We spent 65 hours over a 30 day period researching and testing over 15 different types of vitamins for cats and found that quality ingredients, brand reputation, and value were the most important factors to consumers who were shopping for cat vitamins. Greenies Feline Dental Cat Treats scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. Greenies offers cat owners a product that provides complete nutrition for your adult cat while helping him, or her maintain excellent dental care as well. These supplements have been proven to reduce tartar build up on your cat’s teeth and come in a variety of flavors cats love including oven-roasted chicken, tuna, and salmon.
Vitamins for Cats Buying Guide
There are several different types of cat vitamins on the market. Below we have listed these types along with some information that will help you understand the differences between the different types.
Water-soluble – Vitamin C and B-Complex vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that are commonly found in cat vitamin supplements. B vitamins are very important for cats. The niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin provide support for the cat’s immune system. When B-complex vitamins are combined with Vitamin C they enhance the effects of the B vitamins and enhance the immune system as well. The other benefit to vitamin C is the ability to increase collagen production. Collagen is very important for the health of the connective tissues, skin, and cartilage. Other water-soluble vitamins are biotin and choline. If your cat is lacking in these important water soluble vitamins they will be at an increased risk of infections, poor healing of any wounds they get, and overall weakness.
Fat-soluble – You will need to be careful and aware of the fat-soluble vitamins you give your cat because it’s easy to reach toxic levels of them if you are not paying attention to the amounts your cat is getting. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins D, K, E, and A. These are stored in the fatty tissues of the cat and require fat to properly and more effectively absorb and utilize them. If there is too much in the cat’s system and they are not utilized properly they can cause toxicities that can lead to a host of health problems for them. Do not give supplements containing these vitamins without consulting with your vet. Each of the vitamins has different benefits for your cat. Vitamin D is useful for the mineralization of bones, vitamin K is helpful for blood clotting capabilities so if your cat gets hurt they will not bleed excessively, vitamin E is a valuable anti-oxidant that boosts the immunity and A is important for eye health.
Iron – Iron is mostly useful for providing your cat with the best tissue oxygenation which is especially useful for cats that are dealing with parasites in the intestines. Cats can get anemia from internal parasites so it is important to make sure that they do not have these parasites and that there is sufficient iron in the cat’s system.
Calcium – This important vitamin is necessary for the health of the cat’s bones and is very useful for any cat that is pregnant to avoid the bones becoming brittle the way they can become during gestation. It is also beneficial to mama cats feeding their babies since the calcium the kittens receive comes from the milk.
Magnesium – Magnesium goes along with calcium by increasing absorption of calcium in the cat’s body. Be very careful not to give your cat too much magnesium. Too much magnesium in the system can lead to the cat developing UTIs.
Types of Cat Supplements
There are many different types of supplements available to give your cat but they do not need ALL of them. For the best results you should only give your cat the supplements that it needs and where it is lacking in nutrition. We have listed the different types of supplements you may encounter in your shopping process.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplement – This type of supplement provides minerals and vitamins for your cat that may be lacking in your cat’s food. Most of these vitamins and minerals will be present in a quality feed so they may not be necessary unless you know the food they are eating in not good quality.
Fatty Acids – Many of the supplements on the market contain essential fatty acids in the formula, especially DHA and EPA. You can get these fatty acids in vitamin and mineral supplements or you can choose a supplement that ONLY has the fatty acids. If the cat food you are feeding your cat does not contain fatty acids you should add these important supplements to your cat’s diet. They are very important to the cardiovascular system, the immune system, the central nervous system, and the integumentary systems.
Probiotics – If your cat is having trouble with digestive issues you can add a probiotic supplement that contains good bacteria that is very beneficial for your cat’s digestive system. Adding probiotics to your cat’s regular diet will help improve the digestive system and ensure it stays functioning properly.
Nutraceuticals – Nutraceuticals are all natural or herbal remedies that provide benefits that are different than the benefits provided by other types of supplements. Nutraceuticals include MSM, glucosamine, milk thistle, and chondroitin. These three nutraceuticals are beneficial to the joint health of your cat.
1. Glucosamine – This nutraceutical is often given to help increase the mobility of the joints and has been used as a treatment for arthritis. Is does not relieve the pain associated with arthritis.
2. Chondroitin – This ingredient is often found paired with glucosamine and is used for bone and joint health.
3. Milk thistle – This nutraceutical in extract form can help with liver disease and helps to remove toxins from the cat’s liver.
Cat Supplements to Avoid
There are many unsafe supplements on the market that are simply not good for cats. You should avoid these and pay close attention to the vitamins, minerals, and supplements your cat is receiving. We’ve listed the supplements and situations to avoid below.
- Garlic – This can lead to anemia in your cat by destroying red blood cells.
- Onion – This is another ingredient that destroys red blood cells and can cause anemia in your cat.
- Calcium – Calcium is important for your cat but ONLY in the right amounts. Too much calcium can be toxic for your cat.
- Vitamin D – Too much vitamin D can be toxic to your cat and make them sick.
- Vitamin C – If your cat receives too much vitamin C your cat’s urine can become overly acidic. This can lead to the formation of crystals in the urinary tract which can cause a blockage that can become life-threatening.
What are Nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals are basically all-natural or herbal supplements that can improve your cat’s health in a variety of ways. They typically add to the cat’s diet and make it more complete in terms of nutrition. Nutraceuticals fall somewhere between supplements and additives.
Most nutraceuticals are used for a specific purpose such as treating a specific problem. The main thing to remember is that you don’t need to load your cat up with tons of supplements and food additives if the food you give them is of high quality to begin with. If there are some issues you want to address and correct, choose the right supplement, the right amount, and talk to your vet first to ensure your plan is the best for the cat’s health.
One of the most important takeaways from this buying guide is the knowledge that you can hurt your cat by giving it supplements it does not need. Cats will have a variety of dietary needs depending on lifestyles, breed, and age as well as other factors. You need to be very cautious when choosing a supplement for your cat. It is always best to get the advice of a professional so you do not over-supplement them.
The three top-rated cat vitamins on the market are all high quality supplements that provide several different benefits for your cat. You should take a look at your cat’s food and determine where they are lacking before choosing one of the supplements we have reviewed or listed, or any supplement at all.
Since it is so easy to over-supplement your cat, you should discuss any that you are considering giving to your cat to see the benefits or potential drawbacks that exist. Your vet will be able to help you determine what your cat needs, how much of it you should give, and the best supplements on the market to fit your cat’s needs.
The buying guide provided information for you on the different types of vitamins and the kinds of supplements that are on the market. This is valuable knowledge to have since it can help you make sense of all the different supplements out there.
The main objective for anyone who wants to put their cat on supplements is to be careful, be knowledgeable in what the supplement does, what it contains, and what the right dosage is before you give it to your cat.