Green or black? Can cats eat olives?

Generally speaking, olives aren't dangerous or poisonous for cats. Nevertheless there is nothing to be gained by cats that eat olives. If your cat has eaten olives before and experienced no problems, then it should be fine. Otherwise, your cat can go without them.

Olive isn't just a key ingredient in many dishes and salads, but this fruit is nutritious too. However, can cats eat olives too?

People from all over the world enjoy this fruit as a great addition to their sandwiches and in their cocktails. Some people use it to make delicious tapenade and pesto.

However, unlike most fruits, olive fruit that is picked straight off the tree is very bitter. This fruit is often categorized into two kinds: green olives and black olives.

The pre-ripened state is characterized by its green color. Green olives can be picked before they ripened and brined in a lye solution to bring out the fruit's distinctive flavor.

It is usually stuffed with cheese, garlic or pepper to enhance its flavor.

As the fruit ripens, its color changes from green to purple and eventually to black. 

Some people prefer to pick them when they are fully-ripened because they’re softer and less bitter than the green ones.

Both green and black olives can be marinated in a lye solution and serve as delicious garnishes to dishes. Many people also enjoy eating them as it is straight from the brine.

Not only does this fruit is distinctively appetizing but it is also packed with vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Olive fruits, in any form, are considered a healthy snack that provides a plethora of health benefits.

This fruit is indeed beneficial for us humans. However, can cats eat olives to get these essential nutrients too? Are olives good for cats to eat?

If so, which is the best choice for them: green or black olives? Can cats eat green olives? Can cats eat black olives?

While we’re at it, we’re also going to find out if olive oil is safe for cats. Olives are typically cultivated for their natural oil.

90% of the harvested fruits are turned into oil while the remaining 10% is consumed as table olives. So, can cats eat olives?

Are Olives Good for Cats?

can cats eat black olives

Before we deal with the question ‘can cats eat olives,' let's first take a look at the nutritional aspects of olives.

Belonging to a group of fruit called drupes, olive is related to cherries, mangoes, almonds, and peaches.

Naturally, this Mediterranean fruit is an excellent source of vitamin E, copper, iron, sodium, and calcium. Additionally, olive is unusually high in antioxidants and dietary fiber.

Olive contains around 15% fat in which 74% of this fat content is oleic acid known for its potent anti-inflammatory property. Furthermore, this antioxidant helps regulate blood fats and improves liver function.

Just like any high-fat plant foods, this fruit is also loaded with vitamin E that may help reduce free radicals. Thus, this vitamin helps slow the process of effects of aging.

Iron plays a vital role in the transportation of oxygen in red blood cells. Copper helps maintain healthy nerve cells and aids in the absorption of iron.

Marinated olives contain a high amount of sodium since these fruits are soaked in brine for a long time.

Calcium is essential for bone, nerve, and muscle function. Taking all of these essential nutrients into consideration, olive fruit is indeed a powerful antioxidant in a shell.

Apart from its antioxidant property, olive also contains 80% water. This could come in handy for kitties that don't like drinking water that much.

However, can cats eat olives to obtain all of these health benefits? The good news is, olive is considered non-toxic to cats.

However, the bad news is, this nutritious fruit has no nutritional value to our furry companions.

However, why is it so? If olive has fantastic health benefits to humans, why can't it be beneficial for our feline pets too?

Unlike us, cats are obligate carnivores, and they solely thrive on meat diet alone.

All the essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and antioxidants that they require are obtained from meat.

This means that they don’t need to eat foods other than meat to meet their daily nutritional requirements.

To put it just, olives are not beneficial to felines, and there's no point in feeding them with these fruits.

Can cats eat olives? Yes, they can. However, keep in mind that fruits have no room in a feline diet. It should only be given to them in small quantity and moderation.

If there’s anything that our feline pets can benefit from it, it’s the fruit’s anti-inflammatory property.

A small quantity of olive from time to time can ease the symptoms of arthritis in felines.

The amazing anti-inflammatory qualities of this fruit can reduce the pain associated with arthritis and improve your pet’s mobility.

However, aside from that, olive has no other health benefits for felines.

For healthy pets, there's no need for them to consume olive as they won't gain anything from it. Can cats eat olives?

Giving them small portions of this fruit on rare occasions should be fine. However, you need to be aware of the possible risks that come with feeding olive to your cat.

Why Should You Not Feed Your Cat Olives?

are olives good for cats

Antioxidants are essential to felines, and they need these nutrients as much as we do.

While it's true that olive fruit is rich in powerful antioxidants, felines can acquire these from their meat diet.

Seafood such as salmon, krill, mackerel, herring, and cod are excellent sources of vitamin E, astaxanthin, selenium, and copper.

Furthermore, lean chicken and grass-fed beef are good sources of carotenoids that are even more powerful than beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein.

Even without eating plant-based foods, felines have plenty of antioxidant sources from their meat diet.

As long as you provide your pet with an appropriate meal, they'll be tasty and healthy without additional supplements from plant-based foods.

Feeding them with olives may do more harm than good. Even though this fruit is not poisonous to felines, it is important to point out that it is high in sodium.

This is to be expected since these fruits are marinated in brine or saltwater. Sodium is an essential mineral for felines.

Meat, poultry, and fish are excellent sources of sodium. Eating these foods adequately covers their daily requirement for sodium.

So, giving them foods that are high in sodium can bring your pet over the limit of their sodium requirement. What could go wrong if sodium intake goes over the limit?

In the worse case, high levels of salt can lead to sodium poisoning in cats and let us remind you that this condition can be life-threatening.

Sodium Poisoning in Cats

can cats eat green olives

Sodium toxicity rarely happens to us because the human body can effectively break down and metabolize salt.

Unfortunately for our feline friends, they lack natural enzymes to process and handle sodium in the body.

Too much salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning in felines that can negatively affect their health.

Common symptoms of sodium poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, lethargy, seizures, coma, and even death.

Average-sized felines require about 21 mg of salt per day and no more than 42 mg of it per day.

Their regular food of meat and fish already provides the right amount of sodium they need in a day.

When you feed them with large amounts of olives, you are exposing your pet to potential toxicity.

Imagine this; one large olive already contains 32 mg of sodium. If you give them even one piece of this fruit on a daily basis, you're also putting your pet at risk of sodium poisoning.

Can cats eat olives? The fruit itself is not poisonous to our feline pets. However, the process of soaking them in brines significantly contributes to its high sodium content that is dangerous to cats.

Are olives good for cats? Our pets can slightly benefit from this fruit's anti-inflammatory property.

However, then again, it contains a large amount of salt that can potentially harm our furry companions.

Using Olives as a Cat Treat

Can cats eat olives

If you're thinking about using olives as an occasional treat for your kitty, make sure to monitor the amount that you're giving.

More importantly, take note of your pet’s daily nutritional requirement and make sure not to exceed the limit.

Only give your pet a tiny chunk of the fruit twice or thrice a week. However, it is not recommended if you're giving your pet canned cat foods that are already high in sodium, to begin with.

Furthermore, canned olives are not only high in salt, but they also contain preservatives that could endanger your pet's health.

Some pet owners recommend washing the salted fruit with water to remove excess salt before giving it to the kitty.

However, contrary to what they think, washing it with water doesn't thoroughly rinse away all the salt.

Choose unsalted olives if you plan to share some of these fruits to your furry buddy. Don’t forget to remove the seed before you give the fruit to your kitty.

Olive pits can be a potential choking hazard, and it could get stuck in your pet's throat.

Break off a small chunk of the fruit and feed it to your kitty. Observe your pet for any possible sign of side effects.

If your kitty shows an excessive increase in thirst and urination, consider that as an initial sign of sodium poisoning.

You should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible for medical treatment.

As long as your kitty likes the taste of unsalted olive, then you may consider giving it as an occasional treat.

Keep this fruit as an infrequent treat, and it should NOT be included in their daily diet.

Do Cats Eat Olives?

can cats eat black olives

Many pet owners claim that their feline pets get so attracted with the smell of olives. Moreover, you've probably experienced this situation firsthand.

After opening a bottle of pitted olives, you find your feline pet running towards you with its eyes fixed on the bottle you're holding. However, why do cats find the smell of olives so appealing?

Surprisingly, this fruit contains a chemical called isoprenoid that has the same effect of the chemicals found in catnips. So, it’s no wonder that our furry companions go nuts with just a sniff of this fruit

Therefore, it is the smell of the fruit and not the taste that gets them drawn into it.

They are likely to crave for it every time they sniff the scent of it. However, the chances are good that they'll find the taste of olives repulsive, especially the unsalted variants with the bitter taste.

Can Cats Eat Green Olives?

are olives good for cats

Green olives are generally firmer and more bitter than black olives. That is why commercial brands are using more salt in the solution to reduce the bitterness.

Moreover, this is not a good thing for felines because more salt only means one thing:  a higher risk of sodium poisoning.

As mentioned earlier, green olives are not toxic to felines. However, the sodium content is what makes it dangerous to them.

Additionally, green olives contain more isoprenoid than the ripe ones. This means that your kitty is likely to favor green olives than their black counterparts.

Can cats eat green olives? The fruit itself should be safe, but it's unlikely that your kitty will like the bitter taste.

Do Cats Eat Black Olives?

can cats eat green olives

Olives turn black in color when fully ripened. When it comes to texture, black olives are softer than the green ones.

Also, when it comes to taste, black olives are less bitter as these fruits contain more oil as they mature.

Since black olives have more oil in them, this property slightly reduces the absorption of salt when soaked in brine. Therefore, black olives contain less salt than green olives.

Can cats eat black olives? Just like green olives, black olives are non-toxic to felines, but the sodium content may pose health problems to your pet.

A tiny piece of the pitted black olive should be fine now and then. However, always remember to keep it in moderation.

Can Cats Eat Olive Oil?

Can cats eat olives

Perhaps the most commonly used part of the olive tree is not the fruit itself, but the oil it contains.

Olive oil is considered as the healthiest oil that offers myriad of health benefits.

Whether it is used for cooking or as a part of a beauty regimen, this amazing oil has still a lot more to offer.

Can cats eat olives oil? Well, it would be bizarre to let your kitty drink any oil. However, if you share some foods that are cooked with olive oil, then it should be fine.

Keep in mind that a feline’s digestive system isn’t capable of handling plant-derived oils in their body. They typically obtain all the necessary fats they need from animal-derived oils.

Too much plant-derived oils in their system can make your pet suffer from digestive distress such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Can cats eat olives? Even though the fruit is non-toxic to felines, we don't recommend feeding olives to your feline pet.

The fruit alone contains high amounts of fatty oil that is not beneficial to felines.

Don't get us wrong. Felines require fat in their diet as it provides the energy and aids in the absorption of vitamins.

However, the particular fats that they require are those that can be found in animal proteins and not those found in plants.

Now, the worse happens when these rich fruits are soaked in the salt solution for a long time.

This process is necessary to reduce the bitterness of the fruit and to enhance the flavor.

However, for our furry friends, this process is nothing but bad news.

It would help if you kept your kitty away from foods that are high in sodium to prevent potential poisoning.

Unlike us, felines cannot tolerate too much sodium in their body. Canned cat foods are already formulated to meet their daily requirements of sodium.

It means that there’s no need to supplement them with more salty foods.

Are olives good for cats? Arthritic kitties can benefit a little from its anti-inflammatory qualities.

However, it should not be deemed as a medical remedy for this condition.

Consult with your vet regarding your pet’s health condition and never rely on food supplements for the treatment of these conditions.

Considering all these things, feeding olives to your kitty won't give any benefits. Aside from the risk of sodium poisoning, this fruit can also become a choking hazard, especially with the pit.

To maintain your cat's wellbeing, it is better to stick with foods that are appropriate for felines.

Also, please stay away from foods that may endanger their health and cost them their lives.

Yes, cats can eat olives, but it's important to remember that there are some risks by letting them eat these fruits. So, why put them to risk?

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