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What Vitamins Do Cats Need

What Does Crude Protein Mean

Do cats need to take vitamins?

Protein, especially animal protein, is expensive. Some cat food manufacturers keep costs low by including only the minimum amount of protein that cats require to survive, not more to help them thrive.

A cat foods crude protein level should be included in the guaranteed analysis section on the label. Crude protein is an estimate of a diets protein level that is determined by measuring the amount of nitrogen present.

Your Cats Skin And Minerals

There are two minerals which are key to healthy skin and hair in your cat. First, zinc, which has a multi-functional role and is critical in the mechanisms of all cells in your cats body. Second is copper, which is used in the creation of hair and its pigmentation. A lack of zinc or copper in your cats diet can result in a coat thats poor quality, a poor colour, and grows very slowly.

Although there are genetic factors which have an impact on your cats skin health, by choosing an appropriate diet which includes all the nutrients they need you can support them in developing a strong, healthy skin and coat.

Best Multivitamin Treat: Vetriscience Nucat Senior Multivitamin Everyday Health Bite

This multivitamin is sold by a well-regarded brand with a reputation for safety and quality.

Each of these fish-flavored treats contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and a touch of EPA and DHA from fish oil. One treat contains 0.67 mg of vitamin B1more than the daily requirement for health, 5 mg of vitamin C, and 500 IU of vitamin A, among other valuable vitamins.

Therapeutic treats are notoriously hit-or-miss. Sometimes cats love them. Other times theyre as dry and unappealing as a pill. Though they dont seem to get the same reception as Temptations or bonito flakes, these treats appear to go over well with most cats.

Note that these treats are high in carbohydrates with oat flour the first ingredient. Theyre not appropriate for cats with diabetes or those on a strict low-carbohydrate regimen. If you want to avoid this starchy formulation, you might try Vetrisciences NuCat chewable multivitamin tablets instead.


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What To Feed Cats The Basics

With the help of Elisa Katz, DVM, a veterinarian who serves on the Feline Nutrition Foundation, Catster is happy to school you on some essential nutrients your cat needs and deserves to stay healthy, live long and swat away various diet-influenced diseases like diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel disease, arthritis and more.

The best diet for cats starts with a real meat not a meat meal and is the least processed, says Dr. Katz, who takes an integrative-holistic approach to caring for cats, dogs and other companion animals at her Holistic Veterinary Center, located in Bourbonnais and Downers Grove, Illinois.

Second insight: The feline biological system lacks a high-thirst drive. There are many health benefits to serving quality canned or commercial raw food diets to your feline.

Cats were domesticated because they hunted mice away from grain stored on farms, and mice are 70 percent water, Dr. Katz says. Cats who dont have a thirst drive cannot get enough water from eating dry food alone. Their urine becomes concentrated, and their kidneys have to work hard to keep from becoming dehydrated. Thats why cats on dry foods are more likely to develop urinary crystals and stones, and it may be a contributing factor to kidney disease.

In her home, all five of her cats ages 9 to 1 are fed 30 percent raw food and 70 percent canned food. Any treats they receive are freeze dried and consist of a single protein, like chicken.

Essential Vitamins & Minerals For Cats

What Vitamins Do Cats Need: 8 Best Vitamins for Cats  Also Known As

Vitamins and minerals are the building blocks that your cats body uses to produce and repair everything from skin cells to neural pathways. These vitamins and minerals are considered to be essential nutrients without them your cats body is unable to function optimally. From wound healing to immune system function, vitamins and minerals are critical to you pets overall health and wellbeing.

While there are some vitamins and minerals that your cat is able to produce on its own, most are synthesized from the raw materials found in your pets food, which is why a balanced and nutritious diet is so crucial to good health. Here is a quick breakdown of the most common essential vitamins and minerals that your cat should be getting from his/her diet.

1. Vitamin A: Crucial for a strong immune system and healthy vision. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which means it gets stored in fatty tissue or the liver . This means that too much Vitamin A in the diet has the potential to build up to toxic levels so supplementation should be done cautiously and only under veterinary supervision. Good to know: cats are unable to produce vitamin A from beta-carotene.

2. Vitamin D: Also known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is vital in regulating the balance of calcium and phosphorus in your cats body. Since Vitamin D also promotes the retention of calcium it is important in the development and function of bone as well as nerve and muscle control.

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Which Nutrients Do Cats Need

Vital nutrients are present mainly in meat products

Both human and feline body produce most of the nutrients they need. However, there are crucial nutrients for the proper development that they cant synthesize by themselves in the necessary amounts, so the human and feline bodies must get these nutrients from a variety of foodstuffs.


Along with the basic nutrients, we must mention the importance of having constant access to clean water. Regardless of the type of food cats eat, they must be enabled to maintain hydration their body needs.


Proteins are the irreplaceable basis the complete feline diet steps on. They are one of the key building blocks of the animal cell and carry out a number of biological functions. Taking in the proteins as nutrients, the feline body cant use them as they are, but breaks them down into their building blocks the amino acids to synthesize the nutrients it needs by itself.

The feline body can synthesize amino acids by itself, but far from all of them it needs to properly work. 11 amino acids out of more than 20 that build up proteins, are irreplaceable they cannot be independently synthesized in the needed quantities and are being taken in through food. Two of these amino acids, taurine and arginine, are present only in foodstuffs of animal origin, which directly shows that cats arent vegetarians and must certainly eat meat.

Fatty Acids


A, D, E and K

B and C

Milk And Dairy Products



What Is Water Sufficient For Processing

Some ingredients, like whole meats, are rich in water. Water is also added to commercial cat foods as part of the manufacturing process to facilitate mixing. You may see this on the ingredient list as water sufficient for processing. Most of the water is subsequently driven out of dry foods to make them more shelf stable.

Canned foods contain much more water than do dry foods, which makes canned food a better match for the way cats prefer to get their water and an overall healthier choice.

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Different Types Of Cat Vitamins And Supplements

Generally, youll find vitamins and supplements available in three formats – powder, tablets/capsules, or chewable treats. Each of these comes with their own pros and cons and depends entirely on the preference of your cat. For example, a powder can usually be sprinkled into food and is therefore very easy to administer for cats who like to dive in. For those cats who are likely to turn their nose up at their food, however, you might struggle getting them to consume these supplements.

Tablets and capsules are generally the hardest to have your cat eat, unless they are small enough to slip into a piece of plain meat or similar, but you can be sure of exact measurements being digested by your cat, once theyve gone down. The exception are tasty tablets that can be given as treats. Capsules, on the other hand, can sometimes be cut or split, and the oils used across their daily food, which may be preferable.

Finally, chewable treats tend to be more expensive but are much preferred by most cats. There are also fewer companies offering these options, since they require a little more effort and time to create than generic tablets.

  • Nutraceuticals

Finding The Right Vitamins For Your Cat

Do cats and dogs need Vitamin D supplementation?

Again, vitamin supplementation is individualized and personal. One cats cure could be another cats poison. Dosages, duration of administration, and the types of products you use will ultimately hinge on countless aspects of your cats unique personality, health status, and dietary background.

If you want to give your cat something extra just in case his diet doesnt provide everything he needs, its best to choose a supplement that focuses on safe, water-soluble vitamins like B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. The best supplements combine vitamins with other beneficial ingredients, including essential fatty acids, probiotics, and effective nutraceuticals.

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from deficiencies or health issues, your first task is to confirm the problem with a blood test and to talk to your veterinarian about the next steps. After that, its time to shop intelligently.

The world of cat health supplements is full of overzealous marketing, so you need to be ultra-vigilant. Do your research, look for clinically-tested, highly-effective products, and take a critical eye to those 5-star reviews. Use a tool like to identify deceptive review patterns and question every claim the seller makes.

Vitamin supplements can be a beautiful complement to a healthy diet or a lifesaver for an unwell cat, but you must think carefully, do your research, and consider your cats needs before starting him on a vitamin regimen.

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So Should I Give My Cat A Multivitamin

The answer to this question ultimately depends on what sort of food your cat eats. For example, if you feed your cat a well-balanced diet that meets the basic nutritional requirements for a cat as established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials , then a cat multivitamin might not be absolutely necessary, but could instead serve as bonus nutrition.

However, Richardson says that if your cat food, whether a commercial diet or home-cooked, doesnt meet your kittys nutritional requirementsbe sure to discuss with your veterinarian what your individual cat requires to stay healthythen a multivitamin becomes integral to their health and wellbeing.

To make a long story short: A cat multivitamin serves as a quick and easy solution in cases where your cat isnt getting the proper amount of vital nutrientsspecifically taurine, omega fatty acids and probiotics. They can also serve as a bonus opportunity to supplement the nutrients your cat is already receiving in their daily meals.

What Vitamins Do Cats Need: 8 Best Vitamins For Cats

Unlike dogs, cats are natural carnivores meaning they require a high animal protein-based diet for sustenance. Naturally, cats cannot survive on a plant-based diet because their bodies dont process other forms of proteins.

Since their cells do not produce nutrients like vitamins and proteins, they derive required nourishment from their food. Absence of adequate nourishment results in deficiencies and health issues in cats. When sourcing for what your cat needs, consider pet vitamins and supplements that provide the required nutrient value recommended by veterinary health policies.

Here is a list of the vitamins that cats need for sustenance:

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Do Older Cats Have Different Nutritional Needs

Yes, senior cats need more nutrients like vitamins and minerals in their diet as they get older. In addition, older cats also need fewer calories in their diet.

As cats age, they start slowing down and living a more sedentary life. The less active they become, the higher their risk of weight gain and, eventually, obesity. To help mature cat maintain their lean body mass, they need a lot of proteins.

For their bodies to make the most of those proteins and other important nutrients, mature cats also need some extra vitamins and minerals in their diet. If you know your cats, you might think this is a very tidy answer.

Things are never this simple with our cat companions. And you would be right in thinking so.

Before fully answering the question, there are five important things to understand about cat nutrition.

Can I Make My Own Nutritional Cat Food

What Nutrients Do Kittens Need In Their Cat Food?

The safest and simplest way to meet a cats nutritional needs is to feed them a high-quality, AAFCO-approved canned cat food.

But what about making your own cat food? Yes, homemade cat foods can be a nutritious option, but they require a lot of extra effort, time, and money.

If youre interested in a homemade diet for your cat, schedule a consultation with a veterinary nutritionist or make use of services like or that are run by veterinary nutritionists.

Do not make cat foods from recipes you find online or in books. Research has shown that they are rarely nutritionally complete and balanced.

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Do Cats Need Vitamins And Supplements

Sherry Sanderson, DVM, PhD, of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, says that there are some circumstances where a cat has an underlying condition that may warrant a supplement, adding that supplements may not help at all due to a lack of testing or proven efficacy. Sanderson says that many supplements are untested and unproven in veterinary medicine.

Vitamins supplementation may be necessary for cats with certain conditions.

Some diseases inhibit nutrient absorption, which necessitates vitamin supplementation. Cats with allergies or pregnant cats may benefit from other supplements.

Ultimately, the requirement for cat vitamins and supplements is one that you can only determine on an individual basis. Consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the right supplement for your cat.

Which Cat Foods Have All The Essential Nutrients

An easy way to ensure that cats get all the nutrients they need is to only purchase foods that have an Association of American Feed Control Officials statement of nutritional adequacy on their labels.

Look for something along the lines of one of these two sentences:

  • Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Yummy Cat Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult maintenance, growth and reproduction, or all life stages.

  • Yummy Cat Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance, growth and reproduction, or all life stages.

Now lets take a closer look at the role that nutrients play in a cats body.

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Why Cats Benefit From Vitamins And Supplements

With such a wide variety of ingredients available in different pet vitamins and supplements, its best to break down each of the major vitamins and minerals used, to give you a well-rounded idea of how they play a part in your cats system. Below are the most common vitamins and minerals found in standard supplements – but you may notice that some manufacturers like to focus on one, specific area.

  • B Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins that can easily be absorbed by the system , these help to maintain a healthy immune system. A deficiency in vitamin B leads to a vulnerability to illnesses and general weakness.

  • Vitamin C

Another water-soluble vitamin that helps aid the immune system. Vitamin C aids in the synthesis of collagen, which helps to keep your cats skin supple and healthy.

  • Vitamin A, D, E and K

These are fat soluble vitamins that deposit in the fatty cells of your cat’s body. Too much of the vitamins A, D, E and K can result in your cat becoming poorly or poisoned. Because of this, you should definitely check your cats current diet before adding any supplements to their food with these ingredients. You should also contact your vet to discuss whether you need to add these vitamins to your cats diet.

  • Fiber and carbohydrates
  • Iron

Iron helps to keep your cat energized, which in turn allows them to fight off infections. This is especially true in the case of outdoor cats, who are more likely to pick up parasites that feed off the blood of your cat and can cause anemia.

You Take A Multivitamin So Should Your Cat Take A Multivitamin Too

Do Dogs & Cats Need Nutritional Supplements? | Dr. Bill’s Pet Nutrition | The Vet Is In

Try as we might, few of us get all the vital nutrients in the right amounts we need from our day-to-day diet. Taking a daily multivitamin is a simple way to make sure you are getting the full alphabet of nutrients experts recommend for optimal health, and many of us add this to our regular wellness routine. But did you know that there are also multivitamins specifically developed for animals, including cats? Could your feline benefit from a daily dose of cat vitamins? Well, lets investigate

Eager to learn more about what cat vitamins and multivitamins are, their importance and whether certain cats should take them more than others, we reached out to a veterinarian for guidance. Heres what every cat parent needs to know.

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The Nutritional Characteristics Of The Different Phases In Your Cat’s Life

A kitten needs far more nutrients than an adult cat. As a result, kitten food is so high in calories that they run a serious risk of obesity if they stay on their kitten food too long into adulthood.

Likewise, a mature cat needs fewer calories, vitamins, and proteins than a cat in the early stages of adulthood because they become less active. However, in the years between maturity and reaching a senior age, that same principle does a u-turn.

Things begin to turn around as your older cat’s digestive system starts struggling to absorb fats, vitamins, and other nutrients that they need so that they can stay in good health.


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