Cat vitamins: What to know about nutritional supplements for kitties

There are many rumors that circulate about the best vitamins for cats and the right nutritional supplements to complement feline diets. While any decision should be run by a vet first, TAG24 has compiled the basics about cat vitamins and supplements to get you started.

Cat vitamins are great for feline health, if used correctly.
Cat vitamins are great for feline health, if used correctly.  © Anastasiia Rozumna / Unsplash

If administered correctly, vitamins can be very healthy for cats. Just remember to check with your veterinarian before giving your kitty any new supplements!

In much the same way that we humans can benefit from vitamin pills, our little kitties can also see the health rewards.

Nutritional supplements can help humans up our dose of important minerals and vitamins. Because cats are a separate species, they may need different vitamins and products to see the same benefits.

Humble humans can't be expected to know which supplements to give cats and when, which is why TAG24 has put together this Cat Guide to take you through the world of feline vitamins and supplements.

What are cat vitamins, which are the best ones, and what do you need to know?

Nutritional supplements for cats and kittens

Unlike popular belief, which dictates that cats are carnivores, kitties are actually omnivores and can eat all kinds of things. But this does not mean that cats should eat anything.

High-protein foods like meat are always the best, and you really should keep your cat from eating houseplants. Some of your leafy greens could actually be poisonous for your precious pet!

Other than cat food, cat grass plays a huge role in the digestive system of a cat. What about vitamins, though?

Vitamins are important for cats, but you should exercise caution with your fluffy buddy.

Vitamins and nutritional supplements are very important for cats who are not getting what they need from the food they eat. Too much of the wrong thing can be harmful, though, so your first port of call should be a vet.

Pick food with important vitamins for cats

Cat food isn't perfect, especially if you're just buying the cheapest stuff you can and not checking the ingredients. Just like humans, cats need a vast assortment of different vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy, and food is the primary way that they will get these bits and pieces.

It cannot be emphasized enough that you should read the ingredients on the packaging of your cat's food. You should avoid foods that contain carbohydrates and sugars, as they can lead to severe kidney problems and feline diabetes. Many health problems can come from the wrong food choices, so keep in touch with your vet about what's best for your pet.

Ready-made cat food will often contain important vitamins and dietary supplements, but not always. Even expensive products don't always contain what you want.

Make sure you aren't getting sucked in by fancy marketing and products, but rather by what's in the ingredients list.

Choosing proper cat nutrition supplements for your pet's immune system

Always check the ingredients of cat food to make sure it is healthy for them.
Always check the ingredients of cat food to make sure it is healthy for them.  © Laura Chouette / Unsplash

You wouldn't take a million pills without checking what's in them, would you? Well, don't do the same thing with your cat.

Pumping your cat full of vitamins and supplements can actually end badly and make your kitty as sick as a dog (pun intended).

The first rule: only use dietary supplements and vitamin products that have been approved by your veterinarian.

Cats can overdose on such supplement pills. This makes it even more important to always do things with the permission of your vet and not without a prescription.

The reality is that cats have vastly different vitamin needs than humans. On top of that, older cats will have different vitamin and nutritional needs than younger cats.

It's problematic to simply transfer your own understanding of healthy nutrition onto your cat, or any pet for that matter, because felines have different needs than humans.

Best cat vitamins and supplements

There are multiple vitamins that are especially important for cats. Please remember, though, that these should all be taken carefully and at the behest of a vet. Some are very dangerous if taken unneeded or in too high a quantity.

The most important vitamins for cats are:

  • Taurine supplements for healthy metabolic processes
  • Vitamin D for the immune system
  • Vitamin A for bones and skin
  • Vitamin C for diseases and stress

We've put together a list of what's typically safe and not safe. Remember to check with the vet before administering any of these supplements to your pet!

Safe vitamins for cats

The safest vitamins and nutritional supplements are taurine, vitamin D, and vitamin C. Unless given in a serious extreme, your cat will simply excrete these if it gets too many. An overdose is unlikely with these vitamins, but you should still check with a vet before proceeding.

Unsafe vitamins for cats

A huge amount of caution should be advised when it comes to vitamin A and vitamin D supplements. These particular products can cause considerable damage to cats if they overdose. For older cats, an overdose of vitamin A can cause serious liver damage and even lead to A-hypervitaminosis. It can also cause your cat to put on large amounts of weight very quickly.

Meanwhile, vitamin D is also toxic in too high a dose. Animals die from vitamin D overdoses, and if you're not careful, then your cat could as well. In the right amounts, this stuff can provide huge benefits for your cat's calcium and phosphorous levels, promoting a strong and stable skeleton. Too many, though, is deadly.

No vitamins or supplements should be given to a cat without the permission of your veterinarian.

Vitamin overdoses can be serious for cats, so make sure to see your vet for dosages and tips.
Vitamin overdoses can be serious for cats, so make sure to see your vet for dosages and tips.  © Anna Kumpan / Unsplash

TLDR: Vitamins and nutrition are important for cats

Vitamins are vital for cats, as they can help to keep their immune systems strong and healthy. Make sure you are careful, though, as vitamin and nutritional supplements can be extremely dangerous to your furry friend if it is given too many and has an overdose.

Too long, didn't read:

  • Pay attention to the ingredients of your cat's food and make sure it is getting the nutrition and vitamins it needs.
  • If your cat needs supplements or vitamins, make sure to check with your veterinarian before proceeding.
  • Cats' digestive systems are vastly different from humans' and should not be treated the same.
  • Vitamin A, C, and D are important for cats, as is Taurine.
  • Cats can overdose on vitamins and supplements, so be very careful.

If you have been giving your cat vitamins, which should never be done without a veterinarian's permission, look out for signs of illness. If your kitty seems sick, make sure you take it immediately to the vet.

Cover photo: Anastasiia Rozumna / Unsplash

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