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Can Cats Eat Olives?

By Stacy Painter
published: August 11, 2021 • 2 min. read
cat sniffing jar of olives

Table of Contents

The quick answer: Yes, but they’re not particularly nutritious.

Olives are a human snack staple that pets may become curious about, but cats can take a special liking to these briny morsels. Olives have a similar chemical signature that reads to cats like their beloved catnip, and many, but not all cats can have that silly, flippy, stoned kitty reaction to the smell of olives. 

Though non-toxic and chewy enough for cats to eat if they want to, olives aren’t the greatest choice due to the high fat content that can make kitties sick with stomach issues. Even though not poisonous, salt and fat and a lack of protein can hurt cats in the long run.

Hazards of olives for cats

Acidic foods, like some preserved olives, aren’t great for cats as they can cause gastrointestinal distress pretty quickly. Some olives that have been brined can be a bit too much for cats to digest in addition to having poor nutritional value. Another thing that typically comes with brined foods is lots of sodium, which isn’t advised for cat systems either, especially if it’s a regular occurrence. 

Oily and rich olives also contain too much fat to be any sort of viable treat for a cat other than the errant sniff and nibble. Though they need animal-derived fats as predators, cats don’t need what olives provide. Olives have plenty of fatty acids, but not quite the ones that benefit feline diets, so olive oil should be avoided too.

Additionally, some olives still have seeds and pits which pose a choking and digestion hazard; smaller mouths and throats mean less tolerance for foreign objects. Foods with pits can also cause intestinal blockage if swallowed, so don’t let your cat near these little morsels except maybe to have a good, long sniff.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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