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Why Does My Cat Like Jojoba Oil? (Is It Safe?)

If you have some jojoba oil and noticed your cat is eating, or licking it, you may be confused and wondering why this is happening…

Why does my cat like jojoba oil

Your cat may like Jojoba oil because of a disorder called Pica. Cats may get this disorder for several reasons such as nutritional deficiencies, stress, or even during pregnancy. This means they could start with Jojoba oil and then start experimenting with other non-food items.

So, now you know. But, can a cat eat this oil? are there any health benefits with it? And what about health risks? Keep reading for these answers, and much more.

What is jojoba oil?

Why does my cat like jojoba oil?

Some oil in a clear bowl poured from a bottle.

According to Wikipedia, jojoba oil is the liquid from the seed of the Jojoba plant. This plant, also referred to as Simmondsia Chinensis, or deer nut is found in parts of Mexico, California, and Arizona. You may hear people refer to this oil as Jojoba oil or Jojoba wax.

So, if you have ever wondered exactly what this oil is, or where it originates from. Then you know have a good idea of what and where now.

Can cats eat jojoba oil?

Jojoba oil is not recommended for cats for three main reasons. It is not intended to be ingested, it is known to cause diarrhea when consumed in certain volumes and it offers no real nutritional benefit to cats. Cats require a protein-rich diet, with the majority of that protein coming from animal protein.

As this oil is plant-based and has little, to no nutritional benefit it should be avoided. There are various other nutritional foods to consider which makes this an unnecessary offering for your cat.  If your cat is weirdly attracted to this oil, it is advised to keep it away from it as much as possible.

How can I stop my cat from eating my jojoba oil?

Now that you know that it is not a good idea to feed your cat this oil you may be wondering how you can stop your cat from eating it without you knowing. Therefore, here are some techniques that you can use:

01. Lock the oil in a cabinet

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The first, and easiest method is to lock your oil in a lockable cabinet. This can be a basic cabinet that can also be used to lock away other jars that you want your cat to keep away from.

02. Hide the oil

If a cabinet is not in your budget, or simply not interested in using one you can just hide the oil. This could be in many places such as a kitchen cabinet. Simply keep them out of sight of your cat to keep them from lapping it up.

03. Distract your cat

Another, less effective method, is to distract your cat. This is more of a proactive method. This means you need to catch your cat in the act and then distract them. Whereas the other previous two methods do not rely on you being there.

To distract them, this could be as simple as throwing a cat toy ball (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) in the opposite direction while you place the oil in another location.

Are there any health benefits of jojoba oil?

In this section I will explain some of the benefits associated with this oil:

01. Helps with Acne?

One of the uses of this oil is to help with acne. It is believed to help reduce acne such as pimples, and blackheads. It is typically applied using a face mask that may be mixed with clay to treat a face prone to acne.

One of the benefits of this oil is the fact that it won’t block skin pores. This makes it ideal for making your skin breathe which helps people with acne.

02. Help with Eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that causes irritation, dry skin, etc. It is quite common in young children. This jojoba oil has been known to be used to help with some of these skin irritation symptoms.

03. Dandruff help?

Another benefit of jojoba oil is the oily barrier it can create. This can help people with dandruff by reducing the flaky and dry scalp that is often associated with this condition.

Are there any health risks of jojoba oil?

So, now you know some potential health benefits associated with this oil. But, what about any health issues? Here are some to consider:

01. Potential Allergic reactions

Like most things that can be applied to the skin, it can cause allergic reactions in some people. So, before anyone goes crazy with applying to their skin they should check that their skin is not allergic.

02. Stomach pain if ingested

The jojoba oil is not intended to be ingested. So, if it is it can lead to some issues such as stomach pain, diarrhea, or other digestion issues. This is why any cat consuming it will have problems.

Should you feed your cat jojoba oil?

You should not feed jojoba oil to your cat or tolerate it eating it. This is because it is not intended for that, may cause serious diarrhea, and offers no nutritional benefits. Any cat that is fixated on it needs careful monitoring to make sure they are not trying to eat other non-food items.

Is jojoba oil OK for Kittens?

Jojoba oil should not be offered to kittens either. As for adult cats, it’s not intended for consumption and is likely to make your cat have diarrhea. Not just that it can cause other stomach problems for them as well.

Kittens need even more guidance with their eating because their diet is important as they grow. This can impact their development and in their early stages, they should mainly be drinking their mother’s milk, or kitten gruel, until they are fully weaned (click here if your cat is not doing this).

Are there better food alternatives than jojoba oil for cats?

There are many better food alternatives than jojoba oil for cats, for example, some quality wet cat food. These foods are purpose-made for cats and are packed full of nutrition specifically for cats. Also, they have been used for years by many cat owners.

Wet food is not the only option, cats can be fed whole food like cooked chicken, cooked beef, or even dry food. However, dry food does not offer as much hydration as wet food, so some cat owners combine it with wet food or pay close attention to their water consumption.

Can jojoba oil cause cats diarrhea?

Jojoba oil can cause diarrhea. It can cause other stomach-related issues because it is not intended to be ingested. It is mainly used as an oil in human skincare. And, even then it needs to be verified that it won’t cause any allergic reactions to be used safely.

Does jojoba oil go bad (Spoil?)?

Jojoba oil does go bad (spoil). However, it can take up to 5 years to go bad. To increase your chances of keeping this long, or longer, you should consider refrigerating it, keeping it out of direct sunlight, and avoiding air exposure.

If you follow this it will slow down the breakdown o the oil. However, with such a long shelf life, and the small amount you typically get per bottle, 5 years should be more than enough.

What oils can be used on cats?

Coconut oil is sometimes used as a treatment for suffocating flea, lice, and other parasites, though it’s not something that you want to do regularly – perhaps once every 4 to 6 weeks with your kitty’s bath.

Coconut oil helps the skin while working on those parasites and it’s safe to ingest orally in small amounts, so it is the safest option as far as oils are concerned. Essential oils are not recommended, though non-toxic varieties include the following:

  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense Carterii
  • Sweet Marjoram

While these are non-toxic in minute amounts, we still don’t recommend them. Essential oils tend to have alcohol components, such as menthol, sotalol, and linalool and they are also quite concentrated forms of the herbs or flowers in question. As such, it’s better to try out different cat-safe shampoos until you find a scent that you like.

What is the best oil for a cat’s skin?

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A cat’s natural oils are the best, which is the biggest reason why you should only bathe a cat every 4 to 6 weeks. Frequent bathing removes a cat’s essential oils and can result in dry, flaking skin and other conditions.

That said, coconut oil is a safe option that is good for skin and lustrous fur, plus it’s safe for your kitty if ingested in small amounts orally (which WILL happen when they try to lick it out of their fur). Just limit the application to small amounts every 4 to 6 weeks after bathing and drying your cat.

What essential oils should cats avoid?

All essential oils need to be viewed with suspicion and are best avoided.

While some are considered non-toxic, such as Sweet Marjoram or Frankincense Carterii, these are still concentrations of flowers or herbs and as alcohol is part of most oil’s manufacture and distillation, you’re better off simply avoiding them altogether where your cat is concerned.  

Is Jojoba oil toxic if it’s ingested?

Aside from Coconut oil, Jojoba is a popular oil used on cats due to its being non-toxic and also very uncommon as an allergen.

As such, most cats will be just fine if you want to condition their fur with a bit of it, just be sure to keep the amounts small by keeping one important fact in mind – your cat will ingest most of it while trying to groom out the unfamiliar scent.

Can I oil my cat’s fur?

Coconut oil is best if you want to use natural oils on your cat. It’s safe for them to ingest small amounts that one would use for conditioning the fur and moisturizing the skin. Jojoba earns second place in this regard, as it is also non-toxic and shouldn’t produce an allergic response in most kitties.

What can I do to moisturize my cat’s skin?

A thorough cleaning first, using 1 gallon of water that has 4 tablespoons of white vinegar added to it is a good first step.

After this, you could use aloe vera to moisturize your cat’s skin or simply use coconut oils, which are quite good for dried skin and should not upset your cat’s tummy when they inevitably ‘groom it out’.

As a 3rd option, Omega 3 fatty acids can eliminate the requirement of an external treatment that your cat is going to try to lick off anyway. Giving your cat natural fishy sources of Omega 3 such as mackerel, herring, halibut, or salmon once a week can help to maintain your cat’s coat and minimize the ‘fishy breath’ side-effect quite nicely.

Lindsey Browlingdon