How can I select a multi-vitamin for my cat?FamilyPet
Your cat might need extra vitamins in its diet depending on age, immune system and activity levels. Cats receive nutrition from their food, but sometimes we do need to bridge the gap between nutrition and vitamins, especially today when our soils are so nutrient deficient and there are so many environmental toxins and pollutants. When that happens, supplements are needed.
When selecting feline (or canine) vitamins, it’s important to be mindful about balance. While a deficiency can create a problem, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.” So be sure to discuss this with your veterinarian.
The most important thing to remember, though, is that vitamins are broken up into two categories. There are the water-soluble ones, such as B-complex and vitamin C. They aren’t stored in the body and should be replaced regularly. Since the vitamins are processed through water in the body, they usually won’t cause harm. On the other hand, there are vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K that are called fat soluble; this means they do get stored in the body. An overdose of fat-soluble vitamins is harmful, resulting in eye, skin, bone, muscle and GI problems.
Not all multi-vitamins are the same, so you should look for minerals and amino acids, especially taurine, which is essential to a cat’s health. You may also want one with some additional ingredients, such as probiotics, digestive enzymes, herbs, essential fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin, etc.
Some things to consider when selecting a multivitamin:
• Delivery system: Do you want pills, chews or a liquid supplement?
• Purity: an independent, third party auditor MUST certify all vitamins.
• Price. You want good value—but not at the expense of leaving certain things out.
• High palatability.
Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation and be sure to report all medications and supplements to avoid any potential harmful interactions. Discontinue use at the first sign of an allergic reaction.