Can Cats Eat Aquaphor? (Or Is This Just Rumors?)
If you have Aquaphor at home and have an issue with your cat you may be wondering if it could help it…
Can cats eat Aquaphor?
Cats can eat Aquaphor and it is believed to be safe for them if they ingest it. It is made mostly out of petroleum jelly which is safe for cats and is very often prescribed for cats that have issues with hairballs or slow bowel movements. Because it contains a high percentage of petroleum jelly, it is usually given to cats as a home remedy for passing hairballs or to help with chronic constipation.
So, now you know. But, are there any health benefits of it? Are there better alternatives for cats? What about kittens, is it ok for them? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…
What is Aquaphor?
Aquaphor is a brand of over-the-counter skin ointments. It is based on petroleum jelly which protects healthy and damaged or injured skin from the environment, and that way it helps skin heal properly. Petroleum jelly, or petrolatum, together with ceresin wax, creates a barrier on top of the skin and that way prevents drying and cracking from cold weather and wind.
Aquaphor also contains mineral oil, the fragrance-free form of baby oil, which keeps skin soft and smooth. Glycerin and lanolin in Aquaphor together provide the moisturizing effect on dry skin, while panthenol, pro-vitamin B, also provides wound healing and skin regeneration effects. Besides these ingredients, bisabolol from the chamomile extract provides a calming effect to itchy skin.
Ingredients of Aquaphor
Source: Healthline *
* See the source for more details on these ingredients
What is Petroleum Jelly?
Petroleum jelly, or petrolatum, is a complex mixture of mineral oils and waxes which is produced through a distillation process of petroleum or rod wax. There are records that it was used by American Natives as early as the 15th century for treating wounds and protecting skin from cold weather. Petroleum jelly is best known by the trade name of Vaseline.
Because of its property to create water impenetrable barriers, it is widely used in medical products intended for preventing skin dryness, such as lip balms, but also the American Academy of Dermatology includes it among products that can be used for decreasing scaring of skin injuries.
What is Aquaphor commonly used for cats?
Because of the high content of petroleum jelly, it Aquaphor commonly is used as a home remedy for several issues cats can have with the digestive tract. Because cats groom themselves by licking their fur, they ingest a considerably large amount of dead hairs. Older cats, long hair breeds, and generally cats during shedding season, can experience bunching of these hairs inside of their guts.
Thus, a hairball can create a blockage of their intestines, which can be dangerous for them. The Aquaphor can help cats with such conditions by lubricating their guts and helping them pass the furball. In the same way, it can help cats with chronic constipation which most often slow bowel movement caused by the lack of lubrication.
Are there any health benefits of Aquaphor?
There are several health benefits of using Aquaphor. Whether your skin is dry, cracked, exposed to harsh elements, or you just wish to keep it soft and supple, Aquaphor is a helpful product. Its active ingredients help skin stay moisturized, protect it from elements, speed up the healing of wounds, and calm the feeling of itching due to skin irritations.
Good for dry skin
Besides creating a barrier through which skin can’t lose moisture, Aquaphor contains lanolin and glycerin which are very efficient moisturizing agents and very efficient for treating dry skin. The additional benefit of lanolin is that it is a very potent emollient, and makes dry skin smooth and soft.
Helps cracked skin
By protecting cracked skin from the environment, Aquaphor speeds up the natural healing process. It creates a protective layer on the skin, under which a moist environment favorable for skin healing can exist. Also, its other active ingredients help make skin smooth and soft and thus decreasing symptoms of cracked skin. Cracked skin is very often itchy
Prevents chapped lips
Because petroleum jelly creates a protective barrier on your skin, it prevents chapped lips from the adverse effects of wind and cold. Chapped lips happen when due to environmental factors the top layer of your lips loses moisture and starts drying and cracking. It is usually caused by wind and cold weather, but exposure to harsh sunlight can also be a culprit.
Aquaphor creates a protective layer through which moisture can’t escape, and that way prevents your lips from drying and becoming chapped.
Should you feed your cat Aquaphor?
Aquaphor is absolutely safe to give to your cat, but it is not a substitute for a healthy diet. If your cat is suffering from blockages of its intestines, Aquaphor can be very beneficial by providing lubrication and making passing such blockages easier. But besides these benefits in treating hairballs and constipation, it has no nutritive value so it is not a substitute for food.
Though it can be helpful with certain conditions, you should be careful to not give your cat Aquaphor too often or too much. It will help with the lubrication of the guts, which if it is not needed can lead to diarrhea and dehydration. It should be used only as a remedy and when needed.
Is Aquaphor OK for Kittens?
Aquaphor contains petroleum jelly which is generally safe for both cats and kittens, but its other ingredients potentially can irritate kittens’ young and sensitive digestive tract. Because of that, it is better to avoid giving Aquaphor to young kittens and err on the side of safety. Kittens become “adults” at about one year of age, and before that, it’s better to avoid giving them Aquaphor.
Are there better food alternatives than Aquaphor for cats?
There are food alternatives that can provide some help to your cat in situations when you might decide to use Aquaphor. But such alternatives are not as good as Aquaphor. There are various special food formulations intended for preventing hairball issues, but those do not provide immediate relief to your cat once it develops a hairball problem.
Aquaphor is also helpful for treating chronic constipation in cats. Special fiber-rich cat foods exist, but have two drawbacks you should take into consideration. The first is that they are very slow to show their effect, sometimes it can take up to a few days.
The other is that because of high fiber content it can make cat constipation even worse if it doesn’t drink sufficient amounts of water. And constipation in cats can make them instinctively drink less water.
What is Aquaphor good for?
Aquaphor is a good solution for many types of damage your skin can sustain, from mechanical damage to dryness caused by cold, wind, or sun. It is an excellent remedy for dry and rough skin and can help with the itchy sensation of damaged skin. It is very helpful with mechanically irritated skin, such as from diaper rash, or minor scratches and burns.
Aquaphor also has a moisturizing effect which helps keep your skin smooth and supple. Its main ingredient, petroleum jelly, will prevent your skin from drying, and when applied to damaged skin it will create an environment that is helping to speed up the healing of minor wounds.
Specific conditions for which you may use Aquaphor, besides dry skin and diaper rash, chapped lips, minor skin burns, but also hairball issues and constipation in cats.
Are Vaseline and Aquaphor the same?
Vaseline and Aquaphor are two somewhat similar products, but also have some important differences. Vaseline is a brand name of pure petroleum jelly, without any additional ingredients. Aquaphor is a product of petroleum jelly but contains many more additional ingredients which make it a different product serving other needs.