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Can Cats Eat Black & Green Olives? What You Need to Know

If you have ever been snacking on a jar of olives, you may have noticed that your cat tries to steal one or two away from you. This may cause you to wonder whether or not cats can eat black and green olives. Since olives are not toxic to cats, cats can technically eat black and green olives, but you should avoid feeding them to your cat for other reasons.

Whether your cat can eat olives requires quite a bit of explanation. To find out why you should not feed your cat olives, despite your cat’s tendency to steal them, keep reading. This article gives you a thorough overview of olive toxicity, risk factors, attractiveness to cats, and more.divider-catclaw1

Can Cats Eat Black & Green Olives?

If your cat has snuck one or two black or green olives, do not fret. Olives are not poisonous or toxic to cats. As a result, cats can eat black and green olives without any adverse side effects, so long as they are eaten in moderation.

However, feeding your cat too many olives can lead to some stomach issues. Most olives are soaked in brine, which contains a lot of sodium. Consuming a lot of sodium can cause your cat to throw up or experience constipation or diarrhea.

For this reason, it is dangerous if your cat eats a whole lot of olives or olive juice. Small or moderate amounts of olives, however, is completely safe for your cat to consume, and they will probably like it in the process.

kitten-eating-salad-at-kitchen_Benevolente82_shutterstock
Credit: Benevolente82, Shutterstock

Avoid Feeding Your Cats Olives

Just because olives are not toxic to cats does not mean you should necessarily give it to them. They still are not the best snacks for cats. As we already mentioned, olives tend to have a high sodium content, which can lead to a number of adverse health reactions if your cat consumes too much at one time.

Another reason why you should avoid feeding your cat olives is because they can become a choking hazard. Many olives come with a pit, which can get stuck in your cat’s throat. It is best to avoid feeding your cat olives with pits to ensure that they can breathe and eat properly.

If your cat has diabetes, you especially should not feed them olives. Studies have shown that olives can cause insulin sensitivity when consumed by diabetic cats. As a result, do not ever feed your diabetic cat olives, regardless of the type.

Why Do Cats Like Olives?

If your cat gets ahold of olive or two, you’ll likely see them licking it uncontrollably. There is a good reason why. Green olives especially are highly attractive to cats. They contain chemicals called isoprenoid and pimentos. Both of these chemicals are very similar to the ingredients that are found in catnip.

In case you are unfamiliar with the effects of catnip on cats, the flavor binds with receptors in your cat’s nose, creating behaviors that seem euphoric. Many people compare a cat’s reaction to catnip to people’s reactions to narcotic drugs.

Since olives smell so much like catnip, your cat is likely to go a bit crazy whenever they smell olives. More specifically, they are drawn to the olive juice, not the olive itself. Because of this fact, most cats will lick the juice off the olive and then play with the olive sort of like a toy.

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Credit: Tama66, Pixabay

Better Alternatives to Black & Green Olives

Even though olives can be potentially dangerous to cats, they go absolutely crazy for their flavor. For this reason, there are many alternatives to feeding your cat green or black olives that do not involve feeding them the actual olives or potentially dangerous brine.

Many companies today take advantage of the fact that cats love olives by creating olive infused cat food. For example, there are different cat food varieties you can find on chewy.com that are flavored like olives. There are also olive-flavored treats and toys your cat will love.

cat paw dividerFinal Thoughts

Even though olives are not necessarily poisonous to cats, it is best to avoid feeding them to your furry friend. If your cat sneaks a bite, though, do not worry. Because olives smell like catnip, expect them to try. If you notice your cat especially loves olives, you can find olive flavored foods to satisfy your cats craving without creating any additional health hazards.

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Featured Image Credit: michaelmep, Pixabay

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