Why do cats love olives?
Many cats love olives because they contain compounds known as isoprenoids. They are chemically similar to the biologically active substance from catnip – nepetolactone. Isoprenoids are found mainly in peppers and various varieties of green olives such as kalamata.
Methylcyclopentane monoterpene nepetalactone, found in catnip, binds to receptors in the feline vomeronasal organ, otherwise known as the Jacobson organ. It is located in the area of the upper jaw and is one of the parts of the whole organ of smell, which in these animals has been isolated in the process of evolution. It looks like a small tube about 1 cm long that opens in the mouth and is located behind the incisors. To this day, the true purpose of this organ, discovered by anatomist Jacobson, is unknown. Of course, cats use it to recognize odors, but not always and not all.
If the pet stops suddenly, rooted in place, opens its mouth a little and seems to writhe (such a grimace is called Flemen’s smile) – you can be sure that he is currently receiving information with the help of Jacobson’s body.
Pleasant effect on the receptors and this organ explains the love of many cats for both catnip and some types of olives. Often animals behave in an unusual way – they start screaming or begging hard – when they feel and see olives. However, their use does not always have a positive effect on the cat’s body.
Experts studying the behavior of cats believe that even frequent consumption of olives does not have a harmful effect on the body of such animals, although they do not have much nutritional value. Some owners report diarrhea in pets who consume olives frequently.
It is much more useful to add olive oil to the animal’s diet. Strengthens hair, makes it softer and shinier and improves digestion. You can add half a teaspoon to your diet several times a week. Of course, this should be done only if the cat is good with the smell of olive oil, otherwise he will simply refuse to eat.
While olives can be a rare treat, veterinarians suggest that a more effective way to please your cat is to put a healthy treat in a special toy. Trying to pick it up will make your pet happy and allow him to have fun.
Based on materials www.reference.com