Just curious if anyone understands why my cat seems to go crazy for coconut oil?

Do they have different ways of perceiving taste than us?

I have tasted the coconut oil and the flavor is very mild. I don't understand why he likes it so much.


I only gave my cat a little bit of coconut oil imagine te equivalent to something equivalent to a human pinky finger nail amount in size.

Also I have stopped giving it to him since he no longer craves for it. We prefer giving him fish or pre cooked meat as a treat since it's more healthy for him.

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    I can't find good reference for it but I suspect it is the fat content that the cat craves and enjoys so much. Many creatures, including humans. can detect the 'fatfullness' of food as almost another taste, and find it highly rewarding because it's energy dense.
    – Meg
    Sep 9 '19 at 15:15
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    Thanks for the update. Raw meat might not be the best thing to give your cat though.
    – C.Koca
    Jun 27 at 22:28

Coconut oil is great for skin, hair, and teeth; it has all the good fatty acids in it and is contained in hydrolyte. (Lately, the "expensive" cat food labels have made a point of adding coconut oil into their tinned cat food.) It has appeal to cats and humans alike, and is considered a superfood. It's great for heart health, and has no cholesterol.


There is a theory called cravings based on needs. The basic idea is hidden in the name: we crave things that we need and a good deal of this knowledge of needs is hidden in our DNA. Therefore, without thinking much, we just need to follow our instincts.

While this theory is quite strong in terms of explaining general population behaviour, it is not tested enough about individual responses. For example, we know that we go for fatty and salty food, because salt was hard to come by until the late Middle Ages and fat was a very valuable energy intensive food. However, we still don't know if we suddenly crave for specific food items that we need when we get sick.

Under the light of this theory, we can stipulate that your cat might be craving for coconut oil because all cats love coconut oil due to their needs. Alternatively, maybe he has a condition which would get better with coconut oil.

To counter your point about coconut oil being flavourless and odourless, we also crave for things that has no odour at all. Also, cats have a different range of smell and taste receptors than us. What appears flavourless to us might be very rich in flavour for cats.

My suggestion is to use caution when indulging your cat's cravings. Coconut oil may not be poisonous to cats; however, it is a different and a very calorie intensive food item. Don't use it yourself without consulting a vet.

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