Pet care has improved in recent years. This has helped to take care of their health and greatly increase the longevity of cats. The correct balance of food and nutrition will allow your cat to get all the vitamins it needs to stay healthy.
But, even if we give our cats the highest quality feline food, there will always be cases where vitamin supplements are necessary to help increase the nutrients they are receiving from their food.
Vitamins work by improving the various physiological processes of the body, but above all to allow a more efficient metabolism of macronutrients so that the body of the cat can use these substances to the maximum.
Therefore, what vitamins and minerals does your cat need to stay healthy? In this article I will list them for you and I will tell you how cats obtain them.
- Vitamins and minerals recommended for cats
- Taurine for cats
- Vitamin A for cats
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) for cats
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) for cats
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) for cats
- Vitamin C for cats
- Vitamin D for cats
- Calcium for cats
- Magnesium for cats
- Iron for cats
- Potassium for cats
- Are Supplemental Vitamins Safe For Cats?
- Can Cats Take Human Vitamins?
Vitamins and minerals recommended for cats
There are eleven essential vitamins and minerals for any cat:
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D
Let’s take a look at each of these essential components of a cat’s diet in more detail.
1. Taurine for cats
Taurine is an amino acid. However, it is a very important component in the diet of our cats.
Cats are carnivores, so they need meat to survive. Animal fats contain taurine , which cats cannot generate organically.
Red or white meat, especially animal hearts or livers, will provide the necessary taurine levels for your cat.
Blindness and heart failure are a consequence of a lack of taurine.
2. Vitamin A for cats
Vitamin A benefits the cat’s skin and ensures sharp vision, especially at night.
Signs of vitamin deficiency are untidy coat and poor shine and clumsiness at night.
You must be careful not to provide excess vitamin A, you could damage the cat’s liver and bones.
3. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) for cats
Vitamin B1, known as thiamine, is necessary to process the carbohydrates your cat eats.
Deficiencies in this vitamin cause your cat neurological problems, lack of coordination, loss of control over the head and neck, and even seizures.
Any quality white or red meat-based cat food will contain thiamine. The consumption of fish, especially if it is raw, can block the consumption of thiamine in the cat.
4. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) for cats
Riboflavin helps your cat’s digestion, breaks down food when it enters your pet’s body, and converts it into energy.
Lack of riboflavin can cause abdominal pain, as well as skin conditions.
If your cat consumes this vitamin in excess, it is filtered and eliminated by the kidneys.
5. Niacin (Vitamin B3) for cats
Niacin allows your pet to have a healthy digestive tract and an effective metabolism . Additionally, niacin improves the cat’s memory and cognitive abilities.
A cat that lacks niacin in its diet will be at risk for dermatitis. The lack of this vitamin also encourages the appearance of feline cognitive dysfunction in older cats.
6. Vitamin C for cats
Among other benefits, it increases collagen production. This prevents your cat’s joints from becoming arthritic.
Your cat’s body produces the necessary vitamin C, so supplementation is not necessary. Too much vitamin C can cause urinary tract problems or negatively damage the kidneys.
Fortunately, your cat is unlikely to eat fruits loaded with vitamin C in your home. Food, such as oranges, has an odor that cats dislike, so it is highly unlikely that your cat will suffer from vitamin C poisoning.
Do not forget that cats cannot eat oranges as they are toxic.
7. Vitamin D for cats
Vitamin D is often referred to as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, this is because many animals absorb vitamin D directly from the sun’s rays.
Vitamin D is vital for regulating the calcium and phosphorus balance in your cat’s body . It also promotes calcium retention, which aids in bone formation and nerve and muscle control. However, when ingested in excess, this fat-soluble vitamin (that is, stored in the fatty tissues of the body and liver) can cause serious health problems.
Excessive use of vitamin D in the diet or medications that contain high levels of vitamin D can also lead to toxicity. Young cats and kittens are at higher risk.
8. Calcium for cats
Calcium allows your cat to have healthy teeth and bones , but cats cannot obtain calcium from dairy products, as most felines are lactose intolerant , so they cannot process cow’s milk or cheese. .
The calcium defect can develop rickets in your cat. If the levels are low in your cat, look for supplements in its diet.
Too much calcium will cause your cat’s bones to become too dense and can cause skeletal deformation.
9. Magnesium for cats
Magnesium is essential for your cat to enjoy a functional and healthy metabolism .
Magnesium is found in any quality cat food, therefore supplementation should not be necessary.
You must be careful not to provide your cat with excess magnesium. This can cause problems with your brain function and various internal organs, elevated heart rate, and shortness of breath.
10. Iron for cats
Iron is a fundamental mineral for the blood in your cat . Anemia in your cat is due to iron deficiency.
Quality cat food will provide the necessary iron, and supplementation will not be necessary.
You will notice the lack of iron, if your cat is physically fragile, physically agile, has an immune system or has an intense red stool.
Some cats cannot process and absorb iron due to genetic defects. In such cases, they will need regular injections from a vet.
11. Potassium for cats
Potassium is an important electrolyte within the cat’s body and is vital for normal muscle and nerve function . In some situations, normal control of potassium concentration in the body is lost, leading to loss of potassium and low potassium levels in the blood.
As your cat gets older, he may suffer from problems with his kidneys. This can lead to lower potassium levels, which is known as hypokalemia . A hypokalemic cat will suffer from severe muscle weakness.
It is also possible that your cat has an excess of potassium. This is known as hyperkalemia . This condition can arise as a result of urinary tract infections or blockages or kidney problems. The result will be an elevated heart rate and an uncoordinated gait.
Are Supplemental Vitamins Safe For Cats?
High-quality cat food contains everything your cat needs, which is why vitamin supplements can be dangerous. You are likely poisoning your cat with an excess of vitamins and minerals.
Supplemental vitamins are sometimes necessary. It is possible that your pet has a disease that requires the use of supplements.
Not all cats can process and absorb the vitamins found in their food, specifically older cats may need a little help from vitamin supplements at some point.
Can Cats Take Human Vitamins?
Cats should never be given human vitamins. Our bodies are very different, in terms of size and needs. You wouldn’t buy human supplements from a pet store, so why would it be safe otherwise?
If your cat consumes vitamins from people, you can cause significant and irreversible damage to its organs.
Cats have a complicated relationship with vitamins. It is undeniable that felines require critical vitamins and minerals to develop. However, excess is as dangerous as defect, when it comes to the delicate body of a cat.
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