Vitamins for a cat: types and symptoms of deficiency [Lek wet Piotr Smentek
Vitamins for the cat and dietary supplements, or what to choose to help and not harm… Vitamins for the cat
Domestic cat, or Felis catus, has been extremely popular for many years, being the most popular domestic animal in the world.
From year to year, the population of this species also grows, living in the vicinity of human settlements in the wild, taking advantage of all the benefits of civilization and full of food garbage.
The human approach to the cat often changes as well, and it ceases to be a predator kept for rodent control on a farm and becomes a typical companion animal kept at home.
Of course, this is followed by a change in the diet and resignation from natural sources of protein such as small rodents in favor of a ready-made, balanced pet food.
Many owners are disgusted by the fact of bringing the hunted prey in their mouths during their stay outside, and for this reason they resign from letting cats out of the house.
The progressive change in the way of thinking about our feline charges forced the food producers to create a whole range of products in the form of vitamins, special compound feed dedicated specifically to this species.
Such a change of mentality certainly pleases because it translates into better treatment and care that we owe to these animals.
On the other hand, it can cause a "headache " for many cat owners who stand in front of shelves in a supermarket full of various supplements for cats.
More than once the question arises:
what to choose and what to mainly pay attention to?
Or maybe you should be guided only by advertising slogans placed on the packaging of the product or food?
How should a cat owner know which product is the best and worth the money??
After all, not everyone can boast of appropriate knowledge and education in the field of optimal animal nutrition and appropriate supplements.
However, we certainly know, based on our own intuition, that not everything that is good for us is the same for our cats.
In this article I will try to introduce you to the subject of vitamins and dietary supplements used in cats along with their influence on organisms.
First, a short theoretical introduction about vitamins, or what they really are.
- Vitamins for the cat
- Cat metabolism and supplementation
- What vitamins are most important for a cat?
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B7
- Vitamin B11
- Vitamin B 12
- Vitamin C for the cat
- Vitamins for a cat: the effects of an overdose
- Vitamin overdose symptoms
- When to give your cat vitamins
- Dietary supplements for cats
- Multivitamin preparations
- Cat supplements for skin and coat
- Cat immunity supplements
- Supplements for cats with taurine
- Cat vitamins for strengthening
- Removal pastes
- Treatment support supplements
- Vitamins for a cat: dosage and administration
- How much are vitamins for a cat?
Vitamins for the cat
Vitamins are organic chemical compounds with a different, diverse structure ensuring the proper and efficient functioning of each living organism.
Their natural source is the consumed plant and animal foods, because as a rule the body cannot synthesize them on its own and therefore they must be supplied with food.
Nowadays, being compounds with a well-known chemical structure, we can also synthesize them in industrial conditions and sell them as finished products, most often in the form of:
We owe the discovery of the first vitamin to a Polish scientist, biochemist Kazimierz Funk in 1913, who discovered thiamine, i.e vitamin B1.
He also introduced the name of these groups of compounds, which is valid to this day, based on the Latin words vitae. life and amine because thiamine it was made of the amine group.
Until today, many other compounds belonging to the group of vitamins have been discovered, which resulted in the need to create divisions and systematize some of these compounds.
Generally speaking, we can talk about fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins:
- Vitamin A,
- vitamin D,
- Vitamin E,
- vitamin K,
And vitamins that are soluble in water:
- B vitamins,
- vitamin C.
It is important from a practical point of view, as the former, by accumulating in adipose tissue, can cause symptoms of harmful overdose which will certainly not be healthy.
Water-soluble vitamins are, however, excreted in the urine, which does not pose such a risk.
In the context of the amount of vitamins in the body, we can talk about:
- avitaminosis that is, the lack of a specific vitamin in the body,
- hypovitaminosis hence deficiency, abnormally low,
- hypervitaminosis otherwise known as overdose, excess.
Vitamins as everyone knows, they are healthy, but only on condition that they are supplied to the body in the right amount.Both deficiencies and excess of a specific vitamin, in turn, sometimes cause very serious health effects, which we must remember at the beginning.
There are also compounds in foods that have the opposite effect to a given vitamin, and these are commonly called antivitamins.
Their knowledge seems to be basic knowledge because it allows to avoid practically everything that may cause deficiencies.
Finally, some vitamins can be synthesized in the animal's body by those present in its digestive tract intestinal bacteria which we should also remember, especially in the case of administration antibiotics in oral form.
And so a properly fed cat usually does not need an additional portion of vitamin C or K, which is synthesized by itself, provided that the liver is functioning properly and intestinal microflora is steadfast.
In optimal and ideal conditions, they should be supplied in the right amount with the consumed, varied food.
In practice, however, we encounter numerous cases when it is necessary to support the body and in a situation requiring greater demand, introduce additional supplementation about which in the article below.
Cat metabolism and supplementationCat metabolism and supplementation
The cat's body is characterized by specific metabolism for him and despite belonging to carnivores, like dogs, it differs significantly from them.
I mean very characteristic processes alternating, digestion and the most important biochemical pathways.Under no circumstances should a cat be treated as equal to a dog in terms of nutrition.
As the clearest example, let us:
- lack of salivary amylase,
- negligible amount pancreatic amylase (only 5% of the amount produced by dogs),
- low enzyme activity sucrose if glucokinase and fructokinase needed to digest sugars.
In context vitamins cats they insufficiently synthesize niacin from tryptophan which requires a greater supply of it in food.Need for niacin in cats there are approx 4 times greater than that of dogs.
The demand for pyridoxine.
They are not able to satisfy some amino acids on their own, such as for example taurine and therefore require its supply in the meals consumed.
Finally, they do not have the ability to transform beta-carotene into vitamin A which is conditioned by their typically meat diet.
From a practical point of view, it makes no sense to give them carrots, which are otherwise a great source of this beta carotene for people because they cannot produce from it vitamin A.
We can see perfectly well only on these few examples that the cat's body must be treated individually and we cannot in any case transfer our preferences or nutritional recommendations to it, also in terms of supplementation.
What vitamins are most important for a cat?What vitamins are most important for a cat?
What kind of relationships are we talking about?
Below you will find a short list the most popular vitamins and their role in the cat's body.
The source of fat-soluble vitamins, and so AND, D, E and K they will mainly animal products, liver, meat tissues, milk if egg yolks so the natural foods that form the basis of every felid's diet.
Vitamin A called retinol participates in the process goodbye being part of rhodopsin, upbuilding retinal rods.
Vitamin A in a cat:
- provides vision especially at dusk,
- affects bone growth and development,
- is responsible for the proper functioning of the epithelium of the skin, digestive tract, respiratory system and cornea,
- stimulates mucus production and is an important natural antioxidant.
Vitamin A deficiency in a cat is manifested by:
- night blindness,
- visual disturbances,
- inhibition and growth disturbance,
- through keratosis and flaking of the epidermis more frequent infections.
Vitamin D it is the starting substrate from which it is created calcitriol that is a hormone responsible for, among other things absorption of calcium ions, phosphorus if potassium in the digestive tract.
Vitamin D in a cat thus determines:
- correct growth,
- bone mineralization.
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in a cat include:
- tooth loss,
- enlargement of the joints,
- muscle weakness.
Vitamin E in turn, in a cat:
- ensures the correct structure and protection of biological membranes.
- it enables the synthesis of some lipids,
- is one of the most important antioxidants,
- has a positive effect on blood clotting processes,
- prevents cardiovascular diseases,
- regulates muscle metabolism.
Vitamin E deficiency in a cat is manifested by:
- fertility disorders and miscarriages,
- muscular paralysis,
- faster breakdown of red blood cells and anemia,
- disruption of the functioning of cell membranes, resulting from increased catabolism of fatty acids,
- growth disturbance,
- nerve damage,
- general weakness,
- skin changes.
Vitamin K participating in the synthesis of coagulation factors, synthesis prothrombin in the liver, determines the proper course of this important process of maintaining homeostasis.
He also participates in bone metabolism.
Symptoms of a vitamin K deficiency in a cat include:
- disorders in the blood clotting process,
- bleeding and prolonged wound healing time,
- intestinal disorders.
Water-soluble vitamins, i.e. primarily those from group B and vitamin C, are commonly found in animal products, such as:
- plant products.
Some of them (e.g. B1, B3, B7, B12) are synthesized by specific intestinal bacteria living in the digestive tracts of carnivorous animals, provided that the population of the natural intestinal flora is not upset.
Vitamin B1 that is thiamine is decarboxylase coenzyme involved in the process cellular respiration.
Vitamin B1 in a cat determines the proper functioning of:
- nervous tissue,
- cardiovascular system,
- digestive tract,
- affects the metabolism of sugars, fats and amino acids.
Vitamin B1 deficiency in a cat is manifested by:
- neurological symptoms (beriberi disease),
- disturbance in the work of the nervous system,
- digestive system disorders,
- tremors and muscle weakness,
- muscular dystrophies,
- inflammation and degeneration of the joints,
- weakness and heart failure leading to heart failure,
In turn, vitamin B2, i.e. riboflavin in a cat:
- stimulates growth,
- stimulates the overall immunity of the body.
- it is a component of coenzymes involved in cell respiration,
- participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids,
- takes part in the synthesis of hemoglobin.
It also supports skin regeneration processes.
Symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency in a cat include:
- seborrheic skin lesions,
- inflammation of the conjunctiva and the cornea,
- stunted growth,
- visual disturbances.
Another vitamin from the B group, i.e B3 - niacin or nicotinamide it is a component of coenzymes involved in the processes of cell transformation.
Vitamin B3 in a cat:
- guarantees the proper condition of the epithelium of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system.
- regulates the level of cholesterol in the blood,
- dilates blood vessels,
- participates in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Vitamin B3 deficiency in a cat is manifested by:
- skin inflammation,
- muscle weakness,
- limb paralysis.
Vitamin B5 that is pantothenic acid being an important ingredient coenzyme A participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and energy transfer processes.
Vitamin B5 in a cat:
- ensures the proper condition of the nervous tissue,
- affects the condition of the skin,
- relieves inflammation by taking an active part in the synthesis of natural hormones - corticosteroids,
- improves hair growth and coloration,
- prevents the symptoms of aging.
Symptoms of a vitamin B5 deficiency in a cat include:
- stunted growth,
- sensory disturbance,
- damage to the adrenal glands,
- joint stiffness,
- general feeling of being unwell,
- premature graying (one of the signs of aging).
Vitamin B6, that is, pyridoxine in cats:
- participates in the process hematopoiesis,
- stimulates the flow of glucose to neurons,
- is a coenzyme in the synthesis of amino acids,
- is an essential factor for the synthesis of:
A vitamin B6 deficiency in a cat can be manifested by:
- skin inflammation,
- symptoms of anemia,
- digestive system disorders,
- changes in the nervous system (seizures and epilepsy).
Vitamin B7 called biotin it is an important component of enzymes involved in the process of gluconeogenesis and the synthesis of fatty acids, glycogen or hormones. It significantly affects the quality of hair, bones and skin.
Symptoms of vitamin B7 deficiency include:
- dermatological changes,
- hair loss and baldness,
- seborrheic changes,
- muscle aches,
- higher blood cholesterol.
Vitamin B11 or folic acid in a cat:
- is involved in metabolism, the synthesis of choline, some amino acids, purines.
- builds the necessary coenzymes involved in the process of blood formation and the production of endorphins,
- is responsible for the proper development of the nervous system in the fetus,
- determines the efficient functioning of the immune system.
Vitamin B11 deficiency in cats can be manifested by:
- damage to the digestive system,
- digestive disorders,
- birth defects of the fetus,
- increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B 12
Another extremely important vitamin from the B group is vitamin B 12 called with cobalamin.
Vitamin B12 in a cat:
- it is essential in the process of hematopoiesis in the bone marrow,
- participates in the oxidation of organic acids in the cell,
- participates in the synthesis of:
- nucleic acids,
- certain lipids and proteins.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency in a cat include:
- symptoms of anemia,
- damage to the nervous system.
Vitamin C for the cat
And finally, well known to everyone vitamin C that is ascorbic acid which is one of the main antioxidants in cells.
Vitamin C in a cat:
- supports resistance to infections,
- facilitates wound healing,
- it is essential in the synthesis of collagen,
- maintains the proper condition of connective tissue,
- strengthens gums and teeth,
- affects the synthesis of neurotransmitters and corticosteroids,
- facilitates the absorption of iron.
Vitamin C deficiency in a cat can be manifested by:
- an abnormal course of bone fusion,
- slower wound healing,
- weakening of immunity,
- more susceptible to infections.
We can clearly see, despite the very general juxtaposition of the role of vitamins, that there are practically no metabolic processes in the body in which vitamins would not participate and how serious the symptoms associated with their deficiency can be.
And although most do not think about it on a daily basis, no cat system is able to function normally, properly and efficiently without vitamins.
While there is probably no need to convince anyone about the negative effects of a deficiency of individual vitamins, it is not so easy with excess.
Many cat keepers are unaware that over-administration of these compounds, especially in the long term, is not beneficial and, on the contrary, can cause a number of harmful effects.
Vitamins for a cat: the effects of an overdoseVitamins for a cat: the effects of an overdose
As I wrote before, both vitamin deficiency and their excess can be extremely dangerous for the cat's body and sometimes even lead to death.
And although it may seem absurd how otherwise healthy vitamins can cause such dangerous consequences, it is worth being clearly aware of, the more so as overdosing can often result from the lack of knowledge of a well-intentioned animal owner.
So let's move on to the details.
Fat-soluble vitamins, i.e. A, D, E and K, are present in foods of animal origin (fats, liver, milk, meat), fish and vegetable oils.
Served in excess unfortunately they accumulate in the cat's body, which cannot, unlike B vitamins or vitamin C, expel them from the body.
Unaware cat owner searches for various disturbing causes, often nonspecific disease symptoms, completely not suspecting that it causes such symptoms by giving in excess, for example, pork or beef liver.
Cats, as a rule, eat liver very willingly, so in the opinion of the owner they cannot act to their disadvantage.
Hypervitaminosis A despite the growing popularity of feeding cats with commercial ready-made feeds with a balanced composition, it is still common, and little characteristic clinical symptoms make it difficult to diagnose.
Vitamin overdose symptoms
The first signs of a vitamin A overdose in cats are:
- changes in the behavior of animals becoming dull, anxious or irritable,
- they stop taking care of their hair,
- they lose their appetite,
- show pain symptoms.
As a rule, they appear a few weeks or months later neurological symptoms.
Sick cats also often show:
- reluctance to move,
- limited joint mobility,
- hypersensitivity during palpation,
- soreness in the cervical spine.
They cannot move their necks freely and assume the so-called. "Kangaroo ".
In a very advanced disease, cats are unable to lift their own body, lie with their neck stretched out, and additionally, there is a muscle wasting in the neck area and weight loss.
Everything related to the lack of exercise is conducive to constipation.
There may be other symptoms, such as:
- skin changes,
- voice change,
- downpouring food,
- male infertility.
The occurrence of the listed clinical signs of vitamin A overdose in cats is associated with overdose productive changes in the skeletal system, which put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that come out of it.
What is extremely important, bone changes, even after a radical change of diet, usually remain for life and do not disappear spontaneously.
In the blood of sick cats, high levels of vitamin A persist for years due to the very slow release of stored vitamin A from the liver.
Vitamin D overdose does not give such dramatic, life-threatening symptoms as described above.
A vitamin D overdose in a cat can induce:
- lack of appetite,
- weight loss,
- increased urination - polyuria,
- gastrointestinal symptoms in the form of vomiting or diarrhea,
- fatigue faster,
- pain in muscles, joints or bones,
- excessive drooling,
- muscle tremors,
- epileptic seizures.
Using these two vitamins as an example, we can clearly see how extremely important behavior is the correct level of administered vitamins in a cat and how dangerous and sometimes irreversible the effects of overdosing them can be.So let's use common sense when feeding cats. Do not give the mentioned liver or other foods with a high vitamin A content every day, but at most once a week.
When to give your cat vitaminsWhen to give your cat vitamins
Probably more than one cat owner wonders whether the feed he gives as the only source of food fully meets the demand for all the ingredients of his pet.
The answer to this question only seems obvious.
Assuming purely hypothetically that the average statistical cat eats complete, balanced maintenance food for its age group, it should not require additional supplementation of individual vitamins.
These foods are composed to provide everything that is needed in an optimal dose, assuming that the animal will receive them as the only source of food.
So there is no absolute need to provide additional vitamins.
Some owners, however, complement it cat's diet with supplements.
Such a procedure, although unnecessary in most cases, should not cause negative health effects on the cat's body.
It is different when the animal suffers from a specific disease, which may be associated with an increased need for specific nutrients.
And so, for example, in a situation skin diseases proper nutrition can be enriched with an appropriate dietary supplement supporting the appearance of skin, hair and other products, for example:
- omega 3 and 6 fatty acids,
At the time of illness, the need for individual vitamins increases and even their short-term higher administration in food should not cause symptoms of overdose.
Such short-term supplementation seems to be relatively safe.
Similarly, with age or during the convalescence period, the need for mineral and vitamin components changes, additional supplementation of which will certainly not be a mistake.
From a practical point of view, we cannot overdose most vitamins, therefore we can consider them completely safe substances.
Of course, we still assume that the basis is appropriate nutrition adapted to age, physiological state or activity, and vitamins are a possible supplement to the properly composed food dose.
Dietary supplements for catsCat Supplements
In recent years, the pet market offering products for our companion animals has literally experienced a huge boom, which resulted in the emergence of numerous supplements, vitamins and preparations supporting the body in a given disease.
This fact is certainly pleasing, because we have a huge choice and greater possibilities of helping animals, on the other hand, it may cause some abuses.
Remember that not every cat has to take additional pills just because they are available on the market and, as the owners say, "they will certainly not hurt".
So let's move on to the details.
Most "general " vitamins for cats there will be preparations containing the type "multivitamins ".
They contain a lot vitamins and micronutrients and thus act systemically supporting the condition of animals, providing beautiful, healthy and shiny fur.
Placed in them vitamin D facilitates assimilation calcium, biotin and Vitamin A guarantees the proper condition of the skin and its products, taurine supports the smooth functioning of the heart and eyes.
Products of this type, characterized by excellent taste, are usually eagerly eaten even by fastidious cats.
They often do not contain dyes and artificial preservatives, which convinces the supporters of natural nutrition.
Their regular consumption improves the overall condition and health of the cat, and their low caloric content does not pose a risk of obesity.
Cat multivitamin supplements include:
- Smilla multivitamin paste for cats,
- Miamor Cat Snack multivitamin paste,
- GimCat multivitamin,
- Beaphar multi with taurine,
- Trixie multivitamin.
Cat supplements for skin and coat
A large group of products, due to frequently occurring skin diseases, are those improving the condition of the hair coat.
The preparations containing salmon oil, or other fish, being very rich in large numbers unsaturated fatty acids from the omega 3 and 6 family.
These acids influence a number of processes in the cat's body:
- inhibit inflammatory processes in the joints or skin,
- have a positive effect on the heart and cardiovascular system,
- they modify the work of the immune system.
The cold extraction of salmon oil for cats ensures that all biological properties are preserved without losing valuable ingredients.
And the application in relation to skin diseases, for example, is really wide.
There is practically no dermatological disease in which the oil of salmon or other fish would be contraindicated.
So we use preparations containing omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in cats when:
- allergic background diseases,
- skin infections,
- in the process of wound healing.
The list of products containing these substances is really rich.
Cat supplements with salmon oil and omega acids:
- Omega liquid,
- Efa Olli,
- Trixie cod liver oil,
- Omega Trin,
- Gammolen capsules,
- Omega complex Over zoo.
Dietary supplements supporting the functions of the skin are also those containing biotin and represented by:
- Cat biotin tablets,
- Dolvit Biotin,
- Omega oil,
- Kerabol drops with biotin and zinc,
- Vetoskin containing in addition to B vitamins (B1 B2, B6, B12) also zinc, biotin and omega 3 and 6 acids.
Vitamins for the cat having a beneficial effect on the condition of the hair and skin must be ingested at least a few weeks so that we can observe favorable changes in the appearance of the coat, which we must carefully remember.
Cat immunity supplements
A large group of products on the dietary supplements market are those containing substances that increase general immunity and improve the functioning of the immune system.
This is particularly important in the case of chronic disease, infectious diseases, cancer or frequently occurring viral background problems.
There are thousands of reasons for the decline in immunity in cats, and not always a specific disease, but it can often be caused by, for example:
- nutritional deficiencies,
- acute infections,
- use of immunosuppressive drugs.
He can be extremely helpful here 1.3-1.6 beta glucan, which strengthens nonspecific immunity thus protecting against infections:
At the same time, it supports the effectiveness of vaccinations or antibiotics and protects against neoplastic processes.
It shortens periods of convalescence, wound healing or protects against the effects of free oxygen radicals.
Therefore, it has an extremely broad protective effect.
Beta glucan is available in cat products such as:
- Immunodol Cat,
- Immunoactive Balance,
- Bioimunex Felis.
Supplements for cats with taurine
Taurine supplements they also constitute a large group of products for cats due to their specific metabolism related to this amino acid.
Well, although the aforementioned taurine is essential for felids, they cannot produce it in the right amount on their own, hence the need to supplement it in the diet.
In nature, wild cats meet the demand for taurine by hunting and eating small rodents.
Our indoor cats do not have such a possibility, so we have to provide them with taurine in their food.
Taurine deficiency will always have very serious health consequences.
The effects of a taurine deficiency in your cat:
- blindness caused by retinal degeneration,
- heart disease in the form of cardiomyopathy,
- disorders of the reproductive system,
- growth disorders in young kittens,
- spine deformities,
- disorders of the immune or nervous system.
Supplements for cats with taurine:
- Felini Taurine,
- Felvital + taurine,
- GimCat with taurine.
Cat vitamins for strengtheningCat vitamins for strengthening
Vitamins and trace elements They can be very helpful in older cats showing various types of problems with the digestive tract, which will result impaired absorption of ingredients contained in food.
Seniors of cats also often have a worse appetite, coexisting systemic diseases that negatively affect food intake or diseases of the teeth and gums.
All of this may result in difficult food intake and the risk of deficiencies, even in the case of a complete, balanced diet.
Hence, it seems reasonable to supplement the diet with an appropriate one supplements dedicated to older cats, which are available on the market.
For example, vitamins for senior cats often contain smaller amounts of sodium, potassium and phosphorus, which plays a large role in animals suffering from kidney and heart failure.
Included in the product vitamin C and E and selenium protect the cell membrane against free radicals, slow down the aging processes of cells, minimizing the development of neoplastic processes or joint degeneration.
Vitamin B12, iron and Folic acid stimulate the process of erythropoiesis, i.e. the production of blood cells in the bone marrow.
Micronutrients such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese and iodine in turn, they participate in enzymatic reactions that produce energy.
B vitamins support the enzymatic processes of a choline protects from fatty liver.
Another amino acid as it is arginine It also supports the liver by actively participating in the production of urea from toxic ammonia.
Biotin helps to keep the skin and hair in the proper condition as well as unsaturated fatty acids.
Natural antioxidant complex protects cell membranes against free radicals (vitamin E and C, selenium, manganese, copper, zinc, polyphenols).
So we can clearly see how wide the vitamin and mineral composition is dedicated to older cats, affecting virtually all systems, organs and ongoing metabolic processes.
Examples of products supporting the functioning of the older organism are:
- He welcomes tat to older cats,
- Mikita felvital.
A healthy cat always cares about its hygiene by washing its fur with its tongue.
At the same time, it swallows hair that enters the digestive tract and can form into balls, creating the so-called. hair balls or bezoars.
The natural way to get rid of these skin products is by excreting them in the stool or by vomiting occasionally.
We can support this process by making it difficult to clump the hair into larger conglomerates.
This is especially important in long-haired or intensely licking cats.
In such problems we can find numerous decompressing preparations, represented for example by:
- Dr. Seidel Malt deburring paste,
- VetExpert TrichoCat Anti-Bezoar,
For example, the latter based on oil, administered regularly, covers the stomach and intestines with a thin, slippery layer, allowing swallowed hair to pass through and excrete efficiently.
Treatment support supplements
Mineral and vitamin preparations can also be dedicated to a specific group of animals with identified health problems.
For understandable reasons, they will differ significantly in the composition and selection of ingredients supporting the disturbed functions of the body.
However, in order for them to bring the greatest possible health benefits for a diseased cat, before using them, we must make a correct diagnosis, recognize the problem and then select the appropriate product.
We must not forget about the pharmacological treatment, which, as I would like to emphasize, always constitutes the basic procedure in a given disease entity.
Without it, dietary supplements will be of little use.
And so the market is full of products supporting:
- the liver,
- urinary tract,
- kidneys in the situation of chronic kidney failure,
- recovery periods with lower appetite,
- in neoplastic diseases,
- digestive problems,
- bone and joint diseases.
For example, in a situation of common urological problems in cats caused by diseases of the lower urinary tract (formerly called feline urological syndrome), you can use numerous dietary supplements containing substances with a documented therapeutic effect.
Supplements for cats with urological problems often contain:
- cranberry extract,
- parsley extract,
- lemon balm extract,
- valerian extract,
These substances act synergistically, preferably on the bladder:
- make it difficult for bacteria to adhere to the epithelium of the urinary tract,
- have a diuretic effect by thinning the urine,
- increase the volume of urine,
- reduce the permeability of the bladder wall to bacteria,
- have a calming effect.
Other preparations containing L-methionine reduce the risk of occurrence struvite stones acidifying the urine, making their precipitation difficult.
As an example of these supplements, let us use:
- UrinoVet Cat capsules,
Their composition is specially selected in this way to provide the best support in the treatment of a given, I emphasize previously diagnosed, disease entity.
What to choose so as not to harm?
Nowadays, it can really hurt your head when you stand in front of a shelf filled with cat vitamins.
What to choose to help as much as possible and not to harm, what parameters to pay attention to?
The composition of products composed for a cat with a given problem from different companies is generally similar, and the ingredients included are selected so as to work in a combined manner.
So what to choose?
First of all, we must check on the cat whether the supplement will be willingly eaten.
Although individual producers do everything to make their supplements taste attractive, there are sometimes significant differences dictated by the individual preferences of a given cat.
So let's not get discouraged if our client does not want to eat a given paste, but let's try to change it to another with a similar composition and, most importantly, recommendations.
Later in this article, I describe some practical tips for dosing and administering supplements for cats.
Vitamins for a cat: dosage and administrationVitamins for a cat: dosage and administration
So when to reach for products containing vitamins and other dietary supplements for cats?
The guiding principle that we should follow when checking additional preparations should always be a prior consultation with a veterinarian.
Often the owners make the wrong assumption that if they are only vitamins and drugs without a prescription, available in pet stores, they can be used without restrictions, because they will certainly not hurt.
At the same time, we often expect from these products an immediate and effective action to solve our cat's problem.
We also often suggest information that praises the product, placed by marketing specialists, placed on the packaging and we expect a spectacular effect immediately.
Meanwhile, in many cases it is not so because we need to know exactly what is wrong with our ward and only then take effective medical action, in which sometimes "vitamins " can be helpful.We must always keep the right order, i.e. first a certain diagnosis and only then effective help.
Therefore, we always select the appropriate preparation for a given diagnosed disease entity as a basis, treating targeted veterinary treatment.
Let us not treat this group of products as a miracle cure for any disturbing symptoms in our cat, but use them skillfully rather as supporting the therapeutic process, and never the other way around.
Often, failure to make a diagnosis leads to the advancement of the problem and definitely worsens the therapeutic options.
The second essential point is reading information and dosage accurately contained in the administered product because some vitamins, as I have already written, may be harmful in excess.
Not all cats love to swallow tablets and a large part of them even resist the moment of their administration, hence a better practical solution may turn out to be paste cat vitamins, flows or powder.
We can give them to a cat's bowl by mixing them thoroughly with the main feed, which makes their collection much easier and is practically stress-free for cats.
Serving food cannot have bad associations with a cat and, consequently, cause aversion and anorexia.
We should also remember that dietary supplements have their caloric value (eg. products containing fat-soluble vitamins), which should increase our vigilance and prevent possible excess weight in animals, especially in long-term use.
While working in the clinic, I also come across questions like:
is it possible to use dietary supplements purchased in a pharmacy in cats, i.e. intended for humans?
Although the active substances are often the same as in animal preparations, the dose is never the same.
Remember that cats, however, have a specific metabolism and some drugs or human products may be for them toxic.
So I would beware of such experimentation and strongly advise against choosing "human equivalents " of cat vitamins.
Dietary supplements and the so-called. Vitamins often show delayed effects, so do not expect spectacular changes immediately, but wait a few weeks.
However, the basic issue that we should be alert to is balanced, good-quality food represented by the right food, which should always be the main source of all necessary nutrients for our cat.
How much are vitamins for a cat?
Finally, let's consider the financial side a bit supplementation of vitamins and minerals in cats that is, let's try to answer the question:
how much does it all cost?
Unfortunately, we will not find an unambiguous and simple answer here, because the prices of preparations for cats are characterized by a huge range.
And so some vitamins cost money a dozen or so zlotys for the package others several dozen and still others over PLN 100.
It all depends on the manufacturer, composition and size of the package.
Remember, however, that in fact large, more expensive product packages contain a number of doses sometimes sufficient for several months of supplementation, so it is not really expensive at all.
If we look at it from the perspective of a dose for one day, it may turn out that a single serving of vitamins costs a few dozen pennies or a zloty and this is a cost that most cat owners can easily incur.
Certainly, it will not be wasted money and the "whole investment " will translate into better well-being and appearance of the cat.
So I guess it's worth it.
We can always choose smaller or cheaper products, which the pet market really abounds in.
Even in a very extensive article, it is impossible to cover all dietary supplements and vitamins for cats with a specific health problem.
Such an abundance cat supplements and a huge selection can certainly be enjoyed, but also cause considerable doubts of the owner as to what to choose.
Before buying, it is always worth consulting the desire to purchase a specific supplement with a friend who is treating a given cat and who knows it.
It is he who will best decide whether the active substances contained in it will help our "purr" and whether they will not negatively affect the parallel drugs.
We should remember that the administration of vitamins should always be treated as a supplement to traditional treatment or supplementation in the situation of feeding with a feed that is not fully balanced.
Nowadays, although the obvious symptoms of mineral and vitamin deficiencies do not occur too often in animals, we should not become too euphoric and underestimate the beneficial role of these substances on the cat's body.
Let's also not forget about the potential overdose, especially of fat-soluble vitamins and their negative effects that happen.
The best solution is to use common sense in the selection and use of these products, which I wish you all.
Sources used >>