Can Cats Eat Black Olives? (+ The Secret to Why Your Cats May Love Them)

can cats eat black olives cat sniffing jar of green olives

Cat Cats Eat Black Olives?

Yes, cats can eat black olives in small amounts as they aren’t poisonous to them, but they are considered empty calories. However, along with other healthy compounds, black olives also contain vitamin A and vitamin C, which have some health benefits for cats.

If you’re wondering, can cats eat black olives, read this post to learn what olives they can eat, if there are any health benefits, and alternative snacks to black olives that your cat may like?

While cats can eat many human foods, some human food isn’t good. Did you also know your adult cat shouldn’t eat kitten food either (many cat owners don’t)?

collage of cats - can cats eat olives

Why Does My Cat Like Olives So Much?

Like catnip, some cats will like the smell of olives, and some won’t. While you won’t find any scientific studies on why cats like black olives so much, cat experts have several theories.

Some cats may like the taste of black and green olives, while others may like how olives make them feel after eating them. Some cats may actually just like interacting with you while they eat their olive snacks.

So, why would cats love the taste or the way olives make them feel? Hill’s Pet says that’s because olives, especially green olives, contain an active chemical compound structured similarly to the compound nepetalactone found in catnip. It’s the compound that makes cats wild or silly after consuming catnip.

Whether your cats react the same to catnip or olives depends, and this could significantly impact if your cats eat olives or not. Odds are, if your cats eat olives, they like how they feel or even the sodium content (which is why I suspect my cat likes to lick curtains, but that is a WHOLE other story).

The same goes for olive juice and olive brine. Some cats love the smell of both and may like licking it off your fingers, but they probably shouldn’t drink either. The bitter taste may be off-putting to some cats.

Check out this video of cats reacting to olives.

Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Olives?

Now we’re to the part you really want to know about. Many cat owners want to know, are green olives or black olives bad for cats?

Olives aren’t necessarily bad for healthy cats, but feeding olives to diabetic cats can cause insulin sensitivity. So, it’s best not to feed olives to cats diagnosed with diabetes.

Also, other problems can arise when you buy olives from grocery stores and feed them to your cat, as many come in preservatives that could be unhealthy for animals.

cat eating out of white bowl

Olives Have a High Sodium Count

Olives also contain a high sodium content, and too much salt can be hazardous to your cat. You even need to be careful when you feed your cat natural olives.

Symptoms of sodium poisoning in cats include:

  • Extreme thirst and dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive urination
  • Tremors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures

Any of these symptoms can be fatal to cats, so if you feed your cat olives, you must watch out for them. If you let your cats eat olives and they have any symptoms of sodium poisoning, contact your vet as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can tell you what to do, or they need to see your pet immediately.

Eating a small olive snack every once in a while isn’t bad, but they are considered empty calories, so your cat gets no nutritional benefits from them.

As cats are obligate carnivores, most of their diet needs to be protein, so feed your cat olives in moderation. But if your cats love olives, consider getting unsalted ones as a treat.

grey cat laying on ground

Olives are Also a Choking Hazard for Cats

Cats can also choke on green and black olives because of their size and texture. Many olives are stuffed with various human-friendly ingredients like almonds, garlic, sausage, and others that aren’t healthy for cats.

Avoid feeding your cat olives stuffed with anything other than pimentos or olive pits, as olive pits can be a choking hazard.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats the Olive Pit

If your cat eats an olive pit, it can lodge in his esophagus, causing him to choke. Olives with pits can also cause bowel obstructions, so watch your cat carefully for symptoms like vomiting or inability to tolerate food.

Don’t be afraid to contact your vet or take your cat to an emergency vet if he becomes ill or seems like he may be choking. You can try tapping their back like you would a child to dislodge the pit if he chokes.

But if your cat accidentally swallows a pit, it will likely pass through its digestive system. Just try not to feed your cats olives with pits.

Can Cats Eat Green Olives?

Cats can eat green olives, but only in small amounts for the same reasons as black olives. Plain unsalted green olives are best if you choose to feed your cats olives.

Is It Okay for Cats to Eat Olive Oil?

Olive oil is considered a healthy human food, but it may not be good to feed your cat olive oil. While it’s not harmful to cats, eating too much fat of any kind (including olive oil) can cause vomiting or diarrhea.

If you cook with olive oil and feed your cat a little bit of food cooked in it, it shouldn’t harm him. Just be sure to watch for any issues or symptoms of illness anytime you feed your cat human food.

If your cats eat olives and olive oil, it’s certainly not the worst food they can eat, but these foods don’t have many health benefits for them.

white cat blue eyes looking

Is It Okay for Cats to Eat Olive Wood?

Like olives and olive oil, many cats love the smell of the Olive Plant itself. The olive wood contains the chemical compound I mentioned earlier, similar to nepetalactone found in catnip.

Some kitties like to chomp on olive leaves and branches as this can help clean their teeth. Plus, hydroxytyrosol can be found in olives, olive oil, olive leaves, and olive wood. It has powerful antioxidant properties that can improve your cat’s health and boost its immune system.

Chewing on olive leaves and branches can also keep your cat’s fur and coat shiny and soft.

As with any unfamiliar food, if you’re worried about adding olive products to your cat’s diet, consult your veterinarian. And if your cat starts suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, or tremors after eating olives, contact your vet immediately.

How Often Can I Give My Cat Olives?

Since olives are non-toxic to cats, it’s okay for your cat to have a small olive snack or less than one whole olive a few times a week as long as they’ve tolerated them okay in the past. It’s just not a typical food for cats that they should eat more often than this.

Eating too many olives can cause sodium poisoning, which can be fatal to cats.

Alternatives to Black and Green Olives

Some cat food companies know that many cats love olives, so they create healthy alternatives like olive-infused cat treats and food, but they can be difficult to find.

The Farmers Market cat food used to make a white fish and salmon recipe cat food with olive oil, but it doesn’t seem to be available right now on Amazon or Chewy.

The healthiest alternative to olives is catnip, as it’s much better for cats, and your cat will likely love it as much as olives.


Can cats eat Kalamata olives?

It depends on the type of Kalamata olives you’re feeding your cat. Like green or black olives, natural Kalamata olives are healthier for cats to eat as they contain less sodium and no harmful preservatives.

But you still shouldn’t feed them to your cat often.

Can cats eat olives with pimentos?

Yes, as a matter of fact, the only stuffed olive you should feed your cat are those stuffed with pimentos. Pimentos are a mild red pepper and ok for cats to eat.

If you are willing to prepare the pimento or olive to make sure your kitty doesn’t choke, then they can have them in small amounts.

can cats eat black olives collage of cats and olives

Final Thoughts on Can Cats Eat Black Olives

Now you know the answer to the questions – are olives safe for cats to eat.

Many cats love the smell or taste of olives, olive oil, and olive wood. But, not every cat will like olives, just like some cats don’t like catnip as much as others.

But since olives contain little nutritional value for cats, you want to look at snacks and cat food that provide your favorite feline with a balanced nutritional diet.

If your cats eat olive oil or other olive products, it should not be concerning unless you have a diabetic cat or feed them too much.

cat by rug on floor

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