Before we get into all the supplements that can help improve your feline’s health, we want to make sure their diet is in fantastic shape first.
It’s important to remember that no matter how many supplements you give your cat, they will never fill the nutritional holes in a poor diet. Vets and researchers are in complete agreement with this, and the majority of cat supplement manufacturers design their supplements as an extension of the diet, not as a replacement for any particular component.
Tips for Finding the Best Cat Food
* High in animal protein
* Don’t get hung up on by-products—it’s highly nutritional liver, lungs, and other organs, not hair, horns, or hooves.
* Canned and dry food are both fine—canned food has more moisture which is great if your cat isn’t a big water drinker.
* Look for ‘life stage” info on the back label—different life stages have different nutritional requirements.
* Ask your veterinarian.
When Diet Isn’t Enough
Since many supplements are created to fix deficiencies, you only need to give your cat vitamins, of any kind, when they have a medical issue.
However, it’s still not always that simple. For example, small intestinal diseases can lead to the inability to absorb folate and cobalamin (Vitamin Bs). This means that oral supplementation of B vitamins would be utterly useless and instead injections are in order.
It’s so important to always talk to your veterinarian first, because of issues like the one above.
General Vitamins and Minerals
There are a lot of single and multivitamins available for your cat, but again, you only need them if your cat has a medical condition. A condition your vet should be aware of and already helping you in choosing the right medication. Remember the vitamin B issue from above.
All in all, the vast majority of the time, your cat has a way better balanced-diet than you as long as their cat food is complete—which it normally is. When it comes to a healthy cat and a well-balanced diet, a multivitamin may end up doing more harm than good because your cat may get too much of a particular vitamin. In the section “Supplements You Need to Avoid” you’ll see that certain vitamins are avoided because they become toxic in small amounts.
Now that multivitamins are out of the way, let’s look at real ways we can improve our cat’s health the natural way.
CBD oil is the weird one on our list for couple different reasons. First, supplementation of CBD oil can help with medical conditions where even the best diet would come up short.
Research has shown that besides helping with medical conditions such as arthritis/joint health, diabetes, and cancer, CBD helps reduce anxiety, stress, and aggressive behavior
When purchasing CBD oil for cats, you’ll want to follow a few simple rules.
* Make sure it’s derived from hemp
* Make sure it’s formulated for pets/small animals
* CBD oil may also be called full spectrum hemp or phytocannabinoid (PCR) oil
* Always check the customer reviews
Who doesn’t love bacteria? I mean your body contains trillions of microorganisms, and you have 10 times more bacteria cells on and in your body than human cells. Thankfully, they are pretty tiny and only make-up 1-3 percent of your body weight.
Probiotics are healthy gut bacteria, often called “good” bacteria because they control the grown of “bad” bacteria in the large intestine. They will help improve your cat’s digestion by relieving gas and improving bowel consistency.
You will want to look for probiotics that have bacteria which normally occur in your cat’s gut: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Omega Fatty Acids
If you know anything about fish or have taken fish oil before, then you might be surprised to see omega fatty acids on this list. You’re probably thinking “how is cat food not high in fish and therefore omega fatty acids?!”
Well, it is! But unfortunately, it’s just a touch too high in omega-6 fatty acids and too low in omega-3 fatty acids. Nothing bad comes from this I should say, but research has shown that omega fatty acids work most effectively in a 4-1 ratio.
As such, you may want to introduce omega-3 fatty acids supplementation into your cat’s diet to boost heart health and promote low cholesterol levels. There is a lot of debate about how much this is really needed, however.
Supplements You Need to Avoid
There are a lot of unsafe supplements out there that you need to avoid.
Giving your cat onion is a huge no-no as it can cause anemia by destroying their red blood cells.
Another popular food item that people use frequently as a supplement and to great success. But like onions, garlic can destroy your cat’s red blood cells and should be absolutely avoided.
Sometimes, we avoid giving our felines certain supplements because it’s easy to give too much like this next one. Giving your cat calcium can cause hypercalcemia which brings along symptoms such as vomiting, increased urination, confusion, bladder stones, and hypertension.
Vitamin D poisoning is actually one of the culprits of hypercalcemia. Rodenticides, certain plants, as well as vitamin D supplements, should never be left around in case your cat tries to get in them.
Vitamin D is great for people, though, and if you’re not getting a lot of sunlight or live in a cold area, supplementing can dramatically improve your mood.
Like calcium and Vitamin D, it’s easy for your cat to get too much Vitamin C and it can cause some really nasty side effects. Too much Vitamin C will cause acidic urine which turns into crystal forming and creating dier blockages.
List of More Supplements to Avoid
You should also avoid the flowering: supplements designed for people, diet pills, prenatal vitamins, cold medicines, caffeine, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and chives.
Last, it’s important to somewhat reiterate and say that you should never give your cat multivitamins formulated for people. Not only because of the weight difference but as well, human multivitamins are often designed to contain 100% of our daily requirement.
Because it’s easy to achieve a well-balanced diet with most commercial pet foods, multivitamin formulated for cats and dogs only contain a portion of their daily requirement—around 20% and even that may be too much.