Triglyceride OMEGA supplement is the one you are looking for.
It uses the same omega-3 fatty acids used by humans to promote their overall health and wellness, and the liquid formulation is also enriched with vitamin A, vitamin D3, and vitamin E, aside from its EPA and DHA concentration.
Vetoquinol Triglyceride OMEGA Supplement comes with a liquid pump for easier administration onto your cat’s food.
Additionally, it contains the only fish oil in its natural or triglyceride form that has been granted the USP ingredient verification.
And since it’s great for both cats and dogs, it is also an amazing fish oil supplement for multiple pet households.
7. 21st Century Essential Pet Alaska Wild Salmon Oil
If you or your cat isn’t a fan of liquid supplements, these soft, bite-sized chews loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are the purr-fect alternatives.
These veterinarian-recommended and formulated chews are crafted using oil from wild-caught or non-farm-raised Alaskan salmon.
Each chewy bite of this fish oil supplement carries with it a palatable explosion of fishy flavor inside your cat’s mouth.
And each tasty bite-size chew is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help support your cat’s skin and bring back or maintain the luster and shine of his coat.
These premium fish oil chews are made using human-grade ingredients in an FDA-registered facility whilst observing the cGMP standards.
Lastly, each ingredient that comes in with every bite is analyzed by a third-party laboratory to ensure its safety and purity.
8. Bayer Free Form Snip Tips Fatty Acid Capsules
Give it as a whole, sneak it in a meaty treat or easily twist or snip the tip and squeeze the oil onto your cat’s food.
Bayer Free Form Snip Tips Omega-3 Fish Oil offers your furry friend guaranteed levels of DHA and EPA in a free fatty acid form that your cat can easily absorb.
The fish oil from this supplement is derived from deep ocean fish through a special molecular distillation process.
This creates a fish oil that is concentrated and more readily available to be absorbed by your cat’s body than other forms of omega-3 fatty acids.
Loaded with important fatty acids, these capsules help support your cat’s skin, coat, immune system, heart, and kidney. And it is shown to improve neurologic functions in older cats experiencing cognitive dysfunction.
While some cats may not be fascinated with the supplement’s capsule form, most cats are. Also, as mentioned earlier, you can easily squeeze the oil out of each capsule onto your cat’s food if he prefers it that way.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Fish Oil Should You Give Your Cat?
Cats can have different health needs, body weight, and every supplement can contain varying levels of EPA and DHA. So, the amount of fish oil that your cat needs will vary.
If you are planning of incorporating fish oil supplements into your cat’s diet, it’s best to consult your veterinarian first, and don’t forget to check out the feeding guidelines written on the label.
Can I Give My Cat Fish Oils for Humans?
It is not usually recommended that you give fish oils that are intended for humans. Some of these contain ingredients that can be harmful to your cat, such as xylitol.
Unflavored fish oil can be your best bet, but you should still pay attention to the differences in the dosing between humans and cats.
What Is the Best Fish Oil Supplement Form for Cats?
Fish oil supplements often come in liquid form or soft gel capsules. Some cats might prefer the bite-size soft chews but bear in mind that these forms could have multiple ingredients.
Can you give cats human fish oil capsules?
Human fish oil capsules have a lot more of the other fatty acids that work well in humans that cats don't really need. With human doses a cat would get more fat and calories than it needs, and possibly diarrhea.
How much fish oil is too much for cats?
The authors state that The National Research Council publication on Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats has established 2,800 mg/1,000 kcal of diet as a safe upper limit of the combined amounts of EPA and DHA, which is equivalent to 370 mg/kg0.
Is fish oil good for hairballs in cats?
Fish oil, such as salmon, pollock and sardine oil, is great because it fights hairballs on both fronts. The oils nourish the skin and coat to help reduce shedding and help move ingested hair along the digestive tract – all while nourishing the intestinal tract.
Can fish oil make a cat sick?
Side effects, particularly at high doses, may include diarrhea, vomiting, delayed wound healing, sleepiness, a fishy odor to the breath or skin, increased itchiness, or an oily coat and skin flakes. Discontinuation of the supplement should resolve these side effects. In cats, changes in blood clotting can occur.