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Can Cats Eat Black & Green Olives? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat olives

Can Cats Eat Black & Green Olives? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you have ever been snacking on a jar of olives, you may notice your cat curiously sniffing whatever you’re snacking on. 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 curiosity, keep reading. This article gives you a thorough overview of olive toxicity, risk factors, attractiveness to cats, and more.


Can Cats Eat Black & Green Olives?

If your cat has snuck one or two seedless 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 digestive issues. Olives are often stored in preservatives, which can lead to an upset stomach if consumed in excess by your cat.

Likewise, olive seeds are not easily digested by cats and may be a choking hazard for some cats. They may also lead to obstruction issues along your cat’s digestive tract in some cases.

Therefore, though olives are not toxic for cats, there are some health concerns with their seeds and whatever they’re preserved in. This, coupled with the lack of meaningful nutrition in olives, means it’s best to not offer your cat any. Instead, your cat should be offered treats that are suitable for them.

side view of tabby cat eating pet food from feeding bowl on white background
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Avoid Feeding Your Cats Olives

Even if you are keen on feeding your cat drained, seedless olives, you shouldn’t do so because they are nutritionally inappropriate for cats 1. Olives offer next to no protein and are high in fats. This results in your cat likely feeling satiated without acquiring sufficient amounts of other nutrients they need for proper growth, development, and maintenance.

Why Do Cats Like Olives?

If your cat gets a hold of an 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 an acid that is found in catnip.

In case you are unfamiliar with the effects of catnip on cats, it contains nepetalactone1, a chemical that attracts cats. However, although most of the plant has nepetalactone, the active constituent (which cats react to) is nepetalic acid, a metabolic product of nepetalactone. Cats may respond to the acid in air concentrations of around 1:10.

Even though olives can be potentially dangerous to cats, olives can be a major attractant for them. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that you store your olives well away from your cat and understand that their interest in the olives isn’t due to their health benefits but rather the smell.

Photo Credit: Tama66, Pixabay

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, you usually don’t need to worry. The seeds and preservatives of olives do pose some health risks to cats. Because olives smell like catnip, it is natural for them to show an interest in olives. However, you shouldn’t cave into your cat’s demands for olive oil. Instead, you should offer your pet species-appropriate snacks instead.

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Featured Photo Credit: michaelmep, Pixabay

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