my cats love fatty things...why?
April 10, 2014 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I have two 10 year old, part Maine Coon cats(pic of Leo) who love fatty things and I'm wondering if it's a deficiency in their diet?

If I take butter out of the fridge, Leo can hear the wrapper from anywhere and immediately comes running over and basically throws himself at the counter, putting his paws on the ledge and and batting at the butter. He bats at it and then licks his paws. He gets so excited that I've had puncture wounds on my feet from his claws if he steps on me. Then for breakfast most days I have peanut butter toast and I practically have to fight him off. Sometimes if I keep him away he will still paw the air in the direction of my PB bread and then lick his paws.

Edible items aside, he loves to lick my soap for some reason. Right now I have olive oil soap so that kind of makes sense, but I sometimes use the south of france bars as well and he likes those too. Sometimes he just runs into the bathroom and goes in the tub to lick the soap.

My other cat, Kermit(sorry no pic immediately available) enjoys the butter and peanut butter but doesn't go nuts like Leo, but his thing is jojoba oil. I use it to take off my makeup - I tissue it off and throw the tissue in the trash. He used to dig through the bathroom trash every time I did that, and I've noticed that he will join me in the bathroom when I'm removing my makeup, obviously hoping that I will carelessly toss the tissue in the bathroom trash for him to pounce on.

What is the deal with this? I feed them both wet and dry food - Wellness wet food(a few varieties) and Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry food.

Are they not getting enough fat or something? Should I add something to their food?
posted by fromageball to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like they just like the taste of that food and want it, similar to how a kid can somehow sense you have chocolate and will come running. I'm thinking this is just in the cats are weird category.
posted by skittlekicks at 6:58 PM on April 10, 2014

My cats are the same way. One of them has a particular fondness for trying to lick the shea butter body lotion off my legs every morning. Why? Because CATS.
posted by joan_holloway at 6:59 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Give them a little canned salmon now and then as a treat.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:08 PM on April 10, 2014

Slide them the occasional raw egg yolk. They'll go mad with joy.
posted by zadcat at 7:32 PM on April 10, 2014

I have had cats who licked butter when left out, left paw prints in dishes of bacon grease, and ate the olive oil soaked tissues that I used to remove eye make-up.

Cats like fat because fat tastes good, same as us. Tho' mine don't beg for butter, they beg for greens and canned food with gravy. Which I guess is a form of fat.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:41 PM on April 10, 2014

Carnivores love fat.
posted by bleep at 7:42 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cats love fat, this is not in any way abnormal. They can't even taste sugar so fat is the only thing that signals HIGH CALORIE HIGH VALUE FOOD to them.
posted by contraption at 7:43 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

My cats do this too... we have to hide our cast iron skillets =(.

They're both fine and have always had regular check-ups. I can confirm that any sort of cooking oil, butter, peanut/nut butter, or dairy product is a huge hit.

Last night I was giving my husband a shoulder rub with coconut oil (that smelled very strongly of coconut) and one of them came up, sniffed the tub of oil and paused... and started eating it straight.

My mom had a cat who would lick lotion off her legs if the lotion had shea butter in it. Ew.

(Basically, what contraption says.)
posted by jrobin276 at 7:46 PM on April 10, 2014

I read somewhere that their natural diet would be quite high in fat - don't remember the source, only that it seemed reliable.
posted by sumiami at 10:38 PM on April 10, 2014

It's possible that they're eating a suboptimal diet, but I wouldn't use the fact they crave fat as an indicator that they need more fat in their diet any more than I'd treat a child's craving for gummy bears as an indicator that they need more corn syrup.
posted by contraption at 11:20 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Maine Coons, eh? What's the hairball situation? Have you noticed that hairball remedies are mostly mineral oil? Maybe they are connected, like your cats are seeking out fat to help them deal with hairballs. I did know one cat (longhair) that was absolutely addicted to hairball treatments.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 4:27 AM on April 11, 2014

My in-law's cats love coconut oil. If I put it on after a bath, they would wash it off of me. It wasn't harmful to them as far as I know (it was just pure coconut oil).
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 5:19 AM on April 11, 2014

Coconut oil is good for cats' digestion and any hairball issues -- ditto for dogs -- so consider giving them some as a treat if you're worried they're just inhaling bacon and butter. But yes, this is a common cat lust thing.
posted by vickyverky at 10:26 AM on April 11, 2014

When my cat started dragging cheese wrappers out of the garbage and hounding me way more than usual for food, it turned out he had hyperthyroidism. If your cat has always been hungry for fat then I wouldn't worry about it, but if his preference has changed, you might want to keep an eye on it and mention it to your vet.
posted by analog at 6:00 PM on April 11, 2014

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