Omega-6 is often on the packaging for commercial cat food. But what is omega-6 and how does omega-6 benefit your cat?
Is omega-6 necessary for your cat’s health? How is omega-6 different from omega-3 or omega-9?
Find out the answers to these questions and more in this post!
Table Of Contents:
- What Is Omega-6?
- Is Omega-6 Necessary For Your Cat?
- How Does Omega-6 Benefit Your Cat
- Notes On Omega-6 For Cats
- Natural Sources Of Omega-6
- Are Cat Lick Treats Good For Your Cat?
What Is Omega-6?
Omega-6 is one of three types of omega fatty acids. The other two omega fatty acids are omega-3 and omega-9.All of these are collectively known as omega-3-6-9 fatty acids.
But to be more specific, omega-6 is made up of linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA). Interestingly, arachidonic acid is essential for cats.
While omega-3 and omega-9 comprise of other fatty acids.
Omega-3 can be made of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
And omega-9 is made of oleic acid or euricic acid. Because omega-9 can be self-produced in the body of many animals, it’s not considered an essential omega fatty acid.
Is Omega-6 Necessary For Your Cat?
These dietary fats (omega-3 and omega-6) are considered essential for cats (and humans) because cats cannot make these fats naturally within their bodies.
How Does Omega-6 Benefit Your Cat
There are numerous functions that omega-6 supports besides being a source of energy for your cat.
Benefits of Omega-6 for cats:
- Healthy skin and coat
- Joint health
- For a strong immune system
- Development of the nervous system
So if your cat doesn’t have enough fatty acids in their diet, you might notice a dull coat or dandruff. Along with constant scratching from itchy skin.
Notes On Omega-6 For Cats
Omega-6 should be taken together with omega-3 fatty acids. Because omega-6 can be pro-inflammatory while omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory.
This is all the more important for medical conditions like diabetes, cancer and obesity.
Hence, you won’t often see these two without one or the other.
Studies show that a ratio of 6:1 of omega-6 to omega-3 can even reduce some diseases!
Aside from this, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has put a minimum limit of 0.6% and 0.02% for linoleic acid and arachidonic acid respectively. Remember that these 2 fatty acids make up omega-6.
Note: The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) lists a maximum ratio of 30:1 for omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids under the cat nutrient profile.
Natural Sources Of Omega-6
Omega-6 (and omega-3) can be found in animal-based and plant-based sources. And if you look at the back of cat food packaging (including wet cat food), you should be able to spot a few of these:
Common ingredients that are sources of Omega-6
- Sunflower oil (and seeds)
- Soybean oil
- Safflower oil
- Corn oil
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chicken fat
- Canola oil
Common ingredients that are sources of Omega-3
- Fish oil
- Flaxseeds and their oil
- Chia seeds
Because there are many natural sources of omega-6, it is not uncommon for many commercial cat foods to include ingredients that have omega-6.
Are Cat Lick Treats Good for Your Cat?
Other than cat food, cat licks can also have omega-3 and omega-6.
Cat licks are a fun way to gain favor from, and build a closer relationship with your feline companions too.
And because they don’t require any chewing, elder cats and young kittens can partake in them as well.
Moreover, if you’re always looking for more ways to get your cat to take in more water, cat licks have a higher moisture content that dry cat food.
Try using cat treats to train your cats! They make for great rewards since they can come in so many flavors and have a satisfying creamy texture.
Me-O Creamy Treats
Which brings us to the sponsor of this post:
Me-O Cream Treats are cat licks that do contain Omega-6, taurine and a high moisture content (not exceeding 85%).
There are 2 new flavors to the existing assortment of flavors – these are the Crab Flavour and Bonito Flavour. Which makes a total of 7 different flavors to choose from!
The Crab flavor has prebiotics (FOS) as well as chicken meat and liver. While the Bonito flavor consists of chicken liver and meat too, but with some cellulose for extra fiber – great if your cat is constipated.
Available Me-O Cat Lick Flavors:
- Salmon – with Omega-3 for a shiny coat
- Chicken & Liver
- Maguro – has vitamin C
- Katsuo – tuna is the main ingredient
- Scallop – This is tuna with scallop extract, collagen and glucosamine for joint health
Note: Chicken & Liver and Katsuo flavors include green tea extract as the last ingredient.
Suggested Feeding Guidelines For Me-O Cat Licks according to Me-O:
|Age Of Cat
|Weight Of Cat (kg)
|Feeding Among (g/day)
|Number Of Sachets/ Day
|Weaning (<1 year)
|1 to 2
|16 to 26
|1 to 2
|2.1 to 3
|27 to 36
|2 to 3
|3.1 to 5
|37 to 52
|3 to 4
Now you know the difference between omega-6 and omega-3 and how omega-6 benefits your cat!
With this knowledge behind you, you can more confidently assess cat food in Malaysia before making a purchase!