To clarify, it’s not bad either. The truth is that putting flaxseed anything in cat food is useless and a waste of money.
Unlike humans and even dogs, to a certain extent, cats are obligate carnivores. Of course, that means that their bodies are designed to get everything they need to be healthy, from meat. All the essential fatty acids, nutrients, vitamins, etc. they need, have to come from meat, of some kind. The reason that our feline companions end up with things like kidney failure and hyperthyroidism so often is because we treat their bodies like they aren’t obligate carnivores…but I digress. That’s another topic for a different post.
Flaxseed is a plant and although it does have some omega 3’s, which are good for humans and sort of beneficial to dogs, cats can’t metabolize flaxseed…at all. They don’t get any essential fatty acids and they don’t get any soluble fiber from it. It comes out of their body, essentially the same form as when it went in.
So why do cat food companies put it in almost all cat food? I don’t know. I asked every cat food maker I talked to, at SuperZoo, and they all gave me the omega 3 or fiber argument. I told them they were wrong and wasting money by using it, but chances are we’ll see it in cat food until it’s “super food” status fades into obscurity and is replaced by the next.
The point is that if you see flaxseed in cat food, don’t use that as a reason to buy it. Look for digestible protein, fat and low, low, low carbohydrates and vegetables.