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Cat Nutrition and Supplements


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Most of your cat's nutritional needs should be met by the food that she eats. To determine whether or not your cat's food is adequate, start by looking on the label for a statement by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) saying that the food conforms to accepted nutrient profiles or has undergone an animal feeding test and is nutritionally complete. Diets that do not meet AAFCO standards are readily available. Make sure that the food you buy is not one of them.

If your cat is healthy and eats an AAFCO approved food well, she is receiving at least the minimum amount of nutrition needed to keep her healthy. If she is thriving on her current diet, there is probably no reason to make a change. However, there are at least a few instances when giving additional vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements might be beneficial.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are important nutrients for cats. They play a myriad of roles in the body, and either too much or too little of even a single vitamin or mineral can bring about significant illness. The good news is that if you feed a high-quality, commercially available cat food, your cat should be getting appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals in her diet.

However, if your cat fits into any of the following categories, giving her a vitamin and mineral supplement is probably in order.

  • She is an extremely picky eater.
  • She will only eat poor quality pet food.
  • You feed a home-prepared diet.
  • She has an illness that changes her nutritional requirements.

Your veterinarian can help you determine whether vitamin and mineral supplementation or pet medications are necessary, and if so, what product might be best for your cat.

Other Nutritional Supplements

We all know that good nutrition is essential to maintaining health. Therefore, it should not be too surprising that increasing the amount of certain foods or components of food in a cat's diet could treat or prevent some types of disease.

Nutritional supplements can assist with:

  • Immune system support
  • Joint health
  • Kidney disease
  • Aging
  • Liver disease
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Skin and coat conditions
  • Antioxidant supplementation

Most nutritional supplements are very safe and some have undergone vigorous testing to ensure that they actually do benefit cats suffering from the conditions that they claim to treat. However, any substance strong enough to treat a disease is also strong enough to have side-effects or to interact with other medications that your cat might be taking. It is always safest to check with your veterinarian before giving your cat something new, and this includes if you are thinking of starting her on a nutritional supplement.


The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of your pet. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners.