cat vitamins

Key takeaway

Different cats have different nutritional needs, and adding supplements to your cat’s diet is a great way to improve their overall health. Cat nutrition supplements can help protect their immune system, build strong bones and teeth, and help them feel like their healthiest selves.

We’re all familiar with the benefits of taking vitamins. Vitamins can reduce your stress and anxiety, promote healthy aging, support your immune system, and improve your overall health. But did you know that vitamins can benefit cats, too?

It’s true, cat vitamins have a lot of the similar benefits that human vitamins do. But just like human vitamins, there are a lot of options when it comes to cat vitamins. So how do you know what the best vitamins for cats are? 

In this blog post, we’ll be talking about what the best vitamins for cats are, what the benefits of cat vitamins are, if you should give your cats vitamins every day, and more. To hear more about how vitamins can improve your cat’s overall health and wellbeing, keep reading, or use the links below to jump to a section of your choice.

Do Cats Need Vitamins And Supplements?

Giving your cat nutrition supplements is not always necessary, but it can be very beneficial for their health. Cat vitamins can help your kitty live a longer, healthier life while providing additional nutrients in places where they may be lacking. 

A majority of the time, your cat will get sufficient nutrients just from their cat food– that is, as long as you’re feeding them frequently enough and giving them the right kind of food. Most cat food is made to meet your cat’s growing nutritional needs, whether they’re a kitten or an eldery cat.

But, that is not to say that cat vitamins are completely unnecessary. Cat vitamins can be very useful if your cat is sick or lacking nutrients in certain areas. For example, if your cat lacks omega-3 fatty acids, or isn’t able to absorb them correctly, then a supplement is probably a good idea. Pregnant cats may also be advised to take certain supplements. 

If you’re thinking of giving your cat vitamins, always consult with your vet beforehand. Your vet can run necessary tests to figure out if vitamins are necessary for your cat and  can advise you which to give.

How to Choose the Best Vitamins for Your Cat

The best vitamins for your cat ultimately depend on what they would benefit from. Every cat is different! What works for one cat might not work for another. The vitamins best for your cat will vary depending on their weight, age, and overall health.

Some diseases that cats can have can limit their ability to properly absorb nutrients from food. In this case, you would want to give them a supplement of that specific nutrient that they’re lacking. Cats who are more prone to hairballs may also need to take certain supplements that provide gut and skin support. This will help to reduce the amount of hairballs that they create.

The best vitamins for cats differ on a case by case basis. As always, your vet will have the best idea of which vitamins are best for your cat. 

What Vitamins Do Cats Need the Most?

There are a variety of essential nutrients that cats need to thrive. Most of the time, cats get these nutrients just from eating their food. Some of these essential nutrients that cats need include:

  • Animal protein: Just like humans, cats need protein to survive. Animal protein is what fuels your cat’s bodies and nervous systems so they can be strong and healthy.
  • Fats: Fats are what give cats energy and help them maintain a healthy body temperature.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a great energy source for cats and provide building blocks for other nutrients.
  • Water: Water helps cats metabolize nutrients, eliminate toxins, maintain their body temperature, and distribute their nutrients properly. 

But in addition to these essential nutrients for cats, there are also a variety of vitamins and minerals that cats need. Vitamins and minerals are important for all mammals. Your cat should get these vitamins from their food, but if they’re lacking any of them, then giving them supplements may be a good idea. Some important vitamins and minerals that cats need include:

  • Vitamin A: Supports a strong immune system and healthy vision in cats.
  • Vitamin D: Helps cats’ bones, nerves, and muscles to function properly.
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Helps cats properly metabolize carbohydrates.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Necessary for cats' growth and overall health.
  • Calcium: Necessary for female cats to be able to produce milk. Calcium also helps with various other body functions, such as building strong bones.
  • Magnesium: Helps cats properly absorb nutrients and keeps their overall health well-balanced.
  • Sodium: Helps cats remove waste from their system. 
  • Chloride: Necessary to maintain proper alkali balance in a cat’s body.

There are a variety of vitamins on the market that you can give your cat, such as multivitamins, essential fatty acids, and probiotics. Multivitamins are designed to support a cat’s bodily functions, but most of the time are not necessary because cats get enough essential vitamins through their food. 

Essential fatty acids, like omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, are important to keep a cat’s fur healthy and shiny. They also support a cat’s immune system, eyes, brain, liver, and joints. Probiotics can help improve a cat’s digestive health and reduce digestive issues, like decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Should I Give My Cats Vitamins Every Day?

Before you go ahead and make giving your cat vitamins a part of your daily routine, it’s best to speak with your vet first. Giving your cat vitamins every single day might not be necessary. Not only is it a waste of money, but also it can be harmful for your kitty.

cat and owner talking to vet at appointment

Most of the time, an excess of vitamins will just pass through your cat’s body and come out in their pee. But too much of certain vitamins can actually be toxic for your cat. This includes vitamins A, D, E, K. These vitamins won’t pass through your cat’s body like other vitamins will, and instead will accumulate in your cat’s body and can cause toxicity.

If your vet recommends giving your cat vitamins, be sure to ask how frequently to give them so that you can create a routine that works for you.

Can Cats Take Multivitamins?

Yes, cats can take multivitamins– but it’s not always necessary. Whether or not you should give your cat multivitamins ultimately depends on their overall health and if they’re lacking certain vitamins and nutrients. Multivitamins for cats can boost their nutrition and overall health, but it’s definitely not necessary.

Final Notes

At the end of the day, whether or not you give your cat vitamins is ultimately up to you and your vet. If your cat is sick or not able to absorb nutrients due to illness, then giving them vitamins might be a good idea. But if your cat is perfectly healthy and eats a well-balanced diet, then giving them vitamins probably isn’t necessary! Cat food is already made to contain all the essential vitamins and nutrients that a cat needs.

But if you’re thinking of giving your cat vitamins, whether that be a multivitamin, an essential fatty acid, or a probiotic, always consult with your vet beforehand. Your vet will have the best idea  if giving your cat vitamins is necessary. They can also help you choose which vitamins are best for your cat and how often you should give them.

And if you want a quick and easy consultation with a vet, look no further than Dutch.com. Dutch is an online pet telehealth service where you can make remote appointments with licensed veterinarians. When you sign up on Dutch, you’ll be connected with our network of veterinarians who can help with a host of different cat health issues, such as treating cat bronchitis symptoms, diagnosing worms in cats, or figuring out why your cat is pacing. We’re here to help get to the bottom of whatever is going on with your pet.

To get started with Dutch, all you have to do is sign up online, fill out a questionnaire detailing your cat’s condition, and you’ll be connected with one of our vets within 24 hours. The vet you’re connected with will then be available to answer any questions you may have and will prescribe any necessary medication for your kitty. So whether you’re dealing with where to pet a cat or how to treat a cat with a swollen belly from worms, we’ll get you the help and medication you need, as soon as you need it.

References

  1. YOUR CAT’S NUTRITIONAL NEEDS, The National Academies Press, https://www.nap.edu/resource/10668/cat_nutrition_final.pdf

  2. Cats are not Small Dogs: Unique Nutritional Needs of Cats, Tufts University, https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/12/cats-are-not-small-dogs-unique-nutritional-needs-of-cats/

  3. The A-B-C’s of Vitamin C, Tufts University, https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/04/the-a-b-cs-of-vitamin-c/