5 Common Problems With Fish Oils for Cats You Need to Know

icon May 6, 2023

1. What is Fish Oil for Cats?

Fish oil for cats is a supplement that contains omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are important for maintaining a cat's overall health, particularly their skin, coat, heart, and joint health. Fish oil supplements for cats are typically made from oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, or anchovies, and may come in liquid or capsule form.

It's important to choose a high-quality fish oil supplement that is specifically formulated for cats and contains a balanced ratio of EPA and DHA, which are the two main types of omega-3 fatty acids. You should also talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate dosage for your cat, as too much fish oil can cause digestive upset or other health issues. Additionally, it's important to ensure that the fish oil supplement you choose is free from contaminants such as mercury, which can be harmful to cats.

2. Is Fish Oil Good for Cats?

Yes, fish oil can be beneficial for cats in moderation, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids that can support their overall health. Here are some potential benefits of fish oil for cats:

  • Reduce joint inflammation

Arthritis is a common condition in cats, particularly as they age. Symptoms of arthritis in cats may include stiffness, difficulty jumping or climbing stairs, limping, and reduced activity levels.

When choosing a fish oil supplement for your cat with arthritis, it's important to choose a high-quality product that is specifically formulated for cats. Look for a supplement that contains EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce joint inflammation and support joint health in cats with arthritis or other joint conditions. Follow the recommended dosage on the label or as directed by your veterinarian.

In addition to fish oil supplements, other treatments for arthritis in cats may include pain medications, joint supplements (such as glucosamine and chondroitin), weight management, and physical therapy. 

If your cats or dogs need joint supplements,

Recommended Reading: 2023 the best hip and joint supplement for dogs

  • Promotes Healthy Skin and Coat

several nutrients are essential to maintaining healthy skin, including fatty acids. Fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are important components of cell membranes and help maintain the skin's natural barrier function. They also play a role in the production of sebum, the skin's natural oil, which helps to keep the skin moisturized.

Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are important for maintaining healthy skin. They have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce skin inflammation and irritation, and they also support healthy hair growth. Omega-6 fatty acids are also important for skin health, as they help to maintain the skin's moisture levels and contribute to the production of healthy skin cells.

If your cat doesn't get enough fish oil, it may show signs of a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids. 

  • Dull, dry coat: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining a healthy coat, and a deficiency may cause your cat's coat to become dull and dry.
  • Skin problems: A lack of omega-3 fatty acids may also cause skin problems in cats, such as dry, itchy skin or dermatitis.

By adding a fish oil supplement for cats to your daily routine, you can both prevent these nasty, painful symptoms in the first place and see improvements in symptoms within 3 to eight weeks, depending on the reasons for the deficiency in the first place.

  • Supports Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system and improve blood flow. They may also help to reduce the risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure, both of which are important factors in maintaining heart health.

  • Fish Oil for Eyes

Fish oil supplements may be beneficial for cat eye health due to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. Omega-3s can help to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the eyes, which can be particularly important for cats with certain eye conditions such as dry eye, cataracts, or glaucoma.

Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

One of the main differences between cod liver oil and fish oil is its vitamin A content. Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin A, which can be beneficial for maintaining healthy vision. Although fish oil also has the effect of maintaining vision, the effect of cod liver oil will be more significant

  • Supports Brain

Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids may have cognitive-enhancing effects in cats and other animals. For example, a study published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition found that cats fed a diet supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids had improved cognitive function compared to cats fed a standard diet.

Cognitive enhancement can be particularly important for senior cats, who may experience cognitive decline as they age. Symptoms of cognitive decline in cats may include disorientation, changes in sleep patterns, decreased interaction with their owners, and changes in behavior.

3. How Long Does Fish Oil Take to Work?

The amount of time it takes for fish oil supplements to work in cats can vary depending on several factors, such as the cat's age, health status, and the reason for supplementing with fish oil.

In general, it may take several weeks or even months for the full benefits of fish oil supplements to be seen in cats. This is because the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil need time to accumulate in the body and become incorporated into the cell membranes.

For example, if you are supplementing your cat's diet with fish oil for skin and coat health, you may begin to see improvements in the condition of their coat and skin within a few weeks to a few months. However, if you are supplementing with fish oil for joint health or cognitive enhancement, it may take longer to see noticeable improvements.

4. Fish Oil for Cats Selection Criteria

When selecting a fish oil supplement for your cat, there are several criteria to consider to ensure that you choose a safe and effective product. Here are some key selection criteria to keep in mind:


Choose a high-quality fish oil supplement formulated specifically for cats. Look for products made from high-quality pure fish oil that are free from contaminants such as mercury, PCBs, and dioxins. Therefore, it is necessary to choose a product processing that is distilled. Distillation can remove these harmful chemicals and other impurities, so the final product is safe.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content

Look for a fish oil supplement that contains high levels of EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are most beneficial for cats. Aim for a supplement that contains at least 500mg of EPA and DHA per 1,000mg of fish oil.


Choose a fish oil supplement that is sourced from cold-water, oily fish such as salmon, sardines, or anchovies. These types of fish are typically higher in omega-3 fatty acids and lower in contaminants.


Consider the form of the fish oil supplement. Some supplements come in liquid form, while others are in soft-gel capsules. Choose the form that is easiest for you to administer to your cat.

5. Vet Recommended Fish Oil for Cats

Puainta™ Pure Encapsulations Fish Oil 9000mg for Cats and Dogs









Puainta Omega-3 Fish Oil is made with fish from the cold waters off the coast of Iceland, including anchovies. Fish high in Omega-3s yet low in mercury and toxins support your cat’s joints, heart, skin, coat, brain, and overall health. This fish oil for cats contains high levels of DHA, EPA, and Omega-3 fatty acids that will promote healthy skin and fur, and can be pumped right into their food dishes.  

  • Quality

The processing method of this product is distillation to completely remove harmful substances

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content

Ingredients Guaranteed  
Name Proportion
EPA ≥53%
DHA ≥27%
Omega-3 ≥92%
  • Source

Ingredients: Concentrated Anchovy Oil, Antarctic Krill Oil, Linseed Oil, etc.


Which is Better for Cholesterol Fish Oil or Garlic?

Both fish oil and garlic have been studied for their potential benefits in managing cholesterol levels, but they work through different mechanisms and may have different effects on cholesterol levels in different individuals.

Fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to help reduce triglyceride levels and may also have modest effects on LDL (the "bad") cholesterol levels. Omega-3s may help to reduce inflammation and improve the function of blood vessels, which may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Garlic, on the other hand, contains compounds such as allicin that may help to reduce cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis. Garlic may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial for heart health.

While both fish oil and garlic may have some benefits for managing cholesterol levels, the research is mixed and more studies are needed to fully understand their effects. It's also important to note that both fish oil and garlic may interact with certain medications and should be used with caution, particularly if you are taking blood-thinning medications or have other health conditions.

If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs. They can help you determine whether fish oil, garlic, or other interventions may be helpful for managing your cholesterol levels and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Can You Give Pets Human Fish Oil?

While fish oil supplements for humans are generally safe for pets, it's important to talk to your veterinarian before giving them to your pet. This is because the dosage and formulation of human fish oil supplements may not be appropriate for your pet, and there may be other factors to consider, such as your pet's age, weight, and overall health.

In addition, some human fish oil supplements may contain additional ingredients, such as flavorings or other additives, that could be harmful to pets. It's always best to choose a fish oil supplement that is specifically formulated for pets and to follow the dosage recommendations provided by your veterinarian.

Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil?

Source: Cod liver oil is derived from the livers of cod fish, while fish oil is typically obtained from the flesh of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, or anchovies. Cod liver oil specifically comes from codfish species, such as Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua).

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content: Both cod liver oil and fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for various aspects of health. However, their omega-3 profiles differ. Cod liver oil is particularly rich in two specific omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil, on the other hand, can vary in its EPA and DHA content depending on the species used. Some fish oils may have higher EPA and DHA concentrations than cod liver oil, while others may be similar or lower.

Vitamin A and Vitamin D Content: Cod liver oil is a significant source of vitamin A and vitamin D, as these vitamins are naturally present in the livers of codfish. Vitamin A is essential for vision, immune function, and cellular growth, while vitamin D is important for bone health and various bodily processes. In contrast, fish oil generally contains lower or negligible amounts of these vitamins, as they are not concentrated in the fish flesh.

Vitamin E Content: Fish oil typically contains higher levels of vitamin E compared to cod liver oil. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Potential Contaminant Differences: Since cod liver oil is derived from fish livers, there is a greater risk of it containing higher levels of environmental pollutants, such as heavy metals (mercury) and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs), compared to fish oil derived from the flesh of fish. However, the levels of contaminants can vary depending on the source and manufacturing processes of the oil. It's important to choose reputable brands that ensure quality and purity through rigorous testing and purification methods.

Intended Use: Cod liver oil has been traditionally used as a supplement to provide specific nutrients like vitamins A and D. Fish oil, on the other hand, is primarily taken for its omega-3 fatty acid content, which is associated with various health benefits, including cardiovascular health, brain function, and inflammation modulation.

Which is Better for Cholesterol Fish oil or Garlic?

Both fish oil and garlic have potential benefits, but they have slightly different effects on cholesterol.

Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are thought to be beneficial for heart health. Some studies have shown that fish oil supplements can lower cholesterol levels, especially LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol. In addition, fish oil can also raise HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol, which has a positive effect on cardiovascular health.

Garlic is rich in sulfur compounds, especially allicin, which has a variety of health properties. Studies have shown that garlic may help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels. Garlic is also believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

Overall, both fish oil and garlic may help improve cholesterol levels, but the exact effects may vary from person to person. Best practice is to consider a combination of diet, lifestyle and supplement choices on an individual basis with the guidance of a physician or professional health care provider. If you are concerned about your cholesterol health, please discuss this further with your doctor for personalized advice.

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