Omega-3 fatty acids have emerged as the ingredient of choice to improve cat health. But many pet owners aren’t aware that the source of the omega-3s in their cat food can make a big difference in terms of the nutritional value it delivers.
Omega-3 is a key nutritional ingredient that promotes long and healthy lives for our four-legged friends. These fatty acids are not something human or animal bodies can produce naturally, so they are important additions to a healthy cat diet.
Documented benefits of omega-3 for animals range from improved skin and coat health, heart support, healthier joints, stronger immune function, and better cognitive function. Veterinarians back these benefits and the Omega-3 Index (a test of how much EPA and DHA is in the body) has become a standard measure of wellness for both pets and humans.
Not all omega-3s are created equal
While omega-3 benefits are numerous and widely understood, many people are unfamiliar with the differences between the various sources of omega-3. In most pet foods or supplements, pet owners will discover that the omega-3 ingredient is typically derived from either a plant or marine source.
Plant-based omega-3, such as flaxseeds or chia seeds, are considered inefficient for the body to process. This type of omega-3 delivers a fatty acid called ALA (alpha-linolenic acids), which must be converted by the body into EPA and DHA. However, this in-body conversion results in limited amounts of the health-bringing fatty acids that are actually incorporated into the cells.
Marine omega-3, on the other hand, delivers EPA and DHA directly to the body, no conversion required. Antarctic krill is one such source of marine omega-3 that’s become an increasingly sought-after pet food ingredient due to its added health benefits.
Krill is a superior source of marine omega-3s with 3 distinct advantages:
Omega-3s are important for a healthy heart and can help reduce inflammation in cats that have existing heart failure. They may also lower blood pressure and prevent dangerous blood clots that could be damaging to the heart.
1. It’s rich in health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, naturally, and it also packs an added nutritional punch due to the choline, astaxanthin, and marine proteins that it delivers.
2. Krill offers a ‘phospholipid advantage’ to animals. The omega-3s in krill are bound to phospholipids, which means they can more effectively enter cell membranes to support vital organs.
3. Last but not least, Antarctic krill is sustainably sourced from the pristine waters of the Southern Ocean. This is a species of tiny, bottom-feeding crustaceans that have been recognized as a powerful, bountiful, and sustainable ingredient in pet foods.
Make the right omega-3 choice for your cat
Omega-3 is a must-have pet food ingredient for health-conscious pet owners. But to truly measure the benefits of omega-3, it’s important to know where it is sourced. Cat owners will want to know that their pet is getting the most nutritionally impactful omega-3 available – ensuring a happy and healthy nine lives for all our feline friends.