Is a multi-vitamin necessary to give my cat every day?FamilyPet
Good nutrition is essential to your cat. Cats require more than a dozen nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. These nutrients are the building blocks of various structural body tissues; are essential for metabolism and other chemical processes; transport substances into, around, and out of the body; supply energy for growth and maintenance; and provide palatability.
Since cats are obligate carnivores, they rely on nutrients in animal tissue to meet their nutritional requirements. They need a diet that is high in protein with moderate amounts of fat and minimal amounts of carbohydrates. Unlike dogs, cats do not, and cannot, have wide varieties of food sources or they’ll become ill and fail to thrive, or survive.
What that means for you is that you MUST keep balance in mind. Your cat needs the correct amount of specific nutrients, but no more. It is possible to have “too much of a good thing” when it comes to vitamins and minerals. The use of supplements not only is unnecessary but also can be potentially dangerous to your pet’s health. Supplements should never be added without a veterinarian’s approval.
So have a thorough discussion with your veterinarian before you embark on any daily vitamin routine.
Do make sure you know the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins because an overdose in can cause serious medical complications. Water-soluble types are B vitamins and vitamin C. They get excreted through water in the body, so there’s not much cause for concern, although there can be cases of overdose in both. On the other hand, vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble types. They get stored in the body and too much can lead to toxicity.
Here are some guidelines as to what too much of these substances cause:
• Iron: Vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal bleeding. In some cases, it can be fatal.
• Vitamin A: Skin lesions, dry skin, alopecia, and anal itching
• Vitamin B-6: Nervous system problems, sensitivity to light.
• Vitamin C: Diarrhea and abdominal bloating.
• Vitamin D: GI problems, excessive drinking and urinating, anorexia, depression, hemorrhage, abnormal heartbeat, bone pain and/or limping.