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Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to consume animal proteins in order to survive. But while these proteins provide them with essential nutrients, cats still require certain vitamins for optimal health and wellness.
Thiamin – Metabolism and Nerves
Riboflavin – Produce energy and builds proteins
Niacin – Skin and coat
Pantothenic acid – Metabolism proteins, carbohydrates and fats
Biotin – Healthy bones and nails
Vitamin A – Eye health and tissue maintenance
Vitamine B12 – Nervous system
Vitamin E – Immune system
Vitamin D3 – Metabolism of calcium and phosphorus
Vitamin K – Bones and teeth
Pyridoxine – Metabolism of proteins and fats
Folic acid – Production of red blood cells
Choline – Muscle and nerve function
We will discuss in detail what vitamins cats need, how much they should be consuming on a daily basis and the best ways to ensure your cat is getting enough of each vitamin.
What Vitamins Do Cats Need in Their Diet?
As obligate carnivores, cats require animal proteins in their diet for survival. But while these proteins provide them with essential nutrients, some vitamins are still missing. In order to remain healthy and active, cats need certain vitamins in their diet.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and bones, while the B12 of vitamins help cats to metabolize their food properly. Thiamin helps cats to create energy. Riboflavin helps cats to absorb calcium and magnesium. Pantothenic acid helps cats to create energy and metabolize fat. Pyridoxine helps cats to create new protein. Folic acid helps cats to create new cells. Biotin helps cats improve the quality of their fur and skin. Niacin helps cats to metabolize carbs, fat, and protein.
In addition to the vitamins mentioned above, cats may benefit from Vitamin D, E, and K, as well as Choline. These vitamins help keep a cat’s coat shiny and healthy, as well as help them build strong muscles and bones.
Now that you know what vitamins cats need in their diet, let’s look at how much they should be consuming on a daily basis.
Daily Consumption of Vitamins for Cats
In order to make sure that your cat is getting the right amount of essential vitamins in their diet, it is important to know how much of each vitamin they should be consuming on a daily basis.
Here you can find the vitamin Requirements for Cats according to the AAFCO:
Please note: *per kg of diet, not per kg of bodyweight
Nutrient Min Growth&Reproduction Min Max
|Vitamin A (IU/kg)||9,000||5,000||750,000|
|Vitamin D (IU/kg)||750||500||10,000|
|Vitamin E (IU/kg)||30||30|
|Vitamin K (mg/kg)||0.1||0.1|
|Pantothenic acid (mg/kg)||5.0||5.0|
|Folic acid (mg/kg)||0.8||0.8|
|Vitamin B12 (mg/kg)||0.02||0.02|
Ways to Ensure Your Cat is Getting Enough Essential Vitamins
There are a few different ways you can make sure that your cat is getting enough of the essential vitamins in its diet.
- The best way to do this is by feeding your cat a balanced diet that includes a variety of proteins. This can include fresh meats, fish, and other animal proteins.
- You should also look for cat foods that are specifically formulated with the vitamins your cat needs.
- Additionally, you may consider adding supplements to their diet as well.
- Provide your cat with access to the outdoors. This allows cats to consume a variety of animals and plants that provide them with additional vitamins and minerals.
- It is important to provide cats with plenty of fresh water as this helps flush out toxins and can help keep their bodies hydrated.
Tips for Incorporating Vitamins Into Your Cat’s Diet
A balanced diet that includes high-quality cat food plus supplements can help ensure your feline friend stays healthy and happy. To get the most out of your cat’s diet, here are some tips for incorporating vitamins into their daily regimen:
1. Choose high-quality cat food. Look for foods with added vitamins and minerals, especially those that contain taurine, an essential amino acid for cats.
2. Give your cat multivitamin supplements. There are many brands of vitamin tablets made specifically for cats, so be sure to consult with your vet before giving these to your pet.
3. Add probiotics to their diet. Probiotics can help support a healthy digestive system, so look for products that contain live cultures.
4. Supplement with B vitamins. Vitamins B1, B2, and B6 are all important for cats, so look for a vitamin that contains these as well as other key nutrients like zinc and iron.
Where to Find Which Vitamin For Your Cat?
One of the best sources of Vitamin A for cats is liver, so adding a small amount of cooked liver to your cat’s diet each week will help them get this important vitamin. Salmon and other fatty fish are also excellent sources of Vitamin A for cats.
Tuna, beef and eggs all contain amounts of Vitamin B that cats need.
The best source of Vitamin D for cats is fish oil, which can be added to wet or dry kibble. Additionally, adding a small amount of cod liver oil to your cat’s diet can also help ensure they get enough Vitamin D.
Foods like sunflower seeds, nuts, and wheat germ are all good sources of Vitamin E for cats.
Cats can get Vitamin K from green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach. These vegetables should be cooked before being served to your cat, however, as cats are unable to digest raw vegetables.
Thiamine can be found in foods like fish, beef liver, and eggs. Try adding one of these to your cat’s diet each week to make sure they are getting enough Thiamine.
Niacin, or Vitamin B3, can be found in foods like fish, beef, and eggs. Make sure to add one of these foods to your cat’s diet each week, as this will ensure they are getting enough Niacin.
Folic acid, Choline, Pyridoxine, Biotin and Riboflavin
These vitamins can be found in foods like liver and egg products.
Tips For Monitoring Vitamin Levels in Your Cat’s Diet
In order to ensure that your cat is getting enough of the essential vitamins in its diet, it’s important to monitor their vitamin levels. One way to do this is by having regular check-ups at the vet and keeping track of any changes in weight or behavior. Additionally, it can be helpful to have a detailed record of what your cat is eating and any vitamins or supplements they are taking.
It’s also important to pay attention to changes in your cat’s coat, skin and eyes as this can be a sign that their vitamin levels may not be sufficient. In order to ensure that your cat is getting enough of the essential vitamins, it’s important to be aware of any changes in their diet and make the necessary adjustments.
By monitoring your cat’s vitamin levels, you can help ensure that they stay healthy and active.