What are some good sources of Vitamin D in cat food?

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There are some foods that are high in vitamin D, namely eggs, cod liver oil, liver, salmon and tuna.

In addition, many foods are fortified with vitamin D, so be sure to thoroughly read labels.

When selecting a cat food, however, you need to know the basics of cat nutrition and read the label to look at the overall picture to be sure all the necessary nutrients are present. These include:

• Named meat source: Chicken, lamb, rabbit, venison, beef, or turkey, followed by some other meat proteins.
• Potatoes, sweet potato, carrots or some other starchy vegetable: Used as a healthy kind of binder and filler. Be especially mindful about this; sometimes substances, such as gluten, a known allergen, is used as the binder/filler.
• Vitamins: Critical for metabolism regulation and normal growth and function, they are usually found in food and synthesized within the animal’s body. Vitamins should include: A, D, E, and K and C and the B complex. Cats are carnivorous (strict meat-eaters), and the carnivorous cat utilizes animal sources of nutrients more readily than plant sources. For example, felines can’t convert beta-carotene from plants into vitamin A (as some animals do), so they need preformed vitamin A from an animal source. This type needs no conversion.
• Minerals: Essential to the cat and are involved in almost all physiological reactions. They contribute to enzyme formation, pH balance, nutrient utilization, and oxygen transportation and are stored in bone and muscle tissue. Minerals include calcium, chloride, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and zinc. There are others that cats require at trace concentrations. Minerals, like vitamins, work together.

Biological availability may vary widely depending on the source of the nutrient. Elemental minerals are generally taken from the earth or chelated. A chelated mineral is one that is bound with other substances, such as amino acids, often making them easier for the body to absorb.

• Amino acids: Especially taurine, which is essential to a cat’s health. In fact, everything around the cat’s diet revolves around her need to taurine.
• Water: Cats’ bodies are about 70 percent water and they aren’t especially thirst-driven—so play it extra safe by making sure the ingredient label includes water.

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