Hi Fluffy Kitty friends! Today we are excited to present you with a very unique post! We are writing about a subject in which we have become more or less “unprofessional experts” in. 😉 That is to say that we’ll be writing about castor oil for cats!
I blog about castor oil over at Castor Oil guide and so today I’m combining these two blogging topics of ours to create this special article: Castor oil for cats.
Castor oil for cats might seem like a totally bizarre idea, I thought exactly the same.. but is it? You may have heard of castor oil before as it’s very popular for being known as a laxative when ingested internally (which by the way, we do not recommend!!), and when applied topically, castor oil is especially effective for the rapid growth, thickening, and strengthening of hair, lashes, nails, etc!
Castor oil and your cat
Beside from all the fabulous qualities that castor oil has for humans’ beauty and health, it is important to know that castor oil can be dangerous as it is a very powerful laxative. Ingesting castor oil (even a small amount, such as a teaspoon) can have serious effects on your body. It would be equally dangerous, therefore, to give your cat castor oil.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you have heard of castor oil before and are wondering if you can give your cat castor oil to cure his or her constipation.
We are not health professionals, nor are we trained vets, but we have done a considerable amount of research about castor oil and thus our general consensus and advice is: your cat should not ingest castor oil.
If you have any urgent concerns, we recommend contacting your veterinarian.
If your cat has itchy, dry skin
As aforementioned, castor oil isn’t known just for it’s laxative properties. It is widely and popularly used for smoothing irritated skin, acne, or other skin-related health or beauty issues in humans.
There are alternative natural oils that are less powerful and much safer that you could use to treat your cat’s itchy, flaky, or dry skin.
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
Start with either one of these oils. You can apply these natural oils to your cat’s dry skin without worrying about them ingesting some while grooming. Coconut oil and olive oil are safe for your cat to ingest.
–> Apply topically, or mix with your cats dry or wet food, but not more than a teaspoon per day.
And guess what! These oils are also effective, safe alternatives if ever your cat has trouble using the litter box.
Other then wanting to treat your cat’s dry skin or constipation, we do not see any other reasons why it would be a good idea to use castor oil for cats. Save the castor oil for your hair or skin, and use safer, non-toxic oils like coconut oil for your cat’s skin, and olive oil to help with constipation.
There are alternative, safer methods to cure your cat’s constipation than using castor oil.
If your cat’s constipated
Before treating your cat for constipation it’s best to determine if your cat is indeed experiencing some constipation at all.
The following advice for relieving your cat’s constipation is only useful for minor cases. If your cat has been constipated for more than several days, take them to the vet right away.
Common symptoms of constipation in cats:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Small, very hard, or dry stool
- Frequent trips to the litter box (with no results)
- Loss of appetite or vomiting
- Signs of blood or mucus in stool
Check for these signs. If signs persist or worsen, contact your vet.
In any case, it is wise to contact your vet in case of constipation to determine whether or not your cat’s constipation should be treated via medicine (stool softener, etc.) or treated with natural methods, such as adding lots of fiber to your cat’s diet.
Otherwise if your aware of your cat’s condition and can catch the constipation early enough, you can try these following natural methods to cure your cat’s constipation:
- Mix olive oil in with dry or wet food
- 1/2 teaspoon
- Use a high-fiber diet
- add pumpkin or butternut squash to canned food (as suggested here)
- Switch to using only wet canned food
- wet canned cat food contains more moisture which can alleviate constipation and ease the flow of the digestive tract
- Serve up some oily fish such as sardines or mackerel
If your cat has repetitive or chronic constipation, it is best to consult your vet for the best treatment method. However, there are daily tasks you can do to help your cat from becoming constipated in the first place.
Make sure s/he is well groomed: Cats can suffer from constipation if they ingest lots of hair during grooming. It is also possible to use a hairball remedy for long-haired cats.
Make sure there is plenty of fresh water: The intake of moisture is very important for your cat’s health. Provide a kitty fountain if your cat is more attracted to drinking from running water. You can also switch to a wet canned food diet to add the extra moisture in their diet.
Make sure the litter box is always clean and fresh to use: A clean litter box encourages cats to use it without worrying about literally stepping in their own sh*t. 😉 I know I appreciate a clean toilet!
Final thoughts: Castor oil for your cat
We hope you can take away lots of useful information from this article about castor oil for cats.
In summary, we think it is best to avoid giving castor oil to your cat.
There are plenty of alternative natural methods that can alleviate your cat’s constipation or dry skin.
If ever you are concerned for your cat’s health, never hesitate to contact your vet.
And last but not least, thank you all for your support! If you have any additional questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below or by sending us an email. 🙂
Monday 19th of July 2021
Sorry in advance if TMI... What if your cat is chronically constipated, impacted with poo.... I’ve tried literally everything. Changing foods multiple times, additives to the food, various medicines, 100% wet food diet, supplements.... at my whits end. Having to gently pick out a golf ball sized poo about every 2 to 3 weeks because at $400 a visit for them to do this at the vet is beyond my availability. Also the vet doesn’t know what to do either to keep things “moving”. Even the treats that give my other cats liquid poo, it doesn’t affect her. She has only developed this problem within the last 2 years and she is 10.5 years old. Any opinions, advice, or suggestions that you might have would be very appreciated! God bless you!!
The Fluffy Kitty
Tuesday 20th of July 2021
Wow, sorry to hear you're having trouble and your cat is constipated like that :( Is your cat particularly fluffy or? Do you see her cleaning herself a lot? The only thing I can think of is adding lots of fiber and moisture to her diet. Pureed pumpkin, LOTS of water (try getting a cat water fountain to entice more frequent drinking), and daily brushing. Basically, high-fiber foot + lots of water + brushing. You can try a drop of olive oil or castor oil on food to test, just be careful with the quantity, especially with castor oil. Hoping your kitty can start getting things moving soon! x Best of luck!
Monday 11th of May 2020
My cat was hit and has a broken plevis. The doc say shell be fine, she had bm at er, however she is now constipated can i give her castor oil to help with this problem? If so how much?
The Fluffy Kitty
Wednesday 13th of May 2020
I wouldn't recommend giving it to your cat - although I don't think she would readily want to lick it anyway! Castor oil can have a too powerful effect
Saturday 2nd of November 2019
Love the post ! I am a big cat lover and have two furry friends ! I love using castor oil on myself for my eyebrows , lashes , hair , etc. i tru to avoid using anything on myself that may cause them irritation or any possible harm. Do you think it is alright to continue using it in my beauty routine if I’m always around them . May sound silly but I like to be extra safe .
The Fluffy Kitty
Monday 4th of November 2019
Hi Mary! Thanks for your comment :) And no worries, no silly questions here! We wondered the same thing, which is what lead us to feature this article. You can continue using castor oil, no problem!
Saturday 27th of January 2018
I read where castor oil is an effective topical treatment for feline acne?
I have tried everything (including coconut oil) to no avail, I tried the castor oil and found that it is effective in cleaning the tiny blackheads off of the fur (it seems almost impossible to get those wiped off) it seems to dissolve the blackheads more than anything else I have tried.
I clean the chin with soapy warm washcloth. Then I rub in the castor oil with a cotton ball, and then clean off as much as possible with another (very) warm washcloth, and repeat.
I realize they may ingest a small amount if they work hard at cleaning their chin, but have had no bouts of diarrhea yet!
However the acne soon returns if you don't keep up the treatment, so it is not a cure but it sure helps in cleaning and is supposed to have antibacterial and antifungal properties which is beneficial with skin problems!
Sunday 5th of April 2020
Hi Kathy Not sure how old this post is but thought I would reply on the off chance. Anyway my kitten started to get feline acne (vet was clueless). After much research found it is a thing and you can clear it up by not using plastic feeding or drinking bowls. My daring Mollie is 2 nearly 3 now and no more acne.! Hope this helps.
Brittany, Paul, & Yoda =^^=
Sunday 28th of January 2018
Hi Kathy! Thanks for your message and for sharing your story. Castor oil would definitely be effective here. Just as you mentioned, it's very rich in ricinoleic acid which is a super fatty acid with antibacterial and antifungal properties.
We have not written about cat chin acne, but we will within the next two weeks so make sure to check back around with us. It is very uncomfortable for kitties and we're happy to hear you are doing a great job washing your cat's chin correctly.
If the cat chin acne persists for more than a week, you should consult a vet. They may recommend including a benzyl peroxide treatment with antibiotics to prevent infection. And you definitely want to avoid infection! Until then, the castor oil warm washes will gently clean the cat's chin and should help to avoid infection for the moment, but we would recommend seeing a vet for proper medical treatment. Thanks again and best of luck!