Domesticated felines are known to have a snobbish disposition. They see their humans as their lowly subjects and are particular in their cuddle preferences. They will, on occasion, bring us a gift, like the head of a bird or some other hunting trophy. This is mostly because they think we are an incompetent hunter and they want to share their spoils. They rub against our legs to mark their property and claim us as their humans. Nevertheless, as cat guardians, we shower our feline pals with love and care. Their health is, of course, a top priority. As a dedicated and loyal cat lover (aka: cat slave), we may wonder if, perhaps, we are remiss in our duties. Are we giving Her Royal Feline Highness the right vitamins?
When we visit a pet store to buy our beloved cat some treats and her favorite food, we may notice the shelves of cat vitamins and supplements. We check them out and discover the many health benefits they provide. And then we might feel like a neglectful and irresponsible feline parent for not knowing more about these labels and their promises But, wait. What vitamins does our precious cat really need, and why? Before we berate ourselves, we should also know that if we have chosen a good-quality brand for our cat’s diet, and our cat’s health is in tip-top shape, then our cat may be getting most or all of the nutrients she needs from her food. Supplementing her diet with vitamins in that case may not necessary. If we have selected common commercial food, however, we may be providing food that is difficult to digest and therefore offering difficult to access, bio-unavailable nutrients.
This is why it’s essential to choose the right kind of diet for our feline friends. After all, not all cat food brands are created equal. Generally speaking, most cheap brands are also low-quality, i.e., they use low-quality ingredients and only meet the minimum nutritional requirement set by the FDA. This further means that our cat companions will not completely absorb what little nutrient content the food has, which can cause vitamin deficiency, among other challenges.
Better cat food choices that are balanced and easier to digest will be more discerning with the ingredients they use. They also create different diets for different life stages, lifestyles, and health conditions. This means they take into consideration the crucial fact that a kitten has a different nutritional requirement than an adult cat. They know that a pregnant cat has special dietary needs. And they design food that addresses the fact that different breeds have different energy levels and lifestyles, therefore requiring different calorie content. But going back to vitamins, it’s useful when choosing the right kind of diet for our cats to know which ones she needs and why:
- vitamin B1 (thiamin),
- vitamin B2 (riboflavin),
- vitamin B6,
- vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and
- vitamin C
Water-soluble vitamins are easily assimilated and pass through the body more quickly. The B vitamins help in maintaining immune system health so that our cats will not be prone to illnesses and can heal more effectively when injured. Vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis. Collagen is an essential tissue found in cartilages and bones. Folic acid, biotin, and choline are also important water-soluble vitamins.
- vitamin A,
- vitamin D,
- vitamin E, and
- vitamin K
Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fat tissues. Vitamin A also plays a crucial role in a strong immune system and in promoting healthy eyesight. Vitamin D helps in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus in the body, in the absorption of calcium, and in maintaining bone health, and nerve and muscle control. Vitamin E also supports immune health, as well as promotes healthy skin and eyesight. It’s an antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage. Vitamin K is the clotting vitamin.
These are the vitamins we should all look for when selecting the right cat food brand. And, if we are at all concerned about whether our kitty is getting everything she needs for her breed, lifestyle, health, and digestion, we may choose to supplement. If a cat has a medical condition that makes her unable to absorb a certain vitamin; if she is pregnant and nursing; or if we have a senior cat with deteriorating cognitive abilities, then supplementing with vitamins may be more than a good idea. Supplementing may be necessary. Of course, we should always keep our cat’s vet in the loop when it comes to any kind of health intervention, especially if Mr. Socks is already being given other medications.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that because cats are carnivorous, they can more effectively absorb and utilize vitamins that come from animal sources, compared to those derived from plant sources. This is especially true for Vitamin A. We should be sure that the vitamins indicated in our cat’s food label are primarily derived from animal sources.
Ensuring Her Feline Eminence is healthy and on a complete and balanced diet is step one in making sure she has a long and happy life. Vitamin supplements are a great way to make sure she is getting everything she needs, but choose a high-quality supplement that comes from safe and all-natural sources.
Vet Organics has several all-natural cat supplements that are formulated for cats and come with a satisfaction guarantee. They are wallet-friendly, delicious to cats, and keep them healthy for a longer, happier life with their human companions.
- EcoAllergy™ is a powerful anti-allergy supplement formulated with safe, effective, natural ingredients that will boost your cat’s immune system to quickly clear itching, sneezing, coughing, and other allergy symptoms.
- Made with the best, all-natural ingredients, EcoImmune™ is the answer if your cat is fighting infection, dealing with allergies, or suffering from a chronic health problem. Simply add this powerful booster to your cat’s food each day and watch as energy and quality of life improve.
- Commercial pet food is not always easily digested, and many cats lack the essential enzymes to get the full benefit of their food. EcoDigestive™ probiotic & enzyme support formula improves your feline’s digestion, and the absorption of nutrients in her diet.
- “Cat Vitamins and Supplements: Do They Work?” WebMD
- “Should I Give My Cat Supplements?” PetMD
- “A Guide to the Different Types of Cat Supplements” Catster